Rock Lit: Placebo Cops Inspiration From James Frey’s Controversial Memoir
The inspiration for a song on Placebo’s latest album, Loud Like Love, comes from an unlikely place: James Frey’s controversial account of drug addiction that drew headlines for its falsified passages. For frontman Brian Molko, the book tapped into something he wanted to pursue musically. And it’s not the first time the musician has used his interest in reading to inspire a song.
Molko has released seven albums with Placebo since their self-titled 1996 debut and often takes a literary approach to songwriting. The band’s new disc, which recently came out via Universal, extends their lengthy and darkly moody discography, exploring serious subject matter like drug addiction. For Molko, books are a way to tap into new ways of expressing ideas and aid songwriting by learning new words and turns of phrase.
The songwriter and musician spoke with Hive about his experience with books, what sort of literature he prefers and just why he’s so compelled by James Frey.
Lou Reed, Velvet Underground Leader and Rock Pioneer, Dead at 71
New York legend, who helped shape nearly fifty years of rock music, underwent a liver transplant in May
Lou Reed, a massively influential songwriter and guitarist who helped shape nearly fifty years of rock music, died today. The cause of his death has not yet been released, but Reed underwent a liver transplant in May.
With the Velvet Underground in the late Sixties, Reed fused street-level urgency with elements of European avant-garde music, marrying beauty and noise, while bringing a whole new lyrical honesty to rock & roll poetry. As a restlessly inventive solo artist, from the Seventies into the 2010s, he was chameleonic, thorny and unpredictable, challenging his fans at every turn. Glam, punk and alternative rock are all unthinkable without his revelatory example. “One chord is fine,” he once said, alluding to his bare-bones guitar style. “Two chords are pushing it. Three chords and you’re into jazz.”
Lewis Allan “Lou” Reed was born in Brooklyn, in 1942. A fan of doo-wop and early rock & roll (he movingly inducted Dion into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989), Reed also took formative inspiration during his studies at Syracuse University with the poet Delmore Schwartz. After college, he worked as a staff songwriter for the novelty label Pickwick Records (where he had a minor hit in 1964 with a dance-song parody called “The Ostrich”). In the mid-Sixties, Reed befriended Welsh musician John Cale, a classically trained violist who had performed with groundbreaking minimalist composer La Monte Young. Reed and Cale formed a band called the Primitives, then changed their name to the Warlocks. After meeting guitarist Sterling Morrison and drummer Maureen Tucker, they became the Velvet Underground. With a stark sound and ominous look, the band caught the attention of Andy Warhol, who incorporated the Velvets into his Exploding Plastic Inevitable. “Andy would show his movies on us,” Reed said. “We wore black so you could see the movie. But we were all wearing black anyway.”
“Produced” by Warhol and met with total commercial indifference when it was released in early 1967, VU’s debut The Velvet Underground & Nico stands as a landmark on par with the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Bob Dylan’s Blonde On Blonde. Reed’s matter-of-fact descriptions of New York’s bohemian demimonde, rife with allusions to drugs and S&M, pushed beyond even the Rolling Stones’ darkest moments, while the heavy doses of distortion and noise for its own sake revolutionized rock guitar. The band’s three subsequent albums – 1968’s even more corrosive sounding White Light/White Heat, 1969’s fragile, folk-toned The Velvet Underground and 1970’s Loaded, which despite being recorded while he was leaving the group, contained two Reed standards, “Rock & Roll” and “Sweet Jane,” were similarly ignored. But they’d be embraced by future generations, cementing the Velvet Underground’s status as the most influential American rock band of all time.
The Most Famous Book Set In Every State
Whether you come from Florida, New York, Texas, or any other state, reading a book set there can make you feel a warm nostalgia for that beloved place.
We rounded up the most famous book set in every state in America.
Hal Needham, veteran Hollywood stuntman and director, dies at 82
By Steve Chawkins
Hal Needham, a highly regarded Hollywood stuntman and director of frothy, adrenaline-pumped films like “Smokey and the Bandit” and “Cannonball Run,” has died. He was 82.
Needham died Friday in Los Angeles, according to his business managers at Laura Lizer and Associates. No other details were immediately available.
Born in Memphis, Tenn., Needham spoke with a down-home twang.
He was a fixture in the movie business for most of his working life. In a stunt career that spanned hundreds of TV episodes and feature films, he tumbled down cliffs, leaped off boulders, jumped from planes, tottered off balconies and plunged from towers. He was rattled in blasts and blistered in fires. He broke 56 bones, including, twice, his back. He punctured a lung, damaged his hearing, lost a few teeth and was knocked out countless times but maintained a sunny outlook even after swooping into the unknown territory of directing.
