The stars of comedy rock act Spinal Tap made a secret pilgrimage to the real Stonehenge site after their performance at Britain's Glastonbury Festival. The iconic stone circle in Wiltshire, England is part of the spoof band's folklore due to its inclusion in 1984 movie This Is Spinal Tap.
In the film, the group orders a giant replica of Stonehenge to be used on stage, only to discover the model is only 18 inches high instead of the intended 18 feet, and the gag was revived in many of the group's live shows.
Harry Shearer, who plays bassist Derek Smalls, now admits they all came face-to-face with the real thing after their performance at the Glastonbury Festival in England in 2009. He tells Britain's The Guardian newspaper, "The most memorable thing (about the Glastonbury show) was driving back to London afterwards. It was 6.30pm, someone saw this little thing to the left of the motorway and went: 'Look, there's Stonehenge.' I went: 'Come on, that's a replica where a petrol station should be.' But of course, it's the real one. So at 6.45pm, we drove in and they (site bosses) said 'No, we're closing at seven. Christopher (Guest) and I are fairly shy but our keyboard player, God bless him, is a fairly forward lad so he just walked up and said: 'You've gotta let these guys in, they put this place on the map.'
"The gates duly opened. So that goes down as my favourite ever solstice."
Britain's Glastonbury Festival has been marred by a second death just hours before the first official performances kicked off on Friday (27Jun14). A 67-year-woman died of natural causes at the event shortly after the gates opened at the site in Somerset, England on Wednesday (25Jun14), and a male reveller was later admitted to hospital in critical condition after suffering an allergic reaction to the drug ketamine.
The 26-year-old man died in hospital on Friday morning (27Jun14), shortly before the festival got into full swing with performances from acts including the Kaiser Chiefs, John Newman and Blondie.
A statement from local police reads, "A man has died following a suspected reaction to ketamine. The man was taken ill overnight on Wednesday into Thursday and was taken to the Bristol Royal Infirmary. Unfortunately he died earlier today (Friday)... His death is not considered suspicious. At this stage we believe this was an individual reaction to ketamine and was not from a bad batch of the drug."
The festival, which runs until Sunday (29Jun14), is also set to feature performances from Arcade Fire, Metallica, Kasabian, Lily Allen, Ed Sheeran and Jack White.
A woman has died and a man has been left in a critical condition following the first night of this year's (14) Glastonbury Festival in Somerset, England. A 26-year-old male gig-goer has been left fighting for his life after taking the sedative ketamine just hours after the festival's gates opened on Wednesday (25Jun14).
A spokeswoman for Avon and Somerset Police has told reporters the reveller may have suffered an adverse reaction to the drug.
Meanwhile, a 67-year-woman died of natural causes at the event. Police say her death is not being treated as suspicious.
There had also been 12 arrests as WENN went to press.
Acts including Metallica, Kasabian, Arcade Fire, Dolly Parton, Jack White and Lily Allen will perform at the festival from Friday (27Jun14).
Heavyweight rapper Rick Ross had to cancel his set at a hip-hop concert in Detroit, Michigan on Saturday (21Jun14) after an angry mob blocked his entrance to the venue and reportedly made threats against his life. The Hustlin' hitmaker had been due to perform for fans at the Summer Jamz gig in the Chene Park Amphitheater, but upon arrival, he was faced with a "human blockade" of around 150 people.
The demonstration was reportedly sparked by local rapper Trick Trick's song No Fly Zone, which encourages fans not to support stars who fail to collaborate with artists from Detroit, but the activists took the fight one step further by allegedly hurling abuse and threats at Ross and his associates, prompting them to axe the show.
A statement released by venue representative Shahida Mausi reads: "Reports from our venue operations and security teams indicate 100-150 individuals orchestrated a human blockade around the service entrance to the venue, preventing Mr. Ross and his entourage from entering the premises.
"A decision was made from Mr. Ross' team (that) the conditions were becoming threatening and posed a security risk."
However, Ross has brushed off the incident.
In a post on Twitter.com, he wrote, "Luv #Detroit I wuz ready to killm (kill them, put on a great performance) 2nite,heard it wuz a peace protest wit picket signs and locked gates haa (sic)".
Angelina Jolie and Daniel Day-Lewis have been recognised by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II in her Birthday Honours List. The actress has been named an honorary dame, while fellow Oscar winner Day-Lewis will be knighted.
Jolie learned of the honour in London this week (beg09Jun14), while she was co-hosting an international summit on sexual violence.
She won't be entitled to use her new royal title because she is not a British or Commonwealth citizen, but she joins fellow Americans Steven Spielberg, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and former President Ronald Reagan, who have previously received honorary titles from the Queen.
Among the soldiers, charity heroes, civil servants and entrepreneurs to receive honours, Day-Lewis will be able to add 'Sir' to his name after becoming a knight for "services to drama".
