Did you know that Poll Winner and living leg-iron Eric Clapton has for all these years been living pseudonymously? And that his real name is Eric Patrick Clapp? Honest... and while we're on the subject of God, those nice XTC chap-persons told us that Todd Rundgren now owns Clapton's celebrated psychedelic SG, as used with Cream (in particular on the 'Wheels Of Fire' tour — ask your Dad). Dave Gregory explained: "He let me use it to put the solo on 'Supergirl'. That's why it sounds like a Utopia guitar solo, as it's the guitar on all the Utopia records as well." Partridge added that he thought it was like writing a chapter with Shakespeare's pen... slow Nik Kershaw records down by 10 per cent, and he sounds like a black soul singer. Very like... according to a recent interview in Tower Records magazine, Iggy Pop and David Bowie's recreational activities while they were recording in Switzerland included "sunning, skiing, and surfing". "Surfing"?... tales from Chuck Berry's Sixtieth Birthday Party event, down in St. Louis, Missouri. Which is in America. Robert Cray, our source for these stories has also just won the W.C. Handy (the blues' Oscars' Entertainer Of The Year Award. Robert was a guest for two songs ("Come On", "Brown-Eyed Handsome Man") with the Birthday Band, which included Steve Jordan on drums, Bobby Keyes on sax, Chuck Leavell on keyboards, and Eric Clapton and Keith Richards on guitar. Keith was the leader of the band ("he was just like you'd expect," said Robert, "really friendly,") and had to conduct stars like Etta James and Joe Walsh through their guest spots. There were few problems, apart from the usual tantrums: Chuck was too loud on stage, so a roadie was delegated to sneak out and turn him down when he wasn't looking. Chuck noticed. Anyway, the film should be out soon... ever seen a Duck Chorus? This latest technological marvel is a plastic duck with a keyboard on its bum. (I said on its bottom). Play a note, and the duck's beak opens and a quack is emitted at the correct pitch. The duck is polyphonic, but it seems that MIDI is not yet available... the Virgin Records biog of Mick Karn (once of Japan) mentions that a Professor McBride from Michigan University "had pointed out the similarities between the chord structures used by Beethoven and those used by Mick"; better than being accused of ripping off Roxy Music, though, Mick?... talking of Micks, M. Jagger is reported to be recording with drummer Omar Hakim and guitarist Eddie Martinez (both most recently heard with Sting and Robert Palmer)... the current top selling Old Gold re-release single is Terry Jacks' 'Seasons In The Sun', followed by The Righteous Brothers' 'You've Lost That Loving Feeling', and Lulu's original version of 'Shout' (backed by Dave Berry's 'The Crying Game')... someone threatened to "stick" Jon Bon Jovi when the group played in Manchester. That's why the guest-list was cancelled, in case you wondered... the AKG D321 microphone was rejected by a female vocalist who refused to use it because it looked "too phallic"... Peter Case, the current hot singer/songwriter for the older members of the pop press, advises young musicians to "forget about the business and learn how to play that guitar". That guitar, in his (guitar) case is a very business-like $700 Gibson J45 acoustic. "They're really good," he says. "The quality's come back"... any Friends Again fans out there remember the sleeve to their "Trapped & Unwrapped" LP? By the sheerest of coincidences, have any of you spotted a Stepp T-shirt or logo? Yes, isn't it similar. That's because the man who designed the sleeve, Fraser Taylor, is the same man who knocked up the Stepp stuff, now selling at Paul Smith's in Covent Garden. There is a difference though: on the Friends Again cover, the funny shaped man is stepping up to the left, and on the T-shirt, he's — well — stepping up to the right. As far as the colours are concerned, Stepp definitely got the better deal... Dire Straits' "Brothers In Arms" is the best selling LP in the UK for the second year running... Kim Wilson of the Fabulous Thunderbirds tells icky stories shock: "I had a real bad cold one time at a gig, and I went to hum into the microphone, and 'ffrrlt', I had about a two foot snot hanging out of my nose in front of about 2000 people. I had to snork it back up"... The Bangles' 'Walk Like An Egyptian' is the most played record on Radio One so far this year, with upwards of 200 plays... Alison Moyet is reported as being 'very fed up' with the song she wrote for the James Brown album. 'Make it raunchy,' producers Dan Hartman and Charlie Midnight said. She did, and they said they liked it — 'except for this bit. And that bit. And the title.' The song, in changed form ended up as "Let's Get Personal"; Alison dutifully did a guide vocal to show the Godfather Of Soul the tune. Next thing she knew is that the song came out on the album as a duet, with her guide vocal. She is not pleased... the first Led Zeppelin album, including artwork, cost £1782 to record... Geldof, Springsteen, and Hugh E. Lewis recently jammed together in Paris, playing ageing r&b standards like "Barefootin"... John Otway recently signed WEA Records. Actually gave them a contact, with a £200 advance, and even offered to incorporate their name into his single: 'The New Jerusalem' is available on the OTWEAY label... the BBC are planning to start releasing certain classic recordings from their In Concert series. Consultant for the releases is Strange Fruit's Clive Selwood, though the LPs and compact discs will actually be on a new label... talking of T-shirts, we hear Steve Howe and Alan Parsons are now using a certain digital guitar. But then Stepp also say Steve Levine's a user, when Synthaxe say he's their fave demonstrator. Confusing, isn't it?...
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