The son of sharecroppers, Needham spent most of his childhood so deep in the Ozarks, as he liked to joke, that “you had to pump the sunshine in.” Dropping out of school after eighth grade, he worked as a tree trimmer in St. Louis before joining the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division in 1951. Three years and many jumps later, he left the service and headed west with three pairs of jeans, six T-shirts, a buddy and no particular plan.
Famous Artists Reinvent Stormtrooper Helmets for London Underground Exhibit
BY CARLA SCHWARTZ
Today, London’s Regent’s Park Underground Station is set to unveil a creative ode to the Star Warsstormtrooper. The traveling exhibit Art Wars features stormtrooper helmets re-imagined in the styles of well-known artists. Presented by London organization Art Below in collaboration with original stormtrooper creator Andrew Ainsworth, Art Wars includes creations from Damien Hirst, David Bailey, Mr. Brainwash, Paul Fryer and Joana Vasconcelos.
Through exhibitions in Underground stations, Art Below’s mission is to promote the creative community while enhancing the general public’s commuting experience. Billboards throughout the Regent’s Park platform feature the stormtrooper helmet designs,
Ronald Shannon Jackson, Composer and Avant-Garde Drummer, Dies at 73
By STEVE SMITH
Ronald Shannon Jackson, an avant-garde drummer and composer who led an influential electric band and performed with many of the greatest names in jazz, died on Saturday at his home in Fort Worth. He was 73.
His death, from leukemia, was confirmed by his son Talkeye.
Mr. Jackson, whose distinctive look included long hair that he once braided with rivets and subway tokens, had a muscular style that set him apart from his fellow avant-garde jazz drummers, providing for a thunderous yet economical rumble infused with funk, marching-band patterns and African styles. His band, the Decoding Society, showed his knack for writing rigorous yet approachable music.
He performed over the years with Charles Mingus, Betty Carter, Jackie McLean and Joe Henderson. But his name was most closely linked with three free-jazz pioneers: the saxophonist Albert Ayler, the pianist Cecil Taylor and, foremost, the saxophonist Ornette Coleman, who also hailed from Fort Worth.
Rihanna ordered out of UAE mosque complex over photo shoot
Singer asked to leave Abu Dhabi’s sacred Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque complex after posing for “inappropriate” pictures
Pop star Rihanna was asked to leave Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque complex for posing for “inappropriate” pictures outside one of the world’s largest Muslim places of worship.
Authorities said they had taken action before the Barbadian singer entered the mosque itself, which is not off-limits to non-Muslims and has become a major tourist attraction in the United Arab Emirates capital.
The 25-year-old, who performed live in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, posted the pictures on online photo-sharing site Instagram. She posed in a black jumpsuit in the courtyard of the mosque, wearing crimson lipstick and nail polish.
She wore a headscarf in all of the photographs but the poses could be regarded as suggestive.
Larry Flynt: Don’t Execute the Man Who Paralyzed Me (Guest Column)
by Larry Flynt
Joseph Paul Franklin, who has confessed to shooting Flynt in 1978 and been convicted in a series of racially motivated murders, is set for execution in Missouri in November. Flynt writes for THR, “I have every reason to be overjoyed with that decision, but I am anything but.”
On March 6, 1978, as I stood on the steps of the Georgia courthouse where I was fighting obscenity charges, a series of gunshots rang out. I remember nothing that happened after that until I woke up in the intensive care unit. The damage to my central nervous system was severe, and it took several weeks before doctors could stabilize me. From then on, I was paralyzed from the waist down, and have been confined to a wheelchair ever since.
Years later, a white supremacist named Joseph Paul Franklin was arrested for shooting and killing an interracial couple. He soon began confessing to other crimes, and that’s when he admitted to having shot me. He said he’d targeted me because of a photo spread I ran in Hustler magazine featuring a black man and a white woman. He had bombed several synagogues. He had shot Vernon Jordan Jr., the civil rights activist. He hated blacks, he hated Jews, he hated all minorities. He went around the country committing all these crimes. I think somebody had to have been financing him, but nothing ever turned up on who that somebody may have been.
As far as the severity of punishment is concerned, to me, a life spent in a 3-by-6-foot cell is far harsher than the quick release of a lethal injection. And costs to the taxpayer? Execution has been proven to be far more expensive for the state than a conviction of life without parole, due to the long and complex judicial process required for capital cases.
