Rocker Morrissey has branded bosses of his former record label Harvest "cheap" for asking him to read extracts from his memoir to promote a new album. In a furious statement, titled Please Close The Door Behind Me, the former The Smiths frontman blasted company chiefs over his short-lived deal, slamming it as "sorrily botched" and accusing them of fostering an atmosphere of "mutual mistrust" and "fashionable pessimism".
He also blames them for failing to promote his new record, World Peace Is None of Your Business, with traditional promo films, and accuses the company of "beheading" him by ending their deal weeks after the album was released last month (Jul14).
In a lengthy statement, the Suedehead hitmaker blames the downfall of his deal with the company on a suggestion that he should read extracts of his bestselling memoir, Autobiography, to promote the album.
Morrissey writes, "In response to 77 million questions I can only say this much on the subject of the Harvest drama. It is quite true that Harvest initially appeared like a saintly beacon of light... It all seemed too good to be true. It was...
"The label suggested I come to Los Angeles and read passages from Autobiography in front of selected audiences. As frightening as that idea was, I hung on, desperate to believe that Harvest were not as cheap as they now looked...
"Mutual mistrust exploded between Harvest and I, and with fashionable pessimism, the label boss yawned and ordered the surface smartness of dropping World Peace is None of Your Business three weeks after its release. There, now! This would not have happened to the Teletubbies.
"Sorrily botched the project may now be, but it's worth it to get Morrissey out of our Inbox. Yes, I can be intensely persistent, and I certainly have an over-active fantasy-life, but the Harvest experience tells us that despite the blinding flash of teeth and smiles, it doesn't take much for the coin to flip and suddenly we're all compromised and shattered."
Robin Williams was laid to rest in his adopted San Francisco, California on Sunday (17Aug14). The life of the tragic funnyman, who committed suicide at his home in Marin County, California last week (11Aug14), was celebrated at Glide Memorial Church.
The funeral service was without incident even though members of the Westboro Baptist Church had threatened to protest the send-off over Williams' support of gays and his portrayal of a gay man in The Birdcage.
Rev. Cecil Williams, who presided over the service, told mourners, "He (Williams) was just a good laugh and a good soul with what he said and what he did and how he did it.
Williams was battling the early stages of Parkinson's disease and depression when he took his life.
Rocker Nikki Sixx has urged his fans and radio listeners to end the "Gene Simmons bash-athon", which he started by slamming the Kiss star for ill-advised remarks he made about people suffering from depression. The outspoken bassist became a target recently when he fired off about addicts and depressives in an online interview, suggesting those contemplating suicide should just kill themselves.
Simmons said, "I'm the guy who says 'Jump' when there's a guy on top of a building who says, 'That's it, I can't take it any more - I'm going to jump'. Shut the f**k up, have some dignity and jump."
The KISS star was responding to a question about his ongoing relations with former bandmate Ace Frehley, who has battled addiction issues.
Among those taking aim at Simmons for his insensitive remarks was Motley Crue star Sixx, who stirred up the controversy on his satellite radio show by calling his one-time tourmate "moronic". Bosses at a leading Australian radio station pulled KISS tracks from the airwaves to protest Simmons' comments.
The KISS star has since apologised stating, "My intentions in speaking very directly, and perhaps politically incorrectly, about drug use and alcoholics have been misconstrued as vile commentary on depression. Unkind statements about depression was certainly never my intention."
And that seems to have satisfied Sixx, who is keen to end his feud with Simmons.
He says, "This has turned into a bit of an anti-Gene Simmons bash-athon, and I don't condone that. Nor do I support radio stations who are banning Kiss - the guys in the band didn't do anything. Gene said something that has been addressed. Maybe in a moment of bravado he was just being cocksure and pompous? Out of everything in my life that's gone awry, I try to learn a lesson. There is good in everything."
But as Sixx attempts to distance himself from the ongoing drama over Simmons' remarks, British rocker Ginger Wildheart has dived in, demanding filmmakers remove him from an upcoming KISS fan documentary.
The Wildheart star admits he was appalled by what his one-time hero had to say about addicts, depression and suicide and he doesn't want to be associated with him: "I'm truly embarrassed that I was ever a Kiss fan. I'm honestly really happy that everyone hates Gene Simmons. Clueless old f**king w**ker."
Veteran musician Wilko Johnson is plotting a return to hit TV show Game Of Thrones after he recovers from cancer surgery.
The former Dr. Feelgood star appeared in the fantasy show as executioner Ser Ilyn Payne and he was last seen on screen in 2011, two years before he was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. Johnson defied doctors to continue working after his health news, and he is determined to bounce back after undergoing an operation in April (14) to remove a tumour from his pancreas.
His journalist friend Charles Shaar Murray has given an update on the star's condition, revealing he enjoyed an outing to the beach with a group of friends on Sunday (17Aug14) and is even eyeing a return to TV.
