Sunday, 4 December 2005
Morton Shadows' World of Pop - Athens, Georgia Special!!!
Well, this week our round up of all things pop comes to you from the capital of southern U.S. pop, Athens G.E.O.R.G.I.A.!! So with no further pause for ceremonials, let's see how the world's been treating them way down yonder where the Buffalo roam!
Michael Stipe facing litigation over "End of the World" snub!
R.E.M. singer and lyricist Michael Stipe became the subject of a legal action this week brought about by the estate of British songwriter and composer Lionel Bart. Stipe is being sued by Bart's executors for defamation, career damage and loss of earnings over the singer's failure to include a reference to the author of Oliver in his 1980s hit It's the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine). The song namechecks other artists, writers and politicians whose initials are L.B., such as Lenny Bruce, Lester Bangs, Leonid Brezhnev and Leonard Bernstein, but mysteriously omits Bart, the writer of such classic songs as Food, glorious food and You've got to pick a pocket or two. "We just can't understand it", said one of the Bart estate's legal advisers, "I mean look what it's done to the careers of all the others mentioned! Who'd ever heard of Lester Bangs before Stipe gave him the free plug, my life?? As for Bernstein, he was still looking for bit-part conductor understudy work while our late client was wowing the West End and Broadway with his whimsical odes to 19th Century squalor and the ravages of Industrial Revolution-era urban poverty. We're hoping for a quick settlement and an apology - besides, why spoil a lovely day?"
In an emotive ceremony aimed at gaining mass public support for the action, actor Mark Lester, who played the lead role of Oliver in the film adaptation of Bart's hugely successful musical of the same name, will confront Stipe with arms outsretched, carrying an empty bowl of soup as lawyers present the Georgia-born singer with the lawsuit. Stipe's legal team are bracing themselves for copycat actions from the likes of Lionel Blair, Lionel Barrymore and Lauren Bacall.
In a completely unrelated development actor Jack Wild, who played the Artful Dodger in Bart's highly acclaimed musical, is pressing Stipe to record an updated version of It's the end of the world..., called It's the end of the world as we know it again (and I still feel fine) and add a list of celebrities whose initials are J.W. Wilde is believed to have gained support for his campaign from Joanne Woodward, Johnny Weissmuller and June Whitfield.
B-52s to join Iraq humanitarian aid project.
In other Athens Georgia-related news, top U.S. new wave act and loyal Athenians the B-52s are set to join the Coaltion of the willing in Iraq. It is believed that the B-52s will start flying regular sorties over the southern part of the beleagured country dropping humanitarian relief parcels in an effort to free up several of the heavy payload bombers currently being used for such purposes in order that they be able to revert to flying combat missions. This will enable the massive craft to drop huge quantities of bunker-buster and other deadly missiles on enclaves of insurgents embedded in and around Baghdad and Basra in a succession of merciless carpet bombing raids without impeding the coalition's efforts to rebulid the war-ravaged country. The band's part of the mission will be far more peaceful though as they scatter the countryside below them with humanitarian relief parcels. The air drops will include several thousand tons worth of surplus knitted sweaters and cardigans donated to the sun-scorched victims of the Asian Tsunami by well-meaning old ladies the world over. The knitwear, which is of absolutely no nutritional value whatsoever, will be used to fill thousands of excess earthenware bowls donated in the tens of thousands by similarly well-meaning old biddies to replace those damaged in the recent Kashmir/Pakistan earthquake. "We're really looking forward to helping out", said singer Kate. "And I can't wait to get my hands on some of those lovely bowls - they'd go so well with my braided yak's mane serving mats...ooh, is that Angora?"
Keep on Rockin'in the Free World!!