Saturday, March 04, 2006


That has to be a real bad piece of bad luck: Natalie Cole was doing a guest spot on Grey's Anatomy, pretending to be in need of surgery when she fell over and broke her arm. Requiring actual medical attention.

Still, I guess she could at least offer up a small thanks she was in a medical series when life imitated art, and wasn't doing Six Feet Under.


Ah, bless... look at the lovely picture of Guy Ritchie and Madonna, showing how very together they are, taken at Jamie Oliver's Oscar Party and issued to Hello magazine. We're sure this picture of two people actually touching will put all those nasty rumours to rest once and for all.


Poor old Scott Stapp - not only is he having to deal with the internet circulating copies of that sex tape like a wartime forger churning out clothing coupons, but now he's being sued by one of the women in the film, too.

She claims Stapp has promised her the tape was purely for personal use, and that by letting it out of his possession, he's brought distress and shame raining down on her. And let's be clear about this: how horrified would you be in people knew you'd been tasteless enough to have sex with Scott Stapp?

Stapp, for his part, claims the tape was "stolen" from him.

We wonder who pinched it?

Kid Rock has blamed Stapp for losing the video, but he also called the video "perfect timing."

"I got a record coming up ... Maybe I should thank him," Rock told the AP in an interview Wednesday.


In news which the Daily Record predicts will "devastate" their fans, it looks like Liberty X could be on the brink of, if not actually splitting, then losing Kevin Simm.

Yes, there are boys in Liberty X. Look carefully at the album sleeve and see if you can spot 'em:

Liberty X

It seems Kevin has been cosying up to Chesney Hawkes for advice and help on running a successful solo career, which is frankly like getting mortgage advice from Tessa Jowell.


While we're sure Christina Aguilera has considered the matter long and hard before choosing to endorse Orange, isn't only a year since she was pretending to have sex with a chair to promote Virgin? Is that what they mean by pay and go?

Friday, March 03, 2006

JACKOBIT: Johnny Jackson

Former Jackson Five drummer Johnny Jackson has been murdered, it was announced today.

There's some dispute over Jackson's relationship to the five boys in the band - police believe he was a cousin; others suggest the name was just a coincidence. What isn't in dispute was that Jackson joined the band in 1967, replacing orignal drummer Milford Hite; and that he stayed with them until their acrimonious split from Motown. It seems that the confusion over his familial status may have crept in here: Motown promoted him as a cousin, presumably to keep the family industry image intact.

Recently, Jackson had been playing with a small band in Gary, White Dove.

Police had been called to his house after residents reported a disturbance. They are currently trying to trace a woman he was believed to have been arguing with shortly before his death.


Ozzy Osbourne has decided to offer a shaking hand of friendship to Pete Doherty. Hard as it may be to believe, Ozzy himself was once a shambling, rambling husk of a man who gave the impression that the only time he wasnt on some sort of drug was when he was more than one sort of drug. Osbourne seems to be offering Sharon's services, too:

"I've been to the pits of hell with addiction and although it's fucking me off to see him fucking up his life, I'd help him in a minute if he asked.

"Sharon was a rock to me and if he came to stay with us, she'd sort him. Why the fuck isn't anyone helping the boy?"

Yes, it's hard to understand how everyone - except Kate Moss, that Arizona clinic, Alan McGee, Carl Barat, Dot Cotton, the monks, the court system which cut him a break by encouraging him to get help instead of giving his a custodial sentence, his mother, the people who gave him the stomach implant, and the government's newly announced Pete Doherty Tsar, of course - have just turned their back on him.

We're sure Ozzy's interest is linked in any way to a desperate need to find someone - anyone - to play the 2006 Ozzfest.


The unspoken words here, of course, are "it's one without Sharon in charge", as Slayer announce their plans for a tour a bit like Ozzfest:

Dubbed the Unholy Alliance Tour, the trek will make stops in most major cities, although the actual routing of the run is still being fleshed out. Either way King's anxious to hit the road again.

"It's been 18 months since we've toured in the States," he explained. "People are going to be chomping at the bit to see us again. Our initial thought [with Unholy Alliance] was to go up against Ozzfest, because I think that tour's getting a little bit tired and I think people are tired of going out and getting sunburned for hours every summer. Every place we play is going to be indoors, with a good-sized lineup. We're certainly not going to try to make Ozzfest go away. We're just trying to offer an alternative."

That's indoors, then - which is nice for the fans. And no Sharon, which is nice for the bands.


Mark Feehily, out of Westlife, reckons he's something of a rolemodel for gay men, it seems.

We're not entirely sure what the role he thinks he's modeling is: are there huge numbers of people who hide their sexuality in a bid to try and flog gnatweak pop to premenopausal women until they've got enough financial security and are under enough fear of tabloid exposure to grudgingly come out?

"If somebody does come out that is in the public eye then they are going to represent (all homosexuals)," he said.

"I don't know that I necessarily like it too much because, knowing me, I would probably say the wrong thing.

"But in that sense all I can do is try and share what I have learnt through my experience."

We're sure the 14 year old kids will be delighted to be able to draw on the depth of this experience - it's so often about managing the press coverage which causes difficulties for gay and bisexual teens.


Gennaro Castaldo is a multitasking man - normally he's called upon for an opinion on how many albums the Arctic Monkeys might flog, but need a quote on Gary Glitter's molestation crimes? He can do that, too:

HMV spokesman Gennaro Castaldo said sales of Glitter's music in the UK were "negligible" but he may still be receiving royalties from North America and Canada.

Glitter's 1972 hit Rock And Roll, Part Two is used by ice hockey clubs there to whip up support.

Following his 1999 conviction, some clubs stopped playing his music but others have continued.

Also, of course, George W Bush was happy to use the track to set the tone for his arrival during his presidential campaign during 2004, despite having originally having dropped it for fear of it looking a little bit odd for his people to be paying money to a man running round the far east shagging children.

Mr Castaldo said: "During ice hockey games they play a lot of Gary Glitter music, and then there's the air play on radio.

"I suspect that if he does have significant income from royalties, it comes from North America.

"But people should not forget that a lot of the songs were not penned by him but were written by other people.

"There's also the possibility that, when he was successful, he invested in property which could also generate income."

This last bit is a little vague, isn't it? He might as well speculate that Glitter could have opened a chain of chip shops, or has a winning lottery ticket shoved under his aunt's clock.


Since the head of UMG seems happy to suggest that anyone who objects to any music industry practice as - automatically - being an anti-capitalist extremist, and since the US Department of Justice has just announced an enquiry into possible download price-fixing, we can only conclude that the DoJ must be populated entirely by dreadlocked hippies taking time off from hugging trees.

[Thanks for the link to Dave Scott]


If you have tears, prepare to shed them worse than watching the bloke on Wednesday's Deal Or No Deal who only wanted to go to Australia and wound up with just a penny. Poor Larry Kenswil wants your sympathy because of all the "piethrowing" the music industry has to endure. All they want to do is sell James Blunt records, and they get in on all sides. (Kenswil, of course, is the president of Universal Music Group, so he's not entirely an innocent here.)