Murray writes in a post on Facebook.com, "Yesterday: a lovely Sunday afternoon by the seaside... to be precise, hanging out with Wilko Johnson and a bunch of his mates... Wilk's still in the comparatively early stages of recovery from his massive life-saving surgery, but he's in good spirits (though he's no longer drinking any), working hard to rebuild strength and stamina, itching to resume maltreating Telecasters (guitars) in public and even speculating on returning to Game of Thrones once Ser Ilyn Payne is no longer ill in pain and he's strong enough to wield the Big Sword once more. And he thanks all y'all for the good vibes."
The note was reposted on Johnson's own account with the message, "We just had to share this heartening update from the inimitable Charles Shaar Murray. As you can imagine, Wilko's still got a long way to go, but he's in good spirits and we must reiterate CSM's last line - he really does appreciate all the positive vibes."
Music veteran Nile Rodgers marked a major milestone on Sunday (17Aug14) as he celebrated 42 months cancer-free.
The star took to the stage at Britain's V Festival in Chelmsford, England on Sunday, and he shared his good news shortly before his set. In a post on Twitter.com, he writes, "Every 6 months I have to get tested for cancer since being attacked. I'm 42 months clear... My cancer test came back all clear. Today's other gift's are CHIC @vfestival (sic)..."
However, Rodgers, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2010 but given the all-clear a year later (11), admitted the news was bittersweet as his band's longtime guitar technician is currently undergoing chemotherapy.
He adds in a message posted on Facebook.com, "Yesterday I got my latest post-op cancer test, and my guitar tech Terry had 7 hours of chemo. Life is the gift, cancer is the thief... We all love you Terry and we'll fight this monster together brother!"
Members of the controversial Westboro Baptist Church are planning an ill-advised protest at tragic actor Robin Williams' funeral over his portrayal of a gay man in The Birdcage. The Good Will Hunting star passed away on Monday (11Aug14) and while details of his funeral have not been made public, members of the church have already announced plans to picket the memorial.
A message posted on the group's official Twitter.com page reads: "Westboro Baptist Church Hopes To Preach In Lawful Proximity To Robin Williams' Funeral - To Warn The Living: Repent Or Likewise Perish."
However, organisers at Planting Peace have launched a fundraiser to counter the church's plans.
A message from co-founder Aaron Jackson reads: "Robin Williams played many different roles in so many people's lives, and giving back to others was at the top of that list. His appeal crossed generational boundaries. I was personally impacted when I heard of his passing. This is a small gesture to honor his legacy and the difference he made to so many.
"When the WBC announced they were protesting Robin's funeral, we felt like launching a fundraiser for a charity Robin loved would be the perfect way to honor him and counteract the message of hate and intolerance that the WBC continues to convey."
The proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit St. Jude Children's Hospital, which Williams supported during his life.
The 1990s were a virtual golden age of televised animation... at least as far as the people who grew up during that decade are concerned. Nickelodeon was no doubt the principal force in churning out quality cartoon programming during the '90s, giving us generation defining entertainment in its slate of original Nicktoons. But which of these memorable entries are our favorites and least favorites? Check out our complete ranking of '90s Nicktoons, and chime in below with your own preferences!
"What if... a cat and a dog were Siamese twins?""Oh, yeah! I guess... I guess that could be something."It wasn't. It was nothing.
12. Oh Yeah! Cartoons
This anthology series is easily the least memorable entry from the '90s Nicktoons slate, but escapes the last place slot for introducing the world to some of the next generation's stronger entries, most notably The Fairly Odd Parents.
11. The Wild Thornberrys
Despite an interesting premise and the whimsy that is Tim Curry's voice over work, The Wild Thornberrys never felt quite like it was on our level. Unlike some of its favorable company, the series always felt like a show that some displaced adults thought that kids would like, but never quite understood why they should.
10. Rocket Power
Call it my lasting aversion to bro culture, but Rocket Power always seemed a little much. Never proving itself particularly clever, funny, or original, the show banked way too hard on just trying to be cool. It was, I guess, but not that cool.
9. Aaahh!! Real Monsters
Once in a while, Aaahh!! Real Monsters was enjoyable enough to check in on. A wide variety of weird, crudely drawn creatures living beneath the Staten Island's Fresh Kills Landfill, surfacing only to scare the wits out of humans (not out of malice, but out for the academic merit in the trade) is good for an occasional chuckle, but wore thin pretty quickly.
For the blossoming comic book fan, KaBlam! had a special appeal. But while the anthology series had a few consistently delightful shorts (like Action League Now!) it was very clear why most members of its ensemble never earned their own series proper.
7. SpongeBob SquarePants
Though really a cartoon belonging to the post-'90s youth, SpongeBob's debut in '99 makes it viable for ranking. In truth, the show has evolved into something relatively impressive, even if its unfathomable giddiness can deter viewers brought up on the darker fare of Nickelodeon's earlier days (as you'll see below...).
The only real fault of the technically stellar and remarkably earnest cartoon is that we got too old for it. Sure, Rugrats never talked down to its audience, nor did it insinuate that a young slate of stars entailed a young demographic of viewers. But the show, a very funny exercise in embracing new perspectives on the day-to-day, just didn't do quite enough to keep us hooked as we went onto more mature fare.
