CMU Daily - on the inside Monday 25th July

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- SonyBMG expected to admit to payola
- New Doors banned from using Doors name

- Ashanti loses breach of contract case
- Mel B drops Sun lawsuit
- Love praised for rehab despite hospital visit
- Andre banned from driving
- Government will keep close eye on record retailers' VAT dodge
- Glade Festival may relocate to overcome fence hopping
- Nine Inch Nails go Fight Club
- Bloc Party get remixed
- Dates added to Rock n Roll Riot
- Coldplay say stadiums aren't their thing
- Gibb teams up with ex Kitten
- Chart update
- Even more Doherty nonsense
- Gallagher and Appleton to wed
- British blues legend dies
- Jackson doesn't show at dad's birthday
- Strummer would have hated plaque
- Dannii Minogue changes single plans
- Sly & Family Stone classics revisited
- Government OK BBC broadcast sale
- The Killers talk about Robbie


The US press this weekend reported that major label SonyBMG is about to announce it has reached an agreement with New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer relating to his previously reported investigation into allegations record companies have been participating in some dodgy radio promotion activities, essentially buying airtime for their artists, something US media law bans.

The New York Times' Jeff Leeds reported on Saturday: "The settlement is expected to establish a blueprint for agreements that Mr Spitzer will probably seek with the other three major record companies, which have all received subpoenas [as part of these investigations]. As part of the settlement, Sony BMG is expected to admit to misconduct in its radio promotion practices and agree to changes that would limit attempts to influence airplay, according to people involved in the discussion. For instance, the company is expected to end its use of independent promoters." The major is also likely to pay fines as part of the arrangement - rumoured in the LA Times to "exceed $10 million".

Although all the major labels remain officially silent on Spitzer's ongoing investigations, except to say they are complying with his demands, insiders say once SonyBMG strike a deal the other majors are likely to follow suit. So expect a few interesting developments in this regard in the next few weeks.


Lots of legal type news this morning. First up, two remaining members of The Doors have been banned from using the group's name when touring.

As previously reported, original Doors members Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger have both been touring as The Doors Of The 21st Century since 2002, with former The Cult singer Ian Astbury as a new frontman. Fellow original band member, drummer John Densmore, objected to the tour and began legal proceedings in 2003 citing a 1971 agreement that said no surviving band members would use the Doors name without the endorsement of all other members and the estate of original frontman Jim Morrison. Once Densmore began his litigation he won the support of the parents of both Morrison and the parents of Morrison's late wife.

That legal case finally reached its conclusion last week with the courts ruling that Manzarek and Krieger could no longer tour under the Doors banner. The new band was also ordered to pay a share of the profits from their recent tour with Densmore and the Morrison estate.

Commenting on his court victory, Densmore told reporters: "I'm just so happy that the legacy of the true Doors, and Jim Morrison in particular, has been preserved by this decision".

It is not clear how Manzarek and Krieger will now rebrand their touring activity, although Densmore has said he would agree to them billing themselves as "the former members of the Doors".


Up next, and Ashanti has lost that breach of contract case brought by producer Genard Parker, and has been ordered by a New York court to pay him $630,000. As previously reported, Mr Parker claimed that he had 'discovered' Ashanti but released her from his contract after she was picked up by her record label. He did so, he alleged, on the condition that he could produce two songs for her debut album and receive a $50,000 (£28,522) advance plus royalties, a promise that was not honoured. Parker's lawyer, Jasmine Khalili, called the verdict a "huge victory" and added "They never acknowledged what he had done. It takes a jury to get a thank you."

Ashanti's lawyer, Harry Stokes, said the R&B star was disappointed and would appeal, adding "We think the jury got confused somewhat, particularly on the damages. We feel confident when this is said and done we won't have to pay out anything."


More from the pop courts, and Mel B has dropped legal proceedings against the Sun over allegations in their Bizarre column that the former Spice Girl had participated in some "sexual antics" in a nightclub lavatory. The paper made the allegations earlier this year and Mel B promptly demanded an apology and sued for damages. However, her lawyers, Lee & Thompson, last week confirmed the lawsuit had been withdrawn, though they wouldn't go into the specifics of why. A spokesman for the legal firm told reporters: "We've discontinued the action. We've agreed terms of settlement. I'm not at liberty to say any more than that".


Courtney Love has been praised by a judge for doing well on her court-ordered drug treatment programme, despite rumours surrounding an incident last week.

Love was rushed to hospital last Wednesday night after feeling faint following a 'music industry related party' (whatever that means) at Hollywood's Roosevelt Hotel. She was later released from hospital and seemed fine, but there has been no official announcement as to what caused the short-lived illness, leading to some speculation that it might have been drugs related. Of course, it really could have been anything, but MTV has been quoting a fire department spokesman who says they responded to a call of a drug overdose at the hotel around midnight, taking an unnamed patient to a hospital for treatment. So, who knows?

