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News Nuggets – With added gristle

Jacko‘No news’, says the received wisdom, ‘is good news’. This is at best debatable and at worst downright misleading. Imagine a world where we weren’t endlessly pelted with images of pointless wars, financial meltdown and Jordan and Peter’s marital woes….hang on, I’ve pissed on my own point here.

But still, the news rolls on and on like an ever rolley round thing going downhill. As usual, our intrepid team of story gatherers have donned flak jackets and braved enemy fire to file Pulitzer-untroubling reports from the frontline of popular music. But we figure you can get that stuff on the BBC pages, so here’s a selection of the sad, sublime and stupid stories which have caught our attention this week….

According to reports, Michael Jackson “planned 50ft robot for Las Vegas residency”. The late singer wanted a giant robot of himself to roam the Nevada desert as an advertisement for a 2005 comeback that never happened. I tell you what, fuck the Childcatcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, this would have been the biggest bogeyman since…well, the real, 6ft Michael Jackson. MJ’s fans continue to protest that the star wasn’t actually a complete nutbar, but simply misunderstood. Yep…that’s what it was.

Bono and the Edge have described their forthcoming Broadway musical as an opera – in case people won’t take it seriously. They have a point – the snobbery on display when artists from popular music try to dabble in something a little more highbrow is little short of appalling. Then, of course, you remember that the subject of their musical is Spider-Man. Word of advice, my short-arsed and bald Dublin friends – people don’t want it to be serious. It’s a comic-book story. And it’s not really an opera, is it?

Billy Corgan has formally announced 19-year-old Mike Byrne as the new Smashing Pumpkins drummer. And genuinely reckons people will give a fuck. What’s he like, eh?

In tragic news a new documentary on Sly Stone claims he is living on welfare, is dependent on social security and dossing in cheap hotels. The funk legend’s financial woes have been the subject of rumour for some time, but if this is true, it’s the first confirmation of how serious the situation is. Given the amount of artists who claim a debt of inspiration to him, one would hope that some sort of benefit could be lined up as a matter of urgency.

From the corner marked ‘Really?’ – Amy Winehouse is apparently being looked after by concert promoter and media personality David Gest as she struggles to cope with her well-documented problems with drink, drugs and her recent divorce from Blake Fielder-Civil. David Gest is actually a lizard. That’s true, that is.

And, we end with some lighter news – according to the Sun, The Enemy’s Andy Hopkins injured his foot celebrating after a golf tournament. Rock N Roll!!!! Punk’s not dead! Stick it to the man! Sadly, reports that Gollum-faced walking abortion Tom Clarke had been shot and killed by Gargamel off the Smurfs turned out only to have been a dream I’d had.

That’s yer lot. Oh, and remember – don’t have nightmares….

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