Franklin has been sentenced by the Missouri Supreme Court to death by legal injection on Nov. 20. I have every reason to be overjoyed with this decision, but I am not. I have had many years in this wheelchair to think about this very topic. As I see it, the sole motivating factor behind the death penalty is vengeance, not justice, and I firmly believe that a government that forbids killing among its citizens should not be in the business of killing people itself.
Drunk falls asleep behind the wheel at Burger King drive-through window — for 2 solid hours: cop
SCOTT OLSON/GETTY IMAGES
Booze might make burgers taste better but not if you fall asleep before you can put in your order.
That’s what happened to a drunken New Jersey man who sat in his running Hyundai in a Burger King drive-through for two hours in the dead of night earlier this month, police said.
Kyler Ginter, 41, of Sparta, apparently never got it his way because the fast-food restaurant’s manager saw him asleep at the wheel near the order screen, reported the Morristown Patch.
Officers found Ginter inside the black vehicle with the key in the ignition about 3 a.m. Oct. 5, police said.
“I knew I couldn’t handle it and I just wanted to stay here,” Ginter told police, according to a police report.
Cop sees motorcycle at 140 mph
By Michael Smothers
PEKIN — Maybe Adam Lester really had to go to the bathroom.
That’s what Lester, 26, told the police officer who had just clocked his motorcycle at 140 mph Tuesday night on the McNaughton Bridge, police said.
He had to wait until the officer took him to police headquarters under arrest for speeding more than 40 mph over the limit and fleeing and attempting to elude police, both misdemeanors, as well as other traffic violations.’
The officer also cited Lester, of 18384 Thompson St. in rural Pekin, for endangering the safety of a minor, the 16-year-old girl who clung to him as his passenger on the high-speed ride. That charge, however, was not included among those a prosecutor filed Wednesday in Tazewell County Circuit Court.
Banksy Ascends to Superhero (or Villain) Status in City
By Drew Grant
The mayor has condemned him. The police are after him. Possible copycats are posing as him. And vandals who dare deface his work are being humiliated by vigilante mobs.
Which all points to one conclusion: Banksyis Batman.
As we reported earlier this week, street artist Banksy began his one-month “residency,” Better Out Than In in New York with a bang, with two tributes to the World Trade Center and 9/11 raising the ire of Mayor Bloomberg, who said “graffiti does ruin people’s property and it’s a sign of decay and loss of control.”
Though he said he’d leave it up to Department of Cultural Affairs to deal with Banksy, it wasn’t two days before the NYPD’s Vandal Squad were sent out to capture the British artist, according to The New York Post. And now that Banksy’s base of operations has been discovered out in Red Hook, that could lead to a subpoena and investigations of the facility, Gothamist’s John Del Signore speculated.
But wait! There’s more! A tipster sent us over photos today with this note:
‘It’s making children cry’: Police tell man to tone down annual charity Halloween display in honour of his grandmother
A Halloween fan who put up a gruesome display of ‘disembowelled corpses’ outside his home has been asked by police to tone it down.
James Creighton, 25, was told that his scene was making children cry with its macabre reconstruction of a scene from The Texas Chainshaw Massacre.
He has put the display up outside his house in Stevenage to raise funds for charity every year since his grandmother died in 2009.
But one parent complained to Hertfordshire Constabulary, concerned that the collection of ‘bloody corpses and gory skeletons’ was scaring young children.
But Mr Creighton said: ‘I can’t believe it to be honest. I can’t see what I’ve done wrong.’
After Decades, a Water Tunnel Can Now Serve All of Manhattan
Pool photo by Mary Altaffer
Of all New York City’s sprawling mega-projects, the water tunnel snaking beneath the grid — connecting the Bronx to Upper Manhattan, Upper Manhattan to Central Park, Central Park to Queens, and, eventually, Queens to the western edge of Brooklyn — is perhaps the hardest to love.
There will be no new subway to board when the work is done, no elevator to ride to the top of a skyscraper. Even the name is shrouded in anonymity: Water Tunnel No. 3, the last in a trilogy that few New Yorkers would pay to see.
In one of the most significant milestones for the city’s water supply in nearly a century, the tunnel — authorized in 1954, begun in 1970 and considered the largest capital construction project ever undertaken in the five boroughs — will for the first time be equipped to provide water for all of Manhattan. Since 1917, the borough has relied on Tunnel No. 1, which was never inspected or significantly repaired after its opening.
Is the royal train grinding to a halt?
Despite decades in service, the royal train has yet to reach the end of the line – at least according to those who built it
By Joe Shute
In recent days, the Queen’s treasurer has done much to recast himself in the role of Jenny Agutter in The Railway Children, waving down the royal train with a pair of red bloomers to stop it in its tracks.
