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Music news and reviews, music videos and tittle tattle, with a lingering look at the past from Anorak. A source for rock, pop, album and live music, new releases, artist interviews and features.

Nass Festival : rip-off travel and bonkers sex advice

The NASS Festival has been exciting Somerset locals. Sited at the Bath Show Ground around 6 miles from Castle Carey mainline train station, music fans arriving by rail can catch a coach to take them to the venue for £6 return. That’s on top of the cost of the festival ticket. Why the extra charge? The shuttle buses should be free.

On Thursday people getting off the train were stood in a queue waiting for one of the buses. Many waited well over an hour. It was hot. The police handed out bottled water. Understandably some decided to walk the 6 miles. Cue much moaning in the local newspaper about youths slowing down traffic and asking for lifts.

Nass treats customers as fools. Doubt that? Get a load of some of the advice on its website.

Please DO NOT WALK in the road. Help us keep you safe. Hop on a bus. #NASSSafe

If you opt to walk you have to walk in the road. It’s all road. There is no pavement. Nass knows this. Nass should make the buses free and provide more of them. Or provide bicycles, rickshaws, a bag collecting service and more. Do something more than treating their customers with disdain and having them stand in the sun waiting for an overpriced bus.

And then this:

SAFER SPACES

Everyone deserves to have fun and enjoy themselves at NASS. Because of this we have a zero tolerance policy towards any kind of sexual assault or harassment. We also don’t tolerate any racism, discrimination or any other anti-social behaviour. To make it clear, this is what we classify as unacceptable behaviour and may get you ejected from the festival:


• Any unwanted physical contact
• Groping
• Grabbing
• Catcalling
• Leering
• Stalking
• Rape
• Upskirting
• Verbal or physical intimidation
If you experience any of this or see it happening, please call it out and/or report it to the nearest steward or security guard.

Nass festival

“Unacceptable behaviour” is leering – i.e. looking intently – and rape. Rape “may get you ejected from the festival”. Or it may not. If you’ve been the victim of a violent sexual assault call the police.

Welcome to planet Nass.

Posted: 14th, July 2019 | In: Key Posts, Music, News | Comment


Debbie Harry and Iggy Pop Duet for Cole Porter’s Did You Evah

Debbie Harry and Iggy Pop Duet for Cole Porter's Did You Evah

The 1990 album Red Hot + Blue features features pop performers reinterpreting several songs by Cole Porter (June 9, 1891 – October 15, 1964) – the title of the album comes from Cole Porter’s musical Red, Hot and Blue – with money going to AIDS research. The album kicks off with Neneh Cherry singing “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”, which was released as a single, peaking at number 25 in the charts. But the real highlight is Iggy Pop and Debbie Harry’s version of “Did You Evah,” written for the 1939 musical DuBarry Was a Lady, and famously sang by Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra in the movie High Society (1956). The single failed to break into the Top 40, hitting 42. (Btw – the B-side was The Thompson Twins asking us “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?”)

Iggy and Debbie’s video was produced and directed by Alex Cox of Repo Man fame. He told Spin: “Iggy had always wanted to make a video with animals and Debbie had always wanted to publicly burn lingerie so I let them.”

Sing-a-long if the know the (new) words:

Debbie: I have heard, among this clan, you are called the forgotten man.
Iggy: is that what theyre saying? well, did you evah!
Both: what a swell party this is!

Iggy: and have you heard the story of a boy, a girl, unrequited love?
Debbie: sounds like pure soap opera. I may cry.
Iggy: aw…
Both: what a swell party this is!

Iggy: what frails!
Debbie: what cocks!
Iggy: what broads!
Debbie: what jocks…
Iggy: what furs! theyre beautiful!
Debbie: why, Ive never seen such…
Both: yuppity!
Debbie: neither did I.
Iggy: its all just too…
Both: swellegant!

Debbie: this french champagne…
Iggy: (domestic!)
Debbie: so good for the brain.
Iggy: thats what I was gonna say!
Debbie: well, you know youre a brilliant fellow.
Iggy: thank you, I am!
Debbie: hehe, drink up Jim.

Iggy: so… have you ever been out to L.A. lately?
Debbie: well no, not recently.
Iggy: well, I went there and had a rent-a-car and all…
Debbie: oh, really?
Iggy: yeah and I got invited to Pia’s house… Pia Zadora’s house…
Debbie: really? oh.
Iggy: yeah.
Debbie: was it nice?
Iggy: well, I didnt… I didnt go!
Debbie: oh! hehe.
Iggy: it woulda been swell though!
Debbie: shoulda gone!
Iggy: it woulda been elegant!
Debbie: elegant.
Oh wait, look… look whos coming in now… can you believe it?
Iggy: …I hear they dismantled pickfair.
Debbie: they did.
Iggy: it wasnt elegant enough. hehe!
Debbie: yeah. probably full of termites.
Iggy: yeah.

