Rick Rolls On
In case you’ve been living on a desert island or you don’t get online very often, Rickrolling is someone tricking you into watching Astley’s video “Never Gonna Give You Up” by disguising it as other popular videos. To date, millions of Internet users have fallen victim to this prank and YouTube even got into the act on April 1, 2008.
Now the singer who was once a musical punch line is taking advantage of his newfound popularity, headlining European nostalgia tour Here and Now and shopping a movie script.
Astley was the star attraction of the 2008 outing of Here and Now but hadn’t expected to return to the road this year. After Boy George became, um, unable to travel, the singer was asked by the tour’s promoter to step in to replace him.
Helming an ’80s-themed trek with acts like Kim Wilde, Howard Jones and Brother Beyond seems like a natural place for someone who scored his biggest hit in 1988. But writing a movie? The man who asked the world to stay “Together Forever” told the Guardian it’s all in the family.
“My wife’s now a movie producer so I read a lot of scripts and I’m really passionate about films,” Astley said in a recent interview. “One day I thought, ‘Well, why don’t I write one?’ And it turned into a musical – but not for the stage.”
Okay, if I hadn’t read this in more than one place and heard it from Astley himself in this BBC interview, I’d swear we were witnessing the birth of another Rickroll here.
So are we going to see another “Mama Mia” or will this be more like “Jersey Boys?”
“New York Cowboy” will tell the story of a small-town boy who moves to New York City in the ’80s. It is not, in other words, an autobiography.
Sounds slightly familiar. I wonder if Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman are available? Better yet, can they sing?
When he’s not roaming the U.K. with Bananarama and ABC or trying to become the next Marc Shaiman, Astley occasionally climbs behind the drum kit (where he was discovered by producers Stock, Aitken and Waterman in 1984) to play with his cover band
“I play drums and sing with my two friends Graham and Simon and we play East Molesey Cricket Club every now and again,” he said. “We were going to call ourselves Mid-Life Crisis because that’s what it is.”
It’s nice to see Astley is in on the joke.
Read the Guardian’s complete story on Astley’s surprising comeback here.