The guitar folk icon Bob Dylan used as he attempted to relaunch himself as an electric rock 'n' roll star in 1965 has gone under the hammer for a record-breaking $965,000 (£643,330). The legendary musician strummed the 1964 Fender Stratocaster as he took the stage at the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island to perform three new tracks that failed to win over the crowd. The set even prompted some of his acoustic-loving fans to boo.
Dylan left the instrument on a private plane after the disastrous gig, and it was expected to fetch up to $500,000 (£333,330) at auction.
However, bidding at the Christie's New York sale on Friday (06Dec13) was fierce and the item was eventually snapped up for the six-figure sum - a world auction record for a guitar, according to sale officials.
A statement from Christie's specialist Tom Lecky reads: "A tremendous amount of international interest was generated at the time of the sale's announcement, and today's result justifies the mythic status of this guitar in the annals of music history."
The previous record for a guitar was set in 2004, when Eric Clapton's Fender Stratocaster sold for $959,500 (£639,670).
The Christie's auction also featured five Dylan lyric sheets, with prices ranging from $3,000 (£2,000) to $30,000 (£20,000), but only one of the lots managed to sell at a price of $20,000 (£13,330).
The high-profile sale took place a day after an early draft of lyrics for Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run song classic went under the hammer for $197,000 (£131,330).
A handwritten manuscript of Bruce Springsteen's 1975 classic Born To Run has smashed auction estimates after going under the hammer for $197,000 (£131,330). Many of the lyrics featured in the early draft of the Boss' signature song never made it into the finished track, although the piece of rock 'n' roll history included a "nearly perfected chorus", according to officials at Sotheby's auction house in New York.
The 1974 document was valued at up to $100,000 (£66,670), but it was snapped up by a mystery buyer on Thursday (05Dec13) for almost double the estimate.
The lyric sheet was discovered in a collection of memorabilia previously owned by the rocker's former manager, Mike Appel.
Veteran British actor David Suchet is heading to the London stage to give fans an intimate insight into his career. The star's final bow as Agatha Christie's super sleuth Hercule Poirot - after 25 years on TV - recently aired in the U.K. and now the actor will open up about his most famous role, and his other work, in Encounters: Performers On Performance.
Suchet will sit with arts journalist Fiona Lindsay to discuss his time on stage and TV for a one-off special at the Lyric Theatre next year (14).
Comic Lenny Henry, who won acclaim for his turn in Shakespeare's Othello in 2009, will also sit down for a session.
Producer Kim Poster tells Britain's Daily Mail, "It's an intimate conversation about an actor's life and craft in the entertainment business.
"The artist in question will dictate whether clips are shown, or whether they just sit and talk with Fiona. It's very much done on a bespoke basis."
The series will start in January (14) and run for six months, with new stars set to be announced in due course.
20th Century Fox via Everett Collection
Recently, The Walt Disney Theatrical Company announced that there would be a stage production of the long-beloved classic film The Princess Bride. This could present a worrisome situation for fans of the movie. People like me who still stop what they are doing and watch it on TV when I come across it despite owning it on DVD. Can they capture the same thing on stage? I'm not sure.
This production may be very, very hard-pressed to capture the whole virtual eye-winking at the audience the film did. There was a zaniness that lay under every line spoken, even in the so-called serious parts. Every actor in the film was practically jabbing their elbow into the rib of the movie-viewer: "This is so terribly, terribly serious. Right? nudge nudge" Plus the movie was cast perfectly, with it being nearly impossible to view any other actor playing the role. Can we really imagine someone different than Cary Elwes playing Westly? Who will play the beautiful Buttercup? Mandy Patinkin was magnificent as Inigo Montoya. Billy Crystal better make an appearance, as well.
