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BRONFMAN STEPS DOWN AS WARNER CEO
As CEO, Cooper will now oversee the day-to-day running of Warner Music. Meanwhile Bronfman Jr, as Chairman, is expected to focus his energies on the Access/Warner bid to buy EMI and, should that bid be successful, the regulatory process that will need to be navigated to merge the third and fourth biggest music companies in the world.
A combined Warner/EMI has been a long-term ambition of Bronfman Jr of course, and he's got experience here, having orchestrated the merger of Universal and Polygram in the late 1990s. Therefore it makes sense that he'd focus on a possible Warner/EMI consolidation.
Though, as we commented when rumours that this would become Bronfman Jr's role first circulated, it's not clear what would happen if EMI's current owners Citigroup knocked back the Warner offer for the UK-based music major and went with another bidder instead. It would possibly be the end of Bronfman Jr's major label career.
When Warner's board and key shareholders, led by Bronfman Jr himself, opted to sell their music company to Blavatnik there was speculation that the firm's then Chairman and CEO had spearheaded the deal, so to wipe clean the company's balance sheet to enable an EMI bid, thus allowing the long desired Warner/EMI merger.
However, newer rumours suggest the Blavatnik deal was actually pushed through by Bronfman's fellow shareholders, and that, now he no longer has a stake in the business - while he is still interested in creating Warner/EMI - the former CEO has less interest in running Warner Music day-to-day.
For those within the Warner empire, Cooper's appointment as CEO could mean that the recent change in ownership will have wider implications for the firm's internal structure than many initially anticipated, though it seems likely any major restructure won't begin until the outcome of the Access/Warner bid for EMI is known.
WINEHOUSE FORCED TO RETURN CHARITY DONATIONS
Winehouse wrote on Twitter last week: "We all have to bombard the tabloids' websites to put pressure on this dick head who stole our foundation name. Instead of concentrating on allocating funding I am having to send cheques back cos we haven't got [a] bank [account] in that name. Our solicitors are all over this, but it takes time. Meanwhile we can't get on with [the] foundation."
As previously reported, Winehouse revealed earlier this month that Amy's Camden home would become the headquarters of the foundation, telling The Mirror that it would focus on "causes close to her heart", which "could include help for children in trouble, kids suffering health problems, children's hospices and more".
VP RECORDS A&R CHIEF MURDERED
A statement from the label, issued last Wednesday, said: "It is with great sadness that VP Records must announce the passing of Joel Chin at the age of 35. Joel was shot last night outside his home in Stony Hill, St. Andrew in Jamaica. The cause was not immediately known". Police have not commented on a possible motive, and their investigations are ongoing.
The VP Records statement continued: "The grandson of VP Records founder Vincent Chin, son of famed Reggae producer Clive Chin and nephew of the owners of VP Records, Chris and Randy Chin, Joel literally grew up in the reggae business and put his vast knowledge and connections at the service of the music he loved passionately. An accomplished producer, Joel had moved from New York to Jamaica two years ago to spend more time on music production, songwriting and developing rising talents. Joel wrote hit songs for many artists such as Elephant Man and Etana among many others".
Various reggae stars have paid tribute to Chin, among them Sean Paul, who tweeted: "As another bright light fades, we give thanks for life and reminisce. RIP Joel Chin".
LIAM SUES NOEL
Liam is specifically taking his brother to court over recent comments Noel made about the reasons behind their band's split in 2009. As previously reported, Noel said in a press conference that they'd fallen out because his brother wanted to place advertisements for his clothing company, Pretty Green, in their tour programme. He also claimed that Liam had forced the band to pull out of a headline slot at V Festival's Chelmsford leg that year because he had a hangover. Liam says it was due to a sudden bout of laryngitis.
In a statement issued on Friday, Liam said: "I have taken legal action against Noel Gallagher for statements he made during the Electric Cinema press conference on 6 Jul during which he claimed Oasis pulled out of the 2009 V Festival Chelmsford gig because I had a hangover. That is a lie and I want Oasis fans, and others who were at V, to know the truth".
He added: "Noel also falsely stated that the demise of Oasis followed a massive row in which he claimed I demanded to advertise my clothing range Pretty Green in the Oasis tour programme. The truth is there was no such discussion or row between us. There are many reasons why Oasis split, but it had nothing to do with my clothing range".
Finally, he said: "I am used to being called all sort of things by Noel and I have in the past said things about him, but what Noel has alleged this time went way beyond rock n roll banter and questioned my professionalism".
Prior to Liam's announcement last week, Noel had told a journalist in a new interview that the band's split had actually been fairly amicable, which was something of a turnaround. He told The Sun: "After I quit, we had to fold because we were all partners in various businesses - not businesses like selling oranges off the back of a truck, but a touring company and the record label had to close, which took a while and all the money needed to be split. So there was all that fucking nonsense, but as break-ups go, to be honest it was quite amicable. Then Liam started doing interviews and then it was like... hmmm".