Both: its great!
Its grand!
Wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wonderland!
La la la la la la la la la la la la la.
We sing so rare, like old camembert.

Iggy: have you heard that Diane Star – she got bit in the Asster bar.
Debbie: sauced again! well, did you evah…
Both: what a swell party this is!

Have you heard?
Its in the stars.
Next July we collide with Mars.
Well did you evah!

What a swell party.
What a swell party.
What a swellegant elegant, (sm) party…
Debbie: smarty?
Iggy: party… yeah!
Debbie: a smarty party?
Iggy: I am! a smarty! Im pretty smart!
Debbie: you are a smarty for coming to this party.
Iggy: yeah, thats right!
Debbie: well piss off.
Iggy: hehehe, thats good! I like that.

Posted: 5th, July 2019 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, Music | Comment


The Cure’s Robert Smith nails a red carpet interview (video)

The Cure’s Robert Smith was on the red carpet as part of the band’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His reaction to a hyperventilating TV host neatly showcases the difference between the UK and the US.

Previously.

Posted: 2nd, April 2019 | In: Celebrities, Music | Comment


A plea for mirrors and no more weed from Lee Scratch Perry

Lee Scratch Perry has politely requested his fans relent from giving him weed. He has plenty. If you must give anything, give mirrors. The fabled reggae star tweets:

Lee Scratch Perry

You know what’s coming don’t, you? Yep, mirrors being reclassified as a Class C drugs.

Posted: 15th, March 2019 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, Music, The Consumer | Comment


When Jeremy Corbyn, Diane Abbott and Barry Gardiner wanted to ban Keith Flint

On 08 December 1997, Jeremy Corbyn wanted to ban us from knowing about a song by The Prodigy. The groups’ frontman Keith Flint has died too soon at the age of just 49. The early day motion to ban the mesmeric, relentless Smack My Bitch Up went:

That this House expresses its disgust and outrage at the advertising billboard campaign to promote a record album entitled Smack my Bitch Up; and urges the recording company to withdraw this advertisement immediately.

Of the 41 people who wanted music banned, the following are notable:

Keith Fint Labour the Prodigy

Where are they now? Yep – ‘Disgusted of Westminster’ are threatening to lead the country.

Spotter: Keith Flint, the last punk

Posted: 4th, March 2019 | In: Key Posts, Music, News, Politicians | Comment


Rapper Murs breaks it down: ‘Beastie Boys is the Greatest Hip Hop Group of All Time’

I saw the Beastie Boys play live. They were fabulous.

Rapper MURS considers The Beastie Boys to be the greatest hip hop group of all time.

Do I think the Beastie Boys are the best? No. Are they my favorite of all time? No, but they are close. Did they have an unfair advantage? Yes. Do I feel like they show love and respect for the culture throughout their career? Yes. Their staying power, their dope live shows, their innovations, their philanthropy, their numbers. When I sit back and look at the facts objectively, I have to say at this point in hip-hop history the Beastie Boys are the greatest rap group of all time.

He’s right:

Beastie Boys VHS 1987 Licensed to Ill FULL from nutri871 on Vimeo.

Posted: 2nd, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, Music | Comment


Bros find success in failure – 1980s band enjoy fame after documentary ridicule

 Bros: After The Screaming Stops

The answer to the stuttering refrain “When will I, will I be famous?” was simple: when you’re shaggable, have pop star hair and write a catchy tune the promoters love. Now Bros, who asked the question in 1987, have triggered a new answer to it: when nostalgia bites and you become the nation’s pet thickos. And so it is that after a documentary brought them to back to the fore, Surrey-born Matt and Luke Goss – the other part of the original Bros band, Craig Logan, is busy – have announced they will be performing a comeback show in London.

For those of you missed the Decembeer 2017 BBC documentary Bros: After The Screaming Stops, here are a few choice cuts:

Bros quotes funny
Bros documentary quotes funny
Bros documentary quotes funny

The lovely irony is that the documentary followed twins Matt and Luke as they reunited ahead of their ill-fated 2017 tour. Showing us failure has resulted in success.

And you too can be famous – just as soon as “you’ve read Karl Marx
/ And you’ve taught yourself to dance.”

