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MONKEES PAY TRIBUTE TO DAVY JONES
The Monkees last performed together last year on a reunion tour that came to an abrupt end in August due to issues surrounding tour management. Nonetheless, Jones' bandmate Micky Dolenz told CNN yesterday that those shows had meant the band finished "on a huge high note".
Via his Facebook page Dolenz added: "I am in a state of shock; Davy and I grew up together and shared in the unique success of what became The Monkees phenomenon. The time we worked together and had together is something I'll never forget. He was the brother I never had and this leaves a gigantic hole in my heart. The memories have and will last a lifetime. My condolences go out to his family".
Also speaking via his Facebook page, Peter Tork wrote: "It is with great sadness that I reflect on the sudden passing of my long-time friend and fellow-adventurer, David Jones. His talent will be much missed; his gifts will be with us always. Adios, to the Manchester Cowboy".
Meanwhile, in a statement, Mike Nesmith said: "That David has stepped beyond my view causes me the sadness that it does many of you. I will miss him, but I won't abandon him to mortality. I will think of him as existing within the animating life that insures existence. I will think of him and his family with that gentle regard in spite of all the contrary appearances on the mortal plane. David's spirit and soul live well in my heart, among all the lovely people, who remember with me the good times, and the healing times, that were created for so many, including us. I have fond memories. I wish him safe travels".
FESTIVAL AND LABEL INNOVATORS ADDED TO GREAT ESCAPE CONVENTION PROGRAMME
First up, festivals. In 2006, Bestival founder Rob da Bank interviewed one of the true veterans of the British festival community, Glastonbury's Michael Eavis, at The Great Escape convention in Brighton. This May, both festival chiefs will return to the TGE stage six years on, to discuss how the festival world has developed since 2006.
But this time around other innovators from the British festival community will be invited to join them. After his 'in conversation' with Michael, Rob will join three other inspiring young promoters to discuss the UK festival market, and the challenges and opportunities facing those people pushing the boundaries in large scale music events in 2012.
During the 'Great Festival Conversation', these leading festival chiefs will discuss the ins and outs of their work, how to create and maintain a distinct personality for music events, and how to balance creative ambitions with commercial and logistical realities. Plus they'll be time for picking favourite moments and dream line-ups. With so much festival talent on one stage at one time, this will be a must-see event.
But there's more! Second up, record labels, and also confirmed today is a great panel featuring the founders of four of CMU's very favourite independent record companies. Focusing on the ins and outs of setting up and running a label, this session is aimed at budding entrepreneurs, artists considering self-releasing tracks, or anyone who has ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at smaller music companies. Offering insights will be Alex Fitzpatrick from Holy Roar, Ollie Jacob from Memphis Industries, Matthew Young from Song, By Toad and Robert Luis from Brighton-based Tru Thoughts.
The festival and label focused sessions follow on from the previously reported panels putting the spotlight on music radio, with a discussion on the role of online radio services and podcasting in discovering and championing new talent, a fun debate asking 'what would you do with Radio 1?', and Jon Hillcock in conversation with new music champion John Kennedy, as Xfm celebrates 20 years on air in London.
And that's just the start of it! Look out for fortnightly updates on the convention programme here in the CMU Daily between now and May, with more panels, keynotes and in conversations to be announced. And don't forget, in addition to all this, TGE is a place to do business, and there will be even more networking opportunities at this year's convention, both formal and informal, plus the usual mix of parties for catching up with friends and colleagues old and new.
And then there's the music. Maximo Park and the awesome Africa Express Sound System are already confirmed for the Great Escape's Dome Show programme this year, while Dry The River, Spector, Mystery Jets, Nils Frahm, Friends, Django Django, Rolo Tomassi, Willy Mason, Booka Shade, Alabama Shakes, Natty, Lianne La Havas, EMA, Forest Swords, Madeon, Errors, Foy Vance, Micachu & The Shapes, Maxxi Soundsystem, We Have Band and Loney Dear are just the tip of the iceberg of this year's eclectic and extensive Great Escape festival programme. This interactive poster has the full line up: bit.ly/wFkh3B
A delegates pass gets you into the entire convention plus priority access into festival shows (subject to capacity), and one of those will cost you just £120 if you buy it right now. Meanwhile, rooms are also still available in the official convention hotel - but they are selling out fast. So, what are you waiting for, get to www.escapegreat.com and get in there.
