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.
JOAN Rivers has died. She was 81 (mostly). Reports say she had gone into hospital for a routine operation on her throat and then died from cardiac arrest. But, you know. did she?
OUR pal Erin created this Painting of Joan Rivers if she had been painted by Hieronymous Bosch.
Joan Rivers (June 8, 1933 – September 4, 2014)
Just one clip doesn’t do her justice. The ‘best act in her price range’ is on:
NO need to hack Jennifer Lawrence or Rihanna’s iCloud accounts to find naked photos of them – just wait for casting central to offer them a job in Game of Thrones. News is that Cersei Lannister (played by Lena Headey) will walk naked through the streets of Dubrovnik, Croatia.
WHO to blame for the naked photos of Jennifer Lawrence and, reportedly, 100 other stars leaked on the web? The hackers who took images from the star’s iCloud account? No. David Auerbach blames Apple:
Apple is currently delighted that people are talking about how you shouldn’t take naked photos of yourself in the first place, but make no mistake: Apple has been provably irresponsible with users’ security. It is currently unclear how the naked photos were gathered—most likely through a number of different methods and different servers over a period of months if not years. What isclear is that Apple has had a known security vulnerability in its iCloud service for months and has been careless about protecting its users. Apple patched this vulnerability shortly after the leak, so even if we’re not sure of exactly how the photos got hacked, evidently Apple thinks it might have had something to do with it. Whether or not this particular vulnerability was used to gather some of the photos—Apple is not commenting, as usual, but the ubiquity and popularity of Apple’s products certainly points to the iCloud of being a likely source—its existence is reason enough for users to be deeply upset at their beloved company for not taking security seriously enough.
AFTER The Monterey Pop Festival, Woodstock and Isle of Wight captured rock ‘n’ roll’s attention, everyone was soon trying to get in on the action by putting on their own festivals.
England got Bickershaw and Glastonbury started to stretch out, and America saw festivals popping up all over the place. One such show was the 1972 Erie Canal Soda Pop Festival.
However, this was one of the most disastrous get-togethers in rock. The Rolling Stone’s Altamont gig in 1969 was bad enough, but this shindig, held over three days on Bull Island in Indiana, was blighted from the off.
Promoters of the show thought they’d be getting around 50,000 music lovers on-site, but soon enough, they found themselves swamped with over 300,000 ready to lose their shit and get messy.
MUSIC legend, Lou Adler, is an inductee of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and responsible for a frightening amount of hits and given the world so much music that he should be beatified.
Adler founded and co-owned Dunhill Records (Jimmy Buffett, Solomon Burke, Thelma Houston, Steppenwolf, Joe Walsh, Van Der Graaf Generator, Dusty Springfield and more) and was the producer on the label.
After selling Dunhill, he founded Ode Records (Spirit, Carole King, Merry Clayton, Cheech & Chong, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and others) and helped to produce the Woodstock precursor, the Monterey International Pop Festival (where Hendrix famously set fire to his guitar during his version of ‘Wild Thing’).
He also managed surfer boys Jan & Dean, produced Sam Cooke and bagged two Grammy Awards in ’72 for his production skills on ‘It’s Too Late’ by Carole King and the ‘Tapestry’ LP. He’s the owner of the legendary Roxy Theatre on Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. He is best remembered for discovering The Mamas & Papas.
It is little wonder he got himself a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and can often be seen courtside with Jack Nicholson at LA Lakers games.
JAMES Adomian shares the story of his worst stand-up show ever. The night he opened for Joan Rivers in Florida.
GRANT Meyers makes sound effects for porn films:
Vidal Sassoon: Before The Scissors London’s Top Hairdresser Fought With Knives, Coshes And Knuckledusters
VIDAL Sassoon (17 January 1928 – 9 May 2012) not only a famous hairdresser. He was the son of immgrant Jews and raised in a children’s home:
Sassoon recalled England’s hostile political atmosphere earlier this year: “Anti-Semitism was absolutely rife,” he said in a podcast for the Holocaust Memorial Museum. “I mean, it was nothing for another kid to say to you, ‘Dirty Jew.’ And although England was a good place to be, especially with Churchill and the fight against the Nazis, there was always that sense of the Jews being second-class citizens.”
