Music

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Quick draw McGraw

I couldn't name a Tim McGraw song if my life depended on it*, but I applaud the US singer for criticising his own record company for releasing another greatest hits album with just one other album between it and his previous greatest hits collection. McGraw has apologised to his fans, saying he would have preferred another album of new material to come out first. Good on him.
* Mind you, I can't imagine this ever being the case.

Old comics never die ...

... they just get the same "tribute" treatment as pop bands such as Abba (think Bjorn Again and Abbamania), The Beatles, Pink Floyd and The Jam (where the leading tribute act actually includes two-thirds of the original band, but not lead singer-songwriter Paul Weller). As I'm in Glasgow, I've tracked down two Billy Connolly tribute acts here and here. Of course, there are many multi-character impressionists such as Rory Bremner, Mike Yarwood, Jon Culshaw (the guy who played the Tom Baker Doctor Who on Dead Ringers) and Alistair McGowan, but doesn't it seem a little odd to make a living trying to be one other person?
PS: Looking to book a tribute band. This website lists global gigs for acts ranging from early AC/DC imitators Bon/Fire (geddit?) to those evoking the sounds of Van Halen, U2, the Rolling Stones, Kiss, Alice Cooper, Led Zepplin, the Bee Gees, the Beach Boys, Status Quo ... and, of course, Elvis.

Wak's final attack

They were the biggest thing in entertainment in Brisbane in the 1980s, and they've been back together and on the road for the past year or two. But soon music-and-comedy act Wickety Wak really will be calling it quits; and their official website has the group's final tour dates. However, according to their fan club, the band's members won't have much physical evidence to fuel their nostalgia in their dotage. Apparently, somebody at Channel 7 has thrown out all the film and tape of the band - which made several specials and fronted a "Love You Brisbane" campaign for the station. Wait, it gets worse. I'm told that just about everything Channel 7 Brisbane ever produced from 1959 to 1994 got trashed. While TV may have been regarded as an ephemeral medium in its early years, it's hard to imagine that this decision was made in the enlightened 1990s. I'd have thought that somebody would have realised the worth of the material that was tossed into the skip.

Rick's still rolling

1980s pop star Rick Astley has been nominated for his first ever MTV Europe Award and it's all down to mischief-making on the internet. In a jape known as "Rickrolling", webmasters have been tricking visitors to their sites into following links to a video of Astley's hit Never Gonna Give You Up. It's now become something of a cult thing, and Astley will now join the likes of Britney Spears, U2, Christina Aguilera, Green Day and Tokio Hotel in the "best act ever" category at the gong show, which will be held at the Liverpool Echo Arena in England on November 6.
PS: Yes, the show will be held in Liverpool, and yet the Beatles aren't contenders for "best act ever". Some acts must just be too old for the MTV generation.

Britney: she's back (maybe)

"Definitely next year and probably around the world."

That's reportedly how Britney Spears responded when a radio interviewer asked her if she planned any concert dates. I wish her well but, if I were a fan, I wouldn't be holding my breath. In the meantime, her fans do have a new single, Womanizer, to listen to, and an album, Circus, is due on December 2. Oh, and there may soon be a DVD, albeit unauthorised. MTV reports that her former lover, paparazzo Adnan Ghalib, says a sex tape featuring Spears does exist - and he'll sell it for the right price. What a nice guy ...

You sang what?

Remember the Credence Clearwater Revival song, Bad Moon rising, and the immortal line that goes "there's a bathroom on the right"? Or the bit in R.E.M.'s Losing My Religion where they sing "Let's pee in the corner, let's pee in the spotlight"? No? Well, congratulations, you heard right! But misheard lyrics are so common that there's a website devoted to them called Kiss This Guy. The title is, of course, taken from a misheard Jimi Hendrix lyric. Here's some other examples:
+ Madonna - "Like a virgin touched for the thirty-first time." (Er, it's "very first", although Madonna was hardly virginal when she wrote the song.)
+ Nirvana - "Here we are now in containers." ("... entertain us".)
+ Bryan Adams - "Got my first real sex dream, I was 5 at the time." ("Got my first real six string, bought it at the five-and-dime.")
+ Bon Jovi - "It doesn't make a difference if we're naked or not." ("... if we make it or not.")

Amy's stuck for a song

Amy Winehouse's friends reportedly fear she will never release another album. She's been trying for six months and hasn't produced a finished song. Well, she's been busy doing other stuff ...

Biggins gets bigger

Christopher Biggins is one of the many celebrities whose fame hasn't travelled far beyond the British borders. That might be about to change. In collaboration with band The RubyCupids, Biggins, a popular panto dame who often pops up on panel and game shows on TV in the UK, is poised to score a novelty smash hit with the song Bingo Wings. It will come as no surprise to anybody viewing the teaser clip, at right, that Biggins is often described as "flamboyant". You can buy the song here.

Quote of the week

"I got people coming up to me all the time in England. Young girls getting fresh! It's weird, man, them girls just see a star, they don't see an old guy."

- US blues star Seasick Steve (aged 60-something), quoted in The Observer Music Monthly

Farewell, Richard Wright

Founding Pink Floyd member Richard Wright has died at age 65 after a short battle with cancer. The keyboardist wrote or co-wrote several of the band's hits, including The Great Gig in the Sky.

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