MERLIN SETTLES WITH LIMEWIRE
As much previously reported, after years of litigation in 2010 the US courts finally ruled that the LimeWire company was liable for the mass copyright infringement its P2P file-sharing software enabled, a ruling that forced the Lime Group out of business, despite its efforts to launch a licensed music service. Last May, the RIAA - which had led the legal fight against LimeWire - settled with the P2P firm out of court to the tune of $105 million.
But this still left the independent labels, whose music had also been illegally shared via the file-sharing network. Representing most of the big indies, Merlin began talking with LimeWire even before the RIAA settlement, a plan being hatched that the independents should receive the same damages as the majors, pro rata to their market share. But two months after the settlement between the RIAA and Team Lime, Merlin revealed its talks with the former P2P set up had halted, and litigation followed.
But today Merlin confirmed a satisfactory out of court settlement has now been reached, bringing to an end the indie sector's fight against the former LimeWire business. It's a landmark moment for Merlin, which represents numerous indie labels in the digital domain, because it's the first time independents have benefited after legal action against a major P2P operator. That the indies weren't involved in the big money settlement the majors struck with Kazaa in 2006 was one of the motivating factors for establishing Merlin in the first place.
Confirming the LimeWire settlement, Merlin said in a statement this morning: "With its members' market share in the US alone reported at around 10%, Merlin represents by far the largest and most compelling basket of global independent rights in the world. For services wishing to launch with the most complete musical offering for their consumers, Merlin represents enormous value in streamlining the licensing of this repertoire, which could otherwise involve hundreds of individual negotiations. This settlement is testament to both Merlin's diligence in protecting its members' rights and the value of its member labels' repertoire".
Meanwhile Merlin boss Charles Caldas told CMU: "It is deeply satisfying to announce this settlement today. The exclusion of independents from past major settlements such as Kazaa was a key factor in the formation of Merlin, and I am proud to say that this time, via the actions of Merlin, our members' rights have been properly protected. We will continue to do everything we can to ensure that the labels we represent are never again left out in the cold".
IRISH LABELS ALLOWED TO TAKE THREE-STRIKES BLOCK TO JUDICIAL REVIEW, AS GOVERNMENT MOVES ON WEB BLOCKING
As much previously reported, Ireland's biggest ISP, Eircom, voluntarily introduced a so called graduated response system to combat illegal file-sharing as part of a legal settlement with the country's major record companies. For their part, the labels committed to try to persuade Eircom's rivals to likewise agree to send out warning letters to suspected file-sharers, with the threat of reduced net services if said users continued to access unlicensed content sources, but Ireland's other net firms have so far resisted all calls to do such a thing. It seems likely Eircom's competitors would only comply on three-strikes if forced to do so by new laws, such as those introduced in France and the UK.
Nevertheless, Eircom introduced its three-strikes system. But then Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner started raising concerns about the legalities of the operation, and - after evidence surfaced last year that some warning letters had been sent to the wrong people - ordered it be halted on data protection law grounds.
Both the majors and Eircom subsequently raised formal objections to that DPC ruling, and this week an Irish court gave the former the all clear to take the matter to judicial review. The record companies want a fast-tracked court hearing on the DPC's three-strikes-blocking ruling, and a judge will now consider whether that is appropriate on 12 Mar.
Meanwhile, concurrent to all this, efforts have been ongoing, of course, on the part of the big rights owners to force an actual change to Irish copyright law to better counter online piracy. As previously reported, there has generally been more sympathy in Irish political circles for a web-blocking system that targets the operators of copyright infringing websites, rather than a three-strikes system that targets individual file-sharers. Though, of course, following all the protests against the web-block enabling SOPA proposals in the US, web-blocking too has become a contentious topic, and protests have duly followed in Ireland about web-block plans there.