5. The Ren & Stimpy Show
Easily the most divisive show on the list, Ren & Stimpy can be respected even by those who find it disgusting for its sheer ambition... and weirdness. Though heavy-handed and abrasive in its comedy, the show had no shortage of imagination.
Required viewing for anybody growing up with a double dose of anxiety, Doug has earned a very special place in the heart of most children of the '90s. The original Nicktoon was sweet, ethical, and effectively wacky while maintaining unmatched sincerity. Though a viable contender for the top tier of this list, Doug is given the No. 4 spot for not quite managing to escape the myopic, claustrophobic feeling that its superior brethren were able to dash to pieces. But still one of the greats.
3. Hey Arnold!
In a way, Hey Arnold! was the precise complement to Doug. Whereas Arnold's Bluffingtonian predecessor struggled with the neuroses within him, the football-headed stoic played the sane man in a world of crazy. Cool, calm, and good-hearted, Arnold navigated a New York City filled with abject lunacy, charged with maintaining justice and order throughout each of his journeys. Colorful and funny, though always a bit melancholy, Hey Arnold! is Nickelodeon's answer to beat poetry.
2. The Angry Beavers
A dark horse No. 2, but truly the most clever and mature cartoon to air on Nickelodeon. Riddled with whip-smart dialogue and ahead-of-its-time pop culture parody, as well as unparalleled devotion to continuity as far as these series go, Angry Beavers is an overlooked gem among the more flashy or earthy Nicktoons.
1. Rocko's Modern Life
There are many programs on this list that rival Rocko's Modern Life in weirdness, that come close in mania, that top it in empathy, and that give it a run for its money in wit. So why, then, does it stand out in our minds as the very best work of art to come out of Nickelodeon's animated community to date? Why is some small-scale, scatterbrained show about a mild-mannered wallaby dealing with mundane qualms like laundry, food shopping, recycling, romance, and breaking his pal out of Heck the most piercingly lovable title that the network has to its name? We don't know what gives Rocko that wow factor, but we can guess.
Which is your favorite Nicktoon?
Funnyman-turned-moviemaker Rob Reiner has opened up about his own struggle with depression following the death of his longtime friend Robin Williams. The This Is Spinal Tap director was told the news of Williams' death from an apparent suicide this week (beg11Aug14) by the funnyman's Good Will Hunting co-star Minnie Driver on the set of TV show About a Boy.
Williams had been struggling with depression prior to his passing, and was also dealing with a Parkinson's disease diagnosis, and the tragedy has now prompted Reiner to go public with his own mental health issues.
In an interview on Politicking With Larry King, Reiner says, "It (Williams' death) hit me in a very, very deep level (sic). I have depression. I've wrestled with it my whole life... I know how difficult a struggle that is for somebody, and how difficult it was for Robin, and it's so upsetting to hear somebody who fought as hard as he did all these years to try to manage it, had to succumb to it."
Reiner goes on to insist Williams' death is especially tragic because there are so many ways depression can now be controlled.
He adds, "You can manage it, and you can live with it."
Dutch opera star Cristina Deutekom has died, aged 82. The singer passed away on 7 August (14) from injuries sustained in a fall at her home.
Deutekom made her breakthrough in the 1960s with Amsterdam's Dutch National Orchestra, and went on to perform all over the world with leading men including Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras.
She retired from the stage in the mid-1980s after suffering heart problems during a performance in Spain and turned to teaching, but made a brief return in a Dutch production in 1996.
Deutekom stepped away from public life for good after suffering a stroke in 2004.
Robin Williams' widow has revealed the tragic funnyman was suffering the early stages of Parkinson's disease at the time of his death on Monday (11Aug14). Susan Schneider has released a new statement to the media in a bid to end speculation surrounding her late husband's apparent suicide, insisting money worries and his addiction issues were not responsible for the tragedy, despite ongoing reports to the contrary.
She claims the Good Morning, Vietnam star's sobriety was "intact" following a brief stint at a rehab/renewal centre earlier this summer (14), but he was struggling with a Parkinson's disease diagnosis.
Her statement reads: "Robin spent so much of his life helping others. Whether he was entertaining millions on stage, film or television, our troops on the frontlines, or comforting a sick child - Robin wanted us to laugh and to feel less afraid.
"Since his passing, all of us who loved Robin have found some solace in the tremendous outpouring of affection and admiration for him from the millions of people whose lives he touched. His greatest legacy, besides his three children, is the joy and happiness he offered to others, particularly to those fighting personal battles.
"Robin's sobriety was intact and he was brave as he struggled with his own battles of depression, anxiety as well as early stages of Parkinson's Disease, which he was not yet ready to share publicly.
"It is our hope in the wake of Robin's tragic passing, that others will find the strength to seek the care and support they need to treat whatever battles they are facing so they may feel less afraid."
The story of Albert and Jane Miller, a married couple who pose as a butler and cook to escape life's endless problems and expenses. They acquire a position with Charles Dutton, the wealthy head of Dutton Industries. The series relates their misadventures as they struggle to keep secret their charade, run the Dutton mansion, and enjoy the good life.