James Taylor accosted by murderer 24 hours before the shooting.
Dark anniversary of John Lennon's murder
Smiths singer backs Smiths guitarist in hatred of UK Prime Minister
David Cameron, stop saying that you like The Smiths, no you don't. I forbid you to like it.
4 December 2010
Message from Morrissey.
I would like to, if I may, offer support to Johnny Marr who has spoken out to the media this week against David Cameron. To those who have expressed concern over Johnny's words in view of the fact that David Cameron has pledged immense allegiance to the music of the Smiths, I would like to try to explain why I think Johnny is right not to be flattered.
It is true that music is a universal language – the ONLY universal language, and belongs to all, one way or another. However, with fitting grimness I must report that David Cameron hunts and shoots and kills stags – apparently for pleasure. It was not for such people that either "Meat is Murder" or "The Queen is Dead" were recorded; in fact, they were made as a reaction against such violence.
I recall some years ago a party political broadcast on behalf of the Conservative Party where David Cameron spoke directly to camera as an LP copy of "The Queen is Dead" proudly displayed itself on the wall behind his right shoulder. It is, of course, a fantastic thrill when the music you make is acknowledged by virtually anyone at all. But David Cameron is not just anyone. Some months ago, as the long-beaked amongst you might recall, I was due to appear on the Andrew Marr Show alongside David Cameron, and however much I worship the words of Andrew Marr, I could not go through with the invitation.
This was because I knew, then, that David wanted to repeal the Hunting Act, which would mean the brutal killing of foxes, hares, deer, badgers, otters – just about anything that moves.
Often the excuse of 'culling' is tagged on to the argument of legalized killing of beings, yet as we all know, motorized vehicles manage the business of 'culling' foxes and badgers quite well without messengers of death on horseback. Wildlife (that is, freelife) has its own methods of balancing nature – foxes and owls and birds of prey tending to help themselves to whatever crosses their path.
The countryside, quite remarkably, does not need the Hunting Act to be repealed. You would need to be mindless to believe that it does. People who hunt are under delusions of possession and property and divine right, and their debasement of human standards is always evident in their outrage at ever being questioned about their activities. Meanwhile, the Hunt Saboteurs (who are always termed 'extremists' by the Daily Bra – as if opposing brutal killing is an extreme emotion) are themselves symbols of freedom. Hunt Saboteurs do not kill. High Court judges on horseback, dressed in blood-red outfits, are the ones who kill.
As we all know, law in England is applied with partiality: the police are quick to nab the hunt saboteurs, but slow to catch up with the very visible Cheltenham Hunt. The hunt saboteurs are jailed for up to 12 years (for what? attempting to prevent mindless violence?), whereas the unmanly reflex of fox hunting receives a rap on the knuckles (Odious Ferry.)
I beg you to notice the unbearable dimension of sorrow that David Cameron is attempting to inflict upon British wildlife/freelife (an animal is not 'wild' simply because it is uncaged.) If you can find the time, would you please write to the MP of your choice - if you can think of one that you half-trust - at The House of Commons, St Margaret's Street, London SW1P, urging them to vote against the repeal. It is not the hunt saboteurs who menace social order, but the Hunters themselves, and the moral climate of 2010 seeping into 2011 surely tells all intelligent people that the key to the extent of any person's humanity is in their relationship to – and protection of – animals. Politicians only care about the public as electorate, and once the victory vote has been seized there is no place for debate between The Prime Minister and the people who elected him. (I cannot use the him/her term in relation to a Prime Minister because, as we all know, Margaret Thatcher has ensured that a female Prime Minister would never again be risked.) However, please do not feel powerless against the views of politicians or, for that matter, so-called royalty, because it is they who are powerless against the collective spirit of the British people. I mention so-called royalty because Prince William – who has never made the faintest imprint on the English soul, is also a hunter of deer, as is his fiasco (fiancée) Kate Middleton. Although William and Kate are so dull as people that it is actually impossible to discuss them, it is worth recalling Prince Harry's thumbs-up as he sat beside a giant water buffalo, cowardly shot from a safe distance by the ignoble Prince some years back. Intellectually, it is true that the so-called Royal Family are not worth very much when it comes to moral standards. The Queen annually signs-off on the terrorizing slaughter of adult Canadian brown bears in order that her Guards are supplied with fancy hats. The babies of the adult bears who witness their own mothers' slaughter, are left to die slowly, and alone. The sober and bitter truth is that the Queen of England is indifferent to this barbarism, for she has never once expressed concern by it (although, let us speak quite plainly, there is not one person in the whole of England who can remember or repeat a single word ever spoken by the Queen, such is her command of communication.)
