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Sun, 26 Jul 1998 04:13:44 -0600
Copyright 1998 South China Morning Post Ltd.
South China Morning Post
July 20, 1998
Rushdie pens lyrics for singer in latest novel
Controversial British author Salman Rushdie has turned his hand to
writing rock lyrics, which he hopes may be recorded and released
after his new novel is published early next year.
Rushdie, sentenced to death under an Iranian fatwa after the
publication of The Satanic Verses in 1988, wrote a review of a
Rolling Stones concert for Britain's Observer three years ago and
has now made a rock singer the central character of his latest novel.
He was inspired by talks with the Irish rock band U2 after a surprise
appearance on stage with them at Wembley Stadium in 1993, but
he says the book is based on "an earlier generation" of bands.
It contains lyrics to several fictional hit singles and Rushdie is
talking of well-known bands recording some of the songs for a CD.
"When I was nine, Rock Around The Clock came out," says
"Now I'm 51 the music is middle-aged and I'm writing the first
dinosaur rock novel."
The title, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, is inspired by words
from the 1960s hit single Concrete and Clay.
It is described as "a story of love, death and music - the tale of
an Orpheus in the Underworld of rock 'n' roll". The story is set
in India, England and America and covers 25 years up to the
"One of the interesting things about inventing rock stars is that
you have to invent their career and create hits for them," says
Rushdie, who wrote jingles for commercials before becoming
Thanks to Paul Andersen for the above.
We didn't know the wags at The New York Post could speak French
-- but they somehow ferreted out the fact that Voici, that notorious
French tabloid has printed pictures of that former waif and number one
model Kate Moss with Nelle Hooper. According to the report, Hooper
-- who you might remember as one of U2's favorite producers, and
who also counts Massive Attack, Madonna, and Bjork among his
successes -- was draped indelicately atop the model's slender
frame in some of the snaps. This in itself isn't strange, except for
the fact Hooper used to date Moss's best friend, Naomi Campbell.
According to pals, Moss and Hooper have known each other for
years through Naomi, but they only started getting, how-you-say,
physical in the past few months -- and no, we don't know if
Hooper was the one who trashed the hotel room with the lissome
Moss at the Festival International de Films de Femmes in Creteil last
March. Kate still isn't telling -- but her pals say he was her partner
Condensed from Yahoo/Reuters:
PolyGram may hit a sour note in second quarter
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Music and film group PolyGram may last
only a few months longer as a listed entity, but analysts are still keen to
see how well -- or badly -- it has done in the last quarter when it
reports on Wednesday.
Canada's Seagram Co. is set to gobble it up in the fourth quarter after
reaching agreement with majority owner Philips Electronics. But a dismal
first quarter and weak forecasts for the second have already led to a
cut in the sale price.
Seagram will pay $10.4 billion, having originally planned to pay $10.6
billion. On Monday, Seagram sold its Tropicana juice unit to PepsiCo
for $3.3 billion, and will use the proceeds to pay for PolyGram.
In April, PolyGram announced an 88 percent drop in net earnings to 15
million guilders ($7.5 million). At the time it said it expected the second
quarter music performance to be in line with last year, but foresaw a
"soft" quarter for film. Much has happened since then, not least the
announcement of the Seagram deal.
Then, operating profit for music was 271 million guilders, while film
made an operating loss of 37 million guilders. A few analysts see a
modest improvement in film, but music, many agree, is set to suffer.
Most expect operating profit for the latter division to more than halve.
Music has been hit in two ways. First, Asian sales have continued
to falter. The difficult trading conditions in the region led PolyGram
to make provisions of about 25 million guilders for bad debt last quarter.
"It's the same story as in the first quarter. Sales there have been soft.
There's the currency impact there too. Even elsewhere, the markets
have not been particularly wild," said Bert Siebrand of SNS Securities.
Secondly, the company's release schedule has failed to pick up, a
problem exacerbated by the sale of the company to Seagram.
"A number of artists have stalled their releases. The longer this g
oes on of course, the worse it will be," said Marina Millington-Ward,
analyst at Friesland Bank Securities.
Reuters/Variety ^[email protected]
There's an interesting article about the 80's music scene and it's revival
in the 90's. (I still swear by this statement -- if anyone has ever heard
a better song to dance to than Dexy's Midnight Runners "Come On
Eileen", you're on drugs...) There's a funny U2 reference quoted below.
The entire article can be read at the address following the article:
Condensed from The Irish Times:
In Ireland, however, it's a little bit different. Despite the
invaluable contribution of U2 to the Eighties Bad Taste file
(Bono's hair is particularly exemplary, and the band as a whole
seemed inordinately fond of those odd shirts with the diagonal
button arrangements), this country sat out the 1980s under a
pall of gloom. The 1980s in fact, were our 1970s. If you're
looking for a decade of conspicuous consumption,
loadsamoney, property booms and smugness, after all, who
needs a 1980s revival when you're living the real thing in
There's also an hilarious article called "An Irishman's Diary" available at
the following address:
The pertinent part is quoted below, but again, the entire article is worth
Condensed from The Irish Times:
This is the aspect which so enraptured the market and which
caused potential buyers to come from all over the world.
Prince Rainier, who was aided to the top of the eyrie by a large
crane-borne hoist, swore that not merely could he see Sorrento
Terrace chimney pots, but he was sure he could make out a
pair of Bono's underpants flapping in the breeze, just past the
third chimney pot on the left.
I'd just like to publicly apologize to WIRE for my posting(s) on July 19, 1998.
I accidentally sent the first part of the U2NEWS message twice. It has to be
divided into parts because no message can be larger than 14K -- I screwed up.
A thousand apologies to WIRE and everyone who reads it.
Again, my apologies.
U2's "If God Will Send His Angels" was played on CNN's WorldBeat Top 5
Albums this week.
There is a picture of Bono and Ali taken at the World Cup in this week's
(Prarit's note: If anyone scans it in, please let me know...)
Music-Jamaica: a Maverick MAGNATE'S New Venture
Inter Press Service 16-JUL-98
KINGSTON, (July 15) IPS - Chris Blackwell has always had a bit of the
maverick in him; so it is no surprise that the entertainment magnate's
latest venture borders on the cutting edge of show business.
Eight months after he was unceremoniously booted from his consultant
post at Island Records, Blackwell's new company, Islandlife, is looking
to take up where he left off with the independent record company he
started back in 1959.
Islandlife, like Island Records in its later years, will represent the
Jamaica-born magnate's various business interests, including films, the
leisure industry, publishing and of course music, the area in which
Island Records made its name.
As it was with Island, Jamaican culture will figure prominently in
Islandlife's plans, with music and the local film industry getting
Palm Pictures will oversee Islandlife's music distribution with Manga
handling the company's film output. Other areas to be covered are
publishing (Blue Mountain Music); leisure (Island Outpost), and
Islandlife.Com which is the company's official web site.
Islandlife now has offices in Kingston, New York, Miami, Chicago, Los
Angeles and London. Another office in Los Angeles will reportedly be
opened in August.
The first batch of records from the new company was released earlier
this month by Palm Pictures. The releases were the world beatish "Nomad
Soul," by Senegalese singer Baaba Maal, and "In Search of The Lost
Riddim," by Ernie Ranglin, the guitar maestro who was Island's first
signing when Blackwell set up shop in Kingston in the late 1950s.
Sly and Robbie, who apart from Bob Marley, have been Island's most
successful reggae act, will also figure in Blackwell's new plans. Their
next album, "Drum And Bass Strip To The Bone," is scheduled for a summer
Palm Pictures is expected to venture into new territory with "Drum And
Bass." The album will be accompanied by an animated video aimed at the
visual DVD market. This format is expected to set the tone for future
musical projects from Palm Pictures.
There will also be room for Bob Marley, the reggae legend who sent
Island's stocks soaring in the 1970s. Islandlife, in tandem with Island
and Marley's company, Tuff Gong, are planning to redistribute "Songs of
Freedom" the four-CD boxed set released by Island in 1992.
One million copies were initially released, but the demand for what is
regarded as the most comprehensive set of Marley's work has grown
recently, prompting the respective parties to release a fresh batch.
While music will play a major role in Islandlife's plans, films, long an
area of interest for Blackwell, will also be given priority. Most of
these films will be low budget projects, a route Blackwell has shown a
bias for in the past.
In the past, Island invested in the Oscar winner, "Kiss Of The Spider
Woman," and the Spike Lee debut, "She's Got To Have It."
Islandlife's films will be geared at the growing DVD niche market which
Blackwell tested last year with the Island Pictures sleeper hit,
In fact, Blackwell hinted in the May edition of Billboard magazine that
Jamaica will be a major topic of future Islandlife film projects. "My
heart is really in Jamaica, I'm trying to develop the film industry in
Jamaica," he said.
"I'm talking tiny, low-budget films; I'd like to make one or two every
year," Blackwell added. "They wouldn't all be like 'Dancehall Queen,'
but they'd always have a strong music content."
Blackwell was responsible for transforming Island from its humble
beginnings as a distributor of ska and calypso music in London during
the early 1960s, into a powerhouse conglomerate.
Island was the most competitive independent record label in the 1960s
with ska hits by Millie Small ("My Boy Lollipop") and the Spencer Davis
Group ("Keep On Running"). Island stepped up a notch in the 1970s with
the rebellious Marley before hitting pay dirt in the 1980s with Irish
super group U2.
Blackwell sold Island to the distribution giant, Polygram International,
in 1989 but stayed on in a consultative role until late 1997 when he was
pushed out, following a long running feud with Polygram Chief Executive
Officer, Alain Levy. But with the formation of Islandlife, Blackwell is
once again in the reckoning.
According to Sarah Weinstein-Dennison, head of media relations at Palm
Pictures, there is an air of excitement about Blackwell's latest
"There are going to be films made and records released so we're really
off and running," said Weinstein-Dennison recently. "We're real excited
that we'll be having everything under one umbrella."
This page is brought to you by the letter "U" and the number "2".
[email protected] U2 news: http://www.cableregina.com/users/u2news/u2.html
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