Simon Napier Bell

REVIEW: The Only History Of Pop Music You'll Ever Have To Read

Caroline Frost | Posted 10.11.2014 | UK Entertainment
Caroline Frost

Napier-Bell's chapter on Michael Jackson is an exercise in dissection not disapproval, proving carefully how the child star's place in the music industry made a fall from grace almost inevitable. Besides, after managing the disparate talents of Marc Bolan, T Rex, Boney M and the Yardbirds, there's very little that can shock the author.

Travel Payola

Simon Napier-Bell | Posted 25.09.2013 | UK Lifestyle
Simon Napier-Bell

When dealing with state officials, there's always a downside - they have a record of it. But for millions of Thais these things are a normal part of every day life. A little money placed in the correct hand will get your car delivered quicker, your operation done sooner, your package passed through customs unchecked or your fine for any number of driving offences waived.

Pledge and Be Damned

Simon Napier-Bell | Posted 01.09.2013 | UK Entertainment
Simon Napier-Bell

Crowdfunding, I thought, "what better than to try it myself?" In reality, there were few other options. I could throw away the book and get on with being a businessman; pay to publish it myself or put it on Amazon where it would get a digital sale and no one would really know if it was a success or not - in other words I could avoid losing face. But all three sounded cowardly.

Save the World! Oh Dear, Do We Really Have To?

Simon Napier-Bell | Posted 25.03.2012 | UK Entertainment
Simon Napier-Bell

The International Energy Agency says that global warming will be beyond the point of no return in five years, and since there's nothing in the pipeline to reverse it before that time, it means we're doomed. And on that basis, I say let's enjoy ourselves while we can.

Eva Tanguay - A Rock Star Before Rock Existed

Simon Napier-Bell | Posted 11.03.2012 | UK Entertainment
Simon Napier-Bell

Tanguay was the biggest star of the time. She died 65 years ago this week, but her highpoint was one hundred years ago, during the first two decades of the 20th Century. There had never been anyone like her before. Nor was there afterwards. Not until Madonna and Lady Gaga dug up her soul and re-inhabited it.

Ronaldo's New Boots

Simon Napier-Bell | Posted 04.03.2012 | UK Entertainment
Simon Napier-Bell

Ronaldo has some new boots. Have you seen them? They're cheat's boots.

A Christmas Rape

Simon Napier-Bell | Posted 26.02.2012 | UK Entertainment
Simon Napier-Bell

"Have you ever been raped?" I was eating lunch with a gaggle of friends last week when the discussion got round to Julian Assange and someone asked the question round the table. I said, perhaps I had. Or perhaps not, depending how you looked at it.

A Bag-Carrying Bigmouth

Simon Napier-Bell | Posted 08.01.2012 | UK Entertainment
Simon Napier-Bell

Insults? Perhaps the best in the last 10 years time came from Christopher Hitchens:, "If they gave Jerry Falwell an enema he could be buried in a matchbox." And amongst the worst, this week, from the New Zealand caddie Steve Williams when he called Tiger Woods a "black arsehole".

One of Life's Little Success Stories

Simon Napier-Bell | Posted 01.01.2012 | UK Entertainment
Simon Napier-Bell

The first bit of this happened in the 60s when I managed the Yardbirds and lived in a posh flat behind Buckingham Palace. It started with a phone call. "Is that Simon Napier-Bell, the rock manager?" "That's me." It was 8.30 in the morning and I was eating my Shredded Wheat. "Who's that?" "I'm a freelancer. I've been paid to do a job on you. I've been trying to contact you for days."

The New Apifflism

Simon Napier-Bell | Posted 25.12.2011 | UK Entertainment
Simon Napier-Bell

I've just made a big decision. I'm no longer an atheist. My stand against religion is simply not sustainable. It's defeated me. It's just too absurd that a person should be defined by what he doesn't believe in, rather than what he does. Nonsensical, in fact. And since God is just one of many things I don't believe in, I've now become an apifflist.

Guy Hands Knees and Boomps-a-Daisy

Simon Napier-Bell | Posted 19.12.2011 | UK Entertainment
Simon Napier-Bell

Guy Hands is still hanging on. At least he thinks he is. Two weeks ago he started an action against Citibank claiming they grabbed EMI from him wrongfully.

I'm Homosexual - Queer - Gay - A Pansy - A Nancy Boy. Understand?

Simon Napier-Bell | Posted 11.12.2011 | UK Entertainment
Simon Napier-Bell

I was enjoying London gay society circa 1961. I had a boyfriend with whom I shared a bed-sit, a good job, and a busy social life. BUT... I hadn't done the one thing I knew I had to do. Tell my parents. It wasn't quick. I went for Sunday lunch every week, and endlessly planned to get my father alone in the sitting-room. But after a year I still hadn't managed it. Then it happened. We were in the sitting-room. Lunch was over. My mother was washing up, the others had gone into the garden. 'I've got to tell you something,' I said.

Caprice de Femme

Simon Napier-Bell | Posted 20.11.2011 | UK Lifestyle
Simon Napier-Bell

This month, London's Caprice restaurant is celebrating its thirtieth birthday. Actually, it's not thirty years old at all - it's sixty. The Caprice opened in the late 40s and became an instant hit with the post-war film and theatre set. In the 1950s, I was taken there for lunch by my father. He was a documentary film director and amongst the other directors in the same company was Lindsay Anderson. Despite being passionately left-wing, they both liked a good lunch.

Jedward's Trousers

Simon Napier-Bell | Posted 30.10.2011 | UK Entertainment
Simon Napier-Bell

Those Jedward trousers are just too ridiculous to keep quiet about any longer. Its not their bum-to-ankle skin-tightness I'm talking about - it's their absurdly unnatural silhouette - neither male nor female nor even truly human. Like an asexual teddy bear.

Bringing Down The Iron Curtain

Simon Napier-Bell | Posted 24.10.2011 | UK Entertainment
Simon Napier-Bell

During the 80s, with artists I managed, I visited most of Eastern Europe's capitals. All of them smelt of decay. Buildings were dilapidated and hotels grubby. You could be arrested for taking a photograph where you shouldn't, or walking down the wrong street. In Moscow, the hotel staff were indistinguishable from police. "Your flight is cancel. You will delay 48 hours. We will retain your passport. Eat in the designated place."

El Bullimia - An Eating Disorder

Simon Napier-Bell | Posted 02.10.2011 | UK Entertainment
Simon Napier-Bell

Ferran Adrià, chef and owner of the restaurant El Bulli (famous for its 34-course tasting menu and its waiting list of a million customers), has closed the place down. Good riddance! El Bulli wasn't a proper restaurant anyway - it was an eating disorder. And it's been spreading.

Larders And Linoleum

Simon Napier-Bell | Posted 25.09.2011 | UK Entertainment
Simon Napier-Bell

Record companies are the past. Nothing wrong with them - they served a purpose, and the names of their labels were a part of our lives. But like larders and linoleum and cars that didn't start on cold mornings, they belong to another age.

That Splendid C-Word

Simon Napier-Bell | Posted 12.09.2011 | UK Entertainment
Simon Napier-Bell

A couple of weeks ago Julie Burchill was complaining in the Independent about people who use the C-word. She thoroughly disapproves. But I think she's wrong. It's a splendid word. A super word. A great full-stop of a word. Uttered with a suitable amount of venom, it can bring any conversation to a complete halt, whereas its miserably overused cousin, the F-word, has lost all power to shock. LANGUAGE WARNING: For those left uncharmed by a more liberal usage of our great Anglo-Saxon tongue, please read no further...