In 1947, the fascists again began menacing London, this time under the tutelage of Jeffrey Hamm, head of an organization of thugs calling themselves the “Association of British Ex-Servicemen.” For Sassoon, this was not a fate to be accepted lying down.
As a response to Hamm’s provocations, a gathering of young Jews known as the 43 Group—named for the number of people in the room at their founding—announced that the fight back had begun. Among them was the slender, if wiry, Sassoon. As Hamm’s followers gathered on street corners bellowing that “not enough Jews were burned at Belsen,” Sassoon and his comrades, armed with knives, coshes, and knuckledusters, set about breaking up fascist meetings. In another interview, Sassoon remembered turning up for work one morning with a black eye. “I just tripped on a hairpin,” he explained to the worried customer who had just settled into a barber’s chair for a haircut.
TODAY is the birthday of one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most legendary men… although, many won’t have ever heard of him. In 1939, in North London, the legendary Clem Cattini was born.
Cattini did shifts in his dad’s Italian restaurant before pursuing a career in music, starting things off with gigs at The 2i’s Coffee Bar, where he backed whoever turned up. He soon joined his own band called the Beat Boys, and from there, he started to get noticed.
And while a lot of people have never heard of Clem, he’s played on over 40 number one hit records and was one of the most prolific drummers in UK pop history. He’s worked with Joe Meek, Lou Reed, Cliff Richard, Hot Chocolate, Bay City Rollers, Benny Hill and loads more.
Cattini was so hot on the drumstool that he’d get called in to play the parts of bands who already had a drummer.
So with that, let us look at some of Clem’s most famous appearances. If anything, this list will show you just how versatile the great man is.
Happy birthday Clem!
Johnny Kidd and the Pirates ‘Shakin’ All Over’
Thunderclap Newman ‘Something In The Air’
The Tornados ‘Telstar’
Clive Dunn ‘Grandad’
Donovan ‘Hurdy Gurdy Man’
The Kinks ‘You Really Got Me’
The Walker Brothers ‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore’
Dusty Springfield ‘You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me’
The Love Affair ‘Everlasting Love’
Renée and Renato ‘Save Your Love’
T-Rex ‘Get It On’
SO. We’ve all seen those videos of tossers throwing iced water over themselves: everyone from terribly famous people like Giselle Bundchen and Bill Gates to random Belgians standing under firefighting planes. But little do people know that this is one of the great examples of “small world” theory. A specialist branch of mathematics which tries to explain how the world is put together, how society communicates. Other examples include the Kevin Bacon game and an oddity called an Erdos Number. These sorts of examples are used to explain how news travels over the internet, among other things.
This ALS Icebucket Challenge is another example of this same idea: that while there’s billions of us out here we’re really only a few connections away from everyone else. It’s usually possibly to connect between two people in four or five steps: and it’s a very rate person indeed that we can’t get to in seven or less (think lost amazon tribes to get to that distance away from any one other person):
The challenge started with Charles Kennedy, a golfer from Florida, who was responding to a friend who told him ‘pour ice over your head and I’ll donate to the charity of your choice’.
KATE Bush once sang a song about Ken Livingstone, former leader of the GLC, Member of Parliament and the first democratically-elected Mayor of London.
Ken is the man that we all need,
Ken is the leader of the GLC.
Who is the man we all need? KEN!
Who is the funky sex machine? KEN!
Who is the leader of the GLC? KEN!
Who is the man we all need? KEN!
The Comic Strip revisited the tune:
NINETEEN years ago on this very day, all the way back in 1995, teenagers tuned into the chart rundown on Radio One to find out which of Britpop’s gargantuans were going to land the killer blow.