I apologize very deeply for my support over the years for the group Roxy Music. I had no idea until very recently that their singer Bryan Ferret is also an avid hunter, and is now managed by his Lord of the Hunt son, Odious Ferry.
Some are brutally indifferent to the feelings of animals. Many are not. Politically, I long for the day when it is finally acknowledged in the House of Lords that the indigestible business of the meat industry corrupts and destroys the planet more than any other profit organization. We continually hear of disappearing rainforests but the cause is never explained, for this would then force concerned world leaders to 'cull' meat production, and rather the world sizzle than it be admitted that the meat industry is the root of climate change. It was Sir Paul McCartney who said: "Save the planet – stop eating animals." It is the genius of Stella McCartney who has produced footwear made entirely of non-animal materials. As a glowing owner of such shoes, I can confirm to anyone interested that they appear - even on detailed examination - to be no different to shoes made from animals.
Refusing to eat animals remains a political gesture. The world apparently loves the simple, whether it be professional killers such as Jamie Horrible, or the dim-witted and good-natured David Peckham, both as certain of knighthoods as their mediocrity is bona-fide. David Peckham is so dull that he is yet to master his first words.
However, people like me exist, also, and by close of this piece I return to the opening issue of David Cameron and I remind him that the world loves a man who loves to listen. But we can't believe what you say when we know what you do.
Roger Waters brings epic production to the stage
It was 1980, and Pink Floyd was doing the spectacular production of “The Wall” in its entirety.
And, idiot that I was, I decided to skip it, because it was only “The Wall.” I wanted to hear hits like “Money” and “Wish You Were Here.” I figured I’d catch Pink Floyd on the next tour. Which, of course, never came. At least in my mind, Pink Floyd ceased to exist after Roger Waters left, despite what the courts ruled later.
So when Waters decided to revamp, update and upgrade “The Wall” 30 years after the fact, those of us who missed it the first time out got a shot at redemption.
This tour, which runs into the middle of 2011, is nothing short of jaw-dropping with its visual effects, its timeless elements and, of course, its classic music and anthems. The cliché “pulling out all the stops” barely describes how spectacular the show is, with its quad sound, extreme anti-war themes, its classic tale of isolation and breaking free.
It wasn’t a show for the politically squeamish, as Waters has long made known his pacifist/liberal views. Waters flashed text on the screen of all sorts of war deaths, from that of his father in World War II to civilian casualties in Iraq.
Like on the original tour, the actual wall was constructed brick-by-brick, until by intermission the band was playing in an area completely sealed off from the audience.
Rumors that he’d been working with a vocal coach in recent years, and it certainly paid off if true – his voice sounded strong and sure, a contrast to his criticized vocals on the Pink Floyd reunion at Live 8 several years ago. During “Mother” he performed the song harmonizing with footage of him performing it back in 1980.
Stunning animation and the climax of the wall tumbling down after the audience deliriously chanted “Tear down the wall!” over and over again.
Click below to watch some of the highlights and special effects from the tour – Waters' songs, words and visuals show what the concert is all about far more than words can describe.
And don’t miss it this time around.
