This here is the 100th edition of the CMU Beef Of The Week, so we thought we’d take a look back through some of the column’s finest moments. It’s a shame Channel 4 stopped making those endless list programmes, cos now we have enough beefs to fill one of those twelve hours sets of cheap television (or however long it was they lasted).
Anyway, we’re not going to run through all 100 now, that would be silly, but here are a few of our favourites from the last two and a bit years.
Dappy death threats
These days Dappy is a mild mannered rapper who hangs around with large-haired rock pensioner Brian May, but way back in 2010 he was a man out of control. Appearing on Chris Moyles’ Radio 1 show he spotted a text message from a listener which branded him “a little boy with a silly hat”. Rather than just ignore it, Dappy managed to covertly copy down the listener’s mobile phone number and began bombarding her with calls and text messages, such as the classic: “Your gonna die, U sent a very bad msg towards N Dubz on The Chris Moyels show yesterday morning and for that reason u will never be left alone!! If u say sorry I will leave u alone u fuck”.
Dappy later apologised, but the damage was already done. N-Dubz were dropped from a government anti-bullying campaign a few days later and less than two years after the beef the group split. You might think the latter of those things was unrelated and, well, it was. Or was it…? Yes, it was.
Definitely no reunions
Back in April 2011, Primal Scream bassist Mani was incredulous at The Sun’s claim that his former band The Stone Roses were planning to reunite just because Ian Brown and John Squire had spoken to each other at his mother’s funeral. I mean, really. Mani told the NME that he was “disgusted that my personal grief has been invaded and hijacked by these nonsensical stories”. Of course, six months later The Stone Roses announced that they were reuniting, admitting that the catalyst had been Brown and Squire patching up their differences when they met at Mani’s mother’s funeral. By that time they’d turned their sights on another tabloid though.
In August last year, Tony Iommi was also angry about talk of a reunion. After the Birmingham Mail reported that Black Sabbath’s original line-up were planning to get back together for a tour and a new album, Iommi said in no uncertain terms: “There will be definitely NO reunion of all four original members of Black Sabbath, whether to record an album or to tour”. Three months later the original line-up announced their plans to reunite for a new album and tour. Although contract disputes with drummer Bill Ward have at least meant that part of what Iommi said has turned out to be true.
Back when the Beef Of The Week column was originally conceived, it was suggested that some weeks we might throw in a beef recipe of some sort instead of highlighting a recent pop dispute. We never have, but actual beef has made its way into the column on a number of occasions. The first was when Leona Lewis channelled her inner Morrissey and pissed off her touring crew by banning meat from backstage catering. And then real beef actually appeared (albeit without cooking instructions) thanks to Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber.
The Super Bowl and the destruction of the American Dream
MIA briefly waggling her middle finger during her guest appearance at Madonna’s Super Bowl half time performance didn’t make it into the Beef Of The Week column, but that’s not to say American football’s big event has never appeared. And if you thought this year’s misdemeanour was trivial, you may have forgotten about what Christina Aguilera did to offend the whole of America last year.
Wheeled on to sing the national anthem at the start of the game, Aguilera fluffed one line. She continued and finished the rest of the song without incident, but she had already shamed America by that point. ‘Friends’ rushed to the papers to say that they were worried that her wild lifestyle had sent her over the edge, adding that that was the reason she had messed up so badly and embarrassed everyone. Aguilera said she had briefly lost her place.
To be honest, Tommy Lee’s protest against SeaWorld in Florida is mainly here because our Beef Of The Week write up contains the classic line: “Really Tommy? Even in your wildest days you wouldn’t have thought to wank off a killer whale?” T-shirts bearing this line may be made available in time for festival season.
Who can really say who the Sugababes are or aren’t any more? The original line-up is preparing to reunite (although, following in the footsteps of The Stone Roses and Black Sabbath, they have denied any such plans), but they are unable to use the name because another three women are currently using it. That might not have been the case though. Back in November 2009 Mutya Buena noticed that no one had thought to trademark the group’s name in Europe and promptly put together an application to gain ownership of the name herself.
The group’s management disputed the claim, saying that all members past and present had granted their then label Universal/Island ownership of the name, so no official trademark application was required. It turned out they were wrong though. Well, they weren’t 100% right. Buena announced via her Facebook page in August last year that she had “won the official name of the Sugababes”. While technically true, it subsequently turned out that she was only entitled to use it on “certain paper and cardboard goods, such as stationery, paper gift wrap and paper gift wrapping ribbons” and not on, say, anything relating to the day to day activities of a jobbing pop group (the current Babes’ management and label got that mark). Good news on the stationery though.
Kings Of Leon and the pigeons
Bands often complain about harsh criticism, but it doesn’t come much worse than a load of pigeons shitting in your mouth while you’re trying to play a gig.
Possibly the strangest Beef Of The Week we’ve ever published, back in November 2010 MC Hammer issued an “official Jay-Z diss” track. Yes, MC Hammer off of the 80s. He was annoyed that Jay-Z had mentioned his mid-90s bankruptcy in Kanye West’s ‘So Appalled’. Well, that and the fact that Jay-Z has the devil in him. The video for the track (since removed from Hammer’s official YouTube profile) showed a Jay-Z lookalike being chased through some woods by the devil (also a lookalike). Hammer then fights off Satan and baptises Jay-Z. All’s well that ends well, eh?
Something that ended less well was Brian McFadden’s decision to record a tribute to his then wife Delta Goodrem. Starting with the most romantic of musical bases – a banjo sample – he then informed her through song that he loved it when she got “drunk as shit” and he was able to take her home to “do some damage” and “take advantage”. The former Westlifer was incredulous at the “super intelligent” people who suggested that this was an anthem for date-rape, saying that the song was “supposed to be fun, not offensive”. Oh, Brian.
Alex James praises fast food
This might be my favourite Beef Of The Week ever, despite its status as an actual beef being tenuous at best. Alex James writes a food column for The Sun, which he used earlier this year to praise the production of fast food. “Yes, big business can be a bad thing, but only if it’s bad”, he insisted in one of many utterly amazing quotes on offer in the piece. He also claimed that he’d rather have a branch of Greggs in his village than the stupid independent bakery that was currently there (which is how we justified it being a beef, if you were wondering).
No one has made it into the Beef Of The Week column more often than Justin Bieber. Not even Courtney Love. And as he turned eighteen this week, what better time to relive some of the scrapes he got himself into during his childhood?
His first appearance came way back in March 2010 when he jumped to the defence of his manager Scooter Braun when he was charged by police for not tweeting about the cancellation of a public appearance by the singer the previous November. The Biebster then popped up again by announcing he was “grossed and weirded out” by rumours that his mother had turned down a request to pose topless for Playboy, and again when he tweeted the mobile phone number of someone who had hacked a friend’s Facebook profile, and yet again when he accused the paparazzi of being Godless.
Best of all though was after last year’s Grammy Awards, when his fans set upon the Wikipedia page of jazz artist Esperanza Spalding for having the audacity to win the Best New Artist prize, because she was, as one of the Wiki edits put it, “stealing it from Justin Bieber”.