So, Larry, who are throwing pies?

Manufacturers are throwing pies, by... erm, inventing stuff, like mp3 players which can pick up satelite signals:

"It's a great example of how you can lose it all for everyone if you set out to gain an extra cent for yourself," said Kenswil.

Interesting that a boss of an RIAA music company should realise the dangers of that sort of behaviour. He oddly didn't quote the example of the music companies colluding to set CD prices artificially high, which caused consumers to lose massively. Or the way the record companies, desperate to try and cling on to its super-super-normal profits from physical sales bungled the first four or five years of digital music online and wound up having to spend desperately to try and catch up.

The telcos are also pie throwers:

The second group were the telcos, who Kenswil said might threaten to bring in tiered internet pricing. When we asked Larry about this later, he said he still wasn't sure how seriously to take the big telcos hints that they wanted to charge differential pricing. "We're probably neutral on net neutrality right now," he joked.

The music industry, it seems, isn't keen on the idea of internet access costing different sums for different consumers. This, of course, must be a different music industry from the one lobbying Apple to abandon its 'one price fits all' pricing structure for iTunes, then.

The worst pie-throwers, though, are the internets people - Kenswil calls them "utopians":

"It's the capitalism-is-evil crowd, the folks who want stuff for free - and you will find them on Slashdot," he said.

Kenswil quoted, to much appreciative laughter from the music industry audience, a Slashdot author called "albertpacino" for the saying that the music industry had "chosen to be blind about the issue."

Of course, this is standard big industry talk now - anyone who suggests that, say, Tesco really shouldn't be allowed to dig up parkland in Liverpool to extend a store is painted as being an anarchist extremist; and it's so much easier to paint all of Slashdot as being anti-everything when, of course, there are as many people (okay, some people) who are pro-capitalism and will argue the music industry case. It's possible that Kenswil isn't being deliberately misleading here - the music industry has never really understood what happens online, so it's as likely he's just ill-informed.

But Kenswil paid particular attention to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, "zeropaid", and Downhill Battle Labs.

"One wonders if they haven't got anything better to do," mused the Universal executive.

"With all the crap going on in the world, is Sony BMG the worst corporation in the world? Is it worse than the spammers, or the people who write viruses on purpose?" he asked.

"A lot of this is just fund-raising demagoguery. All they're saying is send us the money. But when you ask them what do they think is going to happen to the industry - the answer is some amorphous 'we'll figure it out eventually'".

Well, since you ask about Sony-BMG, they might not be worse than people who write viruses, but they did install - without asking - irremoveable software which opened a massive security hole in people's PCs. If you rework his question as a metaphor, it's "is someone who goes round selling skeleton keys really as bad as someone who breaks into houses?"

And you'll note also the tacked on "on purpose", which is there to suggest that Sony-BMG put the malware on its machines and distributed by accident.

One further question, Keswil: with all the crap going on in the world, are a few kids downloading Barney The Dinosaur theme tunes really all that bad?


Tickets for the V Festival go on sale in just under a quarter of an hour, at 9am.


The long-running battle between Leonard Cohen and his former business manager has ended in one of the pyrrhic victories.

Cohen has been granted a USD9.5million judgement against Kelley Lynch, which is good for him - the judge found for Cohen after Lynch failed to respond to allegations that she'd been dipping into Cohen's cash over the years.

The bad news is, nobody seems to know where she is, or if he's even got any of the money left:

"She's hard to get in touch with. I don't know where she lives now, and I don't have a phone number for her," said Cohen's lawyer, Scott Edelman. "We don't know what she did with the money. ... But she knows what's going on because she leaves me phone messages at all hours."

Lynch could not be located for comment.

Edelman said Lynch, who worked for Cohen for 17 years until he fired her, also refused to return photographs, records and memorabilia, even after a court order.

"We went into her home four months ago with a sheriff and a moving truck to get his stuff," the lawyer said.

Cohen might not want to give up the extra shifts at B&Q just yet.


Alex Turner is fretting that success has changed him. And not for the better. In short, he feels he's somewhat dull:

"I feel like I should just flip out and do something crazy. It's boring when people tell me I'm really well grounded.

"I feel a little bit sensible, but I don't want to be that."

He had to break off the interview there as he was going round Macca's for a Heartbeat marathon.


You can hear him wailing from here, but Gary Glitter's three-year sentence for touching little girls will probably strike most people as getting off incredibly lightly:

Earlier the 'Glam Rocker' branded his child sex trial a "sham" and defiantly accused his two alleged victims, aged 10 and 12, of lying.

Well, yes, we're sure they were lying - wasn't that what the big payment you gave them was meant to achieve? You can't pollute the trial process with bribes and then complain when the resulting trial turns out to be a sham.

Glitter continues to protest his innocence.


There are, lest we forget, more appalling things than Heartbeat. As if by way of example, up pops James Blunt to warn us that, when he was at college, he made a student movie. In which he removed his trousers. And knickers:

"At university, I was in a student movie and had a sex scene.

"I met this girl in a cafe, then we met again, and lights, camera, action, away we went."

When asked if he had to strip off for the role he said: "I'm not going to give more detail, but yeah."

We understand, James: with that compelling plotline, we can see that it was a role which demanded nudity.

Of course, he was in the British army, which makes this student film less enticing. From what we can tell, most new recuits to the forces spend the first five or six months in Colchester or somewhere making home movies of themselves bollock naked and indulging in exciteable horseplay.


What does Paul McCartney like to watch of an evening? It turns out his favourite programmes are Heatrbeat and the Royal, which is perhaps slightly more understandable than it seems at first. He's in his sixties, after all, and for his generation, Heartbeat is a bit like, say, Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps for twentysomethings: of course it's dreadful and cliched and slapped together with all the care of a classwarrior with a hangover working in the Selfridges delivery bay, but it offers a reflection of a long-lost youth.

Friends, though, should keep ringing him up at 8.05 on a Sunday. It's understandable, but he needs saving from himself.


It's a pity that Brit and Kev are wobbling, especially with Broitney having trotted off to Hawaii to buy a beach house to respark their romance.

Mind you, perhaps it's just us, but we'd like to be involved in the purchase of our romantic getaway.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Not Britney, it seems. She'd gone on a nice holiday to Hawaii, without her husband, only to have someone drop by with some photos of him. Photos of him - and somebody else. Sandy Lakdar, to be precise.

Sandy LakdarThis is Sandy: she's a French actress, model and dancer. She may well also run a perfume counter and walk dogs, too. We'd find it hard to imagine that she'd let Kevin anywhere near her - and she angrily insists she doesn't "fuck married men". That does kind of imply she'd consider Federline if he was divorced or, say, suddenly widowed, so let's just hope she was being polite.

Britney, it seems, isn't so conviced that it's all a bit of above-the-board fun:

"She was literally kicking and screaming. When she got back to her suite, she was so furious, she destroyed everything in sight. She called Kevin but couldn't reach him."

