Australian News 5/2

Bon Jovi, k.d. lang In Police Escort Scandal

Melbourne police are investigating reports that two cops gave unauthorised motorcycle escort to kd lang and Bon Jovi.

Ten Network’s Sunday night entertainment show "Rove Live" panicked when lang’s flight from Perth to Melbourne for a live interview was delayed.

"Someone" made a call to an off-duty cop to ensure her limo was rushed to the TV studio. No siren was used, but police brass were angry at the contravention of rules. Only heads of state are allowed to get such treatment in Australia.

Two days later, a listener rang talkback radio 3AW to claim Bon Jovi also received a bike escort when they toured in May.


Bluesfest Charms The Locals

The East Coast International Blues & Roots festival invited residents to its next site to discuss any concerns.

It will lodge a development application by mid year.

The new site in Tyagarah, north of Byron Bay, is currently a tea tree farm.

General manager Matthew Lazarus-Hall, commercial manager Vickii Cotter and an assortment of environmental consultants reassured residents that the only major changes to the area would be that existing roads would be widened.

The stressed there would be no impact on flora and fauna, no permanent structures would be built and buses would bring in patrons.


MTV Execs Check Aussie Awards

MTV networks U.S. chairman Bill Roedy and the heads of MTV outlets in Japan, Africa, Indonesia and Southeast Asia attended the MTV Australia awards in Sydney April 26, looking at the possibility of adopting the new space-age look for awards shows in their territories.

The Australian awards adopted a new multi-media industrial look, housed at the Australian Technology Park.

International guests included Wyclef Jean, who hosted, and 50 Cent, who requested two Ferraris and a bulletproof van for his 20-strong entourage. Other guests included Leona Lewis, Eve, Mischa Barton, Juliette Lewis and the Licks, and Kim and Khloe Kardashian.

Wyclef impressed as a host, running around the auditorium holding an Olympics-style torch dressed as an athlete and climbing a massive pillar to introduce an act.

A few days before, at a media gathering to promote the awards, Wyclef took issue with a Sydney journalist who confused him with of the Black Eyed Peas.

He jumped off the stage, sat next to her and joked, "Look at my face right – do you think all black people look alike?"


Setting ‘Control’ For Managers

"Control" is a new program to equip talent managers with business skills, help them sustain their businesses and provide a choice of working models.

It is presented by the Australian Music Industry Network (AMIN), the national network of state music associations, and supported by the Association of Artist Managers.

Control will have a residential lab near Sydney on September 15-18. Lawyer Shane Simpson will run it, working with managers Peter Jenner (Pink Floyd, Billy Bragg), Bill Cullen (Paul Kelly, End of Fashion, Sarah Blasko) and Michael McMartin (Hoodoo Gurus).


‘Oz City Gets A New Groove’

Hopkins Music and Advance LA presents "Oz City Gets A New Groove," a night of discussions and a showcase of Australian music at Nettwork Records in Hollywood May 6.

Porcelain, Leroy Lee, Stephen Rowe and Late Nite Access will perform.

Industry speakers include actor Cameron Daddo, Leslie Frank (legal adviser to Jet and Silverchair), Peter Cohen (from Austrade’s Los Angeles office) and Dianne Meyer (artist manager), who will discuss the changes to the North American music industry due to the impact of the digital age.


Aussies Eyeing The World

Perth electronic-rock outfit Pendulum, which played Coachella in California, was added to the U.K. edition of the Linkin Park- and Jay-Z-led blockbuster festival, Projekt Revolution at Milton Keynes Bowl June 29.

Sydney teen band Ghostwood was signed by U.K. booking agent Jeff Craft to his X-Ray Touring agency, on the recommendation of his clients The Jesus & Mary Chain, which toured with the act downunder.

Regurgitator is set to tour China in October with Chinese band New Pants, and then head for shows to Brazil, where the band recorded its Love And Paranoia album.


Short Notes

Goldfinger postponed its tour, which was due to kick off in Melbourne May 16 through KMW Productions. It looks as if the dates will be rescheduled for October.

Melbourne rock outfit Horsell Common signed its bookings with Damian Costin at Premier Artists.Kylie Minogue’s fortune was estimated at A$83.5 million (US$78.4 million) by England’s Sunday Times Rich List, making her the 1,794th-richest person in the U.K.

During its six-month stay at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre, "Priscilla Queen Of The Desert" became the biggest-grossing musical downunder. It generated $80 million and drew 1 million payers.

Albert Dadon, artistic director of Melbourne Jazz for the past three years, has resigned, citing pressure from his corporate and cultural interests. His interim replacement is Michael Tortoni, who runs jazz venue Bennett Lane.Joe Jackson is set to return with the original Joe Jackson Band for Andrew McManus Presents, with five theatre dates May 20-30.

Among the international acts in the first round of announcements for Secret Society and Village Sound’s mid-year Splendour In The Grass festival were Devo, Sigur Ros and Tricky. The Aussie contingent is led by Wolfmother, The Vines, The Living End and Ben Lee.

Guitarist James Paull of Melbourne rock satirists This Is Serious Mum, died April 9 after a two-year battle with cancer.Frank Barnard, original drummer with ’60s band The Twilights, died recently on the Gold Coast.

The Twilights were one of the biggest live acts in Australia in their time, yielding singer Glenn Shorrock (later frontman with Little River Band) and U.K.-based songwriter Terry Britten, who penned hits including "We Don’t Need Another Hero" for Tina Turner and "Devil Woman" for Cliff Richard.

After two raids on 11 establishments across Sydney, a 36-year-old man was arrested and will face court May 13 on copyright infringement charges.

He is allegedly part of a ring that adds reggae sounds to Top 40 pop hits by Justin Timberlake, UB40 and Gnarls Barkley and sells them to South Pacific Island music fans in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.

In another, unrelated raid in Sydney, police raided a number of flea markets and confiscated pirated discs.