It was on the 26th August that Blur scored their first UK No.1 single with ‘Country House’ ahead of Oasis’ ‘Roll With It’.
Animosity had been high between the two camps, with Oasis hoping Blur would die of AIDS and generally dismissing them as Southern softies. Blur meanwhile sarcastically referred to Oasis as being like ‘Status Quo’, to which Oasis promptly started selling ‘Quoasis’ t-shirts.
It was puerile, pointless and a whole load of fun for people who like a narrative on their pop music.
Both acts released their new singles on the same day, both landing in the top two slots in a month that was erratic at best. While Britpop duked it out, the run-up saw Robson & Jerome’s ‘Unchained Melody’ at the top spot, as well as Outhere Brothers’ ‘Boom Boom Boom’, Take That’s ‘Never Forget’ and followed by Michael Jackson’s ‘You Are Not Alone’ and Shaggy’s ‘Boombastic’.
It was a weird and brilliant summer.
However, as everyone knows, the most irritating thing about the whole battle was just how poor both band’s singles were. ‘Country House’ was Blur’s vision of Great Britain gone too far; too bloated on lager. ‘Roll With It’ was Oasis dialling it in, from a body of work that had stronger LP tracks and B-sides. Oasis ploughed through and became stadium-fillers while Blur slowly collapsed under the weight of their own skewed look on the world, before retreating away, ready to unleash ‘Beetlebum’ and ‘Song Two’ at everyone from their follow-up, eponymous LP.
The release of the two records effectively killed Britpop stone-dead, with only Pulp and the Super Furry Animals managing to maintain any sort of quality control thereafter, with Elastica vanishing down a smack hole, Suede losing their grot-glamour and exchanging it for sickly, pristine Bowie tributes. Things were in such a bad way that Dodgy became headline acts.
The fallout from this Battle of Britpop opened the door for Embrace, Coldplay, Travis and a whole new dawn of overly sincere and overwrought indie rock, which in turn, transformed into something the NME briefly dubbed NAM (New Acoustic Movement) with the likes of Alfie, Turin Breaks, Badly Drawn Boy and Ben & Jason.
Britpop’s bombast reached the zenith 19 years ago, and the momentum kept Oasis going for a while, while Blur got a little lost, touring the very dubious ‘Great Escape’ LP. Of course, it being Blur, it had some fine moments, but so quickly they’d gone from sparky and sarcastic, to getting lost in their own creation, that you couldn’t see the boys who made ‘Modern Life Is Rubbish’ in the fug of Camden cocaine anymore.
Both Oasis and Blur suffered in the immediate aftermath of 1995, and would have to regroup to get their motors running again, while their Britpop pals all slid into the Andy’s Records 9p Bargain Bin. Oasis were almost certainly the more determined of the two, filling Manchester City’s old Maine Road stadium and Doing Knebworth in 1996.
However, it wouldn’t be too long before they released the pretty terrible ‘Stand By Me’ and ‘All Around The World’ and hauled the flabby ‘Be Here Now’ LP around the planet while hanging around with Tony Blair in Downing Street for a ‘Cool Britannia’ photo-op.
While Oasis soldiered on until 2009, when Noel finally left. The band were exhausted and going mental. Blur meanwhile, saw Graham Coxon throwing the towel in, leaving Damon to create numerous projects.
And here we are, in 2014, and still, Blur and Oasis have our ears. Be it Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds or wonderful DVD commentary where he’s revealing himself to be a pleasantly daft old curmudgeon or Damon Albarn’s magpie approach to music, with record labels (Honest John’s) and his million bands; Dodgy, Shed Seven, The Bluetones, Menswear, Powder, Sleeper and all the rest, have all but vanished apart from in the hearts of corduroy wearing thirtysomethings.