2011 Grammy nominations announced
SONG OF THE YEAR
“Beg Steal Or Borrow” – Ray LaMontagne & The Pariah Dogs
“Forget You” (aka “Fuck You”) – Cee Lo Green
“The House That Built Me”- Miranda Lambert
“Love The Way You Lie” – Eminem feat. Rihanna
“Need You Now” – Lady Antebellum
BEST NEW ARTIST
Florence + The Machine
Mumford & Sons
RECORD OF THE YEAR
“Nothin’ On You” – B.o.B feat. Bruno Mars
“Love The Way You Lie” – Eminem feat. Rihanna
“Forget You” (aka “Fuck You”) – Cee Lo Green
“Empire State Of Mind” – Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys
“Need You Now” – Lady Antebellum
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
The Suburbs – Arcade Fire
Recovery – Eminem
Need You Now – Lady Antebellum
The Fame Monster – Lady Gaga
Teenage Dream – Katy Perry
Beatles historian retraces the roots of the Beatles
Back in October we had the 70th anniversary of John Lennon’s birth, with box sets, remixes, tribute concerts and all sorts of well-deserved hoopla surrounding the event.
But a fascinating little bit of Lennon history got somewhat overlooked. The Paley Center in New York City is hosting a major Lennon exhibit through the end of February 2011 (and it may go on the road to other major cities). “This Boy: John Lennon in Liverpool” is a look at the least-documented era of the Beatles – from Lennon’s birth to when he formed the Quarrymen, the band that eventually became the Beatles.
The exhibit is co-curated by Martin Lewis, an unabashed Beatles enthusiast who got his start as a fan in his teens when he researched the discography that accompanied Hunter Davies’ official biography of the Beatles. He also instigated and compiled the 1971 LP “The Songs Lennon and McCartney Gave Away,” a compilation of pieces they’d given to other artists. Lewis has overseen a number of Beatles projects to this day, including producing the DVD edition of “A Hard Day’s Night” and instigating NASA's beaming of the Beatles' "Across the Universe" into space on its 40th anniversary in 2008. He also curated the recent tribute to Paul McCartney at the Kennedy Center Honors.
Copyright 1958, Mike McCartney
Included in the Lennon exhibit are photos that fans have seen in the past, including the great color photo (above) of what would be the core of the Beatles, taken by Mike McCartney, brother of Paul. But Lewis and Quarryman Rod Davis dug deeper in “an absolute labor of joy” to find photos, artifacts and information that even the most hardcore Beatlemaniac has never seen. Lewis recently talked about putting together a new look at Lennon’s early life.
Internet delivers naked Beatles and Stones tracks
U2 can be a theatrical disaster
All $65 million of the new Broadway musical “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” took flight on Sunday night at its first preview performance, but not without bumps. The show stopped five times, mostly to fix technical problems, and Act I ended prematurely, with Spider-Man stuck dangling 10 feet above audience members, while Act II was marred by a nasty catcall during one of the midperformance pauses.
Rarely is the very first public run-through of a new musical perfect, and indeed, the creators of this “Spider-Man” — the most expensive and technically ambitious production ever on Broadway — used news media interviews recently to lower expectations that work on the musical was anywhere near done. But after a two-week delay in performances already this month, which sucked up about $4 million, the producers decided that on Sunday night the show would go on.
Costing more than twice as much as the previous record-holder for a big-budget show, “Shrek the Musical,” “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” took a bit of time revealing some of the reasons for its high expense. After beginning at 6:54 p.m. — 24 minutes late, mostly because of 1,900 people taking their seats — the show unfolded for 30 minutes with few of the special effects that have been the talk of Broadway this fall.
At 7:23 p.m., an aerial scene began in Peter Parker’s bedroom to the delight of some audience members — yet it was halted two minutes later with the first of four pauses in Act I, apparently to free the lead actor, Reeve Carney (who plays Peter Parker and is one of those playing Spider-Man), from an aerial harness.
Most of the night’s major flying sequences — which make up a relative fraction of the show — went off without a hitch, with children and some adults squealing in delight. And there were no signs of injuries, which had been a point of concern after two performers were hurt during an aerial sequence this fall.
The fourth and final pause at the end of Act I was the worst glitch of the night by far. Spider-Man had just flown and landed onstage with the musical’s heroine, Mary Jane Watson (played by Jennifer Damiano), in his arms. He was then supposed to zoom off toward the balcony seating area, a few hundred feet away. Instead, a harness and cables lifted Spider-Man several yards up and over the audience, then stopped. A production stage manager, C. Randall White, called for a halt to the show over the sound system, apparently in hopes of fixing and re-doing the stunt.
