Monday, September 14, 2009

037 Cowell Factor

Ellen Degeneres joins the Idol judging panel - a bad idea - or an inspired one? Meantime there’s a rumour that Paula Abdul could join the X Factor panel. True or false? I find out!

And Beatle fans queue up to buy the new remastered albums. Good
for the music biz or just more easy money?

But first – let’s break into the Fame Games talent bank and grab a fistful of hits.
Now I mentioned NY band Underwhelmed before - but guys I love your new track Freak (Like Me). Don’t stop what your doing. Cos it works.

And you know by now that I like a bit of country music and this week the spotlight falls on Nashville’s Heather Wiggins. Your track, A Lot Like Georgia is brilliant! - I love the passion in your voice.

So what’s been going on in Cowellworld?

Well….the big story this week is US talk show host Ellen DeGeneres has been named as the new judge of 'American Idol'. Yes, she’s the one who will be taking over Paula‘s seat…next to Simon. But already she has begun to worry me. Ellen says…"Hopefully, I'm gonna be the people's point of view because I'm just like you, I sit at home and I watch the show. ‘That’s the person I relate to and whose records I’m going to buy.’ I hope to be that voice.”

But that’s Simon's voice Ellen - isn’t it?

Meanwhile, there’s another Paula rumour doing the rounds that she may be joining Simon on the panel of the X Factor. Mmmm…I’m not so sure about this one. If it’s true - and Simon won’t tell me - yet. It’s more likely for X Factor US style - rather than the UK show. So…make what you will of that - conspiracy theorists.

So here’s the thing….. While Beatle fans queue to buy copies of the newly re-mastered albums Simon revealed that he thinks The Beatles would have failed the auditions for The X Factor. He’s probably right.

Simon said he would have turned down the Fab Four – unless they dropped drummer Ringo Starr. Fair enough!

Though Simon was quick to jump on the Beatles PR bandwagon he conveniently forgot to mention that the first time he heard me playing their records in my smoky bedroom - he fell in love with them. The Beatles were the bedrock of his musical education. Till he found Robson & Jerome that is then it all went downhill.

Diehard fans of The Beatles have been waiting for this moment for decades. But you know what I’m going to say don’t you? It’s taken years for these to be remastered - and I’m sure they sound great. But come on…it’s just another blatant easy money maker for the labels. Simple, easy, loads of cash. Invest in the past and not in the future.

But you know what? In a way anyone of my generation can be forgiven for coming over all nostalgic when the Beatles are mentioned.

To be honest, once I grew out of the “She Loves You” phase- I got more into The Stones, The Doors, and Dylan. However, the closest I ever came to meeting the Beatles was one weird night when I got to go to George Harrison’ gothic mansion, Friar Park in Henley. It is not something I would forget. The door was opened by Ravi Shankar. Then the next thing I know I’m sitting in George’s 16 track studio - playing his drum set with Ravi Shankar on Sitar. Weird I know. But not as weird as the magical mystery tour we then embarked upon in the underground caves which ran beneath George’s garden. We sat in tiny boats and rowed through these spooky natural caves full of twinkly lights and the sound of Ravi’s mystical sitar. It’s no wonder George loved that house where he recorded all his solo albums right there in that studio.

You see I can remember the 60’s - or some of it anyway.

And Now back to the future - And just a quick shout out to another of my favourite Fame Games band. Nashville band Philos: I just heard your song, Come Drive. And Kenny Foster! You have one great rock voice.

The Cowell Factor

If you've only got ONE shot at FAME you might as well get it right!!