Nevertheless, the country's Minister For Research & Innovation Sean Sherlock yesterday signed a statutory instrument that introduces new provisions in the web-block domain into Irish copyright law. Quite how those will work isn't yet clear, and Sherlock insists the measures - in development for much of last year - have been altered to deal with protestors' concerns. Given that the Irish record industry recently began legal proceedings against the Irish government claiming it was failing to fulfil European obligations to combat piracy, presumably Sherlock is right to say the final version of the statutory instrument he has just signed is nowhere near as wide-reaching as originally planned.
The minister also hopes to placate web block opponents by launching a new consultation on copyright issues. Though, for the time being at least, it seems that neither side in this debate are happy with the Irish government's latest moves.
DAVY JONES 1945-2012
Born in 1945, Jones' first television role came as a teenager when he played Colin Lomax, Ena Sharples' grandson, in ITV soap opera 'Coronation Street'. Though only a brief appearance, it led to more work in BBC police drama 'Z-Cars', where he played small roles in three episodes.
When his mother died in 1960, Jones gave up acting and returned to his chosen career path, training as a jockey. However, his retirement from show business was only temporary, and in 1963 he was chosen to play the Artful Dodger in West End musical 'Oliver!', subsequently moving with the rest of the cast to New York when it transferred to Broadway.
In 1964, the cast of 'Oliver!' appeared on 'The Ed Sullivan Show'. An edition focussing on British culture, a then new pop group called The Beatles were also invited to perform. This was a major moment for Jones, who later said that it was seeing the reaction to the band (particularly by female members of the audience) that made him want to be a pop star.
Now a Tony Award nominated actor, he signed a deal with Columbia Pictures' television division Screen Gems and took a number of guest roles in TV shows, as well as launching a brief solo career as a singer. At the time, Screen Gems was developing a new programme for children, which would follow the lives of a Beatles-inspired pop group called The Monkees.
Invited to audition to be one of the "four insane boys" who would make up the cast, Jones was chosen along with folk guitarists Peter Tork and Michael Nesmith, and fellow child actor Micky Dolenz. Although the others were American, Jones had the benefit of a Manchester accent, which was easily mistaken for Liverpudlian by most of the show's US audience, who were hungry for anything vaguely Beatles-related.
When it was decided which instruments the band members would play, faced with three accomplished guitarists and bassists, Jones was initially put on drums. But his short stature meant the camera couldn't see him behind the kit, so he was replaced by Dolenz. This left Jones free to take lead vocals on many of the band's songs (not an especially popular choice amongst his bandmates), including their biggest hit 'Daydream Believer'.
The show aired from 1966 to 1968 and spawned a number of albums and tours. After it was cancelled, the band made a film, 'Head', which was produced by a then relatively unknown Jack Nicholson. A psychedelic, often confusing movie it was not a commercial success, though it still has a cult following and its soundtrack, particularly 'Porpoise Song' written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, is considered by many to be one of the band's finest moments.
Tork and Nesmith quit after the release of 'Head', while Jones and Dolenz recorded one more album as The Monkees, 'Changes', in 1970, before throwing in the towel themselves the following year.
Despite tensions within the band (furthered, in part, by Nesmith and Tork's sometime resentment that the pop venture had derailed their previously more credible musical careers), they reunited at various points in subsequent years, both to record and tour. Most recently they embarked on a 45th anniversary tour of the US last year, but called a halt to it early. No clear reason was ever given for this, though both Dolenz and Tork have hinted at issues with management.
Following The Monkees' original split in 1971, Jones continued to work as a solo performer throughout the rest of his life, as well as occasionally acting in film and TV.
He is survived by his third wife Jessica, and four daughters from his previous marriages.
NME AWARDS PRESENTED
For those who did attend but can't remember a thing about the evening, let me remind you that Kasabian and the Foo Fighters were declared the best bands in Britain and the world respectively, while The Vaccines are the best new band, The Horrors made the best album, and Florence Welch the best song, if NME readers are to be believed, and why wouldn't you trust NME readers?
Justin Bieber beat David Cameron to the Villain Of The Year crown, probably for his role in excluding the poor from higher education, screwing up the NHS and letting those evil bankers do whatever the fuck they like. And you thought Bieber's biggest crime was his cover of 'Santa Clause Is Coming To Town'. The teen star also picked up Worst Album, while One Direction were named Worst Group, in the traditional "NME readers pick the most successful mainstream pop acts of the moment and diss them" moment.
