CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 27th October
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Tributes pour in for John Peel
- EMAP rejig radio management ahead of SRH takeover bid
- Badly Drawn Boy sues XL over royalties
- Apple launch U2 iPod and digital box set
- Elvis tops dead rich list
- Gil and Fischer-Dieskau win Polar Music Prize
- R Kelly does McDonalds stint
- Usher and Linkin Park win at US Radio Music Awards
- Pink Grease tour
- Rod Stewart gets first US number one in 25 years
- Geldof to get Contribution Award at Brits
- Australian free MP3 site claims 'we're just a portal'
- Wyclef says Fugees reunion will happen
- RIAA win payment from Spanish download site
- Eminem wants to make a Bond film



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How did you start out making music for a living?
Well, I started out singing on Felix Da Housecat's early records in 1992 - then I said 'well, I can produce myself', so I bought me this little RS70 Roland drum machine and started to make tracks to sell for Groove On - a sub label of Strictly.

What inspired your latest single?
Just...the love of music - what it does to me in the inside, and how it's never over until you stop.

What process do you go through in creating an album?
Well, you just go for it - you start off not thinking about it, make a couple of tracks, then look at them and choose which one you would like your album to sound like.

Which artists influence your work?
Teena Marie, Lil Louis, early Chicago house, Michael Jackson

What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Listen closely

What are your ambitions for your latest single, and for the future?
To make good music...that lasts - and for them to always keep my music in them crates.

Harrison Crump's single 'Ride' is released on Electric Chair / PIAS on 29 Nov - press info from PIAS IH.


Needless to say, anyone who is anyone in music yesterday paid tribute to John Peel, who died, aged 65, after suffering a heart attack while on holiday in Peru. Expressing shock at his sudden death, and full of praise for his 40 year radio career, among the tributes were the following:

Feargal Sharkey: "John was the single most important broadcaster we have ever known. In the autumn of 1978, something happened that was to change my life forever - John Peel played Teenage Kicks on the radio for the very first time. Today, it just changed again, forever."

Thom Yorke, describing John as his "inspiration" since the age of 14: "Who am I going to listen to now? I'm thinking about you. Thanks John Peel."

Damon Albarn: "I will miss him deeply. I want to send my heartfelt sympathy to his lovely family. John's memory will never be forgotten because he had the spirit of music in him."

Jarvis Cocker: "In a world that is becoming ever more homogenised and pre-programmed, John Peel stuck up for the 'sore thumbs' of the music scene and I really can't think of anyone who could have done it better or who's going to do it now he's gone."

The Manic Street Preachers' James Dean Bradfield: "It was because of him I got to hear some of the most obscure but influential music I ever heard. He was a lifeline to hearing music I would never have heard otherwise."

The Smith's Johnny Marr, speaking on the importance of the sessions he included on his radio show: "We would try out new songs on the sessions and these often were the definitive version".

Joy Division / New Order's Bernard Sumner: "If it wasn't for John Peel, there would be no Joy Division and no New Order. He was one of the few people to give bands that played alternative music a chance to get heard, and he continued to be a champion of cutting-edge music throughout his life."
Tributes weren't just limited to the music industry. From the world of broadcasting, fellow Radio 1 DJ

Steve Lamacq told reporters: "He was groundbreaking for me. He just broke the rules the whole time. He did things that just weren't done. He was a maverick and he got away with it. You have to have trust with a DJ, and everyone built that trust with John."

Former Radio 1 DJ Liz Kershaw described Peel as: "the least musically snooty person we know", adding: "He was utterly sincere in what he was doing, not because he wanted to be famous but he though he was on a mission to bring stuff to people's ears. He really did trawl through mailbags of demo cassettes. That's why we had Pulp and T-Rex, because he'd been discovering bands like that since 1967."

Elsewhere, a spokesman for Tony Blair said the prime minister was "genuinely saddened by the news", adding that: "His view is that he was a unique voice in British broadcasting and used that voice to unearth new talent and different subjects and make them accessible to a much wider audience."

Michael Eavis, meanwhile, announced that he was renaming Glastonbury's new bands tent the John Peel Stage, telling BBC Somerset Sound: "It's very appropriate because it's all the sort of music that John would have chosen - and he was the lad that always knew which band was going to make the gradeî.

What can we add that hasn't already been said? I must admit, I only occasionally listened to John's radio show, but I always slept better at night knowing he was filling six hours of Radio 1 airtime each week. It was testament to his abilities, passion and knowledge that Peel managed to survive so many revamps at the BBC's flagship pop station, and much kudos to Radio 1 for realising that, whatever the fad of the month might be, Peel's show was unmovable. It is because of people like John that is has always been undeniable that, whatever you think of daytime Radio 1, its specialist shows play a crucial role in the development of music culture in the UK.