Posted: 14th, January 2019 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, Music, News, TV & Radio | Comment


Passenger turns her airport purgatory into a 1980s-style pop video

Tweeter @katiemgould kept her blood moving as she waited four hours for a plane by making this video to You Make My Dreams by Hall & Oates. The cat in the video is “my travel buddy Bowie”:

Posted: 11th, January 2019 | In: Music, Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment


Top-Ho, Jeeves: Happy Public Domain Day 2019 – what you can use for free

public domain day

 

It’s Public Domain Day, the moment when lots of old works become free to use. It’s a biggie this year because for 20 years nothing new has been released. In 1998 Disney and other copyright holders got the State to impose copyright restrictions for an additional 20 years. The 1998 Copyright Term Extension Act is a horror. Works from 1922, including James Joyce’s Ulysses, turned copyright free in 1998 but anything published the following year was protected. But from today music, book, posters, art, films and plays published in 1923 will be free of intellectual property restrictions. Dig in. Go create.

Jennifer Jenkins, director of the Duke Law School’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain, explains:

But now the drought is over. How will people celebrate this trove of cultural material? Google Books will offer the full text of books from that year, instead of showing only snippet views or authorized previews. The Internet Archive will add books, movies, music, and more to its online library. HathiTrust has made over 50,000 titles from 1923 available in its digital library. Community theaters are planning screenings of the films. Students will be free to adapt and publicly perform the music. Because these works are in the public domain, anyone can make them available, where you can rediscover and enjoy them. (Empirical studies have shown that public domain books are less expensive, available in more editions and formats, and more likely to be in print—see herehere, and here.) In addition, the expiration of copyright means that you’re free to use these materials, for education, for research, or for creative endeavors—whether it’s translating the books, making your own versions of the films, or building new music based on old classics.

Here are some samples from the American Public Domain Day List, as compiled by Jennifer Jenkins and Jamie Boyle at the Duke Center for the Public Domain.

Films 

* The Hunchback of Notre Dame starring Lon Chaney
* Short films featuring Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy and Our Gang
* Animated films including Felix the Cat and Koko the Clown
* Safety Last!, directed by Fred C. Newmeyer and Sam Taylor, featuring Harold Lloyd 
* The Ten Commandments, directed by Cecil B. DeMille 
* The Pilgrim, directed by Charlie Chaplin 
* Our Hospitality, directed by Buster Keaton and John G. Blystone 
* The Covered Wagon, directed by James Cruze 
* Scaramouche, directed by Rex Ingram

Books 

* Joseph Conrad, The Rover
* Robert Frost’s poem “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening”
* Nikolay Gogol, Dead Souls
* Rudyard Kipling, Land and Sea Tales for Boys and Girls
* Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan and the Golden Lion 
* Agatha Christie, The Murder on the Links 
* Winston S. Churchill, The World Crisis 
* e.e. cummings, Tulips and Chimneys 
* Robert Frost, New Hampshire 
* Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet 
* Aldous Huxley, Antic Hay 
* D.H. Lawrence, Kangaroo 
* Bertrand and Dora Russell, The Prospects of Industrial Civilization 
* Carl Sandberg, Rootabaga Pigeons 
* Edith Wharton, A Son at the Front 
* P.G. Wodehouse, works including The Inimitable Jeeves and Leave it to Psmith 
* Viginia Woolf, Jacob’s Room

Music 
* Yes! We Have No Bananas, w.&m. Frank Silver & Irving Cohn 
* Charleston, w.&m. Cecil Mack & James P. Johnson 
* London Calling! (musical), by Noel Coward 
* Who’s Sorry Now, w. Bert Kalmar & Harry Ruby, m. Ted Snyder 
* Songs by “Jelly Roll” Morton including Grandpa’s Spells, The Pearls, and Wolverine Blues (w. Benjamin F. Spikes & John C. Spikes; m. Ferd “Jelly Roll” Morton) 
* Works by Bela Bartok including the Violin Sonata No. 1 and the Violin Sonata No. 2 
* Tin Roof Blues, m. Leon Roppolo, Paul Mares, George Brunies, Mel Stitzel, & Benny Pollack (There were also compositions from 1923 by other well-known artists including Louis Armstrong, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, WC Handy, Oscar Hammerstein, Gustav Holst, Al Jolson, Jerome Kern, and John Phillip Sousa; though their most famous works were from other years.)

Spotter: Aleteia , Boing Boing

Posted: 1st, January 2019 | In: Film, Key Posts, Music, News | Comment


Thick and Williams pays millions in tribute to Marvin Gaye

blurred lines marvin gaye

Jackie Wilson, George Michael and a friend

 

Fools and wannabes borrow. Geniuses steal. Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams are now millions of dollars lighter in the trousers after Marvin Gaye’s family proved beyond any doubt that the pair’s hit song Blurred Lines owned much to Gaye’s 1977 song Got to Give it Up. Thicke and Williams appealed the ruling and lost. Yesterday a new amended judgement confirmed the settlement.