Of course, if Brit really wanted to keep an eye on Feddy K, she could have taken him on holiday with her. The downside of that, though, would have been he'd have been on holiday with her.


Doesn't Beck ever sleep? We ask because not only is he demonstrating a desire to overwork by readying his third album in just under two years, but... well, the slide in quality suggests a man who isn't kipping much.


The death of Jack Wild, child actor, teen idol and The Artful Dodger in Lionel Bart's Oliver, has been announced.

Born in Royton, Lancashire in 1952, Jack's big break came at the age of eight - a stageschool scout spotted him playing soccer (we're not sure quite how badly you'd have to play football to make someone realise your true metier is showtunes.) Wild won the role of the Dodger in the stage version of Oliver, transferring when the film of the show was made. The part won him an Oscar nomination.

During the promo round for Oliver, he met with Sid and Marty Krofft. At the time, they were developing the original "kids TV? They're all on drugs" show, HR Pufnstuf; they decided Wild would be perfect for the role. He relocated to the US, where he would make seventeen episodes and a feature film of him talking to dragon puppets. The movie co-starred famous celeb death anecdote Mama Cass.

Kellogg's had given away a seven inch single version of the Pufnstuf soundtrack; following on from the success of this, Wild was made into an unlikely teen pop star - three albums, The Jack Wild Album, Everything's Coming Up Roses and Beautiful World were released in the early 1970s.

Wild's early success led to a spell off the rails - he gave his best years to alcohol; the smoking and drinking of those years was to frustrate him with ill-health after he found God and refound his feet. Even after the removal of his voicebox, he continued in pantomime with his wife Claire Harding lip-reading and speaking for him.

His agent Alex Jay said Wild "died peacefully at midnight last night after a long battle with oral cancer."


We'd been hoping for Stuart Maconie, but can't say we're that surprised that Chris Evans is taking over the Radio 2 drivetime programme. Johnnie Walker's legged it, of course.

We give it six months.


Jack White really isn't fond of music reviews. Or reviewers. In fact, he's written at some length about the matter:

“They all play a coward’s game. Only one side to their playground. Such an easy fight that way. The faceless opinion of print and the internet. What is it teaching all of us?”

“Back when there was a time when we had great writers, and respected journalists who had earned their position as tastemakers, and won peoples respect with their knowledge and insight, it was much easier to understand a written opinion because at least you knew who it was coming from.”

“Now those printed opinions are probably coming from the person sitting next to you in the mall. Why should you care about their opinion? Why shouldn’t you?”

“Critics are the only public expression that isn’t ‘allowed’ to be critiqued. Be careful children, you don’t have to listen to all those opinions out there, and not even this one you are reading.”

“Remember the person’s opinion you are reading probably knows less about less about the topic you are interested in than you do.”

Hang about... is White complaining that the guys writing for NME and Rolling Stone right now haven't, erm, "paid their dues"? How, exactly, did the old guard "earn their position" - did Lester Bangs do ten years reviewing vegetable shows for the local papers before he got to try a proper gig? Had Charles Shaar Murray finished some sort of diploma at the tech college? Was there a day when Nick Kent take a reviewing test - "you are a safe reviewer, you may remove your L-plates"?

The strange thing is Jack never thought to mention this back when the White Stripes were critical darlings. I wonder why.


The new Pet Shop Boys album isn't very fond of Tony Blair, actually:

But a spokesman for them said: "The Pet Shop Boys think we should try to increase our freedom, not limit it - they don't believe ID cards are an effective way of countering terrorism.

"Some tracks are about the climate of fear being exploited so people can push through ID cards."

They also blast Blair's relationship with President George Bush on a song called I'm With Stupid.

When even Neil Tennant puts the songs about shopping and young italian boys on mopeds to one side, you know the nation's in trouble.


You'd have thought that it would be hard to get yourself accused of bringing the good name of Warrington down, but Kerry Katona has managed it, and she now feels the locals are trying to get rid of her before she damages property prices.


Robbie Williams - who scientists are planning to use to measure the exact distance between 'money' and 'sense' - is buying a second house in LA because the back garden in his main house won't give him space for a full football pitch.

It's going to cost him another five million, but it's money well spent for Robbie, who likes the idea of having twenty-men playing about round the back.


Christian O'Connell appears to have carted his "let's make a football song" forced jollity from Xfm to Virgin, but things are looking up: John Barnes is offering to rap on it:

"If you write a rap like Kanye West or Busta Rhymes, something which gives me a bit more street cred, a bit of a gangsta rap, then I will gladly do it. As long as it has a bit of soul and rhythm to it then I’ll do it."

He joked: "I’m not sure what the video will be like - I was a bit slimmer back in 1990."

Kanye West has responded by offering to turn out for Bradford Park Avenue next Saturday.


The Sun is reporting this morning that Pete Doherty is being treated for manic depression and that "junkie Doherty, Kate Moss’s ex, has told doctors he believes his problems stem from his estrangement from his father, a strict Army major."

Having dropped a major bollock by mocking Frank Bruno's mental health problems, The Sun seems to be in a bit of a flap, what with having launched a "lock 'im up" campaign yesterday. They're trying to make it sound a little more caring this morning:

Yesterday The Sun launched a “Get Pete off the Street” campaign to get him locked up and helped.

Sun campaignUnfortunately, nobody seems to have told the graphics department about the "helped" bit.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Boo and JamesAlthough Alex James' track record isn't the most glittering when it comes to colaborations (Fat Les? Me Me Me?), there's hope now that he's bringing his cheekbones to work with Betty Boo in the form of WigWam. The pair are currently pulling together some stuff with the Beatmasters. The anticipation for WigWam is intense. In-tents. See?

Oh, please your bloody selves.


The sex tape featuring Kid Rock and, uh, that other bloke, might not be merely an attempt to cash in on the fame and horror of Kid Rock. Indeed, the other bloke thinks that there might be a darker motive. It's all about him, see:

"Obviously someone wants to hurt me and doesn't want me to be successful in my solo career," Stapp told AP Radio in a recent interview.

So, you think it's a music lover, do you, Scott?

Stapp admitted that the tape was made in 1999, after he was divorced.

He said he was young and immature and figured he was supposed to experience the rock 'n' roll lifestyle, but he said he wishes he had burned that tape.

Hang about... 1999? And you were born in 1973? I make that you were 26, Stapp - now, "immature" is probably inarguable, but "young"?


The US hasn't had a British bloke at number one since Elton John did that song about the woman who forgot to put her seatbelt on.

Nine years later, James Blunt has ended the drought.

We were going to apologise to America but, frankly, a nation which buys Candle In The Wind and You're Beautiful in such large quantities gets what it deserves.


We're a little surprised at the chutzpah, but CBS are suing Howard Stern for "misappropriating millions of dollars".

It seems the radio arm of CBS is a little unhappy at the constant promotion he gave to Sirius in the time between him signing for the satelitte network and actually leaving theirs:

"By engaging in continuous promotion of Sirius on CBS Radio airtime without any payment by Sirius to CBS for these advertisements and by pocketing over $200m for his personal benefit, Stern misappropriated millions of dollars worth of CBS radio airtime."