So that's nice. Here's your full list of NME winners.
Hero Of The Year: Matt Bellamy
Best Album: Horrors, Skying
Best Festival: Glastonbury
Best Album Artwork: Friendly Fires - Pala
Villain Of The Year: Justin Bieber
IMPALA ANNOUNCES EUROPEAN INDEPENDENT ALBUM OF THE YEAR
IMPALA's Executive Chair Helen Smith doesn't agree though, telling CMU: "The ability of this exceptional album to touch so many people all over the world, is such an achievement for a European artist and makes '21'" the well-deserved winner for this year's award, whilst the complete list of 23 nominees demonstrate once again the diversity and vitality of the independent sector all over Europe".
Adele added: "Yeah! All the fucking awards are mine! You got an award? I'll have it. I don't give a fuck". Then she threw her middle finger in the air and stormed off. Well, she did in my head, anyway.
Meanwhile, in a bid to big up some independently released music from people not called Adele, here's the full shortlist...
Adele - 21 (XL Recordings)
AZEALIA BANKS HEATS UP MIA, STYLES P COLLABORATIONS
Banks tweeted earlier this week that she "has something cooking" with MIA - who, being so fond of the odd manual swear, seems a natural fit for Azealia's own profanity-prone verbal style.
Staying with the 'heat' wordplay, as any rapper worth their thematic salt should, Banks also said she had been "working on some fire" with D-Block rhymer Styles P. I assume that means more 'creative spark' than actual arson, but who knows?
As previously reported, 'Broke With Expensive Taste' is due out via Polydor on 25 Mar.
DENT MAY DETAILS LP
The album's tracklisting, plus an audio bonus in the freewheeling form of 'Fun', are here:
CEE LO GREEN PREPARING "CRAZY" MEMOIR
It will be co-written by Rolling Stone's David Wild, and of the memoir Cee Lo says this: "FORGET YOU? After reading my book, there will be no doubt that I am meant to be. You will enter into the supernatural, the surreal and the extraordinary. As Cee Lo Green, aka 'everybody's brother', I will make you a believer. I talk about art imitating life; YOU discover CRAZY".
Good luck with that project Mr Wild, you have my deepest respect.
AUSTRA ANNOUNCE TOUR
4 Jun: Glasgow, Berkley Suites
FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE
BEATHERDER, Gisburn, Lancashire, 29 Jun-1 Jul: Fresh Beatherder additions Lee Scratch Perry, Death In Vegas, Mr Scruff & MC Kwasi and Goldie will join Nathan Fake, Pariah, King Charles, D/R/U/G/S and Ellen And The Escapades alongside headliners Orbital on Beatherder's bill, with more acts performing across the festival's eleven stages yet to be named. www.beatherder.co.uk
CAMBRIDGE FOLK FESTIVAL, Cherry Hinton Hall, Cambridge, 26-29 Jul: Roy Harper, Seth Lakeman, Pine Leaf Boys, Law and Jim Moray's Silent Ceilidh make up just a fraction of the acts just added to Cambridge's premier folk fest, joining Clannad, The Proclaimers, June Tabor, Oysterband, Billy Bragg and Joan Armatrading on the bill. www.cambridgefolkfestival.co.uk
FRANKFEST, Jabez Clegg Beer Hall, Manchester, 31 Mar: The Fall and Badly Drawn Boy will front this live music drive to raise funds for a statue of papier-mache comic character Frank Sidebottom, aka the late Chirs Sievey, who died in 2010. The event will also feature copious melon-twisting courtesy of a DJ set from Bez of The Happy Mondays. www.facebook.com/events/302609449768482/
FUTURE EVERYTHING, various venues, Manchester, 16-19 May: Billed as a celebration of "art, music and ideas", Manchester will this year invite Amon Tobin and his AV 'ISAM' spectacle to its annual Future Everything happening. Sets by Matthew Herbert, Levon Vincent, John Talabot, plus a Tri Angle label showcase featuring Holy Other, Vessel and The Haxan Cloak only enhance a promising initial line-up. www.futureeverything.org
