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The Big Hurt: Pratt falls

Plus Ringo shills, Yanni sucks
By DAVID THORPE  |  June 8, 2009


Now that Kevin Federline has risen to the unassailable position of total obscurity, the universe has delivered a new shithead to kick around: SPENCER PRATT, one of the vacuous props on MTV's realityesque moron drama The Hills, has his beady eyes set on a rap career. He's just released a track called "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here," titled after the show on which he now appears. It is, like the very life of the man, a ludicrous pantomime of human endeavor. Do you ever look at your dog and experience a strange moment of defamiliarization, like, "Why does this hairy carnivore live in my home?" I feel the same wonder when watching the uncanny face of this manlike vessel contort itself through the motions of human speech. His rapping is like a dog's attempt at music: without the capacity to understand our art, he can only yap a laughable parody.

Grotesque as the thing is, though, I suppose it would be a whole lot worse for everyone if Spencer Pratt released a rap single and it didn't suck at all.

Tween-punk hitmakers PARAMORE are committing mass career suicide this week: in an interview with Billboard, their drummer attempted to distance the band from the Twilight movie franchise, whose soundtrack propelled them to higher fame. "We don't want to be, like, the vampire house band," he said, expertly flourishing a "like" to hit the target demo. "It was really fun to be a part of that, and great exposure, but I think Twilight [the first film] was it for us." A band like Paramore rejecting Twilight is akin to Young Jeezy turning his back on the block.

If you're dying to see YANNI's extravagant live show but you've spent all your money on healing crystals and paintings of space dolphins, boy howdy, I've got some news for you: "Traveling from city to city, I have become keenly aware of the current economic challenges affecting so many families these days," said the pianist in a press release, his mustache furrowed with concern for the everyman. In response, he'll be offering select tickets to his upcoming tour for just 10 bucks. You've probably got a chuckle halfway out your craw at the mere mention of Yanni, but guess what? His concerts are going to be pleasant as fuck and make tons of old people happy. Consider that and be shamed, hipster.

A new book by rock roadie James "Tappy" Wright makes the shocking allegation that JIMI HENDRIX was actually murdered by Michael Jeffrey, his manager. Jeffrey — who is now dead and probably in no position to sue anyone — is said to have confessed the murder to Wright in a fit of inadvisable candor. The tale is that Jeffrey suspected that Hendrix was going to fire him, so he took out a huge life insurance policy on him and stuffed his windpipe full of pills and wine. One wonders why this terrible confession wasn't brought to light sooner, when Jeffrey was still alive to answer for his deeds — I know roadies are stereotyped as slow, but could it really have taken this dude almost 40 years to figure out how to make money off the tale?

Paul and Ringo took the stage at E3 to promote the new Beatles Rock Band game, which promises to introduce the Fab Four to a whole new generation of kids who will slacken their jaws and jiggle the nubs of their little plastic instruments to the backbeat of history — a beautiful thought, isn't it? Elsewhere in the world of commerce, DR. DRE is appearing in a new Dr. Pepper commercial. The two entities combine their medical expertise to advise the slow enjoyment of the beverage. It's a neat enough commercial, as these things go, that I almost forgot that Dr. Pepper tastes like pickled cough syrup. And, details are scant on this one, but PEARL JAM is reportedly set to appear in a Target commercial, too. We could grouse, but I think our decade of rampant, industry-killing piracy has stripped us of the ability to complain when artists sell out.


Related: The Big Hurt: Crashing Pumpkins, Blown dry, Offa my couch, Larroquette, More more >
  Topics: Music Features , Celebrity News, Dr. Dre, Entertainment,  More more >
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Re: Jimi Hendrix's murder
This comment is posted on behalf of James 'Tappy' Wright author of Rock Roadie. These are his answers. Check with Borkowski PR in the UK for confirmation. "You say that my claims are unlikely but I knew what Mike Jeffrey had done and I kept quiet for all this time because I was terrified. It wasn’t just me and him involved – the Mafia were part of this and Mike owed them money. He was paying out $30,000 a month to pay back the money he’d borrowed – I know this because I drove Bob Levine out to New Jersey to borrow it for him. I was one of his closest employees. If I hadn’t kept quiet, you’d have been reading about me in the obituaries. All this happened in 1973, not 1971 as has been reported, just months before Mike died in a plane crash. "I waited to tell the truth because I was scared and there were people still alive who were involved. Some of them could still be alive today. I started to write the book ten years ago because Rod Weinberg told me I had a moral obligation to get the truth out there – he was right, but it would have been suicide not to wait. After talking to Rod I realised that it was my duty to set the record straight. That’s why I started writing the book ten years ago. "Mike Jeffrey had Jimi killed because he needed the money. Jimi’s girlfriend Devon tried to take him away from Mike and she died – I believe she was thrown off the roof of the Chelsea Hotel. I don’t think she just fell. If I’d said anything before now, that could have been me. "This is not about some broke roadie cashing in on a story. I’m comfortably off. It’s about a moral obligation. Of course I’d like the book to sell, but it’s not about the money. It’s about getting the truth out there. I was Mike Jeffrey’s longest serving employee, right from before The Animals were even called that – there’s no story about Hendrix without the Animals. What happened to Jimi Hendrix is not the only story in the book, but it was important to tell it. "I remember all these things happening. I started writing the books ten years ago and I have thought long and hard about getting every memory down. I never took drugs during the 60s – except once, when Eric Burdon spiked me with acid. Girls, yes I slept with a lot of girls. But I never deliberately took drugs. So my memory is damned good and what gaps there were I filled in by talking to all the people who were involved and thinking back on what happened. You look at all the Hendrix books that have come out in the last 40 years and it’s all the same regurgitated shit. I knew the right people to ask and with their help I have remembered most of it. "I’ve also been asked to think about the past a lot since those days. The papers in the North East of England come to me regularly for anecdotes when people like Elvis and Ike Turner die – all the people I met and worked with. I have kept the memories alive over the years."
By AAHorovitz on 06/12/2009 at 7:17:15

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