The singers jointly owe damages of $2,848,846.50. Thicke must pay an additional $1,768,191.88. Williams and his publishing company must pay a further $357,630.97. 

The Gaye family is also entitled to prejudgment interest on the damages award and respective profits against each of the signers, totalling $9,097.51. They are also entitled to 50 per cent of the songwriter and publishing revenue. 

Marvin Gaye died in 1984. According to reports, when he was killed Marvin’s estate was $9.2 million in debt. 

Posted: 13th, December 2018 | In: Money, Music, News | Comment


Ozzy Osbourne made it to 70

Ozzy Osbourne

 

Ozzy Osbourne has made it to 70 – the full three score years and ten. Photographer Mark Weiss recalls his time with the rock star in the 1980s. 

We just hit it off right from the start with my first shoot with him for the cover of CIRCUS magazine–, I was young and didn’t know crap. When I asked him to do something he did it he made it easy for me. He gave me my confidence. He was up for anything..from my first shoot with him in a pink tutu, to a shaved head, dressing up in drag or hoping around in a Easter bunny outfit. When Ozzy needed a new guitar player– I found him one.

 

Ozzy Osbourne

 

‘Mark is like a member of our family. I remember meeting him on our first solo tour, when he was just a little kid with a camera at the front of the stage. We’d give him an All Access pass. Now he’s part of the family. We’ve had lots of memorable times together. Sometimes he can be a pain in the ass – he’s always got that camera and he’s always whistling to get your attention. And I go, “Will you fucking stop doing that?” But it’s good. He’s one of the good guys. Mark just appears when you’re standing around, and you go, “Oh, there you are!” If we’re doing anything and Mark wants to get in, we just let him in. He’s one of us.’

– Ozzy Osbourne

 

Ozzy Osbourne

 

 ozzy osbourne

 

See lots more great photos of Ozzy and read the whole story at the stupendous Flashbak : “Ozzy Osbourne and Me: Shooting A Rock God in the 1980s.”

Posted: 3rd, December 2018 | In: Key Posts, Music | Comment


A DJ lesson from Grandmaster Flash – 1982

 

In 1982, Grandmaster Flash taught us how to be a DJ. Flash (nee Joseph Saddler on January 1, 1958) instructed us in cutting, scratching and mixing.

Posted: 1st, December 2018 | In: Music | Comment


You can buy the console Led Zeppelin used to record Stairway to Heaven

Recording console led zeppelin

 

The Helios console Led Zeppelin used it to record Stairway to Heaven is for sale. And that’s not all. The mixing desk is the combination of two recording consoles pulled together n 1996 by Elvis Costello and Squeeze’s Chris Difford.

This slice of history is for sale at Bonhams:

They used part of the Island Records Basing Street Studio 2 Helios Console (1970-1974) and part of Alvin Lee’s Helios console from Space Studios (1973-1979).

The two consoles were combined in 1996 after Difford and Costello acquired both from storage in order to set up their own studio HeliosCentric Studios ‘which would be for everyone to use – a chapel of music in a quiet spot.’ They sought advice from the original creator of Helios, Dick Swettenham, and carefully amalgamated the pair to create what is arguably one of Swettenham’s first, last, and largest project.

The newly combined console was installed on a peaceful farm in Rye that became a haven for musical artists and has been in constant use ever since. Artists who have used the console in both their original and amalgamated guises include: Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley & The Wailers, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, George Harrison, Jeff Beck, Stephen Stills, Jimi Hendrix, Mott The Hoople, Cat Stevens, Free, KT Tunstall, Athlete, Paolo Nutini, Sia, Olly Murrs, Dido, Pet Shop Boys, Scouting For Girls, David Bowie, Paul Weller, Mud, Gary Barlow, Supergrass and Keane.

Department Specialist Claire Tole-Moir comments: ‘It is hard to overestimate how crucial a role this console has played in the British rock and pop scene. It is entirely unique, being an amalgamation of two already incredibly influential and important consoles, and in its current form has hosted some of the most popular bands of recent years. Songs and albums recorded on this bespoke console and its original parts rank among some of the most recognizable and best-loved pieces of music in existence, and have resulted in Grammys, Brit Awards and multiple number one spots. This console is a piece of Britain’s modern cultural history.’

