British rocker Billy Bragg staged an impromptu concert in St. Louis, Missouri on Tuesday (19Aug14) amid escalating violence in nearby Ferguson. Tensions have been high in the area following the death of teenager Michael Brown, who was gunned down as he attempted to surrender to police investigating a robbery incident on 9 August (14). The incident has prompted violent clashes with protesters and local law enforcement officers, and a number of celebrities have offered up their thoughts on the issues facing the city.
But folk singer and political activist Bragg and touring partner Joe Purdy decided to actually go there to see them for themselves during their current American tour, and decided to take a detour to stage a spontaneous benefit concert.
Bragg tells Rolling Stone, "A number of people said to me on Twitter, 'If you’re going to go to St. Louis, are you going to go to Ferguson?' But we didn't want to just go there and walk through Ferguson and be tourists. We wanted to do something for the community."
Through local connections, Bragg was put in touch with Steven Fitzpatrick Smith, the owner of local St. Louis pub the Royale, who has been attending the protests. Smith not only offered up his venue for the gig, but also asked fans attending to collect food, funds, and medical and school school supplies for a food pantry at a Ferguson church.
During the gig, Bragg performed some of his own tracks such as I Keep Faith, and also covered tunes pointed towards the unrest happening nearby, singing protest songs like Woody Guthrie's Hangknot, Slipknot and George Perkins' Cryin' in the Streets, while Purdy joined him for Bob Dylan's The Times They Are a-Changin'.
Bragg called on the 200 fans at the gig to take action and change the way the troubled city is perceived, stating, "The true enemy of all of us who want to make the world a better place is not capitalism or conservatism, it's cynicism. You have the opportunity to show the world that St. Louis is not a cynical place."
Bragg and Purdy's activism began early on Tuesday, when they met with railroad workers on strike and picketing teachers in Illinois, and they also performed for inmates at the Iowa State Penitentiary.
Filmmaker Woody Allen has cemented his place in Rhode Island history by adding his handprints to the state's own Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Blue Jasmine director has been shooting his new project in the city of Providence in recent weeks and on Thursday (07Aug14), he was honoured by local officials in nearby Pawtucket.
Allen, who has yet to be invited to join the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame in California, joins the likes of Dustin Hoffman, who was inducted in 1995 while filming his movie American Buffalo in Rhode Island.
However, local official Bob Billington, of the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce, is hoping to land two more famous prints for the tourist attraction - the stars of Allen's as-yet-untitled movie, Emma Stone and Joaquin Phoenix.
He says, "It's our dream that we complete it with the last two stars. We respect everybody's privacy, but we're hoping that we'll be graced with that opportunity."
Punk-pop veterans Devo have launched a crowdfunding initiative to help them release a new live album. The group staged a 10-date tour in June (14) to raise funds for guitarist Bob Casale's family following his sudden death in February (14), and now Casale's bandmate brother Jerry is hoping fans will help the stars raise the cash needed to complete a live album recorded at a show in Oakland, California.
Many of the tracks the band performed were recorded in the mid-1970s, and had not been played in almost 40 years.
Devotees who pre-order Devo Hardcore Live! via the group's PledgeMusic page will receive exclusive access to photos, video and audio tracks, as well as merchandise.
Jerry Casale tells Rolling Stone, "It (Casale's death) was a horrific shock and an explosion in the Devo universe. For a month or so, nobody talked about anything. But then we realised we could still do the tour, make it a memorial to Bob and raise money."
The existing members of Bob Marley's backing band The Wailers are celebrating the 30th anniversary of their greatest album Legend by hitting the road to perform it in its entirety. Founding member Aston 'Family Man' Barrett and his organist son, also named Aston, will revive the classic 1984 release at gigs this summer (14).
Legend was named Time magazine's Best Album of the 20th Century and featured on Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. It is also the best selling reggae album in chart history, with over 30 million copies sold worldwide.
Touchstone Pictures via Everett Collection
Summer: it's a time to relax, soak up the sun, eat mountains of ice cream and tackle the massive pile of books you've been meaning to read. Whether you need to make your way through hundreds of pages of classic literature before school starts up again or you've just been putting off the heavier tomes on your shelf until you have some more free time, reading the classics can sometimes be a slog in the summer. But it's a task well worth undertaking, and not just because it's good to broaden your literary horizons. Many of your favorite films are actually twists on well-worn tales. Sure, they're enjoyable on their own, but the only way to really pick up on the humor of Jane Austen or the references to Shakespeare in a suburban high school rom com is to read the books first. We've rounded up the best movies that become even better, funnier and more charming after you've read the works their based on. Consider it a well-earned reward for a book well read.
