CMU Daily - on the inside 26 Sep 2003
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In today's CMU Daily:
• Rhode Island investigations continue,
• So Solid Megaman speaks out against gun culture,
• BBC defend local radio music commitment,
• Review: Nathan Haines - U See That,
• Metallica finally announce new bassist,
• Eavis junior plans anti-war gig,
• Bowman to quit RI:SE,
• Blur announce four London dates,
• Artist changes expected at Lack’s Sony,
• Harrison’s guitar on show at Beatles exhibition,
• R Kelly sells well in US,
• Napster to return,
• Aphex Twin plans live dates,
• Dirty Vegas on the Grammy


It seems likely Ty Longely, the guitarist with Great White, is among the 97 people killed at the Rhode Island club fire last week. He is among the dozens of people still unaccounted for after the tragic fire that began after a pyro show set the wooden building alight.

More claims and counter claims with regards who might be to blame for the blaze. An attorney for the band backed up comments of frontman Jack Russell in saying the venue had given permission for the pyrotechnics to be used. He claims venue co-owner Michael Derderian gave a verbal go ahead a week before the event, and was present when the band set up their show. However Michael's brother and co-owner Jeffrey Derderian denies any such conversation took place.

The venue owners' case may be strengthened by claims from four other clubs where the band have recently played that say they did not give permission for pyros that the band then went on to use. But the band's attorney speculated that these venues were covering themselves in case investigators found they should not have allowed a pyro show to take place.

A local sound engineer, Paul Vanner, has told The Boston Globe that he warned Michael Derderian three months ago that pyrotechnics were being used by bands in the club and the practice should be stopped. "I told them, 'I don't know those dudes from shit. They are lighting fires in your club. Tomorrow they're gone. Tomorrow we're here. I can't guarantee safety in your club’."

But at the same time The Smoking Gun website has posted a copy of the rider supplied by the Great White when they played the Asbury Park venue in New Jersey on Valentines Day. Although pyros were used in the show they are not mentioned in the production notes supplied prior to the gig. It is understood that both of the Derderian brothers have already been questioned by investigators, with at least one of their homes being searched. The surviving members of the band have been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury at a formal hearing into the tragedy later today.

As investigations continued three separate memorial events took place yesterday with thousands turning out to pay tribute to the music fans who died. The governor of Rhode Island, meanwhile, ordered local agencies fly the state flag at half-staff and asked President Bush to declare the fire a state disaster, which would make Rhode Island eligible for federal aid.

Finally, Fred Durst has said he is planning a benefit gig to raise money for families of those who died. He told reporters: "I feel bad about what just happened at the Great White concert and I'm trying to put together a benefit for that. I believe it's our responsibility to provide a safe place for people to be there."


So Solid Crew's Megaman, real name Dwayne Vincent, has spoken out against gun culture at a Youth Against Gun Violence event in London. He told the conference: "For many people carrying a gun is a form of protection, sometimes they just don't have a chance. But we need to give youths options. There are very few real guns out there. Most of the shootings involve replica guns that have been converted to fire real bullets. We, in the black community, need to work together to get rid of the gangs who are converting these guns."

Megaman gave tentative support to the government's proposed mandatory five year sentence for anyone found carrying a gun – though presumably he wouldn't wish such a severe sentence for fellow Crew mates Shane Neil and Jason Philips who are due in court next month on gun charges.


The BBC has made its first official statement against accusations by the Londumb campaign that it has turned its back on quality specialist music programming in opting for a 'talk radio' heavy schedule. The Corporation made a statement after some of the campaign's celebrity supporters wrote a letter to the government which said: "The government's proposed changes to the radio sector make it all the more crucial that the BBC deliver on its local and regional remit to support the arts."

In its reply the BBC said both BBC London and their other local stations played a wide range of music and were fully committed to regional arts. "We do have a diverse range of music on BBC London. Lemon Jelly (one of the signatories to the letter) was on last month's playlist and this Saturday Gary Crowley is doing a two hour special on The Clash with Mick Jones and Paul Simenon. Coupled with Dirty Vegas, Dr Robert and Ron Sexsmith on this month's playlist, I don't think we are lacking in diversity.”

The statement went on to say BBC’s arts coverage extended beyond just music.
"Our commitment to the arts is a great deal more than playing music. Through our links with the Arts Council of England, we work with the African, Asian, Caribbean and Chinese communities to bring music, poetry, prose and sculpture in to the mainstream of our outlets. Local radio has an extremely proud record of arts output.”


REVIEW: Nathan Haines - U See That (Chilifunk)
Ex-Kiwi saxophonist Haines is back with the mighty Phil Asher, delivering another cut from his forthcoming album ‘Squire for Hire’. Average dancefloor jazz is on the agenda – this tune seems to be geared to work with Marcus Begg and Vanessa Freeman’s lush vocals and in doing so lacks Haines’ really punchy sax renditions. There is very little difference between the mixes (and an acapella is included for some reason). All in all this is probably more Asher than Haines: while that’s not such a bad thing Phil and Nathan are gonna have to work hard to top their awesome ‘Sound Travels LP’ from 2001. PV
Release date: 14 Apr
Press contact: Velocity PR


Metallica, who have been looking for a new guitarist since Jason Newsted quit in January 2001, have finally announced that Ozzy Osbourne’s bassist Robert Trujillo will join the band. A former member of rock band Suicidal Tendencies, Trujillo got to know Metallica back in 1993 when his band supported them on a European tour.

Talking about their new recruit, Metallica frontman James Hetfield said there was "incredible magic" between the four members when they jammed together in the studio. "It was something that we could not describe. We all just knew it. Bob Rock [producer of their new album] told us right after the jam that it sounded like a 747 jet taking off."


Emily Eavis, daughter of Michael and co-producer of the Glastonbury Festival, had told Radio 1 she is planning a big anti-war gig, and that she is looking to use the Millennium Dome to host it. She explained: "There's not been an opportunity like this for bands to actually stand up and sing... a lot of bands I know are actually really, really passionate about it. I just rang up Stop The War Coalition and I was like 'right, we've got to do something'. I think it's more powerful too after that huge successful march - we'll drip feed the government with another little protest." No word on actual line up or whether the Dome would be available – but Eavis is talking about a mid-March date so things would have to come together quickly. It would be ironic if the dome, which caused so much bad PR for the government in the millennium year, would then be used to host a major event staged to protest against another unpopular government policy. Elsewhere in the world of pro/anti war propaganda Tony Blair will take part in a pan-European debate about the war on MTV. In a bid to win over the youth population the show – called 'MTV Forum With Tony Blair: Is War the Answer?' - will see 40 young people from across Europe, the US and the Middle East ask questions over the war in Iraq. Trevor Nelson will front the debate.


Edith Bowman is quitting Channel 4's struggling breakfast show RI:SE when her contract comes up for renewal, meaning all of the original presenting team are now gone. The 'release' from the original line up may provide the revamped show a much needed boost, but most media commentators see Bowman’s departure as another step towards the show's ultimate demise.

The new look RI:SE is now receiving on-air promotion across Channel 4 but, despite being slightly more positively viewed by critics, the show is still struggling to build on its poor audience figures. Producers may argue the new look show hasn't had anything like the marketing push the original incarnation received. But some suggest Channel 4 is wary about hyping the show too much in case it wants to quietly drop it from its schedule later this year.

As previously reported some cynics predict Channel 4 will cancel the show to allow Channel 4 News Specials during any war in the Gulf. Post-war RI:SE would then be forgotten, perhaps replaced by sitcom repeats until a new format can be found.


Blur have confirmed a four night residency at the London Astoria. They will play the venue on 8, 9, 10 and 12 of May. Tickets go on sale on Saturday.


Industry insiders are expecting more announcements from Sony HQ in the US after new boss Andrew lack spent some time in LA talking to artist managers and attorneys. Lack is expected to undertake some restructuring before the end of the financial year (ie next month) and some reckon the latest meetings may have been in preparation for a downsizing of the major's rosters.


The Beatles Story museum in Liverpool have confirmed that they now have the first guitar ever bought by George Harrison on display. The guitar has been donated by a British collector who recently acquired the instrument off a fan in the US. Originally bought in the mid-1950s for three pounds and 10 shillings experts reckon the guitar is now worth £500,000.

Museum curator Sandy Quayle told reporters that the guitar "captures the very birth of George's musical legacy and the legacy of the Beatles. It is a simple, cheap guitar but to me that makes it all the more beautiful."


50 Cent's domination of the US album charts may be over after the release of R Kelly’s new album 'Chocolate Factory'. Despite (or perhaps because of) the bad press surrounding child porn allegations, R Kelly is currently 500,000 units ahead of 50 Cents in album sales, and therefore likely to top this week's chart.


Roxio, the IT company who bought the Napster name after the service went bankcrupt last year, have said they will launch a new legit online service using the Napster brand by the end of the year. They are currently in negotiations with the five majors re content. Whether the new service will justify the $5 million they paid for the Napster name remains to be seen.


Aphex Twin is teaming up with Russell Haswell and Masami Akita, aka
Satanstornade, for three rare live performances in Norway and Germany next
month. Timed to coincide with the release of new album '26 Mixes for Cash',
those dates are:

28 Mar: BLA, Oslo, Norway
29 Mar: USF, Bergen, Norway
30 Mar: Volksbuhne, Berlin, Germany


London based dance act Dirty Vegas have been talking about winning the Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording. They told reporters they almost missed their moment, when they didn't hear their name being called out - "it wasn't until our management patted us on the back going 'go on up boys, you're up' we realised we’d won! Our record company was just on the phone to us and they're saying 'how do you feel about winning a grammy?' How do you think we feel? You know, six months ago we never even dreamed of being here. Ah, tonight – I’m not going to bed, I am NOT going to bed!"

Highlight of the night? "The best thing for me was Avril Lavigne, she just patted me on the arm and said - 'Well Done Paul' … I’m not going to wash this top"!

The trio will be performing their first post-award gig at Cream night Nation in Liverpool on 8 Mar. They will play a live set alongside Jon Carter, K-Klass and Nic Fanciulli. Press info from Gill at Cream on 020 7299 0978.

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