The question CBS will have to answer, though, is why they continued to allow him to go on talking about Sirius - after all, if they were that upset, they could have just stopped him going on the air. Perhaps CBS should sue itself for having aided and abetted this misappropriation?


Caught on a plane in a conversation with a woman, Ricky Wilson found himself being suspected of being a little bit Romper Stomper:

"There was an incident on an aeroplane in Australia when I was sat next to this woman. She said, 'Why are you called the Kaiser Chiefs? That's a horrible name. Is it in any way racist?'

"I said, 'It's probably the least racist name because it's a South African football team.' You should have seen the look of relief on her face. She thought she was sat next to a neo-Nazi."

Presumably the woman thought that Kaiser - being a German variation of the word Ceaser - had to have Nazi overtones because it was German? In which case... who would have been the one with the racist assumptions right there?


Steady yourself, people: Pearl Jam are about to release their eightth album. What's interesting - and laudable - is their decision to make the lead single available as a free download for a couple of days. According to RIAA logic, that should leave nobody wanting to buy the album at all. We shall see.

Although, to be honest, we can't really see anyone much wanting the album:

"It's been a difficult record and it's like sometimes the harder something is, then the more valuable it becomes," Vedder said in a Brazilian radio interview last November. "It's easily the best stuff we've done but also some of the hardest stuff. It's very aggressive, because again, it's kind of a product of what it's like to be an American these days. It's pretty aggressive, especially when you turn it loud."

Mmm. Can't wait.


We're not sure why we're passing this on - we're not in London and can't go, and so should just sit and sulk - but if you can get to Cargo this evening you can have yourself pampered by this line-up:

Sargasso Trio
CrazygirlCrazy Girl

Plus DJ support from Tim Love Lee, Coco Electrik, Zook, Aspex and Niyi.

That's Cargo in Shorditch, then.


There isn't just Field Music in the Field Music video - although that should be enough, even by our exacting standards; there's a guest appearance or two from what we're told are "North Eastern gliterrati". (Half the cast of the Dandy's The Jocks and The Geordies, we're betting.) You can watch the video on your computer. Quick, while it's still on your bosses' bandwidth.


Warren Suicide - like punks being buggered by Casiotones - are going to do a slew of dates in London, the city near Kent:

2 March – Hoxton Bar & Grill
9 March – Madame Jo Jo’s
5 April – The Garage

If you want them to come to your town, you'll have to invest in more pvc.


We've not actually spotted Kevin Federline in any of the photos, but we're sure that he's accompanied Britney to New Orleans. The city has been holding its Mardi Gras, just as if the levees had been repaired like they were meant to be, and it was important for her to be there:

"I think it's just important for New Orleans because they're such a soulful city, that for them to keep the traditions going as much as possible now, they need this – the spirit of it,"

Uh... she didn't just say that her being there was essential for the soul of the city, did she? But hang on, because she's sharing her experiences of Katrina (clue: she was somewhere else entirely):

"Well, we didn't really know the extent of it because they had a warning for like two days, and then all of a sudden, I didn't hear from my mom for like a week."


And Louisiana now, Britney? How is the place holding up?

"Words can't do it justice," she said. "I would see people on television saying 'You have to come here. You have to see it,' and until I actually came here and actually talked to these kids saying it was a nightmare and they were waiting to wake up from this dream… it's heartbreaking. It really is heartbreaking."

Well, you're right there - certainly, your words can't do it justice.


We think this might be an indication that Madonna has at least realised she's no longer able to take support for granted: she's had to lower herself to doing festival slogging. She's got herself a nice little job on one of the off-stages at Coachella back in the dance tent.


Next month - yes, April - Primal Scream are going to be sliding into tour mode:

London Astoria (April 6)
Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall(26)
Manchester Ritz (27)
Glasgow Queen Margaret Union (28)

They'll be unlikely to play Crystal Crescent.


Frankly, we wouldn't cast her having Cinzano being thrown at her, but - aided by Tom Cruise - it's rumoured that Victoria Beckham is being lined up for a Dynasty remake. As Alexis.

Normally, the news that Beckham is being considered for an acting role would have required us to be heavily sedated, but - as luck would have it - we'd already been heavily dosed when we discovered there was a Dynasty remake being made.


Preparing for his European tour, Robbie Williams has bought a big Winnebago.

Which is odd, because we'd have pictured him in a camper van.


The only really good thing about Channel 4's plans to give Charlotte Church a chatshow is imagining to look on Michael Parkinson's face when he hears about it.

The Mirror is excited:

Welsh beauty Charlotte first showed her talent as a TV host when she fronted BBC2's satirical quiz Have I Got News For You at just 17.

Presumably, they didn't actually see her "showing her talent" on that occasion.


She's not yet actually announced what the company is for, but Madonna has already managed to upset people by calling her new firm Semtex Girls.

The splendidly named Explosia, who make semtex, aren't happy with her attempts to annexe their brand name. (Note to Madonna: not a good idea to piss off explosives manufacturers.)

What's even more bemusing is why she'd have plumped for that name in the current political climate anyway. Madge explains the rationale thus:

“The Semtex Girl is a girl who is dynamic, a girl who explodes and doesn’t take no for an answer.”

Oh... like a suicide bomber, then?

We're betting it'll be a shit line of cosmetics and/or fashion.


Finding space amongst the coverage of the guys with shooters who may or may not have been involved in the squilly-billion pound robbery, The Sun calls for the locking up of Pete Doherty. Presumably because now he's no longer supplying a steady stream of Kate Moss stories all he does is get arrested in the small hours, and that really puts a strain on the paper's already stretched night desk.

The Sun thunders:

The Sun today launches a campaign to get Pete locked up and off the streets.

Some will try to see a funny side in his latest comedy of errors. But the joke has worn thin. The reality is seedy and sad.

So far the legal system has been letting him do what he likes.

But it’s time to lock him up, give him counselling, offer him help.

Pete promises to be a great musician — but behind closed doors he suffers terrible depression and mental health issues.

He is prone to bursting into tears at any moment.

The constant arrests are a cry for help.

Pete MUST get a prison sentence before he dies or causes a major traffic accident.

Yes... lock him up as a, erm, road safety measure. Good god, the man cries, what more evidence does a judge need to slam him in the Scrubs.

Unfortunately, the paper doesn't find space to suggest which of Her Majesty's Prisons would be the best place to send a vulnerable, depressed drug addict to. Perhaps they'll get Jeffrey Archer in to come up with some ideas.


Two stewards at the NEC in Birmingham were shot during a Kanye West gig last night. A crowd were trying to gain entry without tickets and, as they were being frogmarched from the venue, some guns went off.

Detectives have asked for anyone who saw anything unusual at the concert to come forward.

So far, two thousand people have reported a stylish, rich bloke wearing sunglasses that look like they came out a Christmas cracker.

West's criticism of the Bush government and the apparent random spraying of the gunfire has made Dick Cheney a prime suspect.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006


We're not sure: is it a good sign that the Smithsonian is making room for hip-hop stuff, or is it confirming that what was music from the underground has finally had the last of its teeth drawn?