Nevertheless, a judge has praised Love for her commitment to the drug rehab programme she was ordered to take after pleading guilty in Feb to possessing a forged prescription and the painkiller oxycodone. Although Love wasn't in attendance at a review of her case at the LA courts last week, the singer's lawyer told reporters that the judge who reviewed her case ruled she was "progressing well".

Love is, of course, currently working her way through a range of probation and drug treatment programmes after she was found guilty of several drugs and assault charges all in close succession. She is due in court on 10 Aug in Beverly Hills to review her probation relating to different forged prescription charges.


More from the courts, and that Peter Andre bloke has been banned from driving for six months after being caught speeding at 49mph in a 30mph zone in Hove. Andre's lawyers asked the magistrate to not go for an all out ban because he needed to be able to drive wife-to-be Jordan and their new son Junior around, but the court dismissed the request, pointing out the former pop star already had eight points on his licence after previously being charged for driving without insurance. Andre had asked to be able to speak to the Magistrate himself in a bid to save his licence, but the judge refused the request, presumably frightened Andre might sing his plea.


The government has said it will be keep under "close review" those companies who use a VAT loophole in the Channel Islands to cut the costs of CDs and DVDs. That announcement follows a formal complaint from the Forum for Private Business who said the loophole gave companies like HMV, Boots, Woolworths and Tesco an unfair advantage over independent music retailers - an advantage that was costing the tax payer tens of millions of pounds.

As previously reported, the loophole in question is the fact that imports into the UK from outside the EU are not subject to VAT when items cost less than £18 each. Because that covers most music releases, a number of firms are now running their music purchasing through Guernsey - the Channel Islands being geographically convenient, but not part of the EU.

The Guernsey government themselves have recognised the growth in the number of companies cashing in on the loophole and they recently announced they would become much stricter in the distribution of licences that allow such firms to trade there. However, those who already possess such a licence are still at liberty to use the VAT-avoiding system, hence the complaint by the FPB.

With that in mind, the Forum's boss, Nick Goulding, recently confirmed that he had 'reported' HMV and the Guernsey government to the Treasury, HM Revenue and Customs and the National Audit Office, adding: "This whole deeply cynical exploitation of the Channel Islands tax status is utterly unacceptable and wrong".

Following the FPB's formal complaint, a spokesman for the Treasury confirmed that the government was keeping the issue 'under close review', though he added that what HMV et al were doing was not illegal. The spokesman said: "We are aware that a number of businesses are restructuring in order use this relief to sell goods to customers in the UK, free of VAT. Whilst this practice is legal, the government continues to keep this issue under close review."

Responding to the FPB's complaint, a spokesman for HMV told reporters: "Contrary to what the FPB has been asserting, we are not suddenly operating in Guernsey to take advantage of the tax reliefs. The move has been planned for a long time now and there are a number of other reasons besides tax relief behind the decision." So, that's alright then.


Organisers of the lovely Glade Festival have told that they may move the site of their 2006 festival after a number of fence-hoppers infiltrated this year's event earlier this month. Glade organisers, who also stage the Glade zone at the Glastonbury Festival of course, have said they are currently considering three sites for next year.

A spokesman told "When we launched Glade last year it was secretly located and people only found out where it was the week before. As it was in the same place this year, we had a bit of a problem because people already knew it. I think when some ticket holders got to the festival they were ringing their mates and telling them they'd be able to get in without paying because they remembered from last year that the security wasn't very tight."

Glade is a proudly unsponsored event, but the lack of sponsorship income does mean a large-scale security operation, like that which stopped fence hopping at Glastonbury, is not possible. However organisers hope a new site and some inexpensive security refinements will help overcome fence hopping next year. The spokesman continued: "Our fencing is not the best in the world and we attracted a lot of gate-crashers. We managed to catch quite a few but we were aware that there were some who had successfully broken into the festival. Security measures will continue to be improved for next year and to avoid gatecrashers we want to move to another site."


Nine Inch Nails are to team up with director David Fincher, notable for his work on the film 'Fight Club', to create a high budget video for 'Only', the band's next single to be taken from new album 'With Teeth'.


As previously reported, Bloc Party are working on material for a new album, but in the meantime, they are planning to release a remix album of tracks from debut 'Silent Alarm' in Sep.

