CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 15th March
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- French government block legalised P2P proposals
- The Killers launch countersuit against former manager
- Sabbath, Blondie, Pistols enter Hall Of Fame
- Master P and Silkk get community service
- A&M man reportedly running Geffen
- Eavis talks Glasto 2007
- Friends Of The Earth rue charity cash in
- Carling Live 24 gigs sell out
- NME New Music Tour acts confirmed
- Camden Crawl announces 2006 line-up
- Cars confirm reunion album and tour
- Trivium play intimate gig, kind of
- Jeremy Warmsley tour
- Waters et al play for Countryside Alliance
- May calls for hedgehog cull to end
- Eurovision row erupts in Serbia and Montenegro
- Weiland has a few words for Axl
- White / Childish trouble continues
- Kooks man starts something, maybe
- Diddy set to appear in cooking show
- Radiohead cracking up over new album
- Kelly Clarkson writing new album
- Ivories search for bass player
- Breakspoll footage online
- U2 for Bond theme?
- Jack Johnson nervous at Brits
- Boney M musical delayed
- Isaac Hayes quits Chef gig


A bit late today - sorry. I'm blaming a temperamental laser printer, though arranging to interview The Fratellis in the middle of our Daily writing time was possibly a mistake. Though they were very nice. Anyway, enough of that, let's do this... Recent attempts by Permira to take over HMV have motivated some to discuss more proactively the future of high street music retail in the digital age - with the man who Permira would put in charge of the company, Roger Parry, talking about the need to better link 'clicks and bricks', and even contemplating merging HMV and Waterstones into cross-genre 'entertainment stores'. Of course HMV have now knocked back Permira's latest takeover offer, and insiders at the investment firm say no new offer will be made, so Parry's specific proposals are unlikely to ever be put to the test, but clearly all the major music retailers need to think a bit harder about where they are going, given that they are already struggling to compete with the supermarkets and online mail-order companies like Amazon, and that's before the future competition of iTunes et al really take a grip. I remain convinced that even high street record shops still have a future, given that shopping is such a popular pastime in the modern era (that is to say, shopping for shopping's sake, rather than shopping to acquire something specific). But, as Parry says, the retailers need to better integrate their 'clicks and bricks' to succeed. It never fails to amaze me how isolated high street stores remain from their online counterparts - mail-order or digital. The fact these companies have a real world presence should set their online services apart from their competitors - especially in a world where people are still nervous about buying goods from anonymous online e-tailers, where there are ever increasing stories of orders going missing in the post, and where the majority of the mainstream audience are still pretty tech unsavvy. But a high street presence is only of value to online operations if staff there can update me on my online orders and help with me my technical queries. If I can top up my digital music account with cash via the check out. And if going online gives me an insight to promotion and activity in store, and vice versa. None of this is particularly clever stuff, which is why you have to wonder why none of it is happening already. So, while HMV might be right to knock back Parry's backer's takeover proposal, they and their competitors could do worse than look at some of his ideas. There is potentially a good future for high street record stores - but that's probably not the future they're currently building.



CARLING LIVE 24... give 24 hours of your life to live music! ... Carling Live 24 is back with another incredible line-up, which we can reveal includes Kaiser Chiefs, Razorlight, Ordinary Boys, Ian Brown, Dirty Pretty Things and Goldie Lookin Chain, plus many more artists still to be announced... Carling Live 24 marks the start of the summer for music lovers, bringing the festival vibe to the heart of the city, with great music and cold beer. Carling Live 24 will kick off at 7pm on Friday 28th April and fans with enough stamina can rock continuously through to 7pm the following day. Tickets are now on sale exclusively at

Press info:



MySpace Of The Day: Wigwam
Hurrah for Alex James and Betty Boo for delivering this wonderful slice of pop nonsense into our lives - just the kind of infectious happy tune everyone surely needs on these dark chilly winter days. And hurrah for MySpace - no one at Instant Karma may have thought about sending us a copy to listen to - but we can enjoy the track as often as we like anyway via the Wigwam MySpace page. Ain't cheerful pop and modern technology great?

More on our MySpace Of The Day, plus 3 Student Music Awards finalists The Know, Sophia Humphreys and Lola Edun answer the Same Six Questions right now at


One from the file labeled 'Le Copyright'. The French government has successfully overcome those proposals put forward by opposition MPs to introduce a 'blanket licence' that would legitimise the sharing of music online via P2P networks.

As previously reported, those proposals were put forward in the French parliament at the end of last year as radical amendments to government proposals that actually intended to crack down on P2P file sharing. Opposition MPs, being heavily lobbied by consumer rights groups, proposed that French music fans be allowed to share music online, in return for paying a monthly levy on their internet access fees that would be returned to the content owners.

The government, being heavily lobbied by the record industry, opposed those proposals from the outset, but was unable to defeat the amendments, mainly because when they were put forward many MPs who would have supported the government were already on their Christmas break.

In the end the French government withdrew the amended proposals and returned to parliament this week with a new bill, which removed talk of legitimising P2P, but in return made certain concessions to the consumer rights lobby, including a lessening of the penalties for violating copyright online.

Despite the concessions, those opposition MPs in favour of legitimising P2P still opposed the government's new bill, and reportedly walked out of parliament after the vote on the new proposals went against them.

While legitimate P2P is now off the agenda in France, the new French legislation on online copyright may still prove controversial. The parliament will tomorrow vote on those previously reported proposals to force technology companies to ensure that music bought from any download platform will work on any digital music player.

This would have big implications for Apple, whose entire digital music business model depends on having a 'proprietary codec' that means that music bought from iTunes can only be played on iPods. If that business model becomes illegal in France it will be interesting to see how Apple respond - given that they have been pretty resistant to lobbying from other parties to join the 'inter-operability' movement. Some insiders say Apple might just close down iTunes in France completely and hope no other countries follow suit with similar legislation - which would presumably mean freedom fries all round at Apple's Californian HQ.


The Killers have asked a judge to throw out that $16 million lawsuit that their former manager launched against them last month. As previously reported, Braden Merrick is suing the band for lost revenues and damages over allegations that they breached his contract when they fired him last May. Merrick is also suing the band's lawyer, Robert Reynolds, who, he claims, interfered in his contractual negotiations with the band in order to secure the management work for himself.

While the band had been reportedly negotiating to try and reach an out of court settlement with their former manager, they launched their own legal proceedings on Monday in a bid to have Merrick's lawsuit thrown out of court. The band claim the former manager was fired because of dishonesty and incompetence.

In a separate action, the band have also reportedly asked the California Division of Labour Standards Enforcement to null any agreements between Merrick and the band, again on the grounds of dishonesty and incompetence.

Merrick is yet to comment on the lawsuits against him, though he had previously said he expected counter-actions. Meanwhile his lawyer this week confirmed his client had expected counter-suits, telling reporters: "You gotta take your shot if you don't want to pay what you owe".


Black Sabbath, Blondie and The Sex Pistols have all been inducted into the US Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, alongside Lynyrd Skynyrd and the late Miles Davis. While The Sex Pistols weren't in attendance at the induction ceremony (they were boycotting it, you'll remember), Blondie did their bit to ensure there was a bit of rock n roll tension in the air.

Past and current members of Blondie appeared on stage to be inducted, but current members Debbie Harry, Chris Stein and Clem Burke did their best to ignore their former bandmates, having already refused to allow departed guitarist Frank Infante and bassist Nigel Harrison to perform with them. Harrison told Billboard: "We wanted to play. We weren't part of it", but guitarist Stein apparently said after his band's live set: "[Infante and Harrison] wrote themselves out of the band's history as far as I'm concerned."

There was less tension in the Black Sabbath camp. Following his band's induction by Metallica, drummer Bill Ward said: "Hopefully our induction tonight will add to the validation, and hard rock and heavy metal will have an enduring and everlasting place in rock history", whilst Ozzy Osbourne paid tribute to wife Sharon.

Meanwhile, that previously reported note from the Sex Pistols declaring their intention to stay away from the event was read out by Rolling Stone magazine founder Jann Wenner, who explained that their awards would be held at the Hall Of Fame headquarters in Cleveland, and that the band could pick them up whenever they wanted, adding: "If they want to smash them into bits, they can do that too."


No Limit Records honcho Master P, aka Percy Miller, and his brother Vyshonn, aka Silkk the Shocker have been sentenced to community service after appearing in court over that previously reported 2005 incident when the pair were stopped by police and found to have loaded firearms in their vehicle.

Both brothers pleaded guilty to charges of carrying unloaded, unregistered weapons and were ordered to perform 40 hours of community service and each fined $700. Shortly after their arrest in January last year, Percy Miller told "Black man with gun, white cop panic. I'm a businessman. If the cops stopped panicking for one minute, they would've realised that the guns were registered, and that is legal in America. It's a different way of life for a person of color with money than it is for others with money." Except that the guns weren't registered, evidently, or so their no-contest pleas would imply.

Anyway, given that they weren't sent to prison, it's a good week for the Miller family. As reported yesterday, the third Miller sibling Corey, aka C-Murder, has had his 2003 conviction for the 2002 killing of sixteen year old Steve Thomas overturned and it's thought he'll be released from prison this week.


Following on from the news yesterday of exec changes at Universal Music's US division Interscope/A&M/Geffen, we hear that A&M boss Ron Fair is now pretty much running the day to day operations of Geffen.

As you'll remember, Geffen co-president Jordan Schur has stepped down to set up his own joint venture with Universal, Suretone Records. Meanwhile Geffen's other co-president, Polly Anthony is reportedly involved in setting up Interscope's TV division.

The Interscope division is currently split into two bits - Interscope/A&M and Geffen - but the consensus is that they will now be brought together so all of Interscope's music operations are run out of one unit. That Ron Fair is now seemingly running the whole shop suggests that that is indeed the case.

The Interscope division will probably continue to consist of a number of autonomous businesses, but only one of those businesses will be music based, others will pursue the major's interests in different areas of the entertainment business. Another sign that record companies are recognising the need to diversify their operations and interests - even if that does mean competing with a parent company's other businesses.


Glastonbury honcho Michael Eavis has been speaking to Xfm London (not to be confused with Xfm Manchester, which has just gone on air) about plans for the 2007 Festival, and has implied that Dire Straits might be appearing.

He told the station: "We're raring to go for next year and we're booking bands and doing stuff. There's a whole lot of stuff going on, I can't tell you about it at the moment, but there's some real surprises for next year. For the headlining slot you know we're sort of moving away from the traditional 'Top Of The Pops' thing and doing something different. The headliners next year are going to be a big surprise for everyone."

When a possible Dire Straits performance was jokingly mooted, Eavis responded: "Funnily enough, I'm talking to them at the moment you know. Yeah, not for the Main Stage but for something else."

He went on to rule out a performance from The Rolling Stones any time soon: "No, the Stones have never done it because they go for the money basically, and we can't afford to pay more than a couple of hundred thousand for the top stars. They don't work for less than half a million. Well, they've got used to it you see haven't they? So give them a couple of hundred and that's not good enough. They keep going and good luck to them, I don't mind. If they want to do it then they'll do it."


Tickets for that previously reported Friends Of The Earth Big Ask Live event, which is set to feature performances from Thom Yorke, Kate Rusby and Super Furry Animals' Gruff Rhys, are being touted on the internet at highly inflated prices. The gig sold out shortly after going on sale on 11 Mar, but within minutes of the sell out, tickets originally sold for £55 started to appear on internet auction sites at asking prices of £300 and more.

Friends Of The Earth are naturally disappointed by the turn of events. A spokesperson said "We have done everything within our power to ensure that fans had access to the tickets at the price fixed by Friends Of The Earth - for example by limiting purchases to two tickets per person. It is extremely disappointing to find that some people are selling on tickets for personal gain - particularly as this is a charity event which has been organised to raise money and support for Friends Of The Earths' climate campaign, The Big Ask."


More record sell out news for you. Tickets for the Dirty Pretty Things gig due to take place as part of next month's Carling Live 24 marathon sold out within eight minutes yesterday after tickets went on sale on Carling's website. All the Ian Brown tickets had gone two minutes later, and the Razorlight gig was sold out soon after. We hear the others gigs are also selling fast so if you're planning on going you'd better get over there to and book. As you'll all remember, full press info on Carling Live 24 is in the CMU Press Room here:

Press info:


Boy Kill Boy, The Automatic, Forward, Russia! and The Long Blondes have all been confirmed for NME's 2006 New Music Tour. Chris Peck of headliners Boy Kill Boy says "It's fucking great to be on the tour. We're all made up about it. It should be a good atmosphere, it's going to be wicked."

The dates of the tour are as follows:

6 May: Bristol University (minus Long Blondes)
7 May: Cardiff University (minus Long Blondes)
8 May: Wolverhampton Wulfrun (minus Long Blondes)
10 May: Glasgow QMU
11 May: Middlesbrough Empire
12 May: Manchester University
14 May: Portsmouth Pyramid
15 May: Leicester University
16 May: Cambridge Junction
18 May: Norwich UEA
19 May: Sheffield Leadmill (minus Forward Russia!)
20 May: Liverpool Carling Academy
23 May: Oxford Brookes University
24 May: London Electric Ballroom


Camden Crawl has announced this year's lineup, and it includes a fair few CMU favourites - The Fratellis, Lethal Bizzle and Sway, to name but three. The event takes place on 20 Apr at a variety of venues in the Camden area, starting from 5.30pm. The idea is, of course, that music fans purchase one wristband which gets them into any of the participating venues. The thus far confirmed line-up is as follows:

Absentee, Akira The Don, The Aliens, The Automatic, Cazals, The Delilahs, Dogs, Elle Milano, Fields, Forward Russia!, The Fratellis, Good Books, Guillemots, The Holloways, Howling Bells, Humanzi, Lethal Bizzle, Louie, The Maccabees, The Marshals, The Mitchell Brothers, Morning Runner, Paolo Nutuni, The On Offs, The Paddingtons, The Pipettes, The Pistolas, Plan B, The Rifles, The Rogers Sisters, Rumble Strips, Shitdisco, S Rock Levinson, The Spinto Band, The Sunshine Underground, Sway, Switches, Wolfmother.


Well, we told you that one of the "biggest eighties bands" would be making a special announcement yesterday, and it turned out the band in question was The Cars, who I'm guessing must have been a whole lot bigger than I ever realised.

The band's Elliot Easton and Greg Hawkes were at the LA branch of the House Of Blues yesterday to confirm rumours that have been circulating for a while that they are reforming with a new frontman - singer, songwriter and accomplished music producer Todd Rundgren.

'The New Cars' will release a new album in mid-May, and will embark on a co-headline US tour with Blondie. Subsequent European dates, including the UK, are expected to be announced shortly.

While neither of the original vocalists, Benjamin Orr and Ric Ocasek, are involved in the new venture (Orr died from cancer in 2000), it was arguably Easton's guitars and Hawkes' synthesizers that was most important to The Cars' distinctive sound, so I'm guessing that doesn't really matter.

Press info on all this from Noble PR.


Talking of bands who are probably a whole lot bigger than your realise, Trivium will play an intimate gig at the Carling Academy Islington next week. Well, I say Trivium will play the gig, actually Trivium tribute band Ember & The Infernoes will play the gig. E&TI just happen to look very like Trivium (actually, exactly like Trivium). The gig is on 22 Mar - tickets are £15 and are on sale right now.


His press release describes him as a "bedroom-producing, orchestral-electronica marvel", which will do for me. Jeremy Warmsley goes on tour next month to coincide with the release of a limited edition EP - 'Other People's Secrets' - on 10 Apr via Transgressive. Dates as follows:

8 Apr: London, The Luminaire
9 Apr: Nottingham, The Social
10 Apr: York, Fibbers
11 Apr: Newcastle, The Cumberland Arms
12 Apr: Hull, The Lamp
13 Apr: Leeds, The Faversham
15 Apr: Sheffield, The Grapes
16 Apr: Leicester, The Charlotte
17 Apr: Bristol, The Folkhouse
18 Apr: Cardiff, The Barfly
20 Apr: Birmingham, The Glee Club
21 Apr: Coventry, Taylor Johns
22 Apr: Guildford, Spill @ The Star
23 Apr: Brighton, The Free Butt

Warmsley will also support Simple Kid at London's Old Blue Last pub tonight at 8.30pm.


Pink Floyd's Roger Waters and Nick Mason, plus Roger Taylor, Roger Daltrey and Eric Clapton presumably all have country homes and love foxhunting, as they are all lining up to play a benefit concert for the Countryside Alliance. Tickets for the gig, which will take place on 20 May at Highclere Castle in Newbury, will sell for £75.


Meanwhile, that nice Brian May has called for an end to hedgehog culling on the hebridean island of Uist. You may not be aware of this, but Scottish Natural Heritage has killed more than 500 of the animals because they are said to pose a threat to ground nesting birds and their eggs, but animal rights campaigners say that the hedgehogs are being killed inhumanely.

The Queen guitarist has written to John Markland, Scottish Natural Heritage chairman, to express his concerns. The letter says: "For some time I have been aware that hedgehogs on the Uists are being killed for 'conservation' purposes. As someone who believes that all animals are worthy of respect, this is of great concern to me. I understand that scientific evidence shows that hedgehogs can be translocated successfully. I therefore cannot understand why SNH is continuing with the policy of unnecessarily killing these animals. I urge SNH to reconsider any plans it has to continue slaughtering these healthy wild animals. Instead, please work with the Uist Hedgehog Rescue experts to relocate these animals to the mainland where they can live out their lives."

Other celebs eager to save the hedgehogs include Joanna Lumley, Sting, Tim Rice, and of course, Paul McCartney.


A row has kicked off in Serbia And Montenegro over the band chosen to represent the federation at the Eurovision Song Contest this year. A televised competition to decide who should go forward to the contest saw a band from Montenegro judged as winners, but the mainly Serbian audience booed the decision, and the winning group, No Name, returning to the stage to sing their winning entry, gave up on performing their track in the face of spectators' hostility. The Serbian runners up then appeared, and were welcomed by the audience.

The judges have, of course, been accused of unfairly favouring the Montenegrin band, which had to be escorted by security officials from Belgrade's Sava Centre concert hall where the event took place. Fellow competitor and sore loser Marinko, of the aforementioned Flamingoes, said he is "totally convinced that some ulterior motives are at play here, in this area where there is no room for such things."

Of course, the furore is probably indicative of the political tensions running high in the federation; Montenegro is due to hold a referendum in May, the day following Eurovision, over the question of the state's possible independence from Serbia and the row, it seems, proves that the two countries are not a good fit. Former Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Zivkovic said the incident caused "much more excitement last night than the death of Slobodan Milosevic". Good to know they've got their priorities straight.


Velvet Revolver man Scott Weiland has apparently had a go at Axl Rose over that previously reported statement in which Axl explained that he was launching a countersuit against former GnR members Slash and Duff McKagan, accusing Slash in particular of playing the media for his own ends.

Now the former Stone Temple Pilot has leapt to the defence of his once-GnR-now-Velvet Revolver bandmates in a message posted the band's official website, thus: "Get in the ring. Go to the gym motherfucker, or if you prefer, get a new wig motherfucker. I think I'll resist the urge to stoop to your level. Oh shit, here it comes, you fat, botox faced, wig wearin fuck! OK I feel better now. Don't think for a second we don't know where those words came from. Your unoriginal, uncreative little mind. The same mind that had to rely on its bandmates to write melodies and lyrics. Who's the fraud now bitch?"

He continues: "Damn, I couldn't imagine people writing for me. How many albums have you put out man and how long did it take the current configuration of this so-called band to make this album? How long? And without the only guys that validated the name. How dare you! Shame on you! How dare you call our bass player [McKagan] spineless? We toured our album over a year and a half. How many shows have you played over the last ten years? Oh, that's right - you bailed out on your long awaited comeback tour, leaving your remaining fans feeling shall we say a trifle miffed?! I won't even list what I've accomplished because I don't need to. What we're talking about here is a frightened little man who once thought he was king, but unfortunately this king without his court is nothing but a memory of the asshole he once was."


Talking of pop feuds, Jack White is apparently to sue a London art gallery displaying some of Billy Childish's work including a 'tribute poster' to the pair's previously reported verbal altercation stemming from Childish's comments about The White Stripes' music in a GQ interview. The print depicts an imaginary boxing match between 'Bitter 'Billy' Childish' and 'Jack 'Whingy' White'.

Lawyers for the White Stripes are saying that the poster violates the bands intellectual property, or something. Gallery owner Steven Lowe said: "It was just a bit of fun but these people don't seem to have a sense of humour... I've written to the White Stripes management to see exactly what copyright we're infringing."


And in potential pop feuds a-brewing, The Kooks' Luke Pritchard has called Razorlight's Johnny Borrell arrogant. He apparently told More Magazine: "You have to be very insecure to be as arrogant as their lead singer Johnny."


Now this is what I call hip-hop. Or possibly not. Sean Diddy Combs is set to appear in a show called 'Celebrity Cooking Showdown' on America's NBC network this April - although it's not, apparently, an April fool joke. The show, which will pair celebrity chefs with non-chef celebrities to take part in some kind of week long cook-off, is to be produced by Ben Silverman, who approached Combs to partner on the project, and told Daily Variety: "We've been desperate to do cooking in primetime. And who's more primetime than Diddy?"

Diddy owns two restaurant chains, of course, and says that cooking is "not out of my space." He added: "The sexiest trend going on right now is young men learning how to cook. There's nothing more sensual than a man cooking for his woman. We wanted to do something that fit that trend in the marketplace."


Thom Yorke has posted a message on Radiohead's official site saying that the band are cracking up a bit under the pressure of delivering their new album. The post read: "Today, myself, I was struggling, feels like we've been trapped for a long time. In la la land. Very frustrating, and under pressure now, it's so slow. Enough to drive anyone loopy. I'm supposed to be positive. Smiling faces for the outside. Well I'm fucking tearing my hair out. Too much at once. Furiously writing, working out parts. Cracking up. Not much time left. Unsure about everything. I'm not supposed to put any of this here. So that's why I am."

He should think about the potential horrors of global warming. Might put things in perspective a bit.


Everyone's talking about Kelly Clarkson. Well, that's what her publicity strap-lines tell me. And she's been talking about Kelly Clarkson too, apparently, and revealed that she's been writing songs for a new album whilst on tour. "We've been using our time very well," she told MTV news. "On tour, we've been writing the next album. Being on the road is so inspiring - I think that's where the best inspiration comes from, for creativity."

Commenting on how her UK tour has gone, she added: "It's been a different experience outside of America. Everybody is just louder and more involved - and they just get really, really psyched about it."


All-girl band The Ivories are looking for a bass player, and have appealed for candidates to contact them via their MySpace page. They want someone who lives in, or can travel to Leeds, and who is willing to make a full time commitment, and say they'd prefer another lady, but aren't ruling out the possibility of taking on a bloke. As previously reported, the band release their next single 'Heartstrings' on 10 Apr.


If you're looking for a good way to waste time later today, why not go and watch video coverage of this year's Breakspoll awards. A ten minute video produce by ig-nite and featuring mini-interviews with the likes of the Plump DJs, Hyper, Krafty Kuts, Terry Hooligan and Splitloop is available for viewing right now at


According to reports, U2 are the band most likely to record the next James Bond theme tune. Bond movie producer Barbara Broccoli has admitted that the Irish group are amongst those being considered to provide the official track for 'Casino Royale', starring new Blonde bond Daniel Craig.

Broccoli commented: "David Arnold will be composing the soundtrack but we have not yet chosen who is doing the song. I think U2 are great. Bono actually wrote the song for 'GoldenEye' but Tina Turner performed it."


Everyone's favourite coffee table crooner (and I mean that as a compliment) has said he was so nervous about his performance at last month's Brit Awards that he forgot to worry about whether or not he would win Best Newcomer.

The singer told MTV news: "Winning a Brit was pretty cool... That night I was really nervous. I had to perform, so I didn't think that much about getting the award. I was worried because the band wasn't there. I had to just sit there on a stool and play my acoustic guitar and everybody else had, like, seventy five people on stage with orchestras!"

On future plans, he added "My goals this year are to surf a lot and to spend a lot of time at home. We're going to take about a year off and then after the year sort of think about what we feel like doing the next year. When I say take it off, I just mean not tour, not record or stuff like that. Just do different stuff."


Now, don't cry, y'all, but that Boney M musical, 'Daddy Cool', originally set to open in London's West End on 16 May, has been delayed for another twelve weeks. The £3 million show, starring ex-Eastender Michelle Collins, Javine Hylton, and So Solid's MC Harvey, will now open in August, which means I for one won't be able to attend the opening because I'll be in Edinburgh for the festival by then.

Co-producer Robert Mackintosh said: "The producers of the musical Daddy Cool have decided to postpone their opening to late August of this year. The creator/writer of the Boney M catalogue, Frank Farian, and I have decided to put back the opening of Daddy Cool by 12 weeks, to spend more time in pre-production in order to achieve the technical and creative possibilities of the show, which, in the long run, we believe will be in the best interests of the show."


Isaac Hayes, a regular turn as the voice of Chef on 'South Park' since 1997, is leaving the show due to what he calls the "inappropriate ridicule" of religion, and says "There is a place in this world for satire but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry toward religious beliefs begins. Religious beliefs are sacred to people and at all times should be respected and honored. As a civil rights activist of the past 40 years, I cannot support a show that disrespects those beliefs and practices."

All of which seems a bit bizarre when you consider that he's completed nine seasons of a show that has mocked pretty much every religion, and regularly features cameos from a TV presenter Jesus Christ. So why, you might ask, is he leaving now, given that South Park has ridiculed organised religion from the off? Well, this time the show has parodied his own wacky religion. The 'Shaft' singer is a member of the Church of Scientology and has spoken publicly about his beliefs, which he calls "an applied religious philosophy".

Co-creator Matt Stone says: "In 10 years and over 150 episodes of South Park, Isaac never had a problem with the show making fun of Christians, Muslim, Mormons or Jews. He got a sudden case of religious sensitivity when it was his religion featured on the show." Stone explained that he and colleague Trey Parker "never heard a peep out of Isaac in any way until we did Scientology," and added "he wants a different standard for religions other than his own, and to me, that is where intolerance and bigotry begin."

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