Paul & Linda McCartney with Wings and Capitol-EMI president Arnold Gosewich circa 1972. The photo is included as part of the archives donated to the U of Calgary.
Paul & Linda McCartney with Wings and Capitol-EMI president Arnold Gosewich circa 1972. The photo is included as part of the archives donated to the U of Calgary.

Liner Notes: Bullet News for April 5th

Bay Street bad boy and Dragon's Den star Michael Wekerle snapped up the El Mocambo a couple of years back for the better part of $4M with the promise of returning the frowzy dowager into a landmark music spot. Fortunately for him, times have changed on the Spadina Strip once populated by an endless parade of milk-crate store-fronts and crappy drinking dives. The Silver Dollar still looks like an ashtray, but Grossman's Tavern has undergone a Walmart-worthy upgrade--and a dozen or so owner-operated businesses have sprung up in the artery running between Queen and College, attracting the H&M (read carefully, not S&M) crowd, and striking young women sporting pooches in their Winners'-purchased Gucci shoulder-bags. Bluntly put, impoverished locals are getting the boot.

All good news for the bespoke dragon with tattoos. But, back to today. Gone is the landmark neon palm sign that hung above the entranceway, apparently sent for a Botox facelift--and a trundle of workmen can be seen daily gutting the three-storey watering hole that houses almost as many sins as Vatican City. A rumoured soft-launch during CMW is scoffed at by blue-collars toiling inside.  The wheelbarrow-pushers say it isn't likely anyone without a hard-hat will be allowed inside before autumn. So, what's going on at the club made famous by Michael Baird, restaurateur and former Toronto Argonaut Tom Kristenbrun, and Margaret Trudeau? Well, for starters, the place has been stripped bare to the brickwork. And Wekerle continues to spend like a honeymooning dragon impressing his bride shopping at the House of Bijan. There's a rumour he's hired a penthouse of triple-A designers and minders to turn his frumpy Spadina club into Frankie's futuristic Pleasure Dome. Among them? Well, if the page were to tell all, we'd be letting the air out of the designer's balloon. Let's leave well enough alone until Michael and the page discreetly meet for taglione--and several shots of Remy Louis 111 brandy before spilling the beens.

--Mirror mirror on the wall, who's the biggest wanker of them all? Frank magazine has just published its annual Top 100 Wankers list and we are more than pleased to report that Dr. Phil's doppelganger, Peter Mansbridge, makes the list. The overpaid, low-rated news reader is in good company, joining the ranks of other useless media tools-bylined or otherwise--such as Kevin O'Leary, Ezra Levant, Evan Solomon, Rex Murphy, Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin, Pierre Péladeau, Paul Godfrey, Tubby Black--and that infamous teddy-loving Jian Ghomeshi (his doppelganger lawyer ranks 3rd on the list). First place ranking of butt-kissers is Colgate-crocodile smiler Ben Mulroney and his "Kardashian-like" wife Jessica. Low-ranking on the list of Canadian 'wankers' is former RCAF captain and Trailer Park star Lucy DeCoutere--and pubcasting rock star Randy Bachman, whose stories exceed the imagination of Hans Christian Andersen. The CBC-funded multi-millionaire narrowly squeaks on Frank's defining list, at #98.

-- What do the House of Windsor, Ian Fleming, murder, Nikita Kruschev, spies, moles, Anthony Blunt, Kim Philby, , Schomberg, ON--and rock 'n' roll in Canada have in common? If you have a morning show, or work in a news department, call 416 990-1138, and ask for Kit.

-- Three chronological  and remastered collections of rare tracks, including alternative versions and outtakes, The Beatles' Anthology, Volumes 1-3, have been added to music streaming services this week.

-- Billboard coaxes the best out of the American Country Awards that were staged Sunday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

-- Bob Ezrin tells the column the media coverage spun from his Lefsetz Letter about Kanye West spun out of control. "I thought it was great," Ezrin told reporters at the Juno Awards' non-televised gala on Saturday night. "I didn't really expect it to blow up like that," he added. He's done talking about it now and is recovering from a nasty head cold after a weekend of heartfelt conversations and reminisces with long-time friends that included Hall of Fame inductee Burton Cummings.

-- Did anyone notice the absence of Randy Bachman in the Burton Cummings induction program, and couldn't Richard Perry have added a few words? Incredibly, Burton today is earning as much as he ever has as a solo artist playing sheds, casinos, and showrooms.

-- Twitter has unveiled stats of activity around the Juno Awards on the weekend. The Most Tweeted about performances were in order, Shawn Mendes, Alessia Cara, Shawn Hook, Lights, and Coleman Hell. The Most Tweeted about nominees were, in order, Mendes, Cara, Justin Bieber, and Drake. Other stats show that Cara and Mendes came second and third behind Bieber in the Fan Choice award voting. Twitter addict Jann Arden sent out plenty, though we doubt her plea to attract six million viewers to the show worked. We detected plenty of tweets congratulating Burton Cummings on his Hall of Fame honour.

-- The 10th annual Slaight Music-sponsored Music Managers Honour Roll is set for Tuesday, May 3rd at Bymark Restaurant on Wellington Street. Honourees have yet to be divulged, but tickets for the posh nosh sell faster than Toronto real estate, so best hop on it and book now.