GHOSTFEST, Leeds University Students' Union, Leeds, 30 Jun-1 Jul: This fast-growing hardcore and metalfest plans to pack Emmure, All Shall Perish, Comeback Kid, Defeater, Silent Screams, Polar and Continents onto its all-day programme, which features three stages sponsored by Monster Energy Drink and fashion brands Impericon and Time Will Tell. www.impericon.com/uk/ghostfest.html
PINKPOP, Landgraaf, The Netherlands, 26-28 May: Linkin Park, Bombay Bicycle Club, Seasick Steve, Chase & Status, Mastodon and Keane head a raft of artists storming onto Pinkpop's 2012 billing, joining Soundgarden, Mumford & Sons, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band and The Cure. www.pinkpop.nl
SLAM DUNK, Leeds University/University Of Hertfordshire, 27 May: The Blackout, The Word Alive, I See Stars, Motion City Soundtrack, Hit The Lights and Lower Than Atlantis form the latest portion of acts visiting both of Slam Dunk's twin events, joining earlier bookings Taking Back Sunday, Architects, Every Time I Die, Set Your Goals, The King Blues, and Make Do And Mend on a crowded rock roster. www.slamdunkmusic.com/slam-dunk-festival
SOUTH WEST FOUR, Clapham Common, London, 25-26 Aug: Fratstep type Skrillex proves a noisesome inductee to SW4's weekend call-sheet following his being named Saturday headliner. Carl Cox, Erick Morillo and John Digweed are aforementioned fixtures of a bill crowned by closing supremos Chase & Status. www.southwestfour.com
WILDERNESS FESTIVAL, Cornbury Park Estate, Oxfordshire, 10-12 Aug: Now in its second year of existence, Wilderness will accommodate acts including Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Spiritualized, Wilco, Lianne La Havas, Cloud Control, Field Music, Milagres and Stornoway amidst its twice-as-nice 2012 programme. www.ildernessfestival.com
KID CUDI CONDEMNS "WEAK ASS" UNIVERSAL REPUBLIC OVER WZRD ALBUM
Taking to Twitter to air his grievances (namely, that only 55,000 copies of the album had been shipped prior to its release), Cudi wrote: "Okay so just a heads up, my weak ass label treated this like some indie side-project tax write-off. So I apologise on behalf of my weak ass major label. And I apologise for the lack of promo [and], again, my weak ass major label".
He added that Universal had tried to "rush through" the WZRD venture to prompt Cudi to make a new solo album, a third instalment of his 'Man On The Moon' franchise. But, says Cudi, "fuck that, the next album is WZRD. MOTM3 on hold til 2014".
So limited was the WZRD LP's distribution, alleges Cudi, real name Scott Mescudi, that even he wasn't given a copy of the finished record. "I gotta go out and find one too, because my weak ass label never even gave us a copy of our own album. FAIL! I'm letting Universal Republic have it, fuck it. What they gon do, spank me?"
Well, presumably it wouldn't hurt even if the label did dish out a spanking, it being so 'weak ass' and all.
RADIOHEAD AND EDEN SESSIONS JOIN UP WITH TICKET TRUST
The Association Of Independent Festivals launched the Ticket Trust last year, in partnership with D2F company Sandbag, in response to growing resentment in some quarters about the secondary market, where commercial touts - and according to 'Dispatches', some promoters directly - resell tickets to in-demand tours and festivals at large mark ups.
The touting in the mainstream secondary market, some feel, tarnishes the legitimate facility resale sites offer, for fans who can no longer attend a show or festival to sell their tickets on to other fans. And to that end the Ticket Trust aims to provide that service without the touting.
A number of independent festivals utilised the Ticket Trust service last year, and this morning Radiohead joined the party, appointing the website as the sanctioned platform where their fans should resell tickets to any future shows if they are unable to attend after purchase. Meanwhile Eden Sessions is the latest festival to also appoint the site as its official resale partner.