10 Things I Hate About YouBased On: The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare.Most Drastic Change: Aside from the high school setting, he plot was simplified to reduce the amount of characters and false identities. For example, Joey Donner was originally two characters, Gremio and Hortensio. Best Reference to the Source: After Kat almost hits Michael with a car, he calls her a “shrew”; Michael also quotes Shakespearean sonnets several times throughout the film, and Cameron quotes the play itself (“I burn; I pine; I perish”). And there's that one girl who is oddly in love with "William."You’d Only Notice This if You Read the Book: Almost every name in the film is a reference to something else. Padua High School refers to Padua being the location of the play, and Patrick’s last name, Verona, is where Petruchio is originally from. Kat and Bianca’s last name – Stratford – is a reference to Shakespeare’s hometown.
Clueless Based On: Emma by Jane Austen Most Drastic Change: Updating the film to be about ‘90s Valley girls; none of the character’s names are similar to Austen’s characters.Best Reference to the Source: The wedding fake-out at the end of the film. Since Austen wrote a great deal about the marriage plot, all of her novels end with the heroine getting married. You’d Only Notice This if You Read the Book: While most of the characters have Austenian equivalents, Dionne is an original character, although it could be argued that she represents Ms. Weston. Also, Amy Heckerling cut out the character of Jane Fairfax completely. She is the main obstacle to Emma and Frank Churchill’s relationship; his Clueless doppelganger, Christian, is gay instead.
Bridget Jones’ Diary Based On: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Most Drastic Change: Instead of the large family that Elizabeth Bennet has in the book, Bridget is an only child, and has a large group of friends to give her advice, all of whom vaguely resemble her sisters. Best Reference to the Source: Casting Colin Firth as Mark Darcy. Author Helen Fielding has said that she based the character (both in name and looks) on his portrayal of Mr. Darcy in the 1995 BBC miniseries. You’d Only Notice This if You Read the Book: Instead of Darcy making two proposals, he only makes one; Bridget’s speech when she finds out that he is moving is a reflection of his second confession of love.
She’s the Man Based On: Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare Most Drastic Change: In the play, Viola just pretends to be a man, and calls herself Cesario, rather than specifically impersonating her brother Sebastian. Best Reference to the Source: The character of Malcolm, who is based on the character of Malvolio, has a pet tarantula named Malvolio. You’d Only Notice This if You Read the Books: Like 10 Things I Hate About You, all of the names are either adapted from those of the characters - Duke Orsino is the modern-day equivalent of Orsino, who is a duke, and the restaurant they frequent is called Cesario – or the locations – the school’s name Illyria, is where the play takes place.
Screen Gems via Everett Collection
Easy A Based On: The Scarlett Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne Most Drastic Change: In the book, Hester is ostracized for cheating on her husband with a priest; she got pregnant during the affair. In the film, Olive only pretends to sleep with people. Best Reference to the Source: The foreign film that Olive goes to see, courtesy of one of her fake hookups, is called Der Scharlachrote Buchstabe, which translates to The Scarlett Letter.You’d Only Notice This if You Read the Book: The film is up-front about many of its similarities to Hawthorne’s book, as Olive is studying it in class. Though Olive doesn’t have an affair with anyone, Hester and Arthur Dimmsdale’s relationship is paralleled in the affair that Mrs. Griffith has with Micah.
ScroogedBased On: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens Most Drastic Change: At the end of the film, Frank reunites with his love, Claire. However, in the book, too much time has passed for him to reconcile with Belle, and so he is instead content with becoming part of the Cratchitt family. Best Reference to the Original: In addition to Frank Cross joking about “scaring the Dickens out of people,” one of the TV shows he produces is called “Scrooge,” which was an alternate title that Dickens published the story under. You’d Only Notice This if You Read the Book: The Bob Cratchitt part is played by two different characters: Frank’s overworked assistant Grace Cooley and the much-abused yes-man Eliot Loudermilk.
O Brother, Where Art Thou? Based On: Homer’s The Odyssey Most Drastic Change: Instead of journeying home after a great war, Ulysses has escaped from a prison chain gang. Best Reference to the Source: The film is filled with references to the epic, but the cleverest is the repeated use of the song “Man of Constant Sorrow,” as the name Odysseus (the Greek equivalent of Ulysses) means “man who is in constant pain and sorrow.” You’d Only Notice This if You Read the Book: In order to win Penelope’s hand in marriage, all the suitors must string Odysseus’ bow and shoot an arrow through a dozen axe heads, but only Odysseus is strong enough to string the bow. In the film, Ulysseus also strings a bow in order to prove that he is who he says he is, and not an imposter.