I'm afraid, however, that there will be a scene in the play, with whoever is playing Montoya suddenly standing in a spotlight and bellowing out in song, "My name is Inigooooooooo Montoyaaaa. You killled my father!! Prepare to diiiiiiie/ No, don't you... No, don't youuuu dare bother/ trying to cry... just prepare to diiiiiiiiiiie!" (If this lyric is actually used in the play, I'd like to be contacted so I can get some royalties).
The fact that Alan Horn, the Disney chairman who played such a big part in guiding the movie along, is taking this under his wing is an encouraging sign. Also, William Goldman, the genius who wrote the book and screenplay for the film will be taking an active role here. If there was anyone who could get what would translate well to the stage, it's these two. This allays some fears. Also, it's not the first time a classic film comedy has come out well being translated to the stage. I'm talking of Spamalot, which rose from the ashes of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It will be a wait-and-see situation.
One thing I know for sure, though. They are going to have to get somebody literally huge like The Big Show from the WWE to play Fezzik, No weaklings will be allowed to try to fill the late Andre the Giant's shoes. Their pulling this off though, is not incontheivable...I mean...inconceivable.
ABC via Getty
Who is Maurissa Tancharoen? She's an executive producer (along with writing partner-cum-husband, Jed Whedon) on ABC's Avengers spin-off, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Long story short? She's awesome, and here's why:
5. She played Kilo, the spitfire active on Dollhouse. She only made a few brief cameo appearances, but they were all extremely memorable – in one episode, she tells off Fran Kranz's Topher Brink, saying, "How do you wanna straight up lie to my face, white boy? You told me you were takin' me on a treatment; I ain't got time for no nerd convention." She's got sass to spare, that's for sure.
4. In her youth, she was part of an early '90s multicultural girls' R&B group called "Pretty in Pink." Enough said.
3. If you like her music, you'll love her rendition of "Sigh No More" (music by Joss Whedon, lyrics by William Shakespeare) which she sings along with husband Jed Whedon in my favorite film of the year, Much Ado About Nothing.
2. She co-wrote and appeared in nerd masterpiece Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. She played a Captain Hammer groupie, with this memorable lyric about Penny, Captain Hammer's altruistic girlfriend: "they say she works with the homeless, and doesn't eat meat – we have a problem with her." Yeah, I'd have a problem with her, too.
1. As if being a co-creator of Dr. Horrible wasn't enough, she also wrote this awesome commentary on the lack of Asian roles in film and TV. "Nobody's Asian in the Movies" unpacks difficult (and oft-unspoken) issues of racism and tokenization. It's especially interesting when you look at Joss Whedon's not-so-stellar diversity track record – before Tancharoen came along, he produced 12 episodes of a series based largely off of Chinese culture without featuring even one Asian character. I love Firefly, but dude: not cool. In contrast to Firefly's issues (heresy, I know), it's nice to see Tancharoen ushering in Asian and Asian-American actors to primetime TV.
The electric guitar Bob Dylan played at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island, prompting protests from his acoustic-loving fans, is set to be auctioned off later this year (13). The folk music icon used his set at the festival to relaunch himself as an electric rock 'n' roll star, performing three new tracks that failed to win over the crowd and even prompted some audience members to boo.
Dylan left the sunburst Fender Stratocaster on a private plane after the show and it was retrieved by the pilot, Vic Quinto, who worked for the singer's manager.
He attempted to reunite Dylan with his instrument but the musician's team failed to respond, and now Quinto's daughter, Dawn Peterson, is preparing to part with the guitar at a Christie's sale in New York on 6 December (13).
Experts predict the item will fetch up to $500,000 (£333,330), reports the Associated Press.
The guitar won't be the only piece of Dylan memorabilia up for grabs - early lyric notes from some of the singer's most famous songs will also be auctioned off, with prices ranging from $3,000 (£2,000) to $30,000 (£20,000).
American fashion designer Marc Ecko is using a song by The Notorious B.I.G. to help teach a business class. The clothing entrepreneur is set to launch the Run Your Own Business: Lessons from Biggie (Smalls) Skillshare online course and will use the rapper's classic single Ten Crack Commandments as the basis for the class.