Spotter; Dangerous Minds, Flashbak

Posted: 30th, November 2018 | In: Music, News, The Consumer | Comment


Video: Freddie Mercury’s final days

 

The new biopic about Queen singer Freddie Mercury (5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991), tells us how he met the band and pulled his partner, Jim Hutton. The is much artistic licence. In one sun, Freddie Mercury tells the rest of the band about his HIV. It’s during rehearsals for their hymned 1985 Live Aid appearance. But Mercury wasn’t diagnosed until 1987. The rest of Queen did’t know the full extent of his illness illness until 1989.

He had a very responsible attitude to everyone that he was close to and he was a very generous and caring person to all the people that came through his life and more than that you can’t ask,” said May in 1991. “I tell you we do feel absolutely bound to stick up for him,” added Taylor, “because he can’t stick up for himself anymore, you know?”

Spotter: Laughing Squid

Posted: 8th, November 2018 | In: Celebrities, Film, Key Posts, Music | Comment


Bob Marley features on League of Ireland side Bohemians’ new kit

bohemians-bob-marley-kit

 

The new away kit of the League of Ireland side Bohemians features a big photo of Bob Marley along with Rasta-styled trim. It looks a bit naff, a T-shirt version of those coffee bars in Amsterdam that play Bob Marley songs on loop in the hope that priapic Stag dos and goofed teens ignore the freezing winds and think they’re fighting for freedom in Jamaica. But the Bohs want to explain why they chose Marley and not Che Guevara or some other cultural totem turned by marketing ninnies into a hackneyed teen icon. Bob Marley played a gig at their Dalymount ground on 6 July 1980. The stadium has “special place in the hearts of football and music fans”. So Marley is on the shirt.

Denis Buckley was at that show. “Inside the dilapidated ground the facilities were woeful,” he recalled in an article for The Journal:

The national press pondered pompously on whether he should be allowed to bring his weed into the country. It was tempered by the prevailing belief that despite the epidemic of alcohol abuse throughout the county allowing this “Rastafarian” to bring marijuana into Ireland would be the gates opening on something far more damaging than the public brawling and domestic violence visible on every street.

The music itself was perfect for political messaging. The rhythm section was serious and adult. Dancing Queen it was not. Marley put a speech by Haile Selassie over a dub: “Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and totally abandoned, everywhere is war.” Right time, right place.

The Boomtown Rats also played at Dalymount in the 1970s, but for some reason the club didn’t feel a large graphic of Bob Geldof would have the same impact.

Posted: 23rd, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, Music, Sports | Comment


Clean Bandit: for Jeremy Cobryn and Azerbaijan

Compare and contrast the following news on Clean Bandit (the soundtrack for Marks & Spencer – the bands rider is Marks & Spencer mozzarella salads and quinoa) – fronted by a couple of poshos, including Grace Chatto. In 2017,  Chatto wore a pro-Jeremy Corbyn t-shirt for a BBC broadcast. In a bid to retain its commitment to political impartiality, the Beeb blurred out the slogan championing ‘Jeremy Corbyn’, the former star of Iran’s Press TV. Chatto, a keen Corbynist, talked about that and the band’s headlining of Jez Fest. Chatto told the Huffington Post:

“Well, I think the BBC has shown, you know, they showed a really terrible bias against Jeremy Corbyn in the run-up to the general election, and that [censorship] was just part of it…

[Labour] had that huge triumph in the election, and I think the media’s been a bit different [since the election result]. But now the BBC bias is kind of like creeping back a little bit. I think, anyway…

“For me, I’m not that interested in reading newspapers, for example, so the Labour Live event is a really good way for me to engage in party politics and hear speeches and have discussions. It’s all changing.”

In 2015, Clean Bandit were at another politically infused festival: the European Olympic Games in enlightened Azerbaijan. That’s the country where “dissenting voices are practically absent from mainstream media and critical journalists risk arrest and imprisonment”.

“President Ilham Aliyev has been waging a relentless war against his remaining critics,” Reporters Without Borders said in 2017. It said “independent journalists and bloggers are thrown in prison if they do not first yield to harassment, beatings, blackmail, or bribes.”

Musical interlude:

 

 

Emin Milli had something to say about the The Games:

UK band Clean Bandit, the supposed stars of the closing ceremony, did not even mention their appearance to their thousands of social media followers…

The regime decided it would target the messengers, banning journalists and human rights activists from the Guardian, Platform and Amnesty from entering Azerbaijan during the games.

t seemed like a public relations disaster but perhaps Aliyev doesn’t care anymore. His people have even started issuing threats to Azerbaijanis abroad.

