Simon Napier-Bell
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Entries by Simon Napier-Bell

Gays Can Thank the Music Industry

(16) Comments | Posted 9 August 2013 | (00:00)

In 1985, while making the film of Wham! in China, director Lindsay Anderson sounded off on the subject of tolerance. "I loathe it," he yelled, smashing his fist into his palm. "Tolerance is what you give noisy children. It's what you give a mother who can't control her crying baby....

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Travel Payola

(0) Comments | Posted 27 July 2013 | (03:41)

The first time I came to Thailand was in 1970. Bangkok airport was a collection of Nissen huts which on the day I arrived were without air-conditioning.

The immigration hall was dirty, teeming, disorganized and steaming. I scooped some sweat off my forehead. On the wall next to the...

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One In Every Group

(1) Comments | Posted 17 July 2013 | (00:00)

There's always one in every group. Even the first time you ever meet them, when they're all sitting there eager and fresh-faced, ready to take this giant step into the real music business, and you're going to be there to help them - somewhere between a parent, an elder brother,...

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Pledge and Be Damned

(0) Comments | Posted 3 July 2013 | (00:00)

People have been asking why I took the 'pledging' route for my new book. There's a simple answer - having had three successful books published about the music business, I decided to write a fourth, a history of the music business from start to finish. After a couple of years...

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Fat and Fulfilled

(0) Comments | Posted 14 February 2012 | (07:42)

At 18 I had a waist you could put your arm round, just 26 inches. But in the mirror this morning I found myself looking at something the circumference of a bicycle wheel.

It's restaurants that did it. All my life I've been a restaurant freak; they're where I function...

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I Had A Dream

(0) Comments | Posted 7 February 2012 | (08:50)

I had a dream. President Obama wasn't really religious at all. It was just a front he put on for political purposes. His embrace of Christianity was just to get himself re-elected. Safely in the White House for a second term he dared to say what no President had ever...

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Drugs - Legal and Illegal but All Rather Stimulating

(5) Comments | Posted 31 January 2012 | (23:00)

Last week Sir Richard Branson and Alan McGee were amongst people who wrote pieces in favour of decriminalising illegal drugs. They both say they once used them but don't now. My position is different; I'm an addict. At least, I think I am, though not of anything illegal.

The American...

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

(13) Comments | Posted 24 January 2012 | (23:00)

A lady came knocking on my door last week asking me sign my name to a petition about lowering carbon emissions. I really didn't want to.

The point is, I know there are too many planes flying to too many places, and too many cars, and too many exhaust pipes,...

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Popes And Vile Tongues

(13) Comments | Posted 17 January 2012 | (23:00)

Last week, the odious piety of Pope Benedict was again on display as he canted about the evils of homosexuality. While addressing the diplomatic corps at the Vatican, he said gay marriage could undermine "the future of humanity itself".

No mention of the world's one billion condom-less Catholic willies ejaculating...

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Eva Tanguay - A Rock Star Before Rock Existed

(0) Comments | Posted 10 January 2012 | (12:41)

Personality, that's the thing that always makes a hit
Your nationality or your rationality doesn't help or hinder you one bit

That was Eva Tanguay - America's first superstar. Her philosophy would one day be embraced by rock stars everywhere, "the singer not the song".

Tanguay was the biggest...

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Ronaldo's New Boots

(2) Comments | Posted 4 January 2012 | (04:00)

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

The Real Madrid star has been working with Nike for the last year to develop a new pair of boots in orange and white and grey, covered in circles and parallel lines (and a few non-parallel ones too)....

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A Christmas Rape

(2) Comments | Posted 28 December 2011 | (00:03)

"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.

To my mind,...

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2011 - An Off-Beat Centennial

(0) Comments | Posted 20 December 2011 | (16:21)

This year in popular music wasn't too stunning.

Cee Lo's Forget You was fun, Born This Way was gaily re-assuring, Adele's continued success was a wonderful two-fingers up at the majors, and Bruno Mars reminded us that a boyish voice and a catchy song is still the mainstay of good...

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As Natural As Life Itself

(3) Comments | Posted 13 December 2011 | (23:00)

Male mosquitos are as benign as butterflies. They have fleshy lips with hairy antenna and fly around gathering pollen. It's the females who are the horrors. Their lips are hypodermics, made for sucking blood and injecting itch-making saliva. As a result, when mosquitos fall in love they don't do a...

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Mouth Out Of Control

(1) Comments | Posted 6 December 2011 | (23:00)

Last week at the Groucho club I bumped into Jeff Beck. I hadn't seen him for ages.

Of all the artists I ever managed, he's my favourite. And I've always considered him the best of Britain's blues guitarists, certainly the best of the three who came from the Yardbirds.


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James Murdoch - A Matter Of Appearance

(0) Comments | Posted 29 November 2011 | (13:18)

Since James Murdoch's appearance before that parliamentary committee a couple of weeks ago, media coverage of him just hasn't stopped. Amongst all the talk about his evasive manner, his shortcomings as the head of a big corporation, and whether he might or might not have been telling the truth, there's...

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A Stiff Debate

(0) Comments | Posted 22 November 2011 | (22:19)

Earlier this year, trawling round the net, I came across a new comic-book hero - Foreskin Man.

Styled after Superman, Foreskin Man is an all-American, all-flying, all-powerful, muscle-man in tights. Blonde, square-jawed, and fully-foreskinned, he flies round the world with his companion Vulva Girl, rescuing infants from circumcision. So...

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EMI. Not Quite As British As People Think

(0) Comments | Posted 15 November 2011 | (22:46)

Last week EMI Records was sold to Universal Music. Many nostalgic pieces appeared about "the last truly British record company". In fact, EMI owed its existence to four Americans.

In 1877, in his laboratory in New Jersey, Thomas Edison invented the phonograph, which recorded on a cylinder. In 1887, Emile...

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A Bag-Carrying Bigmouth

(2) Comments | Posted 9 November 2011 | (06:39)

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".


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One of Life's Little Success Stories

(1) Comments | Posted 2 November 2011 | (08:23)

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...

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