Archive for October, 2009


October 17, 2009

It was inevitable of course – and finally a relief when the Black Eyed Peas’ historic half year run at the top of the US charts came to an end. We were entitled to think it would then be “business as usual” – a succession of more made-to-order songwriting-by-numbers vocally-enhanced American chart-toppers. But no. A complete unknown has taken over the crown, shock horror, an English rapper called Jay Sean of British Indian descent with ‘Down’, a single not even yet released at home in Britain. It’s a Cinderella story not totally without its marketing blemish of course. ‘Down’ also features “veteran” American rapper Lil Wayne who has sold more than 17 million copies in the U.S., and more than 28 million copies worldwide and had featured on songs by celebrity performers like Destiny’s Child, Chris Brown and Usher, part of hat laudible hiphop tradition where rap artists might snipe at each other, but they also appear on each other’s songs to shine some of their fame’s light on an up-and-coming artist. The star stystem works in hip hop. T

he British Indian experience has been lurking within English music for some years, an expression of the cultural shift in that country. Mattafix brought together Indian and Jamaican heritage. London born jazz/electronica composer Nitin Sawhney has both ian and Pakistan family background. Talvin Singh is a composer/producer credited with inspiring ‘Asian Underground’.

Jay Sean was born Kamaljit Singh Jhooti in March 1981 in the Southall neighbourhood of London into an British Indian family. His parents migrated from the Punjab in India. When he age 11, he and his cousin Pritpal Ruprai formed a hip hop duo called “Compulsive Disorder” He later studied medicine before he dropped out to pursue his musical career. He’s won over English and Indian fans, and achieved platinum sales, but with his latest album he’s deserted hiphop completely in order to win the larger American market. He’s an r&b singer like so many others in the field, stealing Lil Wayne’s credemtials. And there’s a sniff of ‘Slumdog Millionaire” opportunism here. He’s seen his window and he’s taken it.



October 15, 2009

Since Michael Jackson died his family have all but propped his body up ‘Weekend At Bernie’s’ style. They would if they could. As he is, dead, they can “party” at his expense. For years they’ve had their hands out for handouts. Now Michael has no say.

 What a grubby lot they are.

Jermaine Jackson, shedding tears as he sang Michael’s favourite song at the funeral, Jermaine who he in 1991 wrote a song about Michael in anger when his producers dumped him to work with Michael instead. Mother Katherine had to mediate between the brothers. In his unpublished autobiography Jermaine said of Michael: “My brother drinks, he does drugs, he lies, he cheats, he changed his skin color and mostly, he’s human. He attracts gay men and wards off women like the plague.” This is the man who once stole his brother Randy’s wife and children away from him, the man who had now “dedicated” his life to Michael’s memory starting with a failed hurried attempt to stage a tribute concert.

 Randy, who once sued brother Michael over a failed business venture.

 LaToya, once Michael’s favourite, who he lived with when he took control of his life with ‘Off The Wall’. LaToya, who ever since has lived off being Michael’s sister, grabbing every headline she can, the Jackson who came out and said she thought her brother just might be a child-molester after all. LaToya, who has been on the talk circuit making more of her self-seeking headlines ever since Michael died.


Apart from older sister Rebbie who helped raise the Jackson brood and you never hear of, baby sister Janet was the good one, the sane one, until her “wardrobe malfunction”. Her career’s gone down the toilet ever since, so now she’s like the rest. She’s planning a new Greatest Hits album containing a previously unreleased duet with Michael. Ka-ching!

 And then of course there’s “Daddy” Joe Jackson, who both Michael and Janet had to sack as their manager in order to get their careers happening. Daddy the womanaizer who hasn’t lived with “Mummy” Katherine  for a long time and one asked Michael to give his illegitimate daughter a job.

 This family, who were in such a hurry to put their fingerprints and voices all over Michael’s post-death ‘This Is It’ single they didn’t even stop long enough to find out where the song came from!

 And into that nest have come Michael Jackson’s three beloved children, heirs to his estate, in the care of 79 year old Katherine. Wait till SHE dies!


October 8, 2009

October 9, 1940


John Winston Lennon was born at the Maternity Hospital on Oxford Street in Liverpool, England. His father Alfred was in the Merchant Navy and didn’t see his son until November. John’s mother lived with her parents. Alfred went off to sea again.



Julia had another child, was forced to adopt it out, and had entered yet another relationship. Her sister Mimi threatened to report her to authorities as an unfit mother if Julia didn’t give Mimi John to raise, which she had by the time John turned five.




With money received for his 16th birthday John Lennon bought The Goons’ ‘Ying Tong Song’, and Elvis Presley’s ‘Hound Dog’ on 78.



John had formed his own group, the Quarrymen, had met 16 year old Paul McCartney, made his debut performance at Liverpool’s Cavern Club, but new buddy Paul on the occasion of John’s 17th birthday was still nine days away from his debut performance with the Quarrymen.



This was a sad birthday for John. He’d only recently discovered Julia was his mother and was forming a new relationship with her. She’d attended at least one performance by the Quarrymen. But on July 15 Julia had died of injuries sustained when she was hit by a car driven by an off-duty policeman. John turned to drink. But at least he still had his music.



John, accompanied by Paul, spent his 21st birthday in Paris. While in Paris, John and Paul visited Jürgen Vollmer, a friend of theirs from Hamburg, who had moved to Paris to study photography. Jürgen wore his hair brushed forward, the style had been introduced to him by Astrid Kirchherr, another friend from Hamburg. John and Paul decided they wanted a hairstyle like that and asked Jürgen to style theirs that way.



Now called The Beatles, John Lennon’s group released their first single ‘Love Me Do’ four days ago, and promote the record today with two shows at the Cavern and a visit to the offices of the ‘Record Mirror’. Ten weeks ago John married Cynthia Powell. Paul was best man. Aunt Mimi was too angry to attend. Cynthia is pregnant.



Beatles mania is in full swing. Back home two weeks ago from their first triumphant visit to America, today a British tour begins at Gaumont Cinema, Bradford, Yorkshire., but they’d started work on the next album and we’re talking to producers about a second movie. The title song from ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ was Australia’s No.1 song.



Cynthia, Ringo Starr and wife Maureen and Beatles associate Neil Aspinall celebrate John Lennon’s 26th birthday in Spain where John is filming an acting role in ‘How I Won The War’. It’s another important moment in the “hair” evolution of The Beatles. His role meant that John changed his Beatles “mop top” and the Beatles were never uniform again.



The Beatles are record what will be called the “white” album. The double album eponymous title suggests a togetherness, but the Beatles have never worked so separately. Today Paul and Ringo record “Why Don’t We Do It In the Road?” and John resents Paul not including him. Yesterday the group collaborated on John’s song ‘The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill’, the first time a Beatles song had used a female backing voice – that of the new love in John’s life Yoko Ono.



Yoko Ono is taken to the King’s College Hospital in London where she suffers a miscarriage. During the week the Beatles released ‘Abbey Road’.



Beatles George Harrison and Ringo Starr presented John Lennon with a song they had recorded especially for his 30th birthday, “It’s Johnny’s Birthday”. John and Yoko have been recording with the Plastic Ono Band. Apple denies rumours the Beatles are forming a new group without Paul called Ladders.



John Lennon’s  ‘Imagine’ is released  on his 31st birthday. Ringo Starr and his wife Maureen go to New York City for John’s birthday celebration. At a New York hotel, John, Yoko Ono, Ringo, Mal Evans, Allen Ginsberg, Eric Clapton, Phil Spector, Klaus Voorman, Neil Aspinal and Jim Keltner celebrate with a drunken jam session. Also on this date, the music press in the UK reported that Paul McCartney’s new group will be called Wings.



John Lennon and Yoko celebrate John’s 35th birthday with the birth of Sean Taro Ono Lennon. John was forced to persuade  Yoko to keep the baby when she discovered she was pregnant because she was ready to have an abortion. They had just reconciled their relationship and Yoko was worried a child would complicate things. They made a deal. If Yoko agreed to have the child John would look after it.



Yoko Ono gave John Lennon some 40 hours of Goon Shows for his 39th birthday



John Lennon celebrates 40th birthday by releasing ‘Starting Over’. Yoko commissions a sky writer to etch ‘Happy Birthday’ message over New York City’s skyline. John has exactly two months of life left to live.



On what would have been John Lennon’s 50th birthday, a special broadcast of John’s “Imagine” is played simultaneously by over 1,000 radio stations in 50 countries around the world.