The 'Silent Alarm Remixed' track list is as follows:

Like Eating Glass - Ladytron Zapatista Mix
Helicopter - Whitey Version
Positive Tension - Jason Clark of Pretty Girls Make Graves remix
Banquet - Phones Disco Edit
Blue Light Engineers - Anti-Gravity mix
She's Hearing Voices - Erol Alkan's Calling Your Dub
This Modern Love - Dave P. and Adam Sparkle's Making Time remix
The Pioneers - M83 Remix
Price of Gasoline - AUTOMATO Remix
So Here We Are - Four Tet Remix
Luno - Bloc Party vs. Death From Above 1979
Plans - Replanned by Mogwai
Compliments - Shibuyaka Remix by Nick Zinner


Five more dates have been added to NME's 02 Rock n Roll Riot Tour, which sees Kaiser Chiefs playing alongside The Cribs and Maximo Park, after all the initial dates sold out on Friday morning.

Kaiser Chiefs frontman Ricky Wilson said : "All the bands playing are leaders of the pack really, so it's a really strong bill. People are going to be very upset when they can't come, so buy your tickets early."

The dates for the tour are as follows:

15 Oct: Manchester Carling Apollo
16 Oct: Manchester Carling Apollo
18 Oct: Leeds Town Hall
19 Oct: Leeds Town Hall
22 Oct: Birmingham Carling Academy
23 Oct: Birmingham Carling Academy
25 Oct: London Brixton Carling Academy
26 Oct: London Brixton Carling Academy
29 Oct: Glasgow Carling Academy
30 Oct: Glasgow Carling Academy


The inexplicably ubiquitous Coldplay have told NME that they will play smaller venues on their next tour because, Chris Martin says, they're just not a stadium band. On their recent UK tour, the singer said: "In all honesty, these concerts have been too big. We listened to advice that we probably shouldn't have because everything we've done has been designed to be played in, like Earl's Court or whatever. So we've done Crystal Palace and everything and we've got through it because the fans have been incredible. But we're not really a stadium band."

He continued: "I think all of us feel like when we next come to England - when we next come home - we only want to play indoors. Because we don't feel we can really make the most of that space yet. It's all getting very geeky and technological, but we're not Bon Jovi quite yet."

Asked if Coldplay would like to be like Bon Jovi, Martin joked "I would love to have hair of that volume."


According to, Robin Gibb is to team up with former Atomic Kitten Liz McClarnon to duet on a cover of scary Barbra Streisand stalker song 'Woman In Love'. McClarnon said the former Bee Gee jumped at the chance: "Somebody suggested it to me and I talked to Robin about it. He totally fell in love with the idea. He didn't need any persuading to do it. No one has covered it since it was a hit. Robin is completely happy with it. But I'm really nervous about it."


Well, no change at the top of either of the UK charts this week, where James Blunt continues to warble away, with 'You're Beautiful' at the top of the singles chart, and 'Back To Bedlam' atop the albums chart. Lovely.

Highest new entry singles wise goes to Lee Ryan's 'Army Of Lovers' which goes straight in at number 3. Other new entries singles-wise stack up as follows: Daddy Yankee's 'Gasolina' at 5, Paul Weller's 'From The Floorboards Up' at 6, Roll Deep's 'The Avenue' at 11, Bloc Party's 'The Pioneers' at 18, Maximo Park's 'Going Missing', Heather Small's 'Proud' at 33, and InMe's '7 Weeks' at 36. And for some reason Razorlight's 'Somewhere Else' re-enters at 40 (delayed Live 8 effect?).

Albums wise, it seems a sufficient number of people felt they lacked a Jacko greatest hits album in their record collection, though less people than felt they needed some James Blunt on their CD rack. Anyway, Jacko's 'Essential' collection was the highest new entry this week at 2, with Kelly Clarkson following with her new album at 10. Stephen Fretwell's album 'Magpie' shot up to 34 (it had been at 112), while there were some more of those mysterious re-entries - Eminem's 'Encore' at 29, Queen's 'Live At Wembley' at 30 and The Game's 'The Documentary' at 39.


So, has Doherty sacked the rest of Babyshambles, or has he just quit the band? Well, either way, the latest Pete Doherty rumour doing the rounds is that he has fallen out big time with his manager James Mullord (which might be no bad thing) and is now refusing to return to the studio to continue work on Babyshambles' much delayed first album. According to the Mirror, meanwhile, Doherty wants to quit the band to concentrate on his musical collaborations with girlfriend Kate Moss. Wonderful.


Liam Gallagher and Nicole Appleton are planning to make it official, according to ITN, and are to get married in Scotland later this year. The pair have been together for ages, in rock n roll years, at any rate, and, as I'm sure you all know, have a four year old son, Gene.

An 'insider' said: "Fire eaters have been booked and there will be a bouncy castle for the kids". Which, I must grudgingly admit, sounds like much more fun than your average wedding.


British born blues singer 'Long John' Baldry has died aged 64 after fighting a chest infection for four months. Baldry started out playing folk and jazz in the fifties, but became one of the founding fathers of British rock 'n' roll in the sixties, playing at the legendary Cavern club in Liverpool, and working with and inspiring the likes of Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Elton John and Rod Stewart. After emigrating to Canada in the early eighties, he recorded for EMI Music Canada, before beginning a five album recording relationship with Stony Plain Records in 1991. Baldry also did a lot of voice over work later in his life - he narrated on Winnie The Pooh recordings for Disney and was even the voice for Robotnik on the Sonic The Hedgehog computer game.


As expected, Michael Jackson has missed his father Joe's seventy sixth birthday party in Berlin. The singer posted a message to fans on his website last week saying "Michael would like to wish his father a very heartfelt 'Happy Birthday' and he hopes that everyone attending the event has a truly wonderful time."

Hundreds of fans flocked to the Estrel Hotel in the German city for the party, which was attended by other Jackson family members Jermaine, LaToya and Janet. Jermaine offered up his explanation for Michael's absence, saying "His case tore him apart mentally. He's very strong mentally, but he needs his rest right now."

Michael Jackson has still not been seen in public since his departure from that Santa Maria courthouse immediately following his acquittal, which is possibly to be expected, given his health problems and extreme weight loss towards the end of the trial. Meanwhile Judge Rodney Melville, who presided over the Jackson Trial, has ordered the prosecutors to return hundreds of items used as evidence that investigators seized from the star's home.


Friend-of-Joe-Strummer Richard Frame has arranged for a tribute plaque to go up outside the bedsit where the Clash man wrote his first song - but admits that Strummer would probably have hated the idea. "He would have been very embarrassed and cross with me," said Mr Frame.

Strummer's widow Lucinda Mellor was in the Welsh town of Newport to unveil the plaque, which reads "Joe Strummer lived here 1974". She said: "I feel rather emotional, actually. I'm very touched by what Richard and his friends have done. Joe would be overwhelmed, and I would never have thought anyone would have done this."


News for all you Dannii fans. Anyone? Ah well, the other Ms Minogue has apparently decided not to release 'I Can't Sleep At Night' as her next single, as originally planned. Her next single will now be a different track 'Perfection'. The original release was set for 29 Aug, but it's not clear whether 'Perfection' will also be released on that date. She wrote on her website: "There are now two singles ready to go. I'm not 100 per cent sure how this will change the release date and formats etc."


Now, this will be interesting. Janet Jackson, OutKast's Big Boi, Moby, the Roots, Maroon 5 and the Black Eyed Peas' Will.I.Am have all recorded new vocals which are to be added to the original master tapes of Sly & The Family Stone recordings to create a new album called 'Different Strokes By Different Folks'. The project, due for release later this year, will see Maroon 5 update 'Everyday People', Will.I.Am does 'Dance To The Music' and Joss Stone, Van Hunt and John Legend work together on a new version of 'Family Affair'.

The project reportedly has the approval of Sly Stone, who has rarely been seen in public since the group's 1993 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but who is said to be in good health after years battling drug addiction.

The full tracking runs thus:

Dance to the Music - ft Will.I.Am
Everyday People - ft Maroon 5
Star - ft the Roots
[You Caught Me] Smilin' - ft Scar
Family Affair - ft John Legend, Joss Stone, Van Hunt
Runnin' Away - ft Big Boi featuring Sleepy Brown and Killer Mike
If You Want Me To Stay - ft Devin Lima
I Get High On You - ft the Wylde Bunch
Love City - ft Moby
You Can Make It If You Try - ft Buddy Guy and John Mayer
Sing A Simple Song - ft Chuck D, D'Angelo and Issac Hayes
Don't Call Me Nigger Whitey - ft Nappy Roots and Martin Luther
Thank You Nation 1814 - ft Janet Jackson


The government has given the all clear to the sale of BBC Broadcast. As previously reported, the Beeb announced last month its intention to flog off the division to a company owned by Macquarie Capital Alliance and Macquarie Bank. BBC Broadcast MD Pam Masters said at the time that the sale would give the company the opportunity "to flourish under new ownership with increased investment". Now that the government have OK'ed the deal contracts are expected to be completed by the end of the month.


The Killers have spoken to NME about the fact that they were briefly covered by Robbie Williams during his part of the Live 8 proceedings. The Killers only played one song at the event (Shame! Shame!) but later Robbie inserted the refrain "I've got soul but I'm not a soldier' into his performance. Frontman Brandon Flowers said: "I heard about that, but I didn't get to hear it. I'm glad he liked it. I didn't know it was going to happen, I've never met him, but it was cool - it's nice of him."

On his previously reported guest performance with New Order at T In The Park, he added: "That was amazing. I'd never even seen a full set of theirs before, so that was perfect for me."

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