The Smithsonian is going to spend two million dollars on its spree buying up stuff for the new exhibition.


Having decided that Blur are a soft target, Mogwai have issued a press statement ripping strips off, erm, themselves:

“It's almost time to come to America and bore our transatlantic cousins with our version of their version of dull guitar music!

”Some of the shows are already sold out which means that America is at unrest. Something is wrong, but what is it?

”Are the kids so fed up with the country's state that they want to escape from it by coming to see miserable, sad, pink floyd-esque instrumental music played by a bunch of pasty wee foreigners like us? America! You must do something about this.”

Mogwai have yet to respond to the statement.


It's been a nervous couple of days for the BBC, Abbey Road and Coldplay after a council jobsworth noticed that the broadcaster had recorded a gig with an audience at the studio. The November change in the law meant the organisers were exposed to the prospect of being the first people prosecuted for not having a licence.

Luckily, Westminster City Council took a similar generous view to the one it adopted when it let multi-millionaire liar Shirley Porter off most of the money she owed it, and chalked it down to a genuine oversight.


After a fallow period for opinion-issuance, Gennaro Castaldo is back, spreading his mind-thoughts on the prospect of one man punchline Chico's solo single:

"There's been a growing feeling that Chico was leaving it a bit late to release a single following his X-Factor success, especially as Chantelle and Celebrity Big Brother have stolen the limelight in recent months.

"However, this first day sales performance shows that there is still a lot of interest in his rather engaging brand of entertainment.

"His challenge now is to show that he's more than just a one-trick novelty act and that he has the talent and personality to fashion a successful pop career."

Actually, Gennaro, his challenge is probably to show that he can actually muster a single trick. Let's not set him the task of trying to do anything more demanding like pretending to be a real popstar.


While we'd imagine Kym Marsh is thrilled to be given a small part in Coronation Street, we can't help but feel it must be bittersweet at being cast as a love rival for Liz McDonald.


DeeyahNorwegian pop singer Deeyah has elected to add a couple of bodyguards for her UK tour following a series of death threats from extremists unhappy with her What Will It Be video. That track - and the related imagery - took a strong line against so-called honour killings, which has made her something of a target:

"My core message in this video is the right of a woman to choose her own path and express herself without the fear of violence or cultural excommunication," she says.

"After years of being called a 'whore,' 'devil' and 'bringer of shame' by people who use Islam as their shield, I have decided to let this video speak for me ... I am tired of the people who clamour at the slightest hint of skin on a Muslim woman but who will not speak up when a woman is beaten and even murdered in the name of Islam."

Interestingly, she's not being given total support by all Muslim women's rights groups, some of whom disapprove of her clothing:

Hoda Fahmy, who works with a group that provides education to Muslim women in Canada, says Deeyah's message is lost along with the singer's clothing.

"A lot of us are working for women's rights, particularly in the Muslim world. I think we have more self-respect than to dance around naked to make our point," she said. "It's unfortunate that she has to use those means, because it's true -- women are not able to speak up in a lot of these countries."

It's not like she's saying she deserves to be killed for her clothes, of course, but its disappointing that people like Fahmy put more energy into condemning halter tops than death threats.


Not because they and the music world have run out of ideas, or anything, but The Paddingtons are going to recerate the Sex Pistols Thames gig.

The original Sex Pistols on the boat gig was part of the Silver Jubilee celebrations (however much they might have pretended it was quite the opposite) so we'll assume this is The Paddingtons' bend of the knee of Queen Elizabeth's 80th.


It's not quite Groundhog Day - this time round, he's been arrested for car theft, and it was in Birmingham rather than London. Oh, but there are also class A drugs involved:

West Midlands Police told BBC Radio Five Live three men were arrested on suspicion of theft of a car, reportedly stolen in London.

Mr Doherty and two men from Dundee - aged 18 and 19 - were also arrested for allegedly possessing class A drugs.

This could, of course, be the sort of thing that'd send him back to jail, what with him being on a community service order at the moment.


It did for Wham!, Suede and Space, so it's interesting to see The Rolling Stones are prepared to face down the risks of The Curse of the High Profile Chinese Gig. Apparently, tickets are going to cost up to USD375. (The most recent figure we could find for average urban wages in China was roughly USD1,040. A year.)


Oh, no, not them - that's what they thought of this year's Brits ceremony:

"I watched the Brits and I've got to be honest, I thought it was boring, naff and rubbish.

"It was just dull, I think bands get it wrong - they go there with all this razzmatazz. Get close together on stage, no dancers or rubbish and play your music loud and that's it."

Razzmatazz? Were they watching the same Brit awards, or had they flicked over to 100 Greatest Showtunes without realising?

But we wonder what sort of act they have in mind in place of Prince or Kanye... hmm... a band of some sort, perhaps? Perhaps they might like to suggest a name or two...


Although he tends to prefer being seen at Chelsea, Robbie Williams is investing some money into Port Vale, the team he grew up with.

Refreshingly, his investment in twelve blokes running round getting sweaty has made him a real-life Rasputin Jones, out of definitive football TV series Murphy's Mob. Rasputin, of course, started to sink his cash into a struggling club as his time as a pop idol started to come to an end, It can surely only be a matter of time before Williams opens the rollerdisco next door to the ground.


Clearly, either Max Clifford has got terribly confused in the handling of Kerry Katona's press affairs, or Kerry hasn't read the briefing paper. Just a week after Kerry told the Mirror how she was happily single and didn't need no man, she's now told Reveal magazine that she's getting married to some bloke she's been seeing for six weeks. A taxi driver called Mark Croft, apparently:

“We were lying in bed when I said to Kerry, ‘I could marry you’.

“She said ‘We have to get engaged and we need a ring’.”

Mark chose a diamond ring with a personal engraving. He added: “I showed her a picture of it and she said ‘It’s huge’!”

(If you have upgraded your computer, you should be hearing Sid James' laugh reverberating about your head right now.)

Let's hope that Kerry hasn't forgotten the old proverb: Marry in Heat, repent at the Priory.


To be found slumped, asleep at a wheel, in London's busy central London is unfortunate. To be found in such a state more than once is... oh, at least more than unfortunate. It seems prior to his Hyde Park incident, George Michael had done the same thing in Primrose Hill. That time, last October, he had been found by Natalie Griffith, who was more discreet. For a while, reports The Sun:

Natalie confessed last night that she tried to cover up for George and had not gone to the media at the time.

You'll note that now "not ringing the tabloids right away" is considered the sort of thing one confesses to, shamefully, rather than takes pride in. Luckily, Natalie has done the, erm, right thing now:

“It was the strangest thing that has ever happened to me. The Range Rover had stopped in the middle of the street with the engine running.

“The driver seemed to be hunched over, like he was reading.

“I got a total shock when we saw it was George. He had an unlit roll-up in his mouth, which looked like a spliff. It was like he stopped in the middle of the street to do something — maybe it was to roll the spliff — and then collapsed.

