CMU Daily - on the inside 2 Aug 2002
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In 1986 the classic Bangles track ‘Manic Monday’ was kept of the US number one by the even more classic Prince track ‘Kiss’. Why was that a tad ironic? Answer on Monday.


The Manic Street Preachers have been confirmed as the new headliners of the NME stage at this year’s V2002. After Travis had to pull out of the festival due to Neil Primrose’s back injury, former NME stage headliners The Chemical Brothers moved into the empty headline slot on the main stage alongside Stereophonics. Now The Manics will play the NME stage as they warm-up for their greatest hits tour in December. V2002 Festival Director, Bob Angus told "We’re really pleased to have secured the performance of such a high profile headliner for the NME Stage this year. The Manic Street Preachers are one of the UK’s most important bands and top off the bill very nicely, alongside the other major Welsh rock band, Stereophonics who headline the V Stage. V2002 is all set to be the best V festival yet." Fellow director Simon Moran added: "The Manic Street Preachers headlined V99 and it’s great to welcome them back for V2002. It’s given V a bit of a Welsh theme, with both Stereophonics and the Manics, two of Wales’ biggest exports headlining stages at the festival!"


The latest RAJAR radio ratings deliver some bad news for BBC Radio 1 whose Sara Cox breakfast show has shed in the region of a million listeners in the last year. The DJ currently attracts a weekly average of 6.9 million listeners - down 900,000 on the peak she reached in the summer of 2001. But BBC bosses have defended their flagship show, arguing last summer’s figures were exceptionally high and the current stats are around what they would expect – especially as breakfast time World Cup matches meant less people were listening to music radio in the mornings during June this year. This would seem to be backed up by sister station BBC Radio Five Live’s figures whose world cup coverage saw their audience rise by almost a million in the last year to 6.7 million a week. Cox was overtaken by BBC Radio 2's Terry Wogan as the UK's most popular breakfast DJ earlier this year, and it’s a lead he maintains with an average of 7.4 million over-15-year-olds tuning into Wogan on weekday mornings. And the unstoppable BBC Radio 2 continued the success story of recent years with a record audience of more than 13 million. Some stations felt the football had helped them - Classic FM admited their average audience rise of 360,000 had a lot to do with listeners trying to escape the World Cup. "At a time when sports stations such as Radio Five Live have picked up listeners with their World Cup coverage, those who are not so interested in football have come to Classic FM for something a little different," the stations managing editor Darren Henley commented.


Paul McCartney is to feature among the five people to receive this year's Kennedy Center Honors, a US awards programme which recognises artists for their lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts. Actors Elizabeth Taylor, James Earl Jones and Chita Rivera, and Metropolitan Opera artistic director James Levine will also be honoured at a ceremony on 7 Dec in Washington. Announcing the nominees awards chairman James A Johnson described McCartney as "one of the most prolific and influential songwriters of our era." It is unusual for a Brit to win one of these awards – with past musical winners including Americans Willie Nelson, Stevie Wonder, Chuck Berry and Quincy Jones


Spiritualized founder Jason Pierce has told a music website in Australia that stories that he fired band mates Sean Cook and Damon Reece before recording ‘Let It Come Down’ are untrue. He told Undercover: "Cook and Reece are very bitter, fair enough. I can see how they would be very bitter. But to be honest, the only reason it was reported that way was because they put an album together [as Lupine Howl] and used the story to promote the album".

Pierce doesn’t deny friction though. "We weren't covering any new ground. I'm not a particularly reactive person. It got that it was very difficult to keep the band going with the members as it were. The way they wanted to turn the band around didn't fit with the philosophy of where the band came from. I went as far as I could with where they wanted to go but it was like they wanted to cash in. After you cash something in, the only goal you can have after that is how much cash can you make. No matter how much money you make after that you can't buy back your original ideals. The others demanded we only do gigs that paid the big money or we would only do deals that were financially beneficial to everyone”. The result was, Pierce says, that the original band line up parted company, though he disputes that he actually sacked anyone.

Pierce and the new Spiritualized line up are now working on a new album. "I think the band at the moment is absolutely on fire. The next album is going to be more about documenting the way we all play. I've been constructing an album with French horn arrangements and that is part to do with how great the band sounds but also I was asked to play guitar with Evan Parker, Kenny Wheeler and Paul Rutherford who are absolute giants of European improvised music. It just threw me somewhat that you could produce music over three days in a room and have people listening to what is going down and responding to it. It is definitely where we are going for the next record".