Crew members, standing on the stage, spent 45 seconds trying to grab Spider-Man by the foot, as the audience laughed and oohed. When they finally caught him, Mr. White announced intermission, and the house lights came on.
The intermission began at 8:19 p.m.; it was still under way 34 minutes later when some in the audience began to clap in unison, as they passed their two-hour mark inside the theater. Mr. White, the production stage manager, then said over the microphone, “I know, guys, I know, I beg your patience,” and the clapping stopped.
Act II began shortly after 9 p.m. and unfolded fairly smoothly until about 50 minutes later, when Mr. White called for a pause. After a few minutes, as some audience members were stretching, a woman in the audience suddenly shouted, “I don’t know how everyone else feels, but I feel like a guinea pig today — I feel like it’s a dress rehearsal.” She was met with a chorus of boos. The performance resumed a moment later; the show ended at 10:09 p.m.
The musical has attracted outsized public and media attention by Broadway standards, in large part because of the money and talent involved: U2’s Bono and the Edge signed on to create the show nine years ago, and have written a full-length score, their first for Broadway, and helped recruit as the director Julie Taymor, a Tony Awardwinner for one of the last musical spectaculars to open on Broadway, “The Lion King.”
The arrival of the first preview — it had originally been scheduled for January, then February, then Nov. 14 — brought out Spidey fans of all ages. Chris McAvey, a 24-year-old “fan of Spider-Man since the age of 5,” wore an old Spider-Man t-shirt that he picked up at a comic-book convention years ago. Asked about his expectations for the night, he noted that he had purchased tickets for one of the previews originally scheduled in February.
“Let me put it this way,” he said, “For the time I’ve had to wait to see this, it better be good!”
After the show, several audience members said in interviews that they would hold off on recommending the show to friends until improvements were made. Sherry Lawrence, a writer for a U2 fan Web site, said that even though she liked some of the songs, she planned to tell readers to wait for the creators to do more work during previews.
But Marc Tumminelli, 30, who runs a Manhattan acting school for children, said he was concerned that the musical’s problems were too fundamental to be corrected quickly. “The story-telling is really unclear and I found it hard to understand exactly what was going on and why certain things were happening,” Mr. Tumminelli said.
More delighted was the 6-year-old boy sitting a row ahead. “Parts of it were really exciting,” said the boy, Jack Soldano, whose parents brought him. “I’ve never seen people flying before.”
Moments before the start of the performance, the lead producer of “Spider-Man,” Michael Cohl, took the stage to prepare the audience for what they were about to see.
“I’m hellishly excited, and I can’t believe we’re actually here and it’s actually going to happen,” said Mr. Cohl, a prominent rock concert promoter who was recruited by Bono in 2009 to take over the show after the previous producers could not raise all of the money for it. Mr. Cohl said he hoped that the night would prove to be “one of the great Broadway and show experiences of your life,” but also warned that the performance might need to stop at points.
Mr. Cohl has approved discounts for some of the tickets sold for preview performances. Many other audience members were still paying $140 or more on Sunday night.
The complexity of “Spider-Man” – particularly its net-free flying sequences over the heads of audience members – has also stoked curiosity, as well as concern, after two actors were injured (one whose wrists were broken) performing aerial stunts this fall. And the show’s growing costs – it will likely cost more than $65 million in the end – has drawn attention given the lavish expense at a time of economic recession, and the difficulty and delays associated with raising money to mount the show.
When Sunday’s performance did stop, the audience was warmly charitable for the most part. At one point in Act I, Mr. White asked for a round of applause for the actress Natalie Mendoza (who played the villainess Arachne) as she hung in mid-air during a six-minute pause. Later in the act, the actor Patrick Page (as the Green Goblin) improvised a bit by repeating some of the lyrics from his song “I’ll Take Manhattan.”
“Spider-Man” is scheduled to open on Jan. 11, 2011.
live local music on
Enter your ZIP code to see concerts happening in your area.
Data provided by Zvents