He says, "One of the most important lessons I have learned through two decades of building my own businesses is that wisdom and guidance can be found in the most unlikely of places. As a result, I've structured this Skillshare class on my principles of business around the legendary hip-hop track Ten Crack Commandments by Biggie Smalls.
"On the surface it would appear that Biggie is rapping about illegal drug sales, but the knowledge dropped in this song actually applies to all businesses, no matter the industry."
The course will cover business fundamentals like management skills, enabling ideas, and refining the business owner's personal brand, and Ecko is also offering a $5,000 (GBP3,330) endowment to a student who creates an inspirational business commandment from a song lyric or pop culture saying, according to AllHipHop.com.
Roky Erickson has been a cult hero for so long that even the albums that introduced the Austin-based psychedelic survivor to an enthralled post-punk audience back in the 1980s are ready to be discovered by a new generation. The estimable reissue label Light in the Attic Records has revived Erickson's three 1980s releases, The Evil One, Don't Slander Me, and Gremlins Take Pictures, as CDs, downloads, and vinyl LPs that look and sound worlds better than their original incarnations.
Unfamiliar with Roky Erickson's fascinating, tragic and ultimately uplifting story? Here's what you need to know.
He Wrote A Garage Rock Classic
Roky first gained notice as the lead singer in one of the psychedelic era's most notorious bands, The 13th Floor Elevators. Their albums -- most notably 1966's The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators and 1967's Easter Everywhere -- are legendary for openly proselytizing for the use of hallucinogenic drugs. But the Elevators' first single (and all-time best song) is an Erickson-penned snotty little teenage kiss-off called "You're Gonna Miss Me" that's closer in spirit to the likes of "96 Tears" or "Dirty Water." That song kept the band's name alive when Lenny Kaye included it on the classic proto-punk compilation Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era in 1972, where generations of new garage rock fans first discovered Erickson.
He Made A Really Tragic Choice
Although it was the Elevators' guitarist and primary songwriter Stacy Sutherland who was the driving force behind the band's pro-hallucinogenics stand, that outspokenness made the entire band targets as far as Texas law enforcement was concerned. So when Erickson was arrested holding a single joint in 1969, he decided to plead insanity in an effort to avoid a potential decade in jail. Unfortunately, his three-year stint in a Texas mental hospital, which included heavy doses of both electro-shock treatments and anti-psychotic medications, left Erickson -- who had had brief episodes of mental illness prior to being committed -- far more mentally and emotionally damaged than he had been when he went in.
He Was A Post-Punk Cult Hero
One of the less attractive elements of the indie rock underground is that sometimes artists attract audiences more for their obviously unbalanced mental state (Daniel Johnston and the late Wesley Willis being two obvious examples) than for their actual music. While there's no question that some of Erickson's latter-day fans were attracted by the "Hey, lookit the crazy guy!" aspect of his story, the albums that Light In The Attic has just reissued stand up on their own musical merits. The Evil One (1981) most strongly features Erickson's lyrical obsessions of that era, religious parables doused with creepy horror-movie imagery of zombies, werewolves and vampires. Don't Slander Me (1984) is his most straightforwardly rocking effort and includes the glorious "Starry Eyes," an utterly sincere power pop love song that sounds like the best single Buddy Holly never wrote. The patchwork Gremlins Have Pictures (1986) was gathered from live tracks and demos covering nearly a decade and is the hardest listen of the lot, both for its lo-fi sound and the clear evidence of Erickson's steadily-worsening mental state in the fragmented songs. Still, even it contains the sterling live track "Song For Abe Lincoln," a cockeyed optimist's lyric set to one of the catchiest tunes he'd ever written.