“This really loud lovey-dovey music was coming out of the car and we were knocking on the door but nothing happened.

“So we opened the door and tried to wake him up. Even when we got in, he didn’t stir. We turned the music off and took the keys out, and my boyfriend took the roll-up out of his mouth.

“We were there for about 15 minutes trying to wake him up. I leaned over to smell his breath but he didn’t smell of booze.”

Mum-of-one Natalie continued: “We got so worried because we couldn’t wake him up that we called the police, but they couldn’t wake him either.”

So there were also police who kept this quiet, too? That's got to be a first.

But it's not just the public who The Sun feel have something to apologise for. It's not happy that Michael is relaxed about what happened at the weekend:

For a star who is paranoid about his privacy, George has made a very public affair of his biggest misdemeanours.

Being slumped across his steering wheel on one of Britain’s busiest streets was unlikely to go unnoticed.

Well, if the October incident really happened, it did go largely unnoticed for nearly half a year. But the paper has it's dander up:

And though not quite up there with his arrest in an LA public toilet, in terms of telling the world: “Look at me and my weird life,” it is not far off.

The jokey statement issued last night sums up what George thinks about his public image.

Quite simply, he doesn’t care what the public think about him sleeping with rent boys, or about his drug-taking.

But why should he care? And, come to that, why should the public think anything about it - it's not like he's hurting anybody. Not that the Sun is totally unsympathetic - it knows George has had a tough life:

Then in 1997 his mum Lesley died from cancer, and in the same year his friend Princess Diana lost her life.

Now, there's a theory Al-Fayed hasn't thought of yet... could MI5 (and possibly Mossad) have killed Diana in a bid to send George Michael into a spiral of odd drug-related behaviour to undermine his anti-Blair and Bush line? Surely the Daily Express should be investigating.

Earlier: It's my own fault, says George

Monday, February 27, 2006


Back in 1993, the Colorado town of Steamboat Springs had a brief moment in the sun when they renamed one of their bridges after James Brown. Actually - seriously - they called it the James Brown Soul Center of the Universe.

Look, it was enough to bring James Brown to town for the ribbon cutting; but not everyone was happy. Some people were convinced there was something rum about the public plebescite which had approved the name change; now, they want the old name back. It used to be called The Stock Bridge and, if locals get their way, it may be again:

"It's not part of our culture. They did it for a lark," said Bill Montag, manager of the Soda Creek Mercantile, a Western tack store where he circulated a petition last month to rename the bridge, garnering a couple hundred signatures.

They're going to have a public meeting at the Michael Jackson - King of Pop Hall on Dude, Antrax Like, Really Rox, Maaaaaaaaan Blvd to debate the proposed change.


Super!Girls records are currently pulling together a Helen Love tribute album of, well, Helen Love songs, and, naturally, they're not going to let just anyone on it.

Well, actually they are, in a way. They're inviting all comers to record a version of Yeah Yeah We're Helen Love, with the best one going onto the album. You - yes, you - could be the one with your foot on the fuzzbox, baby.


... or, at least, the video for Hung Up. It seems she was still in so much pain after that horse got rid of her, she was only able to do the dancing in the video with some help:

"When I shot the video (for `Hung Up') none of the bones had gone together. Pharmaceuticals and my will got me through the shoot. So to come out of that, I felt so much inspiration and so much joy just to have my body back and to feel strong again," she says.

We're slightly surprised Maddy would require pharmaceuticals, though: surely the marvellous Kabbalah Water touted by her Kabbalah Centre would have been more than enough to get her through it.

There was no word, one way or the other, about the rumoured hernia.


We've had a nice email from Brixton Hill's very own Loaded Knife, bringing to our attention their new single, Normal Teenager and Berwick Street - it's available on a proper seven inch single, or for sampling purposes on an MP3 on their website. Our guess is you'd probably like it; our recommendation is that you try it.


The excellent WFMU - internet radio that you could marry - is currently in the middle of its annual fund-raising drive. The network is without any other visible means of support, and the sort of stuff they're showcasing during their marathon is quite a compelling argument about why you should support them.


If there's one thing we like about George Michael, he knows when the best thing to do is just 'fess up and say sorry (rather than, say, leaking stories about rent boys and other people's drugs resting in your house). His statement about his arrest is pretty direct:

"It's my own stupid fault, as usual," Michael said in a statement. "I was in possession of class C drugs, which is an offence, and I have no complaints about the police, who were professional throughout."

He added that he was tested by a police doctor who determined that Michael was capable of driving himself home. In fact, he was given a lift by a duty solicitor because his car was accidentally immobilised by police.

There's not going to be a song and dance this time:

"P.S. I promise I won't make a record out of this one -- even though it's tempting."

Earlier: George Michael's Hyde Park arrest


Our understanding is that there are special websites for this sort of thing: apparently, Sarah Harding from Girls Aloud enjoys having a tube shoved up her arse and getting hot water poured up there. Yes, colonic irrigation is quite the thing, she thinks:

"I've had it done a few times. Everyone I knew was getting it done, so I decided to try it. It's not a pleasant experience and you have to make sure you go straight home afterwards and have a long shower."

Nadine Coyle isn't so keen:

"I went to get it done and ended up running out."

Isn't that what's supposed to happen?


Ouch. In an unusual incident, Maximo Park's guitarist Duncan has snapped his arm.

Duncan was apparently arm wrestling with the band's lawyer - which would mean not only did he get his arm broken, but the ten minutes he was writhing round in pain will be billed at £300 an hour.

Paul Smith is not happy:

"It's really annoying , we were going to spend the next month in our house in Newcastle where we practice just bashing tunes out and playing each other new songs and coming up with new bits , you never get to know a song 'till you play it, so it's completely ruined that time now."

Well, you could make all the new records sound like the last ones. Stood you in good stead so far.


On the basis, we're guessing, that breaking through to the UK mainstream left Ricky Wilson looking like a man who'd not slept in three years, the Kaiser Chiefs have decided to stay as big-ish fish in the US:

"What we have right now is real success to us...We've been over there and we can sell out 2,000-seater shows, which is great. But you have to give up years of your life if you want to break America - and we're really happy with what we've got over here."

On the other hand, they might just be managing expectations downwards in order to look all the more impressive if the do get an AP cover.


It's not, strictly, a new single - it comes from a 1981 Peel session - but the Fire Engines are about to release a single, Discord and Candy Skin, on March 20th; prior to that, the band will be playing Islington Mill (Salford, not London) on March 4th.


We'd more or less assumed that The Deftones had gone under long since, as its been three years since they managed to sneak out a record through the various squabbles they generated.

It turns out, though, that there is more to come: the Deftones have just finished recording a new album. Not that Abe Cunningham wants to moan, mind:

"I don't want to sit here and complain because these things happen to everyone," Cunningham says, "but if there was a VH1 'Behind the Music' special on us, it would be the perfect episode with divorces and all kinds of crap. It was just lack of communication. Thankfully, we've been reattaching our limbs."

