Fun With Stupid Press Releases

To hype the May 29 Sun Theatre appearance of grizzled ex-Bad Company lead singer Paul Rodgers (they were a really big, bloated rock band back in the '70s, kids—the 1870s!), his publicity firm sent the LowBallAssChatter desk a hefty seven-page fax weighted down with glowing quotes on one page from such in-the-know rock & roll authorities as Regis Philbin ("This guy can sing! But does he have to look so good, too?") and a "Rodgers Rock Quiz" spread out across a couple of others ["Q: During Regis and Kathie Lee's television show, after Paul sang, he: (a) jammed with Regis, (b) gave his pants away, or (c) sang with Kathie Lee"—the correct answer is "(b)," though that's probably more info than you really care to know]. A couple of days later, a press pack arrived, with glossy 8-by-10 color photos of Rodgers striking poses more appropriate for a Ken doll (Dinosaur Rock Ken!) than an elegantly aging Brit-rock celeb: see Rodgers looking pained and passionate in his black leather jacket and sunglasses, left hand wrapped around his mic, right hand clenched tightly into a fist! See Rodgers in his studded leather belt and muscle shirt, thrusting his mic stand high into the air, perhaps to compensate for the size of his . . . ? Ah, well. LowBall AssChatter hopes everyone who attended was sufficiently entertained, even if the equally embarrassing Jefferson Starship did have to open. (RK)

The Che Cafe, San Diego's answer to Santa Ana's underground-nurturing (and all-ages) Koo's Art Cafe, announced it will no longer be booking shows because of ongoing hassles with administrators at UC San Diego, on whose property the café sits. The disappointing news— especially for the many OC bands that played the Che—came in an e-mailed press release stating that the UCSD administration had been "concerned about liability issues" and in recent months had forced the Che's staff to hire security for each gig, even though the staff claimed security was "completely unnecessary." At a May 31 meeting, the Che peeps say, administrators "pulled out the big guns," demanding that all shows at the café be turned into 18-and-over, that there be no more in-and-outs (patrons with hands stamped leave the club momentarily and return without having to pay another entrance fee), and that there be no fewer than three Staff Pro security guards during all shows, plus a Staff Pro supervisor. All this, according to the release, would mean that the Che's overhead for every show would be at least $500. The remaining shows that had been booked at the Che have been canceled (though some will be moved), and the Che staff is hoping to reopen soon in another San Diego-area locale. For now, staffers are encouraging the public to e-mail the UCSD administration at rwoodard@ucsd.edu to vent their displeasure. For more info, log on to the Che's website, which remains up and operating at www.checafe.com. (Rich Kane)

AHHH, MA, YER JUST JEALOUS IT'S . . . JAMES NEWTON! UC Irvine music professor and world-renowned jazz flutist James Newton (profiled in the May 5 Weekly) is suing the Beastie Boys to the tune of $1.8 million for copyright infringement. In a suit filed in U.S. District Court on May 9, Newton alleges that the onetime beer-swilling, crotch-grabbing, queer-bashing rap-trio-turned-apologetic-Buddhists-and-human-rights-activists swiped a sample of Newton's 1982 composition "Choir" for use as the principle backing loop of their hit "Pass the Mic" and several of the song's subsequent remixed versions. "Pass the Mic" was first released on the Beasties' 1992 Check Your Head album, which recently went double-platinum. While the Beasties admit using the Newton sample (it's listed in Check Your Head's liner notes), the problem is that the band only licensed it from Newton's record label, not Newton himself—d'oh! (RK)

FUN WITH STUPID PRESS RELEASES To hype the May 29 Sun Theatre appearance of grizzled ex-Bad Company lead singer Paul Rodgers (they were a really big, bloated rock band back in the '70s, kids—the 1870s!), his publicity firm sent the LowBallAssChatter desk a hefty seven-page fax weighted down with glowing quotes on one page from such in-the-know rock & roll authorities as Regis Philbin ("This guy can sing! But does he have to look so good, too?") and a "Rodgers Rock Quiz" spread out across a couple of others ["Q: During Regis and Kathie Lee's television show, after Paul sang, he: (a) jammed with Regis, (b) gave his pants away, or (c) sang with Kathie Lee"—the correct answer is "(b)," though that's probably more info than you really care to know]. A couple of days later, a press pack arrived, with glossy 8-by-10 color photos of Rodgers striking poses more appropriate for a Ken doll (Dinosaur Rock Ken!) than an elegantly aging Brit-rock celeb: see Rodgers looking pained and passionate in his black leather jacket and sunglasses, left hand wrapped around his mic, right hand clenched tightly into a fist! See Rodgers in his studded leather belt and muscle shirt, thrusting his mic stand high into the air, perhaps to compensate for the size of his . . . ? Ah, well. LowBall AssChatter hopes everyone who attended was sufficiently entertained, even if the equally embarrassing Jefferson Starship did have to open. (RK)

 
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