But let's not forget that John Peel wasn't just special for his genuine passion and eye for new music talent - he was a truly great broadcaster. We're a cynical bunch here at CMU but yesterday, even though none of us ever knew John, there was real sadness at the news of his death. He was one of those radio presenters whose personality meant that, just by listening to one of his shows he became a friend. That fact was truly demonstrated when he began presenting Radio 4's Home Truths - even without the music he could build a large loyal following of listeners. Peel's passion and eye for new music was undeniable, but not completely unique. His ability to share that passion through a trusting relationship with his listeners is why John Peel's death is a tremendous loss to both British broadcasting and British music. We're missing him already.


EMAP has revamped the top team of its radio division, increasing speculation that the media conglom is planning on bidding for Scottish Radio Holdings.

Shaun Gregory, the man who has been overseeing the company's digital radio plans, has been promoted to a new role that will see him oversee all of EMAP's national radio brands, including Kiss, Magic, Kerrang!, Smash Hits, Q, Heat, The Hits and Mojo Radio.

Meanwhile Travis Baxter, who is currently overseeing the Kerrang Radio brand, will replace Michelle Surrell as the MD of EMAP's Big City stations, which operate across the north of England.

Confirming the appointments, EMAP Performance's Group MD told reporters the move confirmed the company's commitment "to growing our radio business by increasing the number of commercially attractive listeners we deliver to our advertisers".

The Guardian reckon EMAP is now in the final stages of preparing a takeover bid of SRH. They already own 27.8% of the Scottish based radio company who run, amongst other things, Clyde 1 and Forth 1.


Badly Drawn Boy is suing Beggars label XL Recordings over allegedly unpaid royalties. BDB, aka Damon Gough, reckons he is owed £200,000 for his soundtrack album 'About A Boy', and a further £39,800 for unpaid royalties relating to his album 'One Plus One Is One'.

On the former, XL say they have withheld Gough's 'About A Boy' royalties because they needed to recoup on the advance payment they made to the film's producers for the rights to release the soundtrack.

Although signed to his own label Twisted Nerve, DBD's early releases were released through a relationship with XL.


As expected, Apple yesterday announced the launch of a special U2 branded iPod. The new player will be available from mid-Nov to coincide with the launch of the band's new album 'How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb' and will retail for $349.

Apple will also make available what they are calling the first ever ìdigital box setî. Called 'The Complete U2', this product will allow U2 fans to download 400 tracks, including all of the band's albums, with just one click. The package will be available via iTunes in the US and Europe from mid-Nov.

Finally, Apple also announced the launch of a new iPod Photo which, aside from having a mega 40GB or 60GB hard drive, will also allow users to view and share photos. The iPod Photo will retail in the US for $499 (40GB) and $599 (60GB).


According to a new survey by, Elvis Presley is the highest earning dead celebrity. Presley's posthumous income - from record and merchandise sales - exceeds that of next highest earning dead people Charles Schulz and JRR Tolkien. Presley's earnings go to Elvis Presley Enterprises, which is owned by his daughter Lisa Marie.

Announcing the second edition for their annual survey - the top three of which remains unchanged, a spokesman for said yesterday: "The earning power of most deceased people, even famous ones, slows considerably or stops altogether when they die. But for a select few, the pay cheques keep coming and some draw even bigger pay-days than when they were alive."

Other music names still earning include John Lennon - who is fourth in the list with an estimated annual income of £11 million. Other top earners include fellow Beatle George Harrison and Freddy Mercury.


Brazilian singer Gilberto Gil and German romance singer Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau yesterday won the 2005 Polar Music Prize, an annual award founded by former ABBA producer Stig Anderson and designed to recognise legendary artists for their lifetime contribution to music.

Announcing their decision, the award's organisers said they were giving an award to Gil because of his "unflinching creative engagement in bringing to the world the heart and soul of the rich music of Brazil."

Of Fischer-Dieskau they said they made the award to recognise "his unique artistry in every area of classical singing and for his unparalleled achievements as a penetrating and innovative interpreter of art songs in the German language."

Previous winners of the Polar Music Prize include Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Pierre Boulez, Isaac Stern and Quincy Jones.


Customers at a branch of McDonald's in St Louis got a surprise last Saturday when R Kelly appeared at the drive-thru window to take customers' orders. Apparently Kelly, who is a big fan of Maccy D, firstly persuaded the manager of the McDonalds store to stay open past their midnight closing time so that he and his crew could enjoy some Big Macs. Once in the store Kelly then persuaded the manager to let him take the orders. Word quickly got round the neighbourhood and so his fans started flocking to make their order.