Last week, I received a message from Azad Rahimov, Aliyev’s sports minister: “We will get you wherever you are and the state will punish you for this smear campaign against the state that you have organised. You will get punished for this. You will not be able to walk freely in Berlin or anywhere else. You must know this.”

It would appear that Azerbaijani journalists and activists are not safe at home or abroad.

Something else for censorship-busting Chatto not to read about in the papers she doesn’t read.

Posted: 1st, July 2018 | In: Music, Politicians | Comment


Gender Pay Gap: Haim fires agent over male band getting 10x the cash

haim gender pay gap

 

There is indeed a gender pay gap out there. Some of it is – whisper it gently though we must – entirely justified. Women do tend to take career breaks, there is what is called occupational segregation – people deciding to pursue careers in different occupations – and it does tend to be men who are stupid enough to think that success at work is the be all and end all of life. There are other times it’s entirely justified too – no one is going to be surprised that Tom Cruise gets a higher paycheque than whichever blonde is the arm candy this time around.

There’re also times when it’s rather less justified. And the answer there is for women to take matters into their own hands. To complain and demand that is. Which is exactly what Haim have just done:

All-female band Haim say they fired an agent after discovering they were paid just a tenth of the amount of a male artist on the same bill at a festival.

The US rock group – made up of sisters Este, Danielle and Alana – called the pay gap “insane”.

For those who don’t know these things, band pay at a festival will vary wildly. There will be those there just to get the exposure and maybe thereby get onto the radio. There will be others whose presence on the bill is what sells the tickets to the whole gig. Those latter will gain very much higher pay of course:

“We had been told that our fee was very low because you played at the festival in the hope that you’d get played on the radio,”

Well, that’s OK, as long as everyone knows the deal on the way in.

“We didn’t think twice about it, but we later found out that someone was getting paid 10 times more than us. And because of that we fired our agent.”

Maybe that is OK and maybe it isn’t. But that is the correct answer even so. Not to complain to the world nor to insist that the law must be changed, but to fire the person who negotiated the price you didn’t like.

Of course, it’s always possible that demanding more money means no bookings to play festivals but as these things work out this would also mean no gender pay gap, wouldn’t it? For we do only measure the gap among people who get hired. Those entirely unemployed aren’t included in our numbers.

Posted: 27th, June 2018 | In: Key Posts, Money, Music, News | Comment


When Joe Strummer ran the London Marathon?

Did Joe Strummer run the London Marathon in 1983 and the Paris Marathon a year earlier?

 

trummerParisMarathonrace1982theclash

 

As a boarding school lad, The Clash front man was a talented and enthusiastic runner. So maybe he did…

In the documentary Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten, we get to see and hear Joe talking about athletic pursuits in Paris before the release of The Clash’s Combat Rock (1982). Legend has it that Bernie Rhodes, the band’s manager, wanted to create intrigue to boost interest and thus ticket sales by having Strummer vanish for a while. The plan was for Strummer to get lost in Austin, Texas. Strummer was warm to the idea but instead of Austin went to Paris, without telling anyone. And whilst there he ran the Paris Marathon in just under three and a half hours. His keep-fit regime for success: “Drink 10 pints of beer the night before the race. Ya got that? And don’t run a single step at least four weeks before the race.”

 

 

The Paris story remains unsubstantiated. But Strummer did run the London Marathon, completing the course in 4hours 13minutes.

 

Joe strummer London marathon

 

 

Chris Salewicz (Redemption Song: The Ballad of Joe Strummer) quotes Gaby Salter revealing: “He hadn’t trained. He just bought some shorts and said, ‘Let’s run a marathon.”‘.Antony Genn, who worked with Strummer in the Mescaleros, recalls the runner telling him: “I didn’t fuckin’ train. Not once. Just turned up and did it.”

Spotter: Reddit, Flashbak, OpenCulture

Posted: 22nd, April 2018 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, Music, Sports, Strange But True | Comment


How Bon Jovi created that Slippery When Wet album cover

Mark Weiss was Bon Jovi’s tour photographer during their 1980s pomp.  “I was 13 years old when he got my first camera. I was a kid growing up in Matawan, New Jersey, a suburb an hour outside of New York City,” he tells me. “We were a middle-class family – my mother worked in public relations and my father was a door-to-door salesman selling aluminum siding. It was my dad’s experience that helped me in my lawn-mowing business. He taught me: ‘Make them like you. If they open the door you have a chance. Connect with their eyes, then introduce yourself and be sincere. Always let them think you’re there to help make their lives better.’ And that’s just what I did.”

