Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Mark Ronson music, Utube collection

He's just so bloody good, isn't he? That Mark Ronson. 'Versions' is definitely one of my favorite albums ever. So I thought I'd grab some Utube videos of that album and place them here together with the originals. Are the covers better than the originals? You judge!

Which version of 'Oh my God' is the better one?

Which version of 'Stop me' is the better one?

Which version of 'Just' is the better one?

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Tricks to getting backstage!

As I mentioned briefly in my posting about Tina Turner, I used to have a real talent for getting backstage and meeting famous people. And I'm not talking about the time that I worked at MTV, but way before I was part of 'the business'.
So, what's the trick to getting backstage? Well, you have to see it as a sort of game or as a military operation. Wander around at the back of the club or venue & try to figure out who 'the players' are. Pretend not to be too bothered about about what's happening on stage. Instead, just look at who's doing the sound, who's doing the lights & who seems to be having a say in what's happening on stage. When any of these people go over to the bar, start up a conversation with them. Not about the band, but something along the lines of 'So you guys got it all figured out then? Looked like you were having some problems earlier' or 'My God, it must be hot working with those lights, I'm miles away from them & I can feel how hot they are' or even a simple 'got a light?' (if you're a smoker) or 'know what time it is?'

Just try and start a conversation. Whatever you do though...don't act desperate! Pretend that you couldn't care less about everything that's going on. Be cool.

Once you've chatted a bit, move on and come back to that person a little later (again, part of the whole act of being slightly disinterested). When you approach that person again, act cool but familiar with them. You can (again) ask for a light, check if you can just leave your bag up where they are or ask for a pen, scribble something on a beer mat and pass it back (something funny works best)
At the end of the gig you should check what the plan is for afterwards with that person: 'Are you guys going anywhere afterwards? There is a good party on tonight' (of course, it helps if you know the owner/bouncers of the club and can phone through a guest list). Also check casually if the band may want to come along.

If the person doesn't respond to that though, try another trick of mine. Ask if you can use the toilets backstage as the ones out here 'are disgusting'.

By now, the person should have already invited you to come and meet the band (they usually love the fact that they can do this and impress). If it hasn't happened yet, say that your friend/sister (who ever you are with) is a big fan and would love to meet the band, could he please sort that out? Or, if you are alone, say that you got tonight's ticket from a friend who is the real fan but who's sick and couldn't come & then ask if you can take a picture for her of the band.

Enough tips for you?

Of course, this all works better if you're a woman. But I am a woman, so I can only tell you what's worked for me in the past. Also, in the whole process of this, try to meet more than one of 'the players/crew' there. You always need a back-up plan or plan B, just in case person 1 is not the most helpful. Oh, and as soon as you know the person's name, use it. Say 'Steve, can you pass me that?' or 'John, can I leave my bag here for a minute?' It is all about acting familiar with people, without it looking like you are trying too hard.

Anyway, good luck. Enjoy the game and send me some cool pictures once you've met the act you wanted to meet.

In my next post I'll share some of my own funny experiences of 'meeting the bands'.

Oh and by the way, there never is any need to do anything as desperate as this...licking someones staff/backstage pass ; )

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Spice girls reunion

Yep, it looks like those wild Brit-chicks have decided to set their differences aside for a while and to bombard the world with their 'girl power' message once again (even though these funky mommas are well beyond the 'girl' stage of their lives by now ; )

I'd love to be a fly-on-the-wall for that tour, as I'm sure that there will be a healthy mix of loving and hating going on backstage. If only one of them ran a proper blog (I know that Victoria runs a blog, but come on, that blog is just a load of nonsense, isn't it?)

I remember them coming into the MTV studio for-what I believe was-the first ever Spice Girls TV performance. They did a short interview and an acapella. It was before the release of 'Wannabe' and I'm not sure if they had even recorded any songs yet at that point. Anyway, they were a complete whirlwind. We had never seen anything like it in the MTV hallways. These girls were brash, loud, funny & super confident. Geri Halliwell ran into my dressing room and pinched my bum (so does that put me at one or two degrees of separation from Nelson Mandela, as my bottom was pinched by the same hand that pinched his bottom?)

Anyway, apart from the fact that we found these girls highly entertaining, none of us at MTV thought that they had much of a future. How wrong we were!!!!! We just couldn't imagine at that point in time (when boy bands ruled the world), how a girl band could have the same kind of impact. Especially as these girls were not all that talented to begin with. I mean, their acapella was okay, but nothing to write home about. I've often thought back of that first meeting with the girls and it always made me giggle. Especially once they got to the height of their fame. It really was something we could never have predicted.

Anyway, the Spice Girls have always been lovely to me. Unlike the girl band that tried to follow in their footsteps: All Saints. They were arrogant & mean, right from the start. Especially the Appleton sisters. They have always been complete bitches (I still can't see how lovely Liam Howlett ended up marrying one of them. Maybe they changed since I knew them? God knows)

Oh, another Spice Girls memory: I was having a drink with Victoria Beckham (way before she became a Beckham) and my dear friend Caroline Prothero, when the owner of the bar/restaurant decided to send us over some Champagne on the house. The waitress got so nervous that she ended up tipping the whole tray of filled Champagne glasses straight over Victoria.

Victoria was totally drenched, whilst the panicked waitress and ran off into the kitchen. Victoria was such a great sport about it. She just laughed and said 'Don't worry, it will dry off. It's not like it's red wine or anything'. She quickly followed the poor waitress into the kitchen and brought her back out, all the while comforting her, saying 'See, you can't even see it' (You could)

I know people often give Victoria a hard time and I know that she often brings it on herself too, but this experience showed me a very different side to her. A side that was totally down-to-earth and kind.

Anyway, if you're off to see the Spice Girls in concert, enjoy! Let these lovely ladies spice up your life once more.