With Britpop celebrating a 20th anniversary lately, it can only mean one thing – teenagers are going to start fetishising it and starting up bands that sound like Octopus.
God help us all.
ROD Stewart, married to Panny Lancaster, has been talking about his sex life:
“I’ve still got plenty of lead in the old pencil. but I only write to one person.”
KATE MOSS’S has had a champagne glass modelled on her left breast. Quaffers at Mayfair’s 34 can purse their lips to the rim of one of British artist Jane McAdam Freud’s cups.
This honour was once extended to another sparkling white woman, the fabled Marie Antoinette.
IT has been announced that a brass sculpture of Amy Winehouse is to be installed at Camden market, London.
The memorial has been designed by Scott Eaton and will be erected at the Stables market, not too far away from where the singer died so depressingly young in July 2011.
Amy’s father Mitch said he was happy about the new lifesize memorial, and that it will divert people away from paying tribute at her old house, which has “bad memories for everyone”.
“It’s a great honour to have the statue in the Stables. Amy was an integral part of Camden and still is, so you couldn’t really think of putting a statue for her anywhere else, could you really?” he told The Guardian.
Of course, Amy isn’t the first pop star to be graced with a statue in her honour. And if history tells us anything, it is that some memorial statues are better than others.
Let us look at some of the best and worst.
Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott might not be the most famous musician in the world, but something of a working class hero, it is great that he was immortalised in statue form on Harry Street in Dublin. Sadly, the statue itself kinda sucks.
The Fab Four have a load of statues, but the ones in Houston are the best. Stylised and imposing, these giant Beatles were erected and, just to further the Paul Is Dead rumours, the Paul statue fell over after being blown at by some wind.
There’s a touching statue of MJ in a favela in Rio, but we’re not interested in that. We’re more into the ghastly effigy erected by Fulham FC outside their ground. An embarrassment to a lot of fans and the cause of much mirth elsewhere.
At the Albert Docks in Liverpool, there’s a great statue of British rock ‘n’ roll’s finest, Billy Fury. Of course, a lot of people walk past it and assume it is Elvis, but there you go.
One of the greatest voices to ever leap out of a human throat, Otis Redding passed away too young, just days after recording ‘(Sitting On The) Dock Of The Bay’. His sculpture sits in Gateway Park in Macon, Georgia. Here he is, being manhandled by a grinning white guy.
Jimi’s sculpture was unveiled in ’97 on Broadway Avenue in the Capital Hill/Broadway area of Hendrix’ hometown of Seattle. Sadly for Hendrix, they stuck him next to the road and had him grimacing at traffic.
In Sevierville, Tennessee, there’s a statue of a barefoot, young Dolly Parton with a guitar which is sometimes rubbed for good luck by locals and tourists. Dolly grew up in Sevierville. It is a reasonably nice statue of her, it has to be said.
The plaque on this statue of James Brown says: “Singer, songwriter and one-of-a-kind performer” and overlooks James Brown Plaza on Broad Street in Augusta, Ga. The person who made the statue, it seems, put a million teeth in The Godfather of Soul’s mouth. He looks a bit like a Critter.
The Ramones guitarist probably has the best statue in rock’s history, looking moody and cool while standing by the lake at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles. His ashes are in the base of his statue, which is near the grave of bandmate Dee Dee Ramone. The Ramones – even cool in death.
Aberdeen Washington decided to pay tribute to their iconic son who fronted Nirvana and, regrettably killed himself. However, you have to assume that, having seen the tribute, Cobain may actually prefer to be pushing up daisies.
ON this very day in 1965, something brilliant, eccentric and hip was born – Immediate Records.
In what has to be one of the finest record label names ever – c’mon, it’s everything a teenager wants from pop music – and purposefully moddish, Immediate was the baby of Rolling Stones’ manager Andrew Loog Oldham and his partner Tony Calder.
The launched the label with a hipster party, attended by some of pop’s great and good – Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton and Nico (not yet in the Velvet Underground) were all there, being thin and beautiful.