The Lincoln star admits he was, "entirely amazed and utterly delighted in equal measure" to discover he had made the list.
There were also damehoods for Booker Prize-winning novelist Hilary Mantel and fashion designer Zandra Rhodes, while beloved actress Dame Maggie Smith, who portrays the Dowager Countess of Grantham on TV's Downton Abbey, was made a Companion of Honor, and becomes one of only 65 people "of distinction" in the U.K., and Homeland star Damian Lewis has been named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).
He says, "I decided to do the very un-British thing of accepting the compliment."
Author Hunter Davies, actress Phyllida Law and musician Talvin Singh also received OBEs, while physicist Thomas Kibble and pianist Andra Schiff have been honoured with knighthoods.
Also making the annual honours list is singer and DJ Cerys Matthews and actor John Barrowman, who have both been awarded Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire medals (CBEs).
Actor Levar Burton is rounding up his former STAR TREK co-stars for live readings in support of a Kickstarter.com campaign to bring back his popular U.S. children's show Reading Rainbow. Last month (May14), The Roots actor launched a crowdfunding drive to revive the educational programme on the Internet, quickly reaching his initial goal of $1 million (£625,000) in less than 24 hours.
Burton now aims to raise $5 million (£2.95 million), and in a bid to entice more fans to back the project, he has set a special reward for anyone who donates $1,200 (£708) or more.
A series of four Star Trek reading events will be held in Los Angeles, including one featuring the male castmates Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn, and Robert Picardo, and one with the franchise's female stars, Kate Mulgrew, Marina Sirtis, Gates McFadden, and Jeri Ryan. Former captains Sir Patrick Stewart and William Shatner will also take part.
Burton has raised $3.7 million (£2.12 million) as of Thursday (12Jun14), with 19 days left in the campaign.
With the writers teasing the Battle for Castle Black all season, and the reveal that it would be the focus of a full hour of the show, fans were expecting "The Watchers on the Wall" to be a major, show-stopping episode. What they got was... well, fine.
That's not to say that it wasn't impressive — it was, with dramatic action moments, an excellent tracking shot through the carnage of the battle, and a CGI woolly mammoth. "The Watchers on the Wall" is reportedly the most expensive episode in Game of Thrones' history, and the high production values show in the stunning (if gruesome) visuals and the myriad creative ways in which people meet their ends. But while the episode succeeds on a visual level, it falls flat on an emotional one, downplaying or even ignoring some of its more significant moments and cutting out on an ending that doesn't seem to resolve anything.
Centering an entire episode of Jon Snow is always going to be a gamble for a show that thrives on conniving and snark. Though I personally feel both he and Kit Harington have grown more compelling over the past few seasons, he's never going to light up the screen the way Peter Dinklage or Lena Headey does, which is why it's so frustrating that the emotional beats of his story don't seem to have any resonance or depth. The episode is clearly setting up Jon's ascension to Lord Commander, based on the way he takes control of the Wall before running into the fray at the last moment to save the day, and yet the show doesn't give his decision to take the helm any real weight.
Jon's arc this week has three main points: his conflict with Ser Allisair, his relationship with Ygritte and stepping into an authoritative role. The first is resolved in a conversation between the two atop the Wall, as they gaze out at the thousands of Wildlings preparing to attack. Ser Allisair finally admits that he should have listened when Jon warned them about the impending raid, explaining that leadership means listening to everyone criticising your decisions, but never second-guessing them yourself - a life lesson that seems designed to cover up the fact that Ser Allisar just doesn't like Jon. The parallels between the two characters are obvious, with both of them heading down to the gates at different points in the battle, but it's all undercut somewhat by Allisair simply being dragged offscreen after taking a swipe to the side.
Then there's Ygritte. From the outset of the episode, it's clear that this battle is just as much about their relationship as it is the Wildling's and the Night's Watch. These two characters were at their best together — whatever Harington lacks in charisma, Rose Leslie has in spades, while he gives her more to do than just sharpen arrows and threaten other Wildlings — and their quiet standoff in the middle of the battle is where the episode has the most tension. But her death, due to a well-timed arrow by Ollie, doesn't have the impact it should have. However, the aftermath of her death does allow Harington to give one of his best performances, as his permanent grimace gives way to defeated weariness while he helps the Brothers capture the last of the Wildings. That exhaustion is clear in his last few scenes with Sam, as he stares fixedly ahead and marches into the snow, determined to keep fighting for the Wall, no matter the cost.
If Jon's arc is about maturing into an authoritative role, Sam's is about maturing into a protector, someone who can look after Gilly and the other Brothers. His frantic plan to lock Gilly away is a direct contrast to the experienced sarcasm he shares with Pyp as they attempt to take out some Wildings from the gates. He might not be a man when it comes to his relationships with women, but he's got enough steel to guide a nervous Pyp through his first real battle. Though he connects Jon's story to the Brothers down below, the ones who haven't faced down Mance Rayder and White Walkers, he doesn't get much to do, and his triumphant return to Gilly never earns its feeling of victory.