 

Jon Bon Jovi and Mark Weiss, July 1986 in Red Bank New Jersey

Jon Bon Jovi and Mark Weiss, July 1986 in Red Bank New Jersey

 

It gave him an introduction to photography:

“Soon I had a steady list of five customers a week. Still, I was always looking for more. One day I knocked on the door of a neighbor with a seriously unkempt lawn: ‘Hi, my name is Mark. I live down the street. I noticed your lawn is a bit long, can I help you by cutting it?’ The man told me that he cut his own lawn. I quickly responded, with a smirk, “It doesn’t look like it. Is your mower not working?” He gave me a smirk back and told me if I mowed his yard for the whole season, he’d give me a camera. Then he went back inside and came out holding a Bell & Howell Canon FP. It looked to me like it was worth a million bucks. I said, ‘Sure,’ and after a few cuts, he gave me the camera.

Now that I had it, I wanted to learn as much as I could about how to use it. My 8th grade year was ending. There was a photography class with a darkroom at my school and I asked the teacher if he could give me a crash course in developing and printing film. Everything looked so cool to me in that darkroom—entering through the magical, cylinder-like door, it felt like I was being transported into another dimension amid red lights, trays filled with chemicals and glow-in-the-dark timers. I watched in disbelief as a piece of blank paper transformed into an image before my eyes. The whole process was magical.

“Once the school year ended I was bummed that I wouldn’t have a place to develop and print photos anymore. Then on my 14th birthday – June 15, 1973 – my dad took me to Fishkin Bros. in Perth Amboy, the coolest photo store in the area. It was half hobby shop and half camera store—I used to go there to buy model cars and rocket ships. This time I was looking at studio strobe lights and cameras displayed in the glass cabinets. It felt like Fort Knox to me. My dad bought me an enlarger, and with the money I saved from cutting lawns I bought the trays, chemicals and paper. At home I used the bathroom as a darkroom. I had a new hobby!”

 

 

Fast forward to the 1980s. Mark is with Bon Jovi. The band’s album Slippery When Wet needed a cover:

“The album was done. Three-hundred-thousand copies, with Angela in her provocatively cut wet t-shirt clinging to her 34DD breasts, had already been released in Japan. Everything was ready to go in the US. But this was 1986, and the PMRC was in full swing. Record stores were telling the labels to ease up on the explicit content and imagery or they wouldn’t sell the products. Polygram knew they had a smash album on their hands, and they didn’t want to jeopardize that success. They also knew the music stood on its own, so we went back to the drawing board to come up with another cover. Mercury destroyed nearly 500,000 copies before they ever left the warehouse to be distributed in the U.S.

“Jon Bon Jovi had issues with the Angela cover as well. Only in his mind, it was more about the color of the border around the photo than the actual photo itself.

“Recently he told Howard Stern that his thinking was, ‘My career is over if we put out a hot pink album cover.’ But if the pink border was the problem, why not just take it out?

“I asked him what we were going to do and he replied: ‘I don’t know, but this is our last chance or the album gets held up.’ Jon arrived at my studio, walked inside and didn’t even say hello. ‘Garbage bag. Spray bottle,’ was all he said. I followed orders. I propped up the black bag and sprayed it with an oil and water mixture. Then Jon wrote the words SLIPPERY WHEN WET. As he was leaving he said, ‘That’s it. That’s their cover.’ He didn’t even wait to see the Polaroid. The next day I delivered the photo, and the rest is history.”

.

 

Posted: 15th, April 2018 | In: Key Posts, Music, News | Comment


Woman divorces husband after he spent $50,000 on a great record collection

record collection high fidelity

 

On eBay the story of a broken marriage and a big record collection:

My ex-husband was a big jerk! While that’s the main reason that I divorced him, the final straw was that he spent just over $50,000 buying a stupid huge record collection. Even though it was a good buy, and a sound investment (no pun intended), I felt the money (which was all we had and half mine) should have gone to pay off our mortgage, or put the kids through college, or saved for our retirement, or at least spent on something we could enjoy together, like a second honeymoon (our first was a weekend in Cleveland at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame).

While I honestly know next to nothing about records, he was thrilled and kept bragging about how these were all original pressings from the 1950’s, 60’s & 70’s, that it was the most complete gathering of collectible Rock, Rockabilly, R&B, British Invasion, Motown, Acid, Psych and Folk he’d ever seen (over 5000 albums and over 1000 45’s), and how rare it was that most had never even been played once (why would anyone buy a record and never play it?).

