Cover star – Bob Dylan
1) P96 – full page photo of Norah Jones to go alongside David Hepworth’s review of ‘Feels Like Home’.
2) P63– another photograph. This time it’s Matt Groening pictured for a lengthy interview by Jane Bussman. He’s wearing a Hawaiian short-sleeved shirt and his hands are painted yellow.
3) P26– a single page article on short-lived showbiz marriages. Rudolph Valentino’s marriage to Jean Acker was the shortest at 6 hours but the strangest tale was Michelle Philips and Dennis Hopper. “Married in 1971 on Hallowe’en. Hopper allegedly kept the Mamas And Papas’ singer handcuffed so she couldn’t run away. ‘Seven of those days were pretty good’, says Hopper. ‘The eighth day was the bad one’. Philips remembered them as ‘the happiest days of my life’.”
4) P69 – another page from the Groening article. “What’s your favourite background joke?” Groening replies: “I loved the sign gag on the First Church of Springfield where the Simpsons go to church. It says ‘NO SYNAGOGUE PARKING’.”
5) P101– A page of adverts. There’s an ad for a Sparks concert at Ocean in Hackney which would have set you back £17.50, a compilation CD called ‘Death Disco’ and Ilya’s “stunning debut album” ‘They Died For Beauty’ .
Interesting – in the 2 page article ‘Have We Run Out Of Band Names?’ the writers decide which ones cut the mustard and which don’t. Gaye Bikers on Acid and Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy are declared to be trying too hard. Some numbers are good – The Big Three, Galaxie 500 and Ten Benson – and some are bad – Shed Seven, Eighth Wonder and Haircut 100. Some names are unforgivably dull – No Doubt “fearless, focussed, flat as a pancake” and Aqualung “makes you think of asthma and drowning. Great!” But some names just work – The Upsetters “first faint whiff of anarchy, never bettered”, Jefferson Airplane “Lewis Carroll kindergarten whimsy with attitude” and Elastica “brilliant, shame about the music.” My favourite category is ‘Some Acts Never Expect To Get Further Than The John Peel Show’ which includes bands like: Trotsky Icepick, Bogshed, DJ Comfy Slippers and Death By Milkfloat.
In the ‘Word Of Mouth’ section we learn that James Hetfield is a fan of ‘Fawlty Towers’, the actor Ian Hart considers Eminem to be a genius who’s “getting better all the time” and Stereolab’s Laetitia Sadier recommends ‘The Year Of The Hare’ by Arto Paasilinna.
Longer article –a rare interview with Nigel Blackwell from Half Man Half Biscuit.