Confirming their support for the Ticket Trust, Radiohead's management told reporters: "Radiohead are fortunate enough to have a loyal and passionate fan base cultivated over many years. Their live shows are well anticipated and rightly create a tangible sense of excitement through innovative staging. In recent years however, the band's enjoyment of their own shows has been marred by the knowledge that a great many of their fans have been obliged to pay well over face value for their tickets. Secondary ticketing is wrong on so many levels and as management, with ultimate responsibility for the welfare of the band, we must ensure that their fans are treated fairly. This is why we are happy to work with The Ticket Trust".
Meanwhile John Empson from The Eden Sessions told CMU: "The 'Dispatches' documentary on secondary ticketing further establishes the vital role of the Ticket Trust in establishing a fair market place for the public. The Eden Sessions fully supports the Ticket Trust and we will be encouraging our ticket holders to trade unwanted tickets there and not at sites that charge prohibitively high premiums. We respect our customers and giving them the chance to resell unwanted tickets at a fair price further endorses that".
Meanwhile AIF co-founder Ben Turner told CMU: "The Ticket Trust was created by AIF with Sandbag, who work closely with Radiohead, and we're delighted to now confirm that the band will use our face-value ticket exchange on forthcoming tour dates. There can be no greater response to the recent media spotlight on the secondary ticketing market than this development. AIF welcomes other bands and managers to join the Ticket Trust as the music industry finally starts to look within to put its house in order".
The Ticket Trust is at www.thetickettrust.com
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EMI NASHVILLE CHIEF CONFIRMS MOVE TO UNIVERSAL
Confirming the new appointment, Universal top man Lucian Grainge told reporters: "UMG is committed to expanding opportunities for artists on [Nashville's] Music Row and Mike's appointment is testament to that fact. He is one of music's most formidable creative executives, whose determination, talent and passion for music have given rise to the careers of countless superstar artists. We're delighted to welcome him to the UMG family".
Dungan himself added: "I am thrilled to join the Universal team, honoured to represent the fine roster of artists under the storied MCA, Mercury, and Lost Highway labels, and proud to have the opportunity to expand on the great legacy that Luke Lewis has built".
Of course, by the end of the year Dungan could again find himself overseeing EMI's country music operations, assuming Universal's bid to buy the EMI record companies gets regulator approval. Possibly anticipating that fact, it looks like EMI won't replace Dungan in the short term, with the boss of the major's other main Nashville-based business, EMI Christian Music Group Bill Hearn, getting overall responsibility for the company's Capitol Nashville unit, with Dungan's former number two Tom Becci leading on a day to day basis.
FORMER HMV LIVE MAN JOINS TICKETSCRIPT
Confirming his new role, Legg told CMU: "I'm really chuffed to be joining ticketscript as they firmly establish themselves in the UK. Their innovative and ambitious plans for the UK event market made it an obvious target for an exciting next role. I hope I can fully exploit my experience and add value to ticketscript's mission".
Meanwhile Ticketscript CEO Frans Jonker added: "We are delighted to welcome Jason to the Ticketscript team. Not only will he bring extensive industry experience, but his knowledge of the UK events and ticketing market will enable us to continue to expand our market share in the United Kingdom".
SONY APPOINTS NEW GLOBALLY-FOCUSED DIGITAL EXEC
Confirming the appointment, Michael Paull, Executive VP for the Sony unit, told reporters: "In this role, Andre will support our US label groups and international business operations by identifying new opportunities and generating global deals to foster additional revenue growth with both new and existing partners. I am very happy to have Andre serving in this important function as we further expand and enhance our digital business worldwide. He knows how to collaborate with our key global partners to help forge new revenue streams, and he understands how to work across our labels and global businesses to maximise our opportunities".
Former management consultant Stapleton joined Sony Music in 2006, and has had various digitally-focused roles there, most recently Senior Director of International Digital Business Development.
BMG BUYS R2M
Confirming the latest takeover deal, which adds 12,000 copyrights to his company's catalogues, BMG boss Hartwig Masuch told CMU: "R2M had assembled a high quality catalogue of outstanding copyrights and we are delighted to be able to extend our services to their writers. We are confident we will do a great job for them".