The label was the home of some very famous bands, such as The Small Faces, Rod Stewart and some ’60s favourites in The Nice, Amen Corner and Chris Farlowe. In their stable, they had a young guitar player and producer by the name of Jimmy Page too. Could a label be any more hip?
Obviously, being a bit tinpot, Immediate ran into financial problems and folded in 1970.
So with that, to celebrate one of the world’s most fabulous and frivolous enterprises, let us listen to some of the famous, and shouldabeenfamous, records that were found on Immediate.
Fleur De Lys ‘Circles’
Killer mod-pop from FDL, with a track that The Who wrote and intended as a single called ‘Instant Party’. While Townsend & Co. dithered, the Fleur De Lys stuck the record out. It contains one of the most mental lead guitar lines in the history of pop.
ON this very day in 1968, the last episode of The Monkees TV show aired in the States. Almost every US TV station re-ran the show, with the ’69-’71 being more popular than the debut bow.
The show was shipped out across the world and The Monkees found a load of British fans when it was repeated in the summer holidays in the ’80s and ’90s. While the band themselves have mixed feelings about the show, it simply won’t go away, unless of course, you’re the kind of sneering prick who doesn’t like The Monkees because you could see the business behind them.
CAN we feel sorry for Cliff Richard? When the police raided his home in the full glare of the BBC cameras, did you wince? Or did you pat yourself on the back and congratulate the Beeb and the police on their sound work in investigating allegations of historic sex abuse and, most vitally, showing us all how they have moved on and are no longer ignoring victims, employing the depraved and failing to report their crimes?
The worthy South Yorkshire plods must have known Cliff was on his summer holidays.
FORTY-FIVE years ago, the Woodstock Festival kicked off. Not the first of it’s kind and certainly not the best – but most iconic? Probably.
500,000 gathered on Max Yasgur’s farm in New York’s Sullivan County, and that weekend in August 1969, the the “3 Days of Peace & Music” was captured on film and a legend was born.
Days after the first man set foot on the moon and in the middle of the Vietnam war, optimism, hate and politics all melded together with pop culture.
On the bill that weekend, were Sly & The Family Stone, Joe Cocker, the Grateful Dead, Richie Havens, Joan Baez, Santana, Janis Joplin, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix and more.
However, the line-up at Woodstock could’ve been very, very different. There were a number of bands who were asked and turned it down. There were bands who never really considered it.
So let us look at some of the acts that could’ve been at Woodstock and you can weigh-up how brilliant or awful it would have been to have them alongside the other groups. We’ve chosen footage that is from around the time of Woodstock, so you can get a real feel for what the bands could’ve added (or subtracted) from those that appeared.
Zep’s manager Peter Grant stated: “We were asked to do Woodstock and Atlantic were very keen, and so was our U.S. promoter, Frank Barsalona. I said no because at Woodstock we’d have just been another band on the bill.” Zep went and watched Elvis instead.
Dylan lived in Woodstock at the time, but didn’t enter serious negotiations to play as he was setting off to do the Isle of Wight festival instead, travelling on the QE2. Dylan was also apparently annoyed at the hippies hanging around his house. Thank god The Band were there.
The Beatles/John Lennon
There’s some rumours that the Woodstock organisers asked Lennon to play, but lost interest in the Beatle when he demanded that Yoko Ono get a slot too. However, what is far more likely is that Lennon fancied a slot, but Richard Nixon wouldn’t let him as he was madly paranoid about Lennon being in the States.
Arthur Lee and Love
Arthur Lee declined the invitation thanks to him and his band basically fighting with each other all the time. Love’s appearance would’ve made the band a household name and given their masterpiece – ‘Forever Changes’ – a chance to be a household name. Alas, they were consigned to record-collector obscurity.