Ruby Sparks Based On: Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw.Most Drastic Change: In the play, Higgins “makes” Eliza by transforming her from a flower girl into a lady, but in the film, Calvin physically creates Ruby, as she is a product of his imagination.Best Reference to the Source: At the end, Ruby becomes her own person, and leaves Calvin behind to do what she wants and become who she wants, which reflects the controversial ending of the play, in which Eliza leaves Henry behind in order to marry Freddy, even though Henry disapproves. The ending of Shaw's play was very controversial when it was first performed, but it was important to him that Eliza doesn't marry Henry. You’d Only Notice This if You Read the Book: Calvin’s brother, Harry, repeatedly warns him to be careful with what he’s doing, and not to disregard Ruby’s emotions, just like how Henry’s friend, Colonel Pickering, constantly warns Henry to be kind to Eliza and to treat her like a real person, rather than an experiment.
The handwritten lyrics to Bob Dylan song Like a Rolling Stone have been sold at auction for over $2 million (£1.25 million). The folk-rocker's scrawl has broken sales records for popular music lyrics snapped up at auction.
The previous record was set in 2010 when John Lennon's handwritten lyrics for A Day in the Life sold for $1.2 million (£750,000).
The manuscript for Dylan's A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall also sold at the Sotheby's sale - that went under the hammer for $485,000 (£303,000).
A sweat-stained jumpsuit worn by Elvis Presley while performing in Las Vegas is going up for auction. The King's white costume, which is decorated with a large green and blue peacock across the front, is part of a music memorabilia sale titled A Rock & Roll History: Presley to Punk hosted by Sotheby's New York.
On the auction house's website, the jumpsuit is described as having "minor staining and browning; non-working zipper" and is expected to fetch at least $200,000 (£117,560).
Presley's red button-down shirt worn during the 1964 film Kissin' Cousins and a white wool jacket worn in concert in the early 1950s will also go under the hammer on Tuesday (24Jun14).
In addition to Presley's former possessions, the sale also includes a red military-style jacket worn by Michael Jackson, Bob Dylan's handwritten lyrics to Like a Rolling Stone, Kurt Cobain's smashed Univox guitar and John Lennon's upright piano.
Folk legend Bob Dylan has unexpectedly released a cover of Frank Sinatra's track Full Moon and Empty Arms. The Like a Rolling Stone singer has followed in the footsteps of artists like Beyonce and has debuted his own version of the 1945 standard on his website without any publicity or prior warning.
On Tuesday (13May14), Dylan's spokesperson told Rolling Stone that fans can expect more of the same from Dylan, as the track is "definitely from a forthcoming album due later on this year (14)."
The music icon also posted a photo of himself with the phrase "Shadows in the Night" written across it, hinting at what might be the title of the new album.
Dylan's last album, Tempest, was released in 2012. He kicks off the European leg of his Never Ending Tour in Ireland on 16 June (14).
Handwritten lyrics to Bob Dylan's classic hit Like A Rolling Stone are to be sold at auction in New York in June (14). Dylan wrote his career-changing song in pencil on small sheets of hotel stationery in 1965, and the manuscript features corrections and revisions as well as doodles in the margin and notes about the singer/songwriter's life.
The lyrics are being sold by a Californian friend and business associate of the singer, who bought it from him three years ago. Accompanying the manuscript is a letter from Dylan's lawyer verifying its authenticity. Experts at Sotheby's have described the manuscript as "the most significant piece of rock material to appear at auction," and expect bids to reach $1.6 million (£1 million).
The auction will take place in New York on 24 June (14).
Folk rocker Bob Dylan is no longer facing prosecution in France over allegations of inciting racial hatred in a magazine interview after the case was thrown out of court. Last year (13), local police launched an investigation into remarks the singer/songwriter had made to Rolling Stone in 2012, when he was quizzed about his views on racism in America.
In the interview, which was also published in the French edition of the title, the singer was quoted as saying, "If you got a slave master or (Ku Klux) Klan in your blood, blacks can sense that. That stuff lingers to this day. Just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood."
His comments caused outraged among officials at France's Council of Croats, who claimed the remarks violated the country's anti-discrimination laws.
But, earlier this week (begs14Apr14), a court magistrate dismissed the charges, which were brought by representatives from the Council of the Croat Community and Institutions of France (CRICCF).
Dylan's French lawyer, Thierry Marembert, revealed the magistrate had ruled the musician could not be held accountable for the remarks being published in France as he had not consented to having the interview printed in Rolling Stone's French edition.
However, similar charges against the editor of the French version of the magazine have been upheld and he will now face a trial for inciting racial hatred and public insults of a racial nature.
Ironically, Dylan was awarded France's highest civilian award, the Legion d'Honneur medal, in late 2013 for his services to the nation.
Tensions between Serbians and Croatians throughout Europe have been on high since the late 1980s, prior to Croatia splitting from Yugoslavia in 1991.