 --  The former home of CBS Canada on Leslie Street has been demolished. We understand that the substantial archive that resided on the property has been transferred to NYC or New Jersey. We haven't been able to determine where and what condition the collection is in. Anyone with particular knowledge, please contact the page.

-- In case you missed the fact, the Juno roadshow moves to capital city next year as part of Canada's sesquicentennial celebrations.

-- And speaking of the Junos, Michael Geist has penned a pretty damning article about the OMDC and the Academy behind the annual. One wonders just what the fallout from this article appearing in the Toronto Star and on his website will be. One wonders too what the agenda is in penning it, and who ponied up the not inconsiderable funds to obtain the government documents Geist cites in his piece (see Today's Headlines).

-- Same night as the Junos in Calgary, Justin Bieber was booked to appear at the iHeart Music Awards at the Forum in Inglewood , CA. The singer performed an acoustic version of "Love Yourself" followed by a performance of "Company" to open the show airing on the CTV network this coming Sunday, April 10th.

-- And same night in Ottawa it was a full house for Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood at the Canadian Tire Centre. The hat superstar went live during Sunday evening’s show to present an award at the Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas. “If it was up to me, I’d want to be here,” he told the crowd afterward.

-- The $395 early bird rate for the July 29-31 Osheaga fest in Montreal ends this Friday. Headliners include Radiohead, Lana Del Rey and The Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Details HERE

-- Music Ontario hosts another of its Music Mondays at The Hideout (484 Queen W) on April 11 between 6:30 and 8:30pm. The Bros. Landreth frontman Joey is on stage.

-- Tommy Hilfiger is named lead sponsor of Exhibitionism, the Rolling Stones much hyped exhibition of stuff that opens at the Saatchi Gallery in London today (April 5th). Needless to say a range of cotton goods bearing John Pasche's famous tongue and lip logo that was designed for the band in 1971.  

-- Drummer and composer Nick Fraser celebrates a double CD/LP release in a two-night special presentation at The Rex Hotel on May 4th and 5th in the fourth and final instalment of the TD Discovery Series Special Projects.

-- Applications for The Road to Indie Week: Alberta, are now open! Special early bird pricing starts at $10 until April 25

-- CBC Radio Adds for the weeks April 4-17: Danny Michel – “Good Old Days" from Matadora (Six Shooter); Big Little Lions – “Fills Me Up" from Just Keep Moving (Far Flung); Jim Bryson – “The Depression Dance" from Somewhere We Will Find Our Place (Fixed Hinge/Cadence); Lake Street Dive – “I Don't Care About You" from Side Pony (Nonesuch); Kaleo – “Way Down We Go" *Single (Warner).

- Two Canadian electronic music fests claim to be the biggest in the country. We announced the lineup of the VELD Music Festival last week with deadmau5 and Steve Aoki  on the bill at the July 30-31 event in T.O. Also claiming that title is the two-day Digital Dreams fest that is to be staged at The Flats at Ontario Place on July 2nd and 3rd. Headliners include Above & Beyond, Armin Van Buuren, and Swedish duo Axwell & Ingrosso.

- Nashville-based Canadian singer/songwriter Stevie Jewel is making waves Stateside and makes her NYC performance debut at Rockwood Music Hall on April 10. The intimate Lower East-side showcase room is part of a North American tour that includes Huntsville, ON's Deerhurst Resort May 28th (Jewel grew up in the area and Shania famously did her 10K hours at the Huntsville playground).

- Vancouver-based folk-rock troubadour (and Vinyl Café favourite) Reid Jamieson is playing dates in Ontario in support of his just-released album, Dear Leonard  (a tribute to Leonard Cohen). He plays an afternoon show at The Rivoli in Hogtown on April 10th, then he packs his bags for dates in England, Ireland, and Holland. Check out reidjamieson.com  for more info.

-- Apple has been granted a patent for technology that can automatically scan songs being streamed online and edit out any swear words in the lyrics. - Business Insider UK

-- While the US publishing industry waits for the DOJ to make a decision on whether the consent decree should be amended to allow publishers to withdraw their digital rights from the performance rights organizations’ blanket licenses, one of the very issues at stake in that decision is already coming to play. According to Billboard sources, the Universal Music Publishing Group has pulled production music catalogs from ASCAP and moved them to SESAC, which means ASCAP writers on works in that catalogue will receive performance royalty payments administered by SESAC. So far, both companies appear to be leaving their catalogs in place at BMI.

-- They’ve been joined at the hip for nearly two decades, but the UK’s Mechanical Copyright Protection Society (MCPS) could now cut ties with PRS For Music – costing the latter a client with a nine-figure annual business. - MBW

-- A spokesperson for Dr. Luke all but calls Kesha's numerous claims against the music mogul bald-faced fabrications. The unnamed emissary said in a statement to Rolling Stone, "The Court repeatedly stated (she) is already free to record without Dr. Luke, and that she had not presented any facts supporting her claims.... The only thing Kesha is not free to do is to continue to lie about Dr. Luke through publicity stunts and outrageous smears...."

 

 

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