Word #23

Issue 23

January 2005

Cover star – Morrissey

word23 001


Word shuffle

1)      P5– full page advert for the Nikon D70 SLR. “Under £1000”.

2)      P124 – a page of album reviews – The Coal Porters (‘How Dark This Earth Will Shine’), King Crimson (‘The 21st Century Guide To King Crimson: Volume 1 1969-1974’), John Lennon (‘Acoustic’) and David Kitt (‘The Black & Red Notebook’). Paul Du Noyer isn’t impressed with this latest Lennon compilation and says that it “fails to quell suspicions that it’s barrel-scraping time at the Dakota”. He enjoys King Crimson more – “despite the taste for lyrics that were simultaneously clever and silly, and Fripp’s school-masterly image, there is an emotional swell in Crimson’s music.”

3)      P142 – the first page of a 2 page special on these new-fangled MP3 players. The most expensive on offer is the Sony NW-HD1 Walkman which retails at £299 and gives you a 20 GB capapcity. It plays both MP3s and ATRAC files. So, if all your albums are in ATRAC format, you’re in luck. You can also buy a Creative Zen Micro with a 5GB drive for £189.99. As I write there’s one for sale on eBay, currently selling for £11 (with a day left).

4)      P146 – 99% True – all about Bono. Which of these 3 would you think is the lie? (answer underneath the longer article)

  • An eBay trader recently tried to sell a bottle of Bono’s breath, claiming ‘it kind of glows at night, as if it contains something magical’. The reserve price was not met.
  • He once declared that Bamber Gascoigne was his favourite person on TV while Kim Novak was his favourite movie star.
  • Such is the extent of Bono and U2’s landholding in Ireland that it is now believed to be technically possible to complete an orbital tour of Dublin without ever leaving land owned by the quarter.

5)      P21 –from the Word of Mouth section – Max Hastings recommends the novel ‘Strangers In The Snow’ by C.P. Snow (“a fascinating picture of how socialist intellectuals viewed the world in the 1930s and 1940s. Snow’s circle not only believed that the left should triumph, but was absolutely confident that it would. He’d be shocked to behold the triumph of capitalism today.”), Verdi’s ‘La Boheme’ (“set in 19th Century Paris when costume was marvellous. Why put everyone onstage today in jeans and leathers?”) and “Mike Leigh’s brilliant Gilbert & Sullivan movie ‘Topsy-Turvy’ which I must have seen a dozen times.”

On the same page, Adam Levine of Maroon 5 calls Coldplay ethereal and compares them to Radiohead – but “without the weird shit”. He is a fan of the film ‘Life Is Beautiful’. “These things happened: guys should be sensitive towards guys trying to get these stories out there.”


Interesting – Morrissey talks to Stuart Maconie about his fans. “There is this twisted belief, and it may be true, that you get the audience you deserve. They see in me someone who is passionate and they are passionate too in response. My audience is a reflection of what I’m like as a human being. They recognise that I can’t do anything but this.”

Mark Ellen reports back from John Peel’s funeral. “Squeezed in beside us was the musician  and 6Music broadcaster Tom Robinson who suddenly produced a sheaf of hand-written letters that Peel had sent him when he was interned at an orphanage for Disturbed Children, one dating back to 1967 and thoughtfully co-signed by Peel’s hamster Dandelion. For all its now rather obsolete herb-flavoured ramblings about the ‘perfumed garden of my mind’, the advice Peel had offered the confused 17 year-old was a doctrine he’d never abandoned: try and look at life differently.”

David Hepworth reviews some music DVDs. “You may have missed Christina Aguilera’s ‘Stripped’ tour when it came to Britain. Luckily for you it’s captured in a DVD called ‘Stripped: Live In The UK’. The show started with a huge video image of Christina blindfolded, bound to a chair and surrounded by cameras, lights and screens saying ‘gossip’ and ‘lies’. (Quiet everyone, I think she’s trying to tell us something.)”

Ben Elton discusses the initial reviews for ‘We Will Rock You’ with Sylvia Patterson. “When it opened in London it was almost news in terms of how bad the reviews were. I don’t read reviews but it was described to me as a ‘howl of pain’. They said ‘they are screaming anger at you, they hate you.’ And I thought ‘that’s just silly.’ I’m proud of it and I love it and it was hurtful, because I could see the ashen faces of my lovely cast.”

And in the best of 2004 round up, some of the recommended purchases are: ‘College Dropout’ by Kanye, ‘Hot Fuss’ by The Killers (“…you can’t dispute the hair-on-end, hands-in-air thrills of their flamboyantly overdriven Vegas Britpop”), ‘Master And Commander’, ‘The Day Today’ (…such is the absurdist love of language that character’s names – Collately Sisters, Chanticleer Guardsley – get laughs before they’ve opened their mouths…), Jonathan Roe’s ‘The Closed Circle’ and ‘Shopped’ by Joanna Blythman (“You may never darken Tescos door again.”).

Longer Article

Although these list pieces weren’t the newest idea, they arrived sometime before ‘list-saturation point’ was reached thanks to the internet. They were written with style and humour and didn’t always choose the obvious targets.

word23 002word23 003


and the false answer in 99% true was the first one about someone eBaying a bottle of Mr. Hewson’s breath.