Joni was all set to play Woodstock and indeed, wrote a great song about the place. However, she cancelled her appearance on her manager’s advice who thought she’d be better off playing her scheduled appearance on The Dick Cavett Show.
The Jeff Beck Group
Jeff Beck said of Woodstock: “I deliberately broke the group up before Woodstock. I didn’t want it to be preserved.”
The Doors cancelled their Woodstock gig at the last minute, because they thought the festival would be a “second class repeat of Monterey Pop Festival”. They spared a generation of Jim Morrison’s dreadful lizard routine.
Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention
It has always been weird that Zappa wasn’t at Woodstock, seeing as he presided over 60s counterculture like some mad professor, but on a TV show, Zappa said: “A lot of mud at Woodstock … We were invited to play there, we turned it down.”
The Byrds were, of course, invited to play Yasgur’s farm, but declined the offer because they figured Woodstock would be no different from any of the other music festivals that summer. There were money concerns as well because, as you know, hippies like to get paid and it looked like McGuinn & Co might not, so they stayed away.
Still known as the Chicago Transit Authority, the band had been signed-on to play Woodstock, but thanks to contractual wranglings, Santana got their slot instead. That’s got to be a kick in the teeth.
Tommy James and the Shondells
Declining the invitation, Tommy James said: “We could have just kicked ourselves. We were in Hawaii, and my secretary called and said, ‘Yeah, listen, there’s this pig farmer in upstate New York that wants you to play in his field.’ That’s how it was put to me. So we passed, and we realized what we’d missed a couple of days later.”
Free were asked to play, but declined.
Spirit, and the dazzlingly talented Randy California, were asked to play Woodstock, but turned it down because they had already been booked to play some other shows. They had no idea what they were turning down.
Jethro Tull turned down Woodstock. Frontman Ian Anderson said he knew it would be huge, but didn’t fancy it because he didn’t like hippies and thought they wouldn’t get paid enough.
IB were booked to appear and are even listed on the Woodstock poster to play on the Sunday, but sadly, they missed their show because they were stuck at an airport. That’s gotta suck.
PART Kermit, part hipster, Michael Cera is loved by many (and he probably irritates a fair few too, but that’s normal) and has starred in a bunch of films that make people in Converse Chuck Taylor’s go weak at the knees.
So it isn’t very surprising that Michael Cera has released folk album called ‘True That’.
The actor released the material on August 8th via his Bandcamp page. Not many people noticed it, but then, Superbad co-star Jonah Hill posted a link to it and now everyone is cooing and clucking about it.
Of course, he’s not the first actor to have a go at singing and making music. In fact, the movies are filled with actors who have decided to have a go at making sweet melodies. The results, obviously, have been mixed and sometimes, downright baffling.
Mostly though, they’ve been a bit bland. Remember Minnie Driver’s album? Of course you don’t. Was it bad? Sadly, it was competent so no-one could get mad.
Some actors have been pretty good, but they’re no fun – we’re interested in the weird ones. Dudley Moore’s fine jazz and J-Lo’s ace pop aren’t for us.
We’re here for the lousy and oddball.
Cinema legend Robert Mitchum was swept away by the infectious music of the Caribbean and thought he’d make a calypso album. His deadpan delivery is funny, but is it a bit racist doing what is tantamount to a comedy black voice? Judge for yourself.
ON the day police search Cliff Richard’s home in connection with an alleged crime against a minor – he denies any wrongdoing – the Huddersfield Examiner reports:
Former Longwood resident, Kytsun Wolfe, will perform in the region for the first time since he left to pursue his entertainer dream
Book now and book often…
Police are searching a Berkshire property belonging to Sir Cliff Richard in relation to an alleged historical sex offence. A number of items were removed from the property in the Sunningdale area for further investigation, but no arrests have been made.
A police spokesman said the allegation involved a boy under 16 and dated from the 1980s in the South Yorkshire area.
DID you find the death of Robin Williams entertaining? Fox News sure did: