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INFORMATION
Jobs
CMU Info
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
MySpace sold
HMV profits down 61%
In The Pop Courts
High Court will rule next week on Newzbin case
Murray requests Joe Jackson lawsuit be dismissed
Rihanna video faces second legal claim from photographer
Awards & Contests
BET boss apologises for Rihanna/Brown award mix-up
Release News
Zola Jesus announces new album
Big Deal announce debut album
Gigs & Tours News
U2 to sell off stage set as separate venues
Three Trapped Tigers announce London show
SCUM announce new single and gigs
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Reviews
Album review: Ludovico Einaudi - Islands (Universal/Decca)
The Music Business
Independent Label Market film online
The Digital Business
Virgin close to doing Spotify deal
Universal a target for hacks, Sony breach discussed at AGM
The Media Business
Mix Master Mike to present XFM show
And finally...
Lennon was less of a leftie by the time he died


 
THURSDAY 30TH JUNE
FINK
The moniker of Brighton-based singer-songwriter Fin Greenall, Fink started out as a club promoter and DJ, nurturing a passion for acid jazz and house music as he traversed the international live circuit.

Signing to Ninja Tune for dub-centric debut album 'Fresh Produce' in 2000, he later joined forces with bassist Guy Whittaker and drummer Tim Thorton on 2006 gem 'Biscuits For Breakfast'. While retaining traces of the downtempo electronica that characterised his previous work, the LP saw Fink introduce a more prominent indie-rock strain into his music, an approach which he furthered in subsequent albums 'Distance And Time' and 'Sort Of Revolution', which were released in 2007 and 2009 respectively.

 
Having worked with the likes of Amy Winehouse and John Legend, Fink has also appeared by special request on albums by Bonobo and Professor Green, and is slated for a guest slot on Green's upcoming long player 'At Your Inconvenience'. Following the release of Fink's own latest album 'Perfect Darkness' earlier this month, we caught up with the man himself to ask of him our Same Six Questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?

My parents gave me their old seven-inches when I was a kid and my grandmother's old Bluespot [record player] - out of all of these seven-inches I loved Chuck Berry, The Stones and 'I Am The Walrus' - rock, blues and pysch, I just naturally gravitated to them. I would regularly put together my top ten and drive my parents crazy - as it was always the same. John Peel was then my Music College (I really miss that guy, so much), and I started playing guitar and doing early mixtapes. At the beginning, I played to get laid, and then played to get paid, and now I play because I love it, and there's nothing else I'm good at...

Q2 What inspired your latest album?

Apart from just life generally inspiring everything all the time, and the healthy amount of really great music that gets thrown up every year, our main inspiration was all of our live shows on the Sort Of Revolution Tour - China, Oz, Europe, USA, a big tour - you really get to know your strengths and weaknesses. All that, plus the fact that for the first time we could justify the whole LA studio/producer, so we didn't want to waste a single minute. We just played and played and played for two weeks. Billy Bush brought the ears, and we nailed the whole thing front to back in fourteen days, including b-sides and acoustic versions.

It was intense, but I think we really captured something of the moment in there. As Quincy would say. Stagnation comes through procrastination, we didn't have time to think, we just played. Two of the tracks on the record were recorded totally live, and one was literally written on the spot - and the first take made the record!

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Normally, as a songwriter, on Fink stuff, I push myself into a space, normally down, but sometimes up, and stay in that space for as long as it takes to work through what I'm trying to do or say, and with a lot of emotions, that's not always clear straight away. Sometimes it takes a year or so before I can process what exactly I am channelling and get it out and give it to the boys to make more interesting than a dude on a guitar "exploring his emotions". The key is having an escape plan when you push yourself down there.

On this record, though, we did everything backwards. We started jamming all together, took the juicy riffs, broke them down to acoustic, wrote the songs, then built them back up again. The great thing about being on an indie label is the lack of 'radio edit pressure', we swapped easy money for creative freedom! And massive props to Ninja Tune, if it's good they'll put it out and we love that. That's why we've done four albums in five years - sure we need material to tour - but - who stays in the same artistic space for five years at a time?

Q4 Which artists influence your work?

We love the old boys - me in particular - I love the linear courage of John Lee Hooker and John Martyn and Joni. We all love Radiohead and their whole approach to art and business - it's really inspiring. We love modern bands, too. I do a radio show on Juice FM in Brighton every week that specialises in fresh indie - so I'm constantly inspired. I mean, I loved the Everything Everything record, Warpaint, totally loving the bravery of Esben And The Witch, and I can't wait for the new Horrors record. The more I write the more I appreciate how hard it is to write a song that sounds like it was easy to write.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?

I'd say kinda get into the voice... the music... the vibe... don't play it on Friday night to party with... pick a nice moment... we try and put a lot of "music" in our music... so, get into a musical mood first.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?

Our records take us all over the word, and we love that. We have a big tour and a big show planned - Europe, Oz, China, the USA, then bed! We really hope this record reaches people, and in the UK that's really hard for the real independents, but we totally believe in every note on the record, and that good music is all the leverage you need - that and a few big syncs!

MORE>> www.finkworld.co.uk
 
ROOTS MANUVA AND/OR TODDLA T
Roots Manuva has announced that he will release his new album, '4everevolution', on 26 Sep via Big Dada/Banana Klan. The seventeen tracks on the album apparently cover everything from "wonky reggae through pop-funk, street spitting, straight up hip hop, sung ballads and epic death-disco" and feature along the way guest appearances from Ricky Ranking, DJ MK, Daddy Kope, Rokhsan, Skin and Cass Lewis from Skunk Anansie, Elan Tamara and Spikey T.

 
Along with this, the rapper has made a track from the album, 'Watch Me Dance', a stream of which we posted earlier this month, available as a free download. The track features some of the aforementioned pop-funk and was apparently one of the earliest tracks written for the album. As ever, it shows Roots' amazing ability to experiment with musical styles and still make them sound his own.

The eagle-eyed amongst you might have noticed that 'Watch Me Dance' is also the title of Toddla T's new single (and, indeed, new album). That's because they are different versions of the same track. After demoing the track, Roots handed it to Toddla to see what he could do with it. The producer seemingly channelled Prince and ramped the funk right up. Both versions worked brilliantly, but for different albums. As you can see for yourself: download the Roots Manuva version, listen, stream the Toddla T track, repeat.


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A beginner’s guide to music copyright – everything you need to know about copyright law, licensing, monetising copyright, the fight against piracy and the future of the music rights industry. Wed 27 Jul

For more information or to book visit www.theCMUwebsite.com/training



MYSPACE SOLD
So, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp managed to successfully offload MySpace yesterday for a reported, though not confirmed, $35 million. Some of you might remember MySpace. For those with shorter memories, let us remind you. It was shit. Ah you see, now you remember.

Although the specifics of the MySpace sale are not 100% clear, it is thought News Corp will get a small stake in the buyer, Specific Media, which counts a certain Justin Timberlake among its backers, as part of the deal.

It is not clear what the deal means for the separate MySpace Music business, which operates the streaming music element of the entertainment networking site, and in which the major labels have a stake. There was speculation earlier this week that it was MySpace's music operations that were of most interest to buyers, which would presumably mean Specific would want the JV with the majors to continue. Whether MySpace Music's licensing deals will be able to simply transfer over to the new owners isn't known, either. Sometimes licensing deals expire with a change of ownership.

Although it still generated significant revenues in the first few years News Corp owned it, MySpace was already yesterday's social media platform when the Murdoch-owned conglom bought the web firm for $580 million in 2005. In the following years users flocked away, traffic slumped and advertising revenue went into significant decline. MySpace, then, was a costly disaster for News Corp, though management there will be very happy to be rid of it all.

It will be interesting to see what Specific now has planned for MySpace - one assumes they are more interested in the web firm's databases and content partnerships, and not its technology, that was universally terrible. The buyer's CEO, Tim Vanderbook, said in a statement: "There are many synergies between our companies, as we are both focused on enhancing digital media experiences by fuelling connections with relevance and interest. We look forward to combining our platforms to drive the next generation of digital innovation".

It's thought Specific will reveal more specifics about its plans relatively quickly. The one thing we know for sure right away is that MySpace's current CEO Mike Jones will step down once the transfer of ownership is complete. He confirmed this in an internal memo to staff published by TechCrunch yesterday afternoon. It's thought the sale will also result in yet another headcount cull at the web company. A third of the firm's remaining workforce was already due to be axed this week, and some reckon an additional 60% will be cut in the next month.

As a backer of Specific Media it is thought Justin Timberlake may offer advice to the company on what it does with its new toy. One hopes that when they get round to making a film about MySpace, Sean Parker will recruited to portray Timberblake's role in the story.

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HMV PROFITS DOWN 61%
So, HMV's profits for the last financial year were down 61% to £28.9 million. Given the struggling entertainment retailer has issued four profit warnings in the last year, that can't really come as a surprise to anyone, though today's year-end financial statement will spark another round of "they're doomed people, doomed I say" reporting I am sure. Although in profit, if you take off tax and non-cash impairments - and it's a sunny Thursday morning, I don't see why we shouldn't - the group made a loss of £121.7 million.

That HMV has had a tricky year is no secret of course, as efforts by top man Simon Fox to reinvent the 90 year old firm were hindered by disappointing high street revenues making it difficult for the company to meet the terms of covenants linked to substantial bank loans, mainly run up by Fox's diversification strategy. But the firm has successfully sold its Waterstones and Canadian retail chains, raising some quick cash and reducing liabilities, and has negotiated albeit costly new bank loan terms, giving Fox two years to turn things round.

The group's statement alongside the latest financials went a bit like this: "We continue to operate in a challenging macro environment, and the core retail markets in which HMV trades also remain difficult. However, we have taken decisive action to restructure the group, and have a clear strategy for transforming HMV into a broad-based entertainment business".

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HIGH COURT WILL RULE NEXT WEEK ON NEWZBIN CASE
The High Court has said it will rule next month on the previously reported application by the Motion Picture Association to force BT to block access to the Newzbin2 website, which is now run out of Sweden and which, the MPA says, aids rampant piracy of its content.

The music business is watching the case carefully because if the MPA is successful, it could open the door for other content owners to seek injunctions against other ISPs in relation to all sorts of other copyright infringing websites. One of the on-hold provisions of the Digital Economy Act specifically set out such an injunctions system, but if the MPA wins, the precedent will be set that such injunctions can be secured under existing copyright law, albeit through a possibly less time efficient route.

As previously reported, BT says that if the court sides with the MPA on this case it will open the flood gates for a barrage of injunction claims.

Having heard arguments from both sides this week, the judge hearing the case, Richard Arnold, said he would make a formal judgement on or soon after 12 Jul, after considering some further written submissions.

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MURRAY REQUESTS JOE JACKSON LAWSUIT BE DISMISSED
Conrad Murray has requested that the civil lawsuit being pursued against him by Michael Jackson's father Joe be dismissed, arguing that he is not responsible for the late king of pop's death, and that Joe doesn't have a right to claim for damages in relation to his son's death anyway.

Murray filed legal papers in relation to the previously reported Joe Jackson wrongful death lawsuit last week. Among the claims made in the papers is that Jackson was taking the drug that killed him - propofol - without the doctor's knowledge or consent, and self-administered the shot that likely caused his death.

We are already expecting this claim to be at the heart of Murray's defence in the linked criminal case against him. According to Bang Showbiz, the legal papers claim that Michael Jackson "clandestinely self-administered or self-ingested" the drugs that killed him and is therefore "comparatively responsible for his own death".

The Murray papers also argue Joe Jackson doesn't have the necessary legal standing to file a claim against the doctor, because MJ had cut his estranged father out of his will, and did not support him financially, although Jackson Snr has previously claimed that, in the years before his son's death, he had actually received financial support from him.

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RIHANNA VIDEO FACES SECOND LEGAL CLAIM FROM PHOTOGRAPHER
Rihanna is facing a second lawsuit over her video for 'S&M'.

You might remember that photo man David LaChapelle claimed the video ripped off a lot of ideas and imagery used in a Vogue photo shoot he'd once done. Now a German photographer called Phiipp Paulus is making similar claims, arguing one scene in particular is a direct copy of one his works - the bit where Rihanna wears a big dress and stands up against behind a plastic sheet, surrounded by Xs.

It seems likely the pop promo's director, Melina Matsoukas, was influenced by both the photo collections when conceiving the S&M themed video for 'S&M', though reps for Rihanna and her record company argue that that in itself cannot constitute copyright infringement.

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BET BOSS APOLOGISES FOR RIHANNA/BROWN AWARD MIX-UP
Black Entertainment Television's President, Stephen Hill has apologised for a mix-up which led to an award meant for Chris Brown being presented to Rihanna at last weekend's BET Awards. If it's going to happen, though, that's probably the best away around.

The Viewer's Choice Award was presented by a competition winner, who initially announced that Chris Brown had won, before backtracking and saying that actually Rihanna was the winner. Which was a bit embarrassing. But then rapper Drake accepted the award on Rihanna's behalf and all seemed well. Until presenter Kevin Hart later confirmed that Drake should actually pass the trophy on to Brown after all.

Hill tweeted: "That BET Awards Viewer's Choice mix-up was due to human error. And I was the human that made that error. I apologise to ALL affected".

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ZOLA JESUS ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM
Rising electronic musician Zola Jesus has announced that she will release her third album, 'Conatus', through Souterrain Transmissions on 26 Sep.

You can stream and download a track from the album, 'Vessels', here: soundcloud.com/souterraintransmissions/vessel-zola-jesus

Tracklist:

Swords
Avalanche
Vessel
Hikikomori
Ixode
Seekir
In Your Nature
Lick the Palm of the Burning Handshake
Shivers
Skin
Collapse

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BIG DEAL ANNOUNCE DEBUT ALBUM
CMU Approvees Big Deal have announced that they will release their debut album, entitled 'Lights Out', on 29 Aug. It will be preceded by a new single, 'Chair', on 22 Aug.

The duo will also be appearing at various UK festivals over the summer, including Wireless this weekend, Reading and Leeds, Hop Farm, Lounge On The Farm, and End Of The Road.

Check out three tracks from the album, including previous single, 'Talk', here: soundcloud.com/big-deal

Tracklist:

Distant Neighborhood
Chair
Cool Like Kurt
Swoon
Homework
Talk
With The World At My Feet
Locked Up
Summer Cold
Visions
Seraphine
Pi

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U2 TO SELL OF STAGE SET AS SEPARATE VENUES
I'm not sure I've ever considered what U2 might do with their massive '360 Tour' stage set when they are finished with it. Maybe I just assumed they would set it up in Bono's back garden and use it as a washing line or something. But they're not going to do that. Actually, they're going to sell it of in bits, possibly using each leg to create a new permanent venue.

Tour Director Craig Evans told Billboard: "It's certainly our intention to see these things recycled into permanent and usable ventures. It represents too great an engineering feat to just use for [the tour] and put away in a warehouse somewhere. [We are] now in discussions to send them into different places around the world and have them installed as permanent venues. Some major events have shown interest in these, from four different continents - and we haven't even really put the word out yet".

He continued: "They're something you can put up on a waterfront and become an instant skyline icon. We know that the inquiries will keep coming in. Having been part of the biggest tour of all time, they're pretty well tried and tested. They can carry weights no other structure can consider, and since they're already developed and designed you can probably complete [a venue] in a one-month period instead of a two-year build period".

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THREE TRAPPED TIGERS ANNOUNCE LONDON SHOW
Three Trapped Tigers have announced that they will play a one-off headline show at The Garage in London on 26 Oct. It will be their final gig of 2011, so you'd better go. If you don't, you're just silly.

The band will also release a new single, 'Noise Trade', on 8 Aug, which will come bundled with remixes by Nedry and Ghost Puncher. You can view the video right here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5nmP5xv0lE

Also, to mark the release of their fantastic debut album, 'Route One Or Die', the band recently put together a very fine Powers Of Ten playlist for us, which you can peruse here.

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SCUM ANNOUNCENEW SINGLE AND GIGS
Gloomy rock types SCUM will release a new single, 'Amber Hands', via Mute on 18 Jul, which will come shortly after the band complete their latest UK tour.

The band have just put the video for the single online, of which director Matthew Stone says: "The word esoteric means 'That which is hidden'. I like the idea that a band can stand out by disappearing. SCUM hide behind veils of smoke on stage, but with this video I wanted to give them a new visual language; something slow-burning, but euphoric that would have the same effect".

Watch said video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEpagDZ-E3o

Here are the tour dates:

3 Jul: Glasgow, King Tut's
4 Jul: Manchester, The Ruby Lounge
6 Jul: Sheffield, The Forum
8 Jul: Peterborough, Met Lounge
11 Jul: York, The Duchess
12 Jul: Cambridge, The Haymakers
13 Jul: London, Electrowerkz
24 Jul: London, Alexandra Palace (supporting Portishead)
6 Aug: Field Day
21 Aug: London, Shoreditch Studios

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FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE

LOUNGE ON THE FARM, Merton Farm, Canterbury, Kent, 8-10 Jul: LOTF organisers have disclosed the full roster for their Silent Disco arena, which will see sets from the likes of young guns Ronnie Joyce, Ollie Russian, Get Low Cartel and bespectacled 'Big Brother' irritant Sam Pepper. The Bookhouse Boys join the live musical line-up, which also features the stellar likes of Ellie Goulding, Echo & the Bunnymen, Katy B, Everything Everything and Graham Coxon. www.loungeonthefarm.co.uk

T IN THE PARK, Balado, Scotland, 8-10 Jul: Acts newly squashed onto the teeming T line-up include Neon Trees, Parade and retro sister-sister duo The Pierces. They find themselves crammed in with such previously announced bill residents as Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, Ke$ha, My Chemical Romance and Weezer. www.tinthepark.com

TRAMLINES, Various Venues, Sheffield, 22-24 Jul: Joining in the budget-friendly fun at Tramlines' entirely free fest are fresh additions including Delta Maid, Nerina Pallot, Guillemots and Joshua Radin. Prior bookings include Ash, The Futureheads, Rolo Tomassi, Los Campesinos!, Dels and Toddla T. www.tramlines.org.uk

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ALBUM REVIEW: Ludovico Einaudi - Islands (Universal/Decca)
Ludovico Einaudi is possibly one of the world's most popular composers, although you may not be familiar with his name, you will very likely have come across this Italian's beautiful compositions at some point - either through films, TV, or ads.

But if you are unfamiliar, then 'Islands' is a good place to start, a compilation of his works. And what will you get? Well, 'I Giorni', which is typical Einaudi, a beautiful, lush piano composition, and 'Le Onde', which typifies the skills of Einaudi as a composer. 'Nightbook', the title track from his 2009 album, is a little moodier, and has a certain hectic aspect with its backdrop of tense strings, while 'Divenere' is much more uplifting with its dancing notes slipping of the Grand.

There are no major low points. 'Fairytale' maybe leans on 'I Giorni' too much, while 'Nuvole Bianchi' and 'Berlin Song' are a little overly sugared for me. But that doesn't distract from the real gems too much. The highlight is 'Questa Notte', which its pure and simple melody, precision and beauty.

All in all, a solid round up of this considerably gifted man's work, and an excellent introduction to his often dazzlingly good compositions. PV

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INDEPENDENT LABEL MARKET FILM ONLINE
A brief documentary capturing last month's Independent Label Market in Soho has gone online. The film features interviews with some of the label founders who were hawking their wares on the day, including Mute's Daniel Miller, Wall Of Sound's Mark Jones, XL's Richard Russell and ILM organiser Joe Daniel of Angular.

Watch it here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=9M2FSfNVR8U

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VIRGIN CLOSE TO DOING SPOTIFY DEAL
Virgin Media is close to confirming a deal with Spotify, various reports claim.

Virgin has been in talks about bundling Spotify into a music version of its ISP package for a while now - ever since it became clear the net firm's own plans to launch an all you can eat MP3 download service would never be licensed by anyone but Universal - but getting something in place has taken longer than either party would have hoped because, under Spotify's deals with the majors, they had to be consulted about any resale of the streaming music service.

According to The Guardian, contracts for a Spotify-via-Virgin service have now been agreed in principle and will be signed by all parties imminently. A trial is then likely to take place over the summer ahead of an autumn launch.

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UNIVERSAL A TARGET FOR HACKS, SONY BREACH DISCUSSED AT AGM
Universal Music is the latest major content owner to become a target of those pesky 'look at us, aren't we clever' computer hackers. A seemingly new group of cyber-attackers have released a load of data, including logins and passwords, apparently taken from Universal Music's servers. The data dump also includes similar information from the servers of MTV owners Viacom.

It seems unlikely this data breach is anywhere near as big as that suffered by Sony Corp when its PlayStation Network and Qriocity systems were hacked, making public all sorts of password and credit card information and forcing both networks to be shut down for a time. Sony Corp boss Howard Stringer had a very hard time at a recent AGM where the embarrassing data hack was one of the topics for discussion, with at least one shareholder blaming the data breach in part for the entertainment and electronics company's continued poor financial performance.

At the same AGM it was confirmed Stringer would be getting a lower pay packet this year because the conglom he leads has posted losses for three consecutive years. Though he was still paid $4.27 million, so I don't think we need to organise a whip round for him or anything.

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MIX MASTER MIKE TO PRESENT XFM SHOW
If you thought Saturday evenings on Xfm were about to get exciting because Mary Anne Hobbs is returning to the station, how about you prepare to change your underwear, because Mix Master Mike will be presenting the show before her. That, my dears, is what you call a good line-up. The Beastie Boys DJ will be presenting a weekly mix show from 6-7pm, ahead of Hobbs' 7-10pm slot.

Xfm's Programme Director Andy Ashton told reporters: "We are all very excited to welcome Mix Master Mike to the Xfm team. Alongside Justin Lee Collins and the brand new show from Mary Anne Hobbs, our Saturday line-up confirms Xfm as a must-listen for everyone who - like us - shares our passion for music".

Mary Anne Hobbs and Mix Master Mike will both broadcast their first shows on 9 Jul. And the day before that, you'll be able to listen to a Powers Of Ten playlist put together by Mary Anne herself. Basically, it's all very exciting.

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LENNON WAS LESS OF A LEFTIE BY THE TIME HE DIED
Well, we all get a little bit more right wing with age, don't we? I recently turned 36 and have now joined my local Tory club, bought a Sarah Palin poster for my kitchen and thrown out all my hip hop records.

And it seems even John Lennon was distancing himself from his former left-leaning radical self in the latter years of his life. Or so says Fred Seaman, who was the late Beatle's PA during his final year alive. In a new documentary, Seaman says that Lennon was a Ronald Regan supporter, and enjoyed winding up those with left-wing opinions similar to those he once promoted.

Says Seaman: "John, basically, made it very clear that if he were an American he would vote for Reagan because he was really sour on [Democrat President] Jimmy Carter. He'd met Reagan back, I think, in the 70s at some sporting event. [Of course] Reagan was the guy who had ordered the National Guard, I believe, to go after the young [peace] demonstrators in Berkeley, so I think that John maybe forgot about that... [But] he did express support for Reagan, which shocked me".

He adds: "I also saw John embark in some really brutal arguments with my uncle, who's an old-time communist... He enjoyed really provoking my uncle... Maybe he was being provocative... but it was pretty obvious to me he had moved away from his earlier radicalism. He was a very different person back in 1979 and 80 than he'd been when he wrote 'Imagine'. By 1979, he looked back on that guy and was embarrassed by that guy's naiveté".

Ah, if only he'd lived, Lennon could have had his own Fox News show by now.

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Andy Malt
Editor
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Co-Publisher
Caro Moses
Co-Publisher
           
Eddy Temple-Morris
Columnist
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Zane Lowe
Backtracking Officer

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