FACEBOOK LAUNCHES TIMELINE FOR PAGES, DUMPS DEFAULT LANDING TABS
Although apps installed on pages will still be available to access, it will no longer be possible to set them as the first page users who have not yet 'liked' the page see when they click through to it. For many companies and artists, these default tabs have been used as a way to drive new 'likes', with some bands offering access to music or other content in exchange for a 'like'.
Despite this, RootMusic remained optimistic about the changes today, saying: "Timeline creates a lot of new opportunities for BandPage, and we are very excited to bring you new features and additions that will make BandPage even more useful for musicians and fans".
And if you want to see what the new Timeline looks like, oh look, we've gone and got one: www.facebook.com/cmuhq
BRYAN ADAMS MAKES SUBMISSION TO PHASE TWO OF LEVESON INQUIRY
This module, which began on Monday, may well uncover why the Metropolitan Police chose to turn a blind eye to all the phone hacking going on at the News Of The World, even once they were sitting on evidence about who at the now defunct Sunday tabloid had been involved. But it is also already throwing up all sorts of other allegations about the ways in which editors and journalists at the NOTW and its sister title The Sun worked with the police, allegedly accessing confidential information from officers for cash. The ramifications of these allegations are arguably much more significant than tabloid hacks listening into the voicemail messages of the rich and famous.
And while not as celeb-filled as phase one, Leveson Stage Two has already enjoyed a little bit of rock and pop courtesy of a written submission from one Bryan Adams. He tells the Inquiry how three years ago he contacted London police after being stalked by a woman near his Chelsea home. A few days later The Sun ran a news story about the alleged stalker. The rocker says that while he has no tangible proof, only his PA and the police had been told about the stalking problem, so he is convinced The Sun got the story from a dodgy copper.
In his written submission, Adams writes: "I was shocked to discover that news of the stalking was reported in The Sun. I had not consented to this information being made public and I was very annoyed that what I saw as a private issue was being reported without my knowledge or consent. Although I have no proof, and therefore it is of course speculation, I do not believe that there could be any other explanation [for that story appearing] than the fact that the source must have been someone related to my call to the police".
He added: "I can see no public interest in this being reported. It was not even accurate - [it claimed] a panic alarm had been installed at my house [when one hadn't been]. I do not see why the fact that I am a well-known musician should justify anyone leaking this story. I would much prefer it not to be known that I was stalked at my home in Chelsea. In my view it is no one else's business and could create the risk of copycat crime. If information of this sort is to be released, it should be done so for proper public interest reasons, not to satisfy a desire for gossip".
As the second and possibly more damning stage of Leveson swung into action, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp announced that Murdoch Junior, former record industry exec Jimmy Murdoch (yes people, the Jim-ster started out in the music industry), was relinquishing his role as Executive Chairman of the firm's UK newspaper business, but that he would retain all his other News Corp posts, now operating from a New York base.
Although he took over at News International after the era of prolific phone hacking at the News Of The World, the subsequent cover up happened on Junior's watch, which is arguably the bigger scandal. Though yesterday News Corp was doing what it could to spin the shift in James Murdoch's responsibilities as being a logical career development, and not a desperate bit of damage limitation.
PARIS JACKSON DENIES SHE BELIEVES IMPERSONATOR APPEARED ON POSTHUMOUS MICHAEL JACKSON ALBUM
Well, the pop star's daughter Paris has been brought into that story, somewhat late in the day, thanks to a conversation she had with a friend in 2010, which for some reason was captured on video. In it Paris talks with said friend about one of the tracks on that album, 'Hold My Hand', and claims that not all the vocals are really her father's, adding that Jackson impersonator Jason Malachi was brought in to fill the gaps.
According to TMZ, in the video Paris is asked why the vocals in that song sound different, to which she replies: "It's not him [her father]. The whole album isn't even him. Go online, go on YouTube and look up Jason Malachi. That's him. I should know if it's him [Michael Jackson] or not, because he would sing to me all the time".
According to reports, a copy of the video conversation is being shopped around various media outlets. But Paris has already taken to Twitter to deny she believes there are fake vocals on her late father's last record. She tweets: "People should know by now not to believe the media when it comes down to TMZ talking about my family. 'Hold My Hand' IS my dad actually singing".