A spokesman for Kelly told reporters yesterday: "He just loves working behind the counter. He gets a kick out of it, I guess as a way to interact with fans without it being totally crazy."


Yet another good day for Usher at the 2004 US Radio Music Awards in Las Vegas on Monday night. He took the awards for Hip Hop Artist of the Year and Song of the Year for 'Yeah'. Linkin Park also took two awards - for Rock Artist of the Year and, for 'Numb', for 'Rock Album of the Year'.

Nominations for each category at the Radio Music Awards are based on those artists and songs that got the most play on US radio in the last year. Overall winners are then picked by Programme and Music Directors from stations across the country.

Other winners included Beyonce who won the award for Top 40 Radio Artist of the Year, while Tim McGraw won the Country Artist of the Year.


Pink Grease have added new and rescheduled live dates to their current UK tour in Oct and Nov. Updated listings as follows:

26 Oct: Newcastle, Foundation (Spun Club night)
28 Oct: London, Miss-Shapes at the Ghetto W1
29 Oct: Liverpool, Evol
30 Oct: Coventry, Colosseum
4 Nov: London, Camden Barfly (all ages)
11 Nov: Cardiff, Barfly (all ages)
12 Nov: Hull, University
13 Nov: Bedford, Esquires
15 Nov: London, Artrocker at the Marquee
16 Nov: Liverpool, Barfly (all ages)
17 Nov: Glasgow, Barfly (all ages)
18 Nov: York, Fibbers (all ages)
20 Nov: Eton School (all ages)


Rod Stewart has gone to the top of the US album chart for the first time in 25 years with his covers album 'Stardust: The Great American Songbook Volume III'. A spokesman for Stewart told reporters yesterday: "He's absolutely thrilled. I've never known him happier. He's so happy that so many fans have taken to this music. It just inspires him to sing it better. He's loving it".

That news might compensate for the fact Stewart is currently being sued by three music promoters who allege he failed to pay back a £424,000 deposit payment after cancelling nine South American concerts. Stewart's legal people argue that the promoters failed to fulfil their contract obligations to the singer - ie a second deposit payment - and that led to the cancellation of the gigs; therefore, they reckon, their client is not obligated to return the original deposit. The suit is currently going through the LA courts - a lawyer from the promoters told the court: "He shouldn't keep money that doesn't belong to him. This is a dispute about greed and arrogance".


According to the Sun, Bob Geldof will receive the Outstanding Contribution To Music award at next year's Brits, recognising his role in Band Aid and Live Aid, and his music career both with the Boomtown Rats and as a solo artist.


Here's an interesting one. The music industry in Australia is suing one Stephen Cooper over his website mp3s4free. The country's Music Industry Piracy Investigations reckon the site illegally shared 1.965 terabytes of music - drawing on stats that prove his site received 191,296,511 hits between Nov 2002 and Oct 2003, attracting 7,081,899 unique users. The industry body says Cooper "made it his business to distribute for free commercial sound recordings in MP3 formatî, adding that he profited from the activity by selling advertising on the site.

However, Cooper claims that his site merely contained links to other websites where people could download music. While many of those links may have gone to illegal sources of music, he claims no music files were actually downloaded from the site itself.

The MIPI is yet to respond to that defense. If they accept that mp3s4free was just a portal, but continue with their action, we will be in very interesting territory - Cooper's people are sure to ask how his site is any different than Google, Yahoo and any other search engine who will provide you with a list of illegal download sites if you type 'free MP3s' into a search field.

More on that when we get it.


Following that impromptu reunion at a New York party last month, Wyclef Jean has confirmed The Fugees will reunite. According to the New York Post, Wyclef made the announcement while DJing at NYC's Dark Light Club.


A download website based in Spain has agreed to pay companies represented by the Recording Industry Association of America $10.5 million to settle a copyright infringement lawsuit brought against them. only operated for two months. It gave the appearance of being a legitimate download site because users were charged to use the service. Initially the site's owners claimed they had licensing agreements with relevant Spanish copyright organisations, but the RIAA subsequently proved those agreements were not sufficient for offering a full download service, and forced the site to close. But the industry association reckoned millions of tracks had been downloaded by US users in the two months operated, hence the lawsuit.

According to the LA Times, the settlement will see Puretunes owner Sakfield Holding Company pay US record companies $10 million, while certain top players at P2P network Grokster, who operated the site, will pay the remaining $500,000.


According to the Sun, Eminem is a huge Bond fan and is trying to get together a Bond style film for him to star in. A source told the paper: "Marshall is a huge Bond fan. He has this idea for a spy thriller starring him as a kind of James Bond character. He's getting a script together and may even produce it himself. He'd take over from Pierce Brosnan if he could but this is the next best thing. He says it's 007 with attitude."

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