He Got Worse...A Lot Worse
In the 1980s, Erickson announced that his body had been inhabited by an alien, and even got a notarized statement to that effect. Diagnosed as schizophrenic, Erickson lost interest in music by the late '80s, and at the turn of the 1990s spent a stint in prison on mail theft charges that were eventually dismissed. During this period, a longtime fan who worked for Warner Brothers Records created the 1990 compilation Where The Pyramid Meets The Eye: A Tribute To Roky Erickson. Long out of print but easily available online, the set includes tracks by friends and fans including ZZ Top, R.E.M., T-Bone Burnett, Julian Cope and The Jesus and Mary Chain, not to mention now-obscure college rockers of the time like The Judybats, Thin White Rope and Poi Dog Pondering. The album both contributed royalties to Erickson's all-but-depleted coffers and introduced him to the burgeoning alternative rock scene.
And Now He's A Lot Better
In 2001, Roky Erickson's youngest brother Sumner petitioned to take over his sibling's guardianship due to the declining mental and physical state of their mother. With his mental illness more carefully managed thanks to that change and advances in medication, Roky Erickson returned to an almost-normal life that included live performances and, in 2010, a well-received comeback album, True Love Cast Out All Evil, with the help of fellow Austinites Okkervil River. A promo interview of Roky by Okkervil River frontman Will Sheff from that era shows an alert, witty, intelligent and introspective man in late middle age (he turned 66 in July) who more than possibly anyone else deserves the clichéd term rock and roll survivor.
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As Santana Lopez on Glee, Naya Rivera has a habit of keeping it real by being brutally honest, and it seems as if she's carried that philsophy over to her solo album. Rivera released her first single, "Sorry," along with a lyric video on Tuesday and recruited her boyfriend, rapper Big Sean, to feature on the track. But what, exactly, is Rivera apologizing for? Well, for not being sorry that she stole someone's boyfriend.
The song is written as a brush-off to her boy's ex-girlfriend, who seems understandably upset that Rivera has unapologetically stolen him away from her. After establishing that she's just so hot that this guy couldn't resist, Rivera gets downright mean in the second verse, where she tells the ex-girlfriend that she's "looking like a hot mess, honey/I think it's time for you to cut it out/trying to keep you from looking funny/I guess until you find somebody/you're a hashtagging pity party." Ouch. And that's before Big Sean rubs some salt in the wound by rapping about how much he loves his new girl. Remind us to never get on Rivera's bad side.
Thanks in part to a pop/R&B hybrid production that suits Rivera's voice perfectly, the song itself is incredibly catchy — which would be great if it weren't so problematic. Because bragging about how you're not sorry that you've stolen someone's boyfriend and layering that non-apology with a liberal amount of insults seems downright catty and — dare we say it — rather anti-feminist. Granted, everyone's felt a little mean and petty once or twice in their lives, and Rivera never claimed to be a bastion of feminism, but at the end of the day, do we really need something else that perpetuates the stereotype of women as constantly fighting with one another?
If you're in a particularly catty mood yourself, you can check out the NSFW lyric video below.
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Britney Spears was forced to bump up the radio release of her comeback single on Sunday (15Sep13) after a low-quality version of the song leaked online. The Toxic hitmaker had been gearing up to premiere Work B**ch, a collaboration with will.i.am and songwriter Otto Knows, on Monday evening (16Sep13), but her plans were ruined after discovering it had already surfaced on the internet over the weekend (14-15Sep13).
In a Twitter.com post on Sunday, Spears wrote, "Woke up today and saw that a low quality version of Work B**ch had leaked... iamwill OttoKnows and I worked SOOO hard on this song! Can't wait for you all to hear it like you're supposed to..."
As a result of the leak, Spears' track made its big radio debut on Sunday afternoon.
Work B**ch had already hit headlines before it was even released - Swedish DJ Sebastian Ingrosso was forced to speak out to distance himself from the tune after he was listed as a songwriter on a lyric sheet Spears posted online on Wednesday (11Sep13).
Ingrosso insisted it was not his work on the track - he had simply passed along a song created by his artist Knows to the Black Eyed Peas frontman to use for Spears' new project.