Thirty years - digest that for a moment. If you're shrugging and asking "What's to digest?", you're probably under 30 and have never known a world without Madonna - you don't know how different life was for young women before she became a lightning rod for debate on Western female sexuality, and changed the way women view sex, love and ambition.
Not to say they were that bad at the Forum in July, far from it; they were astonishing then, but now they had a meaner, more purposeful edge.
Is it me, or are we in the Western World, becoming the New Narcissists? I'm not referring to some 80s pop movement here, and by 'we' I mean me, and all the me's who see our smartphones as our BFF's and think nothing of bringing our tawdry private lives into public places.
Of course in many ways she is right. Spotify is not run by the artists or record labels. It is an entirely different entity, however the question could be framed in a different way. If artists such as Swift are withdrawing from major streaming services like Spotify then what are they suggesting is the alternative?
I'm well aware of the stigma that comes when an actor works on music. I hate that preconception, but the only way to fight it is to be completely honest about it: this is who I am, this is what inspired me, this is what the album is about. I'm not hiding behind any gimmicks. It's been a really long journey to release this album - I spent almost a year playing Mandela - and I'm really excited that people will finally be able to hear it.
'I never asked for autographs when I was photographing celebrities,' Fraser Ballantyne tells me, 'as it seemed unprofessional, but I did on this occasion.' Ballantyne was a staff photographer for almost 40 years on Scotland's Daily Record newspaper, and 'this occasion' was when the Beatles came to town on 19th October, 1964.
Seeing an act live has the ability to turn you from impartial listener to major fan. It's happened to me only a couple of times. Muse, Bombay Bicycle Club, Little Dragon, all amazing acts to see live and absolute headliners. Last night though, I walked away from a gig with Tina Arena far more impressed than I've ever been.
The musicianship of all four members of Queen is phenomenal. Roger, an extraordinarily multi talented man whom I've known for many years and always admired. John Deacon's original bass part with its lyrical fluidity that made it easy for me to know where to put the odd reinforcement. Freddy's original piano carried most of the song's musical DNA...
Weather, food, wine, beer and scenery aside, the things that keep us happily heading back to the big hexagon are the loveliness of the audiences and the quality of the French rock clubs. The owners, staff and often volunteers who work on gig evenings at theses places take such immense pride in their venues...
It is one of the UK's biggest entertainment industries, one that generates both money and memories quite unlike any other. So, it's only right & proper that we celebrate the UK's hard-working festival industry!
If I'm honest, the idea of making this album was an afterthought. I spent eight months working on Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom. Mandela was really into his music and part of my research was to understand what he liked. What I probably didn't realise at the time was just how much there was to discover. In the course of that journey, I felt like I discovered the roots of South African music. And there was so much to discover! South Africa has over 60 different tribes, and each has its own style of musical expression and its own unique style.
Swiss cellist Chiara Enderle has already gained an international reputation through numerous solo performances with orchestras including Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra. Her latest success is the Pierre Fournier Award for exceptional young cellists, awarded in July 2013.
Peter Hook visited a small gig venue in São Paulo today just to meet fans up close and to answer their questions. My wife and I had arranged the visit for the British Consulate who plastered the venue with their 'Music is GREAT' branding - and of course when you are talking about British music, it really is!
If you lived through the sixties, chances are you were either a Beatle or a Stone. If rock 'n' roll wasn't your thing then you would have been forced to choose between Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton.
Unusually we do actually have a fair split of male and female employees, something I don't often see within equivalent sized indie labels. It definitely wasn't like this in the beginning and I clearly remember multiple assumptions that I was the director's personal assistant in early meetings rather than the label manager.
Sharkey's massive solo smash A Good Heart was written by Maria McKee... about Benmont Tench... Then Sharkey's follow-up hit, You Little Thief was written by Tench in response to McKee, so Sharkey turned into smash hits these two songs that are actually a conversation. I love that anecdote...