For, according to Sir Alan Reid, the Keeper of the Privy Purse, the train that has been a permanent fixture of regal life since the reign of Queen Victoria may soon be forced to come to a halt. In an admission to a committee of MPs on Monday, he warned the current rolling stock only has five to 10 years of service left. The prospect of replacing it, he said, would be a major decision, adding that “the figures are quite staggering
Author James Frey Celebrates 20 Years Clean and Sober
JAMES FREY, PHOTO (C) TERRY RICHARDSON
Hamptons resident, writer and publisher James Frey celebrates 20 years sober today. The 44-year-old author of controversial bestseller A Million Little Pieces, My Friend Leonard, Bright Shiny Morning and, his latest, The Final Testament of the Holy Bible has been both lauded and vilified in the literary world, but he continues to attract a legion of enthusiastic readers and fans.
Frey addressed his friends and supporters on Facebook this morning about this milestone anniversary:
“20 years ago today I went to the Hazelden Foundation for treatment of alcoholism and cocaine addiction. Haven’t had a drink or used a drug since. Thank you to Hazelden, to my family and to my friends for all of the love and support. And to the many many readers and supporters I know on here or have never met, there have been dark times in these years, and you have helped more than you know, more than you know. I’m a lucky mother______. Thank you thank you thank you.”
Sarah Flood in Salem Mass: All Kinds of Gonzo Weirdness
Adriano Shaplin‘s gonzo epic Sarah Flood in Salem Mass blends Our Town and The Crucible with verve, slang, and hallucinogenic beaver stew. (Yes, the Wooster Group did it first—minus the beavers—but that was 30 years ago.) The 18-character play at the Flea Theater opens in a riot of questionable godliness, incipient witchcraft, dynastic alliances, and contested wills. There are too many people, too many trees, too many narratives, and a lot of stage haze. Then it gets properly weird.
Damien Hirst’s Anatomical Sculptures Have Their Debut
By CAROL VOGEL
DOHA, Qatar — For weeks, 14 giant balloons had been mysteriously parked in front of the Sidra Medical and Research Center, a hulking steel, glass and white ceramic building devoted to women’s and children’s health that is to open on the outskirts of this city in 2015.
At 7 on Monday evening, to the amplified sound of a beating heart, members of Qatar’s royal family, government officials and local artists watched as each balloon, bathed in purple light, opened like a giant flower to reveal an unusually provocative public artwork. Called “The Miraculous Journey,” it consists of 14 monumental bronze sculptures, by the British artist Damien Hirst, chronicling the gestation of a fetus inside a uterus, from conception to birth, ending with a statue of a 46-foot-tall anatomically correct baby boy.
Even for a Persian Gulf country that is aggressively buying its way into modernity, this installation takes official acceptance of Western art to a new level. Local women still adhere to centuries-old Islamic traditions, wearing the abaya, a long cloak, and niqab, or face covering; images of women are routinely censored in books and magazines. Even the representation of the human form is unusual.
To commission such an audacious work of art is considered a particularly bold move for Sheikha al Mayassa Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, 30, chairwoman of the Qatar Museums Authority and a sister to the new emir of this oil- and gas-rich state. The sculptures are reported to have cost $20 million.
“To have something like this is less daring than having a lot of nudity,” said the sheikha, interviewed on Monday morning in her office at the Museum of Islamic Art, a modern, sun-filled space with sweeping views of the gulf. “There is a verse in the Koran about the miracle of birth,” she said. “It is not against our culture or our religion.”
Fiona Apple Heckled Over Health, Walks Off Again
Just over a month ago, Fiona Apple made headlines following an incident at a Fashion Week event in Tokyo in which she reportedly walked off stage when the crowd refused to, in her alleged words, “shut the fuck up.”
As reported, quite delicately, by both Stereogum and The Oregonian, Apple and her current touring partner Blake Mills played a wonderful tour-opening show last night (October 3) at Portland, Oregon’s Newmark Theatre, but the concert ended in ignominy on all all sides when a heckler attacked the headliner’s physical appearance. Apple’s battle with the press and public over her body image has been an epic one, and unnecessary (plus inherently misogynist) as it should have nothing to do with her contributions as an artist.
Over an hour into the set, a fan in the first balcony shouted, “Fiona! Get healthy! We want to see you in 10 years!” Stereogum explains what happened next: “Apple, understandably, looked aghast, then hurt, then furious. She unleashed a torrent of vitriol at the unseen member of the peanut gallery. “I am healthy! Who the fuck do you think you are? I want you to get the fuck out of here. I want the house lights on so I watch you leave!” The venue obliged and the offending fan left, but not without escalating.