There are rumours - apparently not totally wide of the mark - that the collection might be called Saturday Night Wrist. Beating their own drums, then?


Hold those oscars, boys: Mariah Carey is having another shot at movie fame. Although unlike last time's attempt, she seems to be heading more for the daytime Channel Five type of film:

She will play a waitress who sets off with two brothers to find their estranged father, reports Variety.

Their goal is to get the father involved in saving their younger brother, who has leukemia.

Mariah Carey playing a waitress? That'll be interesting - "Could you stop crying, Mariah? It might be that every waitress you've spoken to winds up in tears, but that doesn't mean they all do..."


Does anyone know of an abandoned cabin, miles from anywhere? It could be on an old minefield, or an area suffering from subsidence; electricity might be nice, but, to be honest, it'd be better without.

We've gone all Phil and Kirsty because we hear Coldplay are looking for a hideout miles from anywhere to record the next album:

Drummer Will Champion told NME: "We're trying to find somewherewe can set up and work.

"In all these years we haven't got an HQ, our own studio or anything like that. We want somewhere that we can sort of hole up and see what happens."

You heard the man - let's make his dream come true and wall up Coldplay and see what happens. (Wall-up; hole-up - it's all the same thing, isn't it?)


Lisa Scott Lee can't even afford a bra anymoreWell, after her humiliating and very public flop of her career (okay, it wasn't very public since as few people watched her show as bought her single), it's nice that Lisa Scott-Lee has decided to go to Europe. A bit of backpacking and Eurorailing - assuming her budget will stretch to the odd hostel - is just the thing to cheer her up, and she's got a lot of time hanging on her hands.

Oh... hang on: apparently she's thinking of launching a singing career on the continent, in the apparently mistake belief that she's not considered a laughing stock once you get to Calais.

The voice of delusion:

"When I was in Steps we were really popular overseas, and it's an area I've not looked at since going solo.

"I want to record another Guy Chambers song because he writes the best pop songs going and he believes in me."

Having already sent them Kilroy-Silk, Kinnock and Mandelson, the Europeans are going to start to think we view the continent as a vast dumping-ground for the washed-up and unloveable. Apparently, the French are already innoculating themselves against Darren Day, although they stress at this stage that is "just a precaution."


Goodness, can it really be true that the Sugababes, you know, hated the sight of each other? Keisha is belatedly finding confession good for her soul:

"We [Mutya and I] never really did have arguments, we just never spoke to one another. We're trying to make up for it now. I think our friendship kind of became broken along the way."

Astonishing. Next she'll be suggesting they're not comfortable playing live.


It's probably gratifying rather than annoying for Kings Reach Tower that people seem to care about the NME polls so much, as hot on the heels of Londonist's "we're standing by our story, we're just removing it" claims about the Top 50 singles of 2005 comes The Sun revealing what it reckons is the truth of last week's awards. It seems Ian Brown's main claim to godlike genius is that he's cheaper than Iggy Pop:

VETERAN punk Iggy Pop missed a top honour at NME’s award ceremony — because he was too expensive.

Plans for a Godlike Genius Award were axed because the music paper “couldn’t afford” him and his band, reveals secret paperwork. Ian Brown got it instead.

The internal discussion document for last week’s London event also reveals Jade Jagger, 34, was not invited because she was “too old”.

Yeah, because Jade would have really stuck out like a sore thumb amongst Peter Hook, Pete Shelley, or, erm, 31 year-old presenter Russell Brand.


This time round, George Michael has been arrested at Hyde Park Corner, after "a Good Samaritan" found his car parked "at a crazy angle" on the crossroads, with Michael apparently semi-conscious inside and called the police.

The police arrived, and, they say, found cannabis and GHB (along with porn and sex toys, which, while very exciting for The Sun aren't actually illegal to carry in the boot of your own or anyone else's car.)

It's all a little odd, but the Sun isn't going to let the littleness of the oddness hold it off. George Michael, it seems to believe, has gone crazy-bonkers:

But the circumstances of his arrest yesterday will fuel fears for his physical and mental health.

"Fuel fears", you'll note, not raise them.

Oh, and it's also certain this will mean ruin for George:

The North London-born star is likely to be cautioned if the substances seized are confirmed as controlled drugs.

That punishment — for which he would have to admit the offence — would be a commercial disaster for the star, who boasts a massive US fanbase.

Anyone entering the United States must declare whether they have a record for drugs.

... and, what, exactly? Michael's career has survived making an unpopular anti-war record at a time when the mainstream US media saw that as beyond treason. Having to say "I have been caught with some dope" as you come through customs is hardly going to make things worse; apart from anything, Michael's always been pretty honest about his use of drugs. Well, of late he has, anyway. Besides, cannabis? It's hardly Pete Doherty, is it?

The Sun decides to focus on the GHB instead:

“Dance drug” GHB — associated with gay nightclubs — is a colourless fluid often used to spike drinks.

Not, of course, that the Sun would actually suggest that George was going round spiking drinks. Oh no no no.

Both The Sun and the Mirror, incidently, have gone with the awful Careless Spliffer as their headline, which isn't even a bad pun.

So, is there a scandal here, or is it an old man overdoing it a bit? Oh, there's a scandal:

George was booked in under his real name Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou. Like anyone else arrested, he had a mugshot taken and had to supply fingerprint samples and a DNA swab taken from his mouth. That will be stored on the National Police database.

Whether he's found guilty of a crime or not, Michael's DNA will be stored forever on the DNA database, "just in case." The same, of course, would be true if Andrew Ridgeley was found stealing fish fingers from Iceland or if anyone else was arrested. Without the need for anyone's consent. Never mind what George Michael might have been planning to do with the dildo in the boot - he's been violated in the police station. Now, what was that repressive American client state he was trying to warn us about again?

Sunday, February 26, 2006


Never mind the £50million heist, the nation nearly fell victim to another, more serious crime on Thursday night: the second kasabian album tapes were nearly stolen.

For some reason, they had the tapes with them in the hotel they stayed in for the NME awards (they were robbed there, too, they reckon) when a chummy decided to try and grab them:

"Several fellow hotel guests were going to their rooms when they saw a man with a shaved head wearing gloves trying to shoulder the door open," an unnamed source says.

"When he realised he'd been spotted, he took off down the emergency escape stairs."

Rumours that all he intended to do was wipe the things could not be confirmed, but if true: better luck next time, mate.


They're only holding him back, you know. Okay, it's not quite the end of Green Day, but for his part in Live Freaky, Die Freaky, Tim Armstrong's unwanted Manson film, Billie Joe Armstrong has recorded his first-ever solo track.

It's not, sadly, a cover of "I'm So Pretty."


After a brief trial, Mike McCartney has been cleared of sexual assault. McCartney is more than pissed off that the charges were brought in the first place:

"It is a monstrosity that a wholly innocent man has been publicly named and linked to a charge of sexual assault, which to the ordinary person means rape.”

Well, no, Mike, it doesn't - it might be a horrible thing to be accused of nevertheless, but people generally are able to tell the difference between sexual assault and rape; if The Bill taught them nothing it taught them that.