Meanwhile, on Saturday, The Sun published a photograph supposedly taken at the 2009 V Festival in Staffordshire in the early hours of the day Oasis were due to headline the event in Chelmsford. In the photograph, Liam stands at the back of a group of people holding a can of Guinness aloft. He doesn't look much like he has laryngitis at that point.
The unnamed fan who took the picture told the tabloid: "After the gig in Staffordshire, Noel headed down to London. But Liam, other band members and his close friends stayed and had a party in his trailer. Liam had quite a few beers. He left at 3am to carry on elsewhere. He didn't seem to have anything wrong with his voice".
FRIENDLY FIRES COLLABORATOR DIES
Turner had recently released an album with his own band Round Trip, and ran a popular jazz night at the Con Cellar Bar in Camden. A strong swimmer, he completed the Great North Swim in June.
His brother Andy told the Evening Standard: "I last saw my brother the Monday before he died. We had just had an amazing weekend swimming in the sea in Dorset. Rich was a really sociable guy and an amazing musician. Everyone was just bowled over by his talent".
In a statement, Friendly Fires said: "Rich played trumpet in our live gigs on and off for three years. He was an exceptional musician and his contributions to our shows will be hugely missed".
ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM
MY TOYS LIKE ME ANNOUNCE NEW LP
RUSSIAN CIRCLES DETAIL NEW ALBUM
NORDIC SHOWCASE JA JA JA LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE
The first gig in the latest series will take place at Hoxton Bar & Kitchen in London on 29 Sep. Curated by Record of The Day, the line-up will feature Sondre Lerche from Norway, LCMDF form Finland, and Sykur from Iceland.
Get the lowdown on those bands and plenty more from the new website at www.jajajamusic.com.
ST VINCENT TOUR DATES
ANOTHER DEATH FROM INDIANA STATE FAIR STAGE COLLAPSE
As previously reported, one of the Fair's main stages came tumbling down as a storm swept onto the festival's site while audience members awaited a concert from Sugarland. Five were killed instantly while dozens more were injured. Although unusually strong winds led to stage collapse, some have remarked that measures could have been taken to stop the tragedy, at the very least a faster evacuation of the site as the storm approached.
Following the Indiana State Fair stage collapse, and the deaths also last week at Pukkelpop in Belgium as an overwhelming storm hit their site, one experienced guitar tech and tour manager in the US has written an interesting blog post considering how such tragedies may be avoided in the future: guitarroadreport.blogspot.com/2011/08/stage-collapse-and-thoughts-and-nathan.html
BLACKBERRY PLANNING A STREAMING MUSIC SERVICE
According to CNET, the new service will link into RIM's BBM social networking platform, you know, the one that's so popular with rioters and looters, so that subscribers can recommend tracks to other music fans, or fellow rioters and looters. It is thought the monthly subscription fee for the new BlackBerry streaming music service will undercut the likes of Spotify and Rhapsody.
BlackBerry already offers a download service via a partnership with 7Digital, but the new offer will see it move into the streaming music domain for the first time.
BEYOND OBLIVION CLOSE TO LAUNCHING MUSIC SERVICE
But what is the service itself? We knew Beyond Oblivion was operating in the digital locker space, but that it wasn't quite as simple as the basic online storage facilities for MP3s now offered by Amazon and Google. And that's right. According to the Financial Times, Boinc will be similar to the iMatch service Apple plan to launch, in the US, this autumn, whereby a bit of software scans your own MP3 folders, notes any tracks in there (oblivious of source), and then lets you stream those tracks from your Boinc device at any time without paying a fee or listening to ads.
Also according to the FT, Beyond Oblivion will charge a one-off licence fee to the device maker, which will in turn be bundled into the cost of the device, and a large portion of that money will be passed back to rights owners. In theory labels and publishers will get a royalty every time one of their tracks is played, which means that Boinc's financials are based on the theory that most users will not use the service at full capacity for the whole life of the device, otherwise the company could make a loss.
Boinc is expected to launch in the UK and US first.
BRIAN HARVEY BECOMES CRIME FIGHTER
The video below appeared online last week. It features Harvey quizzing police and staff from Southern Electric on why they're installing a pre-paid meter in his house against his will. Because he didn't pay his electricity bills, they tell him. But, ah, says Brian, the bills were addressed to a Mr H Harvey. Therefore, they should be taking this matter up with that guy, and not poor Brian.
It's some strange logic, but one he seems utterly convinced of.
FOX NEWS MAN APOLOGISES TO CHRIS BROWN
But after reading the avalanche of not-at-all illiterate correspondence from both Brown and his fans that have come his way via the social network since the joke tweet, Levy has now, finally, realised that the Brown/Rihanna incident is all in the past and we really shouldn't talk about it any more. After all, Brown hasn't punched Rihanna once since February 2009, and not just because of the restraining order. And other than that occasion when he smashed up an office at the ABC TV network earlier this year, he's hardly been violent at all.
Quite rightly, Levy issued an apology to Brown for any offence caused on Fox News' 'Red Eye' show last week. Here it is in all its glory: www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOjUKwoHUyw