CMU Daily - on the inside 16 Sep 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Johnny Ramone loses his fight with cancer
- Ofcom may force BBC to share radio archive
- Kelis rushed to hospital
- Flyposting put to the test in London
- Macca sacks PR
- Loads of cash raised in Johnny's auction
- iTunes accused of ripping-off UK customers
- Gallagher records with Gervais
- Spector renews innocence claims
- Mercury Rev announce dates
- Bacharach collaborates with Dre
- Bedingfield's songs stolen
- Boys plan extra Ordinary show
- Song BMG do well in FT analysis
- Elton gets stamped
- Recordstore launch Teeshirtstore
- Craig 4 Jamelia



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Johnny Ramone died yesterday aged 55 after a long fight against cancer. The Ramones guitarist, real name John Cummings, died at his LA home surrounded by his friends and family after a five year battle with prostate cancer. He will be cremated at a private service later today, a public tribute is also planned.

Johnny is the third member of the legendary punk band to die in the past few years. Singer Joey Ramone, real name Jeff Hyman, died in 2001 from lymphatic cancer. Bass player Dee Dee Ramone, real name Douglas Colvin, died of a drug overdose the following year. Tommy Ramone is now the only surviving member of the original line-up.

News of Johnny's cancer emerged last year when he was admitted to an LA hospital with an infection related to the illness. It was hoped he might recover after beginning an experimental therapy treatment, but in the end he failed to beat the disease.

A music event raising money for cancer charities was staged last Sunday to mark the 30th anniversary of the Ramones, featuring performances from the likes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Henry Rollins. Johnny spoke to the audience at the event after being telephoned live on stage by Rob Zombie.


OfCom boss Stephen Carter has told the radio industry he might force the BBC to open up its vast radio archives, giving commercial stations the rights to broadcast classic comedies, dramas, sports events and music recordings.

Carter says more than 750,000 programmes currently sit in the BBC archives, vastly more than could ever be made available via the BBC's own network of radio stations - even with the advent of digital services like BBC7 and their on-demand web radio service. He says that if commercial digital stations were able to access those archives it would help drive bigger audiences to digital radio, as well as providing the BBC with an extra revenue stream to support new programmes.

Carter does not go as far as former Sky boss Tony Ball, who once told the Edinburgh TV Festival that the Beeb should have to sell off all of its mainstream brands to commercial players. However Carter is keen to see the Corporation open up its archives, and if necessary might push for such a move to be made an obligation when the BBC renews its charter in 2006.

Talking of digital radio, which we will be at the Music Works convention on 29 Oct don't forget (, OfCom have said they will not rush into setting a switch-off date for analogue radio signals, despite being keen to get the switch-off of analogue TV broadcasts under way.

Speaking to an industry audience, Carter said that a deadline for analogue radio switch-off wouldn't be helpful just yet, pointing out that the number of households with digital radio is still tiny, while over half of households have digital TV. Of course, many people use those digital TVs to tune into digital radio stations, and digital radio is starting to gain pace - meaning some of those commercial players who are investing heavily in digital radio won't be too happy by Carter's "take it slowly" approach. That said, those commercial players bidding for the new analogue licences still being advertising by OfCom might be less keen to talk about when the licences they are yet to win (or even apply for) will become obsolete.


Kelis has been rushed to hospital in Switzerland after suffering from an allergic reaction. According to The Sun, the singer began choking at a restaurant in Zurich. It is thought she didn't tell the chef about her nut allergy. A friend said: "Her face went red and puffy and she started spluttering for air.
It's dreadful to think what could have happened - people can be killed by bad reactions to nuts."


The future of fly posting in London will be put to the test on Friday when four staff members from ambient marketing firm Diabolical Liberties go to court to face allegations their role in organising flyposting campaigns constitutes anti-social behaviour.

As previously reported, the court case follows legal threats by two London local authorities who have been trying to find a way to stop flyposting for years. They hope that by having flyposting classified as anti-social behaviour they can secure anti-social behaviour orders against people involved in flyposting campaigns - meaning those individuals could face prison if they continue to flypost.

Threatened with such anti-social behaviour orders by Camden and Westminster councils, most media and entertainment companies in London have pledged to stop flyposting. However Diabolical Liberties, who coordinate flyposting campaigns, have decided to fight the councils. They claim their role in flyposting does not constitute anti-social behaviour, particularly as, they argue, they have been trying to persuade Camden Council to launch a regulated street poster system for some time.

Diabolical Liberties claim such proposals are very socially responsible, but have been so far met with resistance by the local authority.

The courts will decide whether flyposting, or more to the point Diabolical Liberties' role in organising flyposting campaigns, is anti-social behaviour at London's Highbury Corner Magistrates Court tomorrow afternoon.

Camden Council yesterday alerted journalists of the start time of the court case (2pm) in case they wanted to attend. Of course if they wanted a really big crowd for the proceedings I find a flyposting campaign is the best way to get a big audience.


Paul McCartney has sacked his publicist of 15 years, Geoff Baker. According to the BBC, the former Beatle has said he made the move because the "professional standards" of Baker, a longtime friend as well as PR guru, had fallen in recent months.

McCartney told reporters: "I find it very sad that after years of friendship, my publicist Geoff Baker and I are parting. Over the past few months, his behaviour has not reached the professional standards I had come to expect from Geoff and it is with regret that I am forced to end our relationship. It is particularly sad that he has chosen to attempt to implicate my wife Heather in this business and I can say now that she has had absolutely nothing to do with this. In fact, she has always been a great supporter of his. This is purely between Geoff and myself and I am sad to see it end in this way."

In September last year, McCartney "jokingly" sacked Baker following an incident during a visit to David Blaine's box on London's South Bank. Baker admitted he had "stupidly" tipped off a photographer about the visit. Macca sacked him on the spot but later reinstated him. Police investigated allegations of assault following an alleged fracas with a photographer at the scene, but no proceedings were brought due to a lack of evidence.

Baker, a former newspaper reporter, declined to comment.


Items belonging to the late Johnny Cash fetched $1.2m (£692,000) on the first day at auction in New York on Tuesday. Sotheby's had originally estimated the three-day sale would raise about $1.5m, but the final total is now likely to exceed that.

A custom-made acoustic guitar - expected to reach $20,000 (£11,650) - sold for $131,200 (£73,200). Other items to fetch more than the expected prices were a photo of Elvis Presley given to Cash's wife, inscribed "June, I love you", which sold for $18,000 (£10,000) and pair of silver Tiffany centrepieces which made £42,000 (£23,300). A striped prisoner's jacket, presented to Cash by a warden after he performed at Folsome Prison, sold for $6,000 (£3,350).

Still up for sale at the auction, which ends later today, are several of Cash's trademark black jackets, a 1987 Rolls Royce and the grand piano featured in Cash's last video, 'Hurt'.

The sale's proceeds will go to Cash's estate.


Apple's iTunes has been accused by a consumer rights group of overcharging British users.
The Consumers' Association says the download platform charges UK-based customers nearly 20% more than those in France or Germany, and has called on trading standard authorities to check if the computer company are violating European competition rules. However, Apple argue they set their UK prices in accordance with their rivals in the digital music sector there.

The Consumers' Association's allegations are based on the fact that UK customers are charged 79 pence to download a track, while in France and Germany a track costs 99 euro cents, the equivalent of 67 pence. A spokesman for the consumer rights body told the BBC: "There appears to be considerable evidence that the iTunes set up is prejudiced against the UK public and distorts the very basis of the single market. If the OFT agrees it will be another example of the rip-off culture that the British public are often victims of."

But an Apple spokeswoman denied any wrong doing saying: "The underlying economic model in each country has an impact on how we price our track downloads. That's not unusual - look at the price of CDs in the US versus the UK. We believe the real comparison to be made is with the price of other track downloads in the UK."


Noel Gallagher has taken time out from writing the new Oasis album to record a novelty record with David Brent. According to Xfm, Gallagher recently went into the studio with Gervais to record a version of the song 'Free Love
Freeway', which the 'funny man' performed as Brent in the first series of 'The Office'. The new version was unveiled during a lecture Gervais was giving at the Cine Lumiere in Kensington, West London, and is intended for inclusion as a special feature on the new DVD version of 'The Office' , though no official single release is planned. Gervais said: "We've tried to make it as serious as possible. And to make it as close as possible to how it would be if this were released as a record."


Record producer Phil Spector has again repeated his claims of innocence in the ongoing investigation into how b-movie actress Lana Clarkson came to be shot dead in the legendary producer's home back in Feb 2003. As previously reported, investigators reckon it was murder, Spector maintains itwas suicide.

Speaking at an LA Court which was hearing the charges against him, Spector told reporters: "There was no crime committed and there never was a crime committed and that's all I have to say."

On his newly appointed lawyer Bruce Cutler, who is most famous for defended Mafia boss John Gotti, Spector added: "I think Bruce Cutler is a genius...(a) brilliant, brilliant attorney, and I chose him and... we... are going to produce a victory".


Long term CMU favourites Mercury Rev have confirmed details of three UK shows for later this year. The band are also planning a download-only single in early November. Mercury Rev, who haven't performed in the UK since the Reading/Leeds Festivals in August 2002, play the following headline shows:

7 Nov: Nottingham Rescue Rooms
8 Nov: Bristol Bierkeller
14 Nov: Cambridge Junction


Burt Bacharach is working on a new album with unlikely collaborator Dr Dre.

According to MTV, Dre has supplied the beats for three tracks on Bacharach's next album. 76 year-old Bacharach said: "It's a challenging, freeing feeling to take an existing format - like these rigid, four-bar loops - and to see what you can write on top of it. It's hard and challenging too, because it does have some restrictions."

The project came about when Bacharach's UK label approached him about doing a "cutting-edge record." The songwriter said: "I had got together with Dre about a year and a half ago and talked about doing something for the album that we never did. Then he gave me the loops, and when I decided to do this album for Sony, it seemed a natural fit."

Bacharach, of course, has been writing songs for over 50 years ago for the likes of Dionne Warwick, Dusty Springfield, the Carpenters and Neil Diamond. He says the album, due out next year, is jazz and classical music influenced rather than being a hip-hop record.


Natasha Bedingfield has had her laptop containing new songs stolen from Heathrow Airport. The Sun reports that the computer was taken from her baggage as she returned from holiday. A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: "We can confirm a female has reported the theft of a laptop computer at Heathrow Airport. No arrests have been made and inquiries are continuing."

A source told the paper: "Natasha thought the computer would be safe in her luggage. But when she opened the suitcase she found it was missing - she's devastated. She is the biggest name to hit the charts in years [for the record - that's not actually true]. The material on that computer could be worth millions [this is also quite a dubious statement, but what the hell?]."


Morrissey's favourite new band, The Ordinary Boys will play a free acoustic set next week in London.

The band will perform a stripped down gig next Wednesday (22 Sep) at HMV Oxford Circus. They will mark be launching their next single 'Seaside', out on 20 Sep and the latest track to be taken from their debut album 'Over The Counter Culture'. The Ordinary Boys will take to the stage at 6pm before meeting their fans and signing copies of 'Seaside'.


The FT's analysis of new stats from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry presents good news for the recently merged Sony BMG. If you take their combined performance in 2003 the new company released 22 of the top 50 albums last year, gave that other major major record company Universal a run for its money in the US, beat Universal in Germany and Spain, and took over EMI's position as second biggest music company in the UK. Of course that's before all the post-merger streamlining that is still to come, but nevertheless, good news for Andrew Lack and his team.


The Post Office in Gibraltar have honoured Elton John by putting his face on a stamp commemorating the peninsula's 300 years of British rule. The singer performed a concert at the colony's Victoria Stadium last week as part of its celebrations.

Talking of Elton, he releases a new album - 'Peachtree Road' - on 8 Nov and plays a series of UK shows in December beginning at the Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle on 7 Dec and continuing with concerts in Sheffield, Nottingham and Glasgow.

Meanwhile, Elton is selling off a collection of his photographs, including work by Robert Mapplethorpe and Ansel Adams, at Christie's in New York on 14 Oct.


Music etail site is moving into music merchandise with the launch of The new service will launch on 4 Oct and will sell 5,000 products from over 250 acts, including one-off, exclusive and limited edition gear as well as T-shirts, sweatshirts, caps, badges, posters, and even thongs.

Commenting on the new service boss Russel Coultart told CMU: "At Recordstore we have learnt what the typical music fan wants from an online service, and now we will be bringing that expertise to We are offering fans a one-stop-shop for merchandise, with products from all the big names you would expect, plus we're hoping to carry stock from almost 100% of signed UK bands, artists and DJs by the end of the year."

To mark its launch will be carrying out a poll to find the nation's favourite music T-shirts, and are looking for nominations from across the industry that will then be put to the public vote. The poll will start on 4th October and run until the middle of the month. Nominations for the poll are now being collected from across the music industry and can be made by visiting


Craig David says he wants to date Jamelia.

According to the Mirror, Craig has asked Jamelia out but because of their hectic schedules they haven't been able to go out so far. He said: "I met her a while back and she's stunning, She's so sweet and down to earth. Even her Brummie accent's great. And I think that having a child has made her an even more beautiful person. We've made plans to go out for dinner a couple of times but something always seems to come up. I really hope it happens at some point, though."

The singer has been romatically linked to several American beauties, including Playboy model Summer Altice, but he says he wants to date a British girl: "There are a lot of stunning women in the States, but a lot of them don't get things the way British girls do."

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