And yet the sight of Sam returning to the storeroom, blood on his clothes and exhaustion in his face, to find Janos Slint cowering behind the door does feel like a small triumph for the "coward" of the Night's Watch. Though he spent much of his first few scenes talking about how scared he was about dying so soon, once the battle started, Sam instantly snapped into soldier mode, proving that he's already on his way into becoming the man he's always wanted to be. Watching him coach a shaking, terrified Pyp into taking out a Wildling is what makes the former's untimely death heart-rending. Not enough time has been dedicated to Pyp as a character to give his death the same kind of weight as Ygritte's, but the show does manage to drive home the horrors of war (and Westeros) by sending an arrow through his throat right after he gazes at Sam with boyish pride. Not every boy in Westeros will live to become a man.
Still, any point that "The Watchers on the Wall" attempts to make about maturity and masculinity and war interrupting both of those journeys pales in comparison to the real star of the episode: the effects. Director Neil Marshall does a great job with the action, cutting between large-scale fights and smaller attacks. He even manages to add some humor to some of the more gruesome killings, showing cocky, taunting Wildlings being immediately struck down by arrows, driving home the size and power of the giants by catapulting a Brother into the air, only to have him land clear on the other side of the Wall, and showcasing the effectiveness of the scythe with a close-up of a lone, detached arm. He uses a lot of the same visual tricks that he used on the show's last full-hour battle episode, "Blackwater," lighting everything with flames and showcasing the epic scale of the fight before pulling in to focus on the individuals fighting.
But where "Blackwater" managed to combine the violent spectacle with character beats that would have a long-term effect on the show, "The Watchers on the Wall" feels like all flash and no substance. The battle ends for the night, and Jon warns that there's more fighting left to come, which seems to lessen the impact any of the deaths would have had. While it makes a nice point about war having a clear or easy victor, the lack of resolution leaves me feeling like the Battle for Castle Black didn't need an entire episode to itself. There's a great deal about this particular battle in the books that would have easily fit into this hour, and would have helped the writers tie several elements of the show together nicely. As it is, sending Jon back into the fray leaves us with an ending to a drawn-out story that simply lacks any payoff.
Grade: C+, Or One Terrified Pyp and One Brave Grenn. With you gone, there will be nobody left to add some much-needed sass to the dour Castle Black.
Oprah Winfrey is facing a lawsuit over claims she has riled hikers by blocking trails through a piece of land she owns in Colorado. The TV titan purchased 66 acres of land close to the town of Telluride in March (14) and local resident Charles D. Goodman has now filed a lawsuit accusing the star and her associates of failing to protect access to footpaths.
In the legal documents, filed at San Miguel County District Court, Goodman claims the trails through the land have been protected in previous sale deals and should remain open to the public.
He tells TMZ.com, "I have no objection to Oprah to building a house. But I do not like the idea of being blocked off by gates and fences."
A representative for Winfrey adds, "It is our hope that we can work together on a usage plan that is mutually agreeable."
Executors for Whitney Houston's estate are suing bosses at CPMG Mendham, LLC in a bid to recover the singer's personal belongings from her New Jersey home, which was sold earlier this year (14). Marion Houston, the tragic singer's manager and sister-in-law, hired executives at the firm to sell the Mendham home in 2013, and it was approved by bankers at Wells Fargo in February (14), when an arrangement was made to allow the family access to retrieve the I Will Always Love You hitmaker's items, which included a baby grand piano, a jukebox, valuable artwork and home furnishings.
However, when relatives arrived to the house they were unable to enter the premises because the gates were chained and bolted and the locks on the doors had been changed.
Marion Houston alleges family members made two requests to retrieve the items in March (14), but were denied access, and she is now seeking damages and an injunction to prevent the defendants from exercising control over the items.
The lawsuit reads, "Ms. Houston's family members have a strong emotional attachment to many of the items and some of these items have considerable financial value and would hold particular financial value to Ms. Houston's fans and other collectors, because they belonged to Ms. Houston."
Pop star Ariana Grande has been scarred for life after a spooky experience at one of the world's most famous cemeteries. The singer/actress is adamant she had a run-in with an evil demon during the terrifying trip in Kansas, and she even met with a medium afterwards to help understand the ghoulish encounter.
Speaking to Australian Radio host Kent 'Smallzy' Small on Nova FM, she explains: "I had a really terrible experience in Kansas City and I encountered what everybody thought was a demon and I spoke to a medium about it and it was really crazy and scary and I hate talking about it because it was terrifying.
"I went to a cemetery... which is famously known as one of the seven gates to Hell on this Earth because I was interested in it and I wanted to check it out and check for trouble and I got it."
The Stull cemetery in Kansas has been at the centre of claims it is a gateway to Hell, with police cracking down on trespassers breaking into the site in a bid to discover if the urban myths are true.