So that’s why I was so nonplused that he left the entire collection to me when he died (maybe he honestly felt some remorse? Nah). Anyway, I don’t want it, so I’m offering them all to you (it will probably take me months to list them all). Please feel free to make an offer on the whole darn thing, or to ask if I have a particular record, or any other questions (which I’ll do my best to answer; though again, I don’t know much at all). All prices are flexible (I’m basing them on what others are selling for), and I would be happy to entertain any offers.

Spotter: ClashMusic

Posted: 11th, January 2018 | In: Music, Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment


Relive the ‘impossible gloom’ of 1970s Britain with Abba’s London show

 

Ah, the glorious Seventies, when the gap between the top and lowest earner was closer. At the Abba: Super Troupers show at London’s Southbank Centre, visitors get to relive the wonder of power strikes, the three-day week, rubbish going uncollected and condensation on the inside of windows. “You get very close to the reality of Britain in the 70s,” says Abba’s Björn Ulvaeus. “I had no idea it was so gloomy.”

Well, hold your breath, Björn, because a vote for Jeremy Corbyn will bring those good times rolling on back. Less for all and politics wrapped in identity. Just like it was back then, only with less funny comedians and better telly.

“It is the opposite of all those huge technically advanced virtual reality exhibitions that most of those pop groups have,” the Abba bloke who stands up continues. “This is much more intimate, it’s warm, it’s full of a sense of humour.”

Abba, of course, came to the fore in the 1970s, winning the Eurovision song contest when it really counted for something, taking top spot in 1974 with the brilliant Waterloo. The contest was held in Brighton that year, but Björn says he and the rest of the band were only in the country for two days and never realised how “impossibly gloomy” the place was.

Now thanks to the show, we and he can journey back in time to those halcyon says.

 

 

Ulvaeus says he never imagined Abba would endure through the decades. “It is kind of weird, but you get used to it,” he says.

You can get used to anything – like being cold indoors, no mixer taps and spending years dressed in brown velveteen jumpers. The itchiness just became ubiquitous. And then came the 1980s…

Posted: 14th, December 2017 | In: Celebrities, Music, News | Comment


Bad Seeds Rule: Nick Cave sticks it to the BDS bigots

Did Nick Cave bow to the censors and boycott Israel? Nope. Cave recalled his reaction to Brian Eno inviting him to sign a boycott list. “On a very intuitive level I did not want to sign that list, there was something that stunk to me about that list,” Cave said. “Then it occurred to me that I’m not signing the list, but I’m also not playing Israel. And that just seemed to me cowardly, really. So after a lot of thought and consideration I rang up my people and said, ‘We’re doing an European tour and Israel.’ Because it suddenly became very important to me to make a stand against those people who are trying to shut down musicians, to bully musicians, to censor musicians, and to silence musicians. At the end of the day, there’s maybe two reason why I’m here. One is that I love Israel and I love Israeli people, and two is to make a principled stand against anyone who tries to censor and silence musicians. So, really, you could say in a way that the BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement] made me play Israel.”

Now on tour in Israel, he adds:

“So at the end of the day there are two reasons why I am here. One is that I love Israel and I love Israeli people and two is to make a principled stand against anyone who wants to censor and silence musicians. So really you could say in a way that the BDS made me play Israel.”

Take it away, the righteous Nick Cave:

 

Posted: 21st, November 2017 | In: Celebrities, Music | Comment


The rapper who makes the most self-references is…

rapper self nicki minaj

 

Who is the world’s most self-regarding rapper? John Lemon has compiled an analysis of self-mentions by rappers to find out which of them wants it to be about ‘me-me-me’. The number one act is Nicki Minaj.

1st: Nicki Minaj (11.5% of all words)

Three albums. 17,665 words. 2026 explicit references to herself

A self-reference every 8.78 words

42.87 self-references per song

An average of 371.55 words per song

On “Right By My Side” she referenced herself every 3.5 words, or 28% of the song

Her most word-laden song is “All Things Go”, at 718 words, with 67 self-references

It;s just her, herself and more of her.

Spotter: BB

Posted: 29th, October 2017 | In: Music | Comment


In 1980 Sesame Street toured a saxophone factory and I was hooked

I used to play the alto sax. Badly. I knew I was not all that good a musician when the school violin virtuoso was invited to listen to me play. ‘Too sharp,’ he said. ‘Too flat.’ To me it all sounded the same.

In 1980, Sesame Street toured a saxophone factory.  Background music was supplied by an off-camera sax player, playing freestyle. the only word he said was “Saxophone”. And with that I was hooked.

 

Yeah! (Anyone know his name?)

 

saxophone tour sesame street

Spotter: Laughing Squid

Posted: 22nd, October 2017 | In: Music, TV & Radio | Comment