As she left, the heckler had a parting shot: “I saw you 20 years ago and you were beautiful!” As Apple reportedly became more emotional, The Oregonion reports that an unkind man also shouted, “You’re a has-been!” She then apparently said she was done, but muscled through “Waltz (Better Than Fine)” while sobbing. With only one song left scheduled for the set (“I Know”), she “in tears, apologized and walked off, calling it ‘a historically stupid night.'”
Leonardo da Vinci painting lost for centuries found in Swiss bank vault
By Nick Squires, Rome
It was lost for so long that it had assumed mythical status for art historians. Some doubted whether it even existed.
But a 500-year-old mystery was apparently solved today after a painting attributed to Leonardo da Vinci was discovered in a Swiss bank vault.
The painting, which depicts Isabella d’Este, a Renaissance noblewoman, was found in a private collection of 400 works kept in a Swiss bank by an Italian family who asked not to be identified.
It appears to be a completed, painted version of a pencil sketch drawn by Leonardo da Vinci in Mantua in the Lombardy region of northern Italy in 1499.
The sketch, the apparent inspiration for the newly found work, hangs in the Louvre Museum in Paris.
For centuries it had been debated whether Leonardo had actually had the time or inclination to develop the sketch into a painted portrait.
After seeing the drawing he produced, the marquesa wrote to the artist, imploring him to produce a full-blown painting.
But shortly afterwards he embarked on one of his largest works, The Battle of Anghiari on the walls of Florence’s town hall, and then, in 1503, started working on the Mona Lisa.
Art historians had long believed he simply ran out of time — or lost interest — in completing the commission for Isabella d’Este.
Now it appears that he did in fact manage to finish the project — perhaps when he encountered the aristocrat, one of the most influential female figures of her day, in Rome in 1514.
Albert D. Wheelon, Architect of Aerial Spying, Dies at 84
Albert D. Wheelon, a physicist whose early work on satellites for the C.I.A. in the 1960s helped lay the groundwork for a vast American arsenal of aerial spying machines, died on Friday in Santa Barbara, Calif. He was 84.
The cause was cancer, his sister, Marcia Wheelon, said.
Dr. Wheelon was 34 when he was given control of all the C.I.A.’s scientific work in 1963 as head of the new Directorate of Science and Technology. His assignment was to revolutionize spying by developing aerial surveillance systems, which the government considered a national imperative after the Soviet Union launched the satellite Sputnik into space in 1957.
He worked on developing and deploying spy planes like the U-2, the Lockheed A-12 and the SR71 Blackbird, and several generations of Corona reconnaissance satellites, which dropped film canisters that were then snapped up in midflight by aircraft.
Just as important, he shepherded research and development of new kinds of satellites that made digital pictures of objects on the ground as small as five inches across and then transmitted the images to earth for analysis almost instantly.
Tom Clancy Dead: Celebrated Thriller Author Dies at Age 66
By Aly Weisman | Business Insider
American author Tom Clancy died Tuesday night in a Baltimore hospital at age 66, Publishers Weekly first reported via Twitter.
“He was a thrill to work with,” Ivan Held, the president of Putnam, told The New York Times.
A cause of death has not yet been revealed.
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Tom Clancy studied literature at the Loyola College in Baltimore and was originally an insurance salesman before becoming famous for writing technically detailed espionage and military science books.
He is responsible for best-selling books such as “The Hunt for Red October,” “Patriot Games,” “Clear and Present Danger,” and “The Sum of All Fears” — all of which were adapted into major Hollywood films.
Seventeen of his novels were No. 1 New York Times best-sellers, including his most recent, “Threat Vector,” which was released in December 2012.
In 1996, Clancy co-founded the video game developer Red Storm Entertainment and has had his name on several of Red Storm’s most successful games.
Editing Wikipedia Pages for Med School Credit
By NOAM COHEN
Medical students at the University of California, San Francisco, will be able to get course credit for editing Wikipedia articles about diseases, part of an effort to improve the quality of medical articles in the online encyclopedia and help distribute the articles globally via cellphones. While professors often incorporate Wikipedia work into classes, hoping that student research can live on online, the university and others say this is the first time a medical school will give credit for such work.
“We as a profession have our corpus of knowledge, and we owe it as a profession to educate the lay public,” said Dr. Amin Azzam, a health sciences associate clinical professor at the U.C.S.F. School of Medicine who will teach the monthlong elective course in December.
Wikipedia editing will force students to think clearly and avoid jargon, he said. “We do a great job in helping them talk to doctors, but we don’t do as good a job in helping them speak to the public,” he added.