The judge, Elgan Edwards, was also annoyed at the very idea of a trial:

"Two young girls have had the agony of waiting for 17 months to give evidence and the defendant, a man of exemplary character, has had the matter hanging over his head as well. It is quite inexcusable and makes a mockery of legal proceedings."

We're not quite sure why the fact McCartney had an unblemished record should automatically have meant he shouldn't have faced a trial if the CPS thought there was a case to answer - benefit of clergy, the "get your first offence free" that used to apply, was abolished quite a while ago. It does seem odd that it's taken so long for the case to come to trial to allow McCartney to clear his name, though - perhaps, your honour, if judges worked a little harder the backlog of cases could be moved through more speedily?


The most remarkable thing about the 2005 NME Awards was the apology the paper and Channel 4 had to make to Lisa Moorish for, ah, certain insinuations.

Arctic Monkeys webzine Mardy Bum reports the following (via The Sun):

Lisa is a 34-year-old mother of two, with kids to Liam Gallagher and Pete Doherty. Now it seems she wants to bed our own beloved Alex Turner, after trying to get it on with him at the NME Awards.

Presumably Kate Moss was busy elsewhere.


A couple of weeks ago, it was Lydon taking aim at Green Day; now the former Sex Pistols are railing at another soft target: the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Having accepted the offer to be induced, the band are now refusing to go to the official induction ceremony - not, apparently, for any real political objection but because they would have had to have paid for a table at the event:

In a handwritten note posted on their website, they called the institution "urine in wine".

"We're not your monkeys, we're not coming. You're not paying attention," continued the statement.

The note further criticised the Hall of Fame for offering "fame at $25,000 if we paid for a table or $15,000 to squeak up in the gallery".

It further claimed that the money "goes to a non-profit organisation, selling us a load of old famous".

Of course, the organisers are delighted at this, because it's exactly the sort of thing they'd expect the tamest of tame punks to do. They can barely control themselves:

Executive director of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, Susan Evans, said: "They are being the outrageous punksters they are, and that's rock 'n' roll."

The Hall of Fame has about as much to do with rock as the Liverpool Philharmonic; the Pistols have as much punk attitude as the WI. They really do deserve each other, and their own little attention-seeking love-in.

[Thanks to Jim McCabe]


Surely a first that an indie bloke's former ex taking up with another, even more obscure indie bloke has made it in the papers, but today's Sunday People finds space to report on Graham Cullis, of the Young Soul Rebels, and his love life.

Because his new girlfirend is Camille Aznar. The former fiance of Preston from the Ordinary Boys. You throw a stone, you get ripples...


Hey, it must be like an addiction or something - although we're not sure if it's to each other, or just to the publicity: Kate Moss and Pete Doherty have apparently been meeting up, in sort-of-secret. Just like in Romeo and Juliet, only without the decent scriptwriter.

Apparently, these "secret" meetings have taken place in, erm, a public house:

A source close to the couple said: "They've met up a few times but have been very careful not to get spotted. They decided to go to that pub [The Westbounre] because it's the last place anyone would look for them.

"It's not exactly the trendiest pub around there and they have managed to get away with it ...until now."

Yes, because Doherty - a man who usually buys his recreational needs from toothless bearded men in puffa-jackets held together with sticky tape - would never go into anything like a pub, would he? It's not like his whole Albert Steptoe persona would fit in there, would it? And whoever would think of looking for Kate Moss in the nearest pub to the place where she's staying? And after all, it's not like one of them is one of the most photographed women in recorded history and the other keeps popping up on Newsnight every three minutes and so even people who don't know where ChinaWhites is would spot them, is it?

Last Saturday the Babyshambles singer swore close friends to secrecy before telling them he still loved Kate and that they had been seeing each other again.

Since he'd had his prison diaries published in the Guardian saying how much he still loved Kate, we can only assume the secret was the still seeing her bit. In which case, well done, Pete. Your friends are the most trustworthy people known to man - except, of course, when they're selling film of you doing smack to the papers or giving tapes of your girlfriend snorting coke to the Mirror - so who are we to question your judgement here, eh?


Gary Glitter might have been complaining about his lot in the Sunday tabloids a couple of weeks back, but if the documents the News of the World have run today are true, he should be thankful the worst prospect he's facing is a few years with rats running over him.

According the NOTW, the Vietnamese police had got enough evidence to nail Glitter on charges of child rape; it was only when his victims changed their stories (mysteriously after they suddenly came into some money) that the police lowered the charges to child molestation; a crime carrying a prison sentence rather than being shot.

The paper seems convinced its dossier would lay Glitter open to child sex charges if he returns to the UK - although it doesn't explain how the British courts would be able to get the paid-off victims to tell the truth in the Old Bailey if they won't in their home country.


Simon Rix from the Kaiser Chiefs is nursing a grudge. It's a slightly odd-shaped grudge, but it's a grudge nevertheless. And it's a Chris Martin shaped grudge:

"I don't wanna cause a rift but I hate what Chris did at the Brits.

"He said he was going to let the drummer speak and then he took over the mic completely. He's out of order."

Yes... we're surprised we haven't seen some of petition trying to stop that sort of thing. It's too easy to forget that drummers are people, too. Except, obviously, the ones which can keep a decent beat and don't give stupid quotes to newspapers, they're generally actually machines. But even so.


As Gabby Roslin says so reassuringly when she tries to flog us insurance for women's problems, "cancer survival rates are high" - good news for Sheryl Crow, who is currently recovering from a breast cancer op.

Of course, last month she broke off her engagement to Lance Armstrong, which does make you wonder if he got the hump because he was meant to be the cancer survivor in the relationship.


The most-viewed individual items on No Rock this week, since you ask, have been:

1. The Levellers - from squat-culture to penthouse flats
2. The summary from the week people first wondered what Chantelle Houghton's tits might look like
3. Hungry man wants to eat Robbie Williams, Liam Gallagher
4. KT says "I'm not gay, but my braces are"
5. Bloc Party threaten strings for the next album
6. Smash Hits: The final issue
7. Britney. Avril. A May 2004 spat. It's the Everything I Do of our stats
8. The NME awards in full
9. R kelly's brother issues DVD, accusations
10. Simon Reynolds sorts out the NME problem

You can enjoy the whole week on a single page - if "enjoy" isn't over-egging it
or try the previous week in a single post.

And, in the hope that you'll have something to keep you going through the bird flu lockdown, we suggested you order some, all, or more of this:

The Damned celebrate 25 years with a party, instead of a churlish attack on Green Day
Never mind your Morgan Spurlocks, this is the real thing: what happened when McDonalds tried to crush its critics, and its critics refused to roll over
Debbie Harry has a touch of the Madonnas with the side acting career
It's like a Moscow version of Threesome
Suicide live in Paris
The Wonder Stuff, it turns out, are still a going concern
Former Whig Dulli fixes you in his amber headlights
Why do they remaster CDs which were made in the CD era anyway? This time, it's Gorkys 1997 Tatay
post-spaceage Asimovgoth from HK119