Noel Gallagher was nearly left out of Oasis’ US Tour when he lost his passport shortly before the band were due to leave the country. Luckily for the band and their US fanbase some speedy reactions at the US embassy in the UK meant a visa could be rushed through. Gallagher realised he had lost his passport shortly before he was due to take off for the first show of Oasis' American tour in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Although he had a spare passport tucked away at his management company (as is common for many bands apparently) that set of papers no longer had a working visa for the US. Had he gone the normal route it would have taken six weeks to process a new visa. An Oasis spokesperson said: "These things can take up to six weeks but the staff managed to turn it around in just two hours. Time was against the band and they are really grateful to the US Embassy for doing it so quickly. If they hadn't been so quick, we don't know what the band would have done." She added that she was certain the band would dedicate their first show on Friday to the US embassy for making it happen.


The owner of the Daily Mail has moved closer to a full takeover of UK radio major GWR, by buying out its Australian radio operations. Daily Mail & General Trust paid to acquire GWR's interests in an Australian radio operation in return for new shares in GWR - this takes the publisher's stake in GWR to 29.9% - the maximum allowed before it has to launch a full bid. "Is this a further tightening of the noose or a simplification of the relationship between the two groups allowing DMG an exit in time? We suspect the former," Merill Lynch analyst Steve Liechti told the Media Guardian.

Although DMGT has long been rumoured as a possible buyer for GWR, the group’s finance director Peter Williams, has said it is unlikely to make any major moves into radio before the communications bill, which covers cross-media ownership, becomes law.

GWR hoped the sale of its stake in a network of 31 Australian stations would help cut its heavy debt load, though the deal was met with a lukewarm reception by the city because the sale valued the stake in the Aus business at a smaller figure than had been expected.

What complete ownership of GWR by the Daily Mail group would mean for programming is unclear – GWR is already one of the most corporate and commercial of the UK radio groups so there is a chance new ownership would have little effect on programme style. That said, any financial demands from new investors might mean a further reduction in local services as more and more parts of local stations get centralised.


The international recording industry has welcomed the decision by international police organisation Interpol to create a working group to handle investigations into intellectual property (or IP) crimes. They say the move recognises the involvement of serious and organised criminal involvement in IP crimes and the need for industry to work in close cooperation with police, customs and other enforcement authorities to combat it.

The new group will deal with intellectual property theft across the board, covering clothes, trainers, medicines, machine parts, CDs and books to mention but a few. Piracy is a big issue for the record industry trade bodies, of course, with recent reports suggesting two in every five recordings sold globally are pirate copies. The working group will function as a forum for the exchange of information on IP offences, it will facilitation investigations around the world and will also offer training support in the area to any officials working on IP cases. The group will draw its membership from public and private sectors including the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.

Ron Noble, Interpol's Secretary General told reporters: "Interpol recognises the extensive involvement of organised crime and terrorist groups in intellectual property crimes. There is a real need for facilitation and coordination of international police efforts in combating this criminality, which operates across international borders and has very serious consequences for the public. Working in partnership with customs authorities, international agencies and the private sector, Interpol will provide an effective response to this growing threat."

Iain Grant, IFPI at Head of Enforcement added: "We warmly welcome this initiative. Ultimately, the way to effectively fight the spread of music piracy, and dismantle the criminal enterprises behind it, is to work in partnership with international police, customs and other enforcement authorities."

More info from Fiona Harley at the IFPI London office on 020 7878 7900.


Ozzy Osbourne will make an earlier return to Ozzfest than originally expected. He wasn’t expected to rejoin the tour until 22 Aug, but the latest word is he will be back in time for the 7 Aug date at Clarkston, Michigan. Word is that Osbourne nearly passed out at Sharon's first chemotherapy session, prompting his wife to send him back out on the road!

Meanwhile, always in the limelight these days, Kelly Osbourne is reportedly in talks to star in Walt Disney's remake of its 1976 comedy ‘Freaky Friday’. The 2003 remake has already confirmed Annette Bening and Lindsay Lohan to star as the mother and daughter who switch bodies after wishing away their dull and humdrum lives. Osbourne is apparently vying for the role of Lohan's best friend.


Radiohead are using audience reaction to pick the tracks for their next album. The band has been showcasing 16 new songs during their tour of Southern Europe, and will continue to try out new material at seven more shows in Spain. The tunes the crowds react to most favorably are likely appear on Radiohead's next LP, a spokesperson for the band said. Radiohead have said they hope to have the album ready for release in March next year.

Since the first Lisbon show on 22 Jul various fan websites have posted MP3s of the new live material. The band told fans they had no problem with people downloading the tracks, but EMI Germany, who release the Parlophone band’s music over there, has recently filed a law suit against various fan sites for offering the songs.


Answer to Thursday’s pop quiz:
What was special about Al Martino’s single ‘Here Is My Heart’ back in 1952?
It was the first ever number one based on record sales.

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