Where our Intrepid editorial team takes an askance look at the weird and wonderful world of music and media.
The definitive quote for those anxious to get a grip on U2's theological perspective must be the following from the band's ever-serious singer, Bono: "We are members of the Frisbeetarian church. We believe that, when we die, our souls go up onto the roof and you can't get them down." Frisbeetarians or no, they are, it can be revealed, exceedingly rich; Forbes magazine in the U.S. estimated their earnings over the 1989-1990 period at around $25,000,000, while the Irish Sunday Independent say that their annual earnings are on a par with Colgate-Palmolive and Securicor in Ireland. (Is that a halo, Bono, or a Colgate ring of confidence?)
Despite the large amounts they give away to worthy causes, there still seems to be almost too much of the folding stuff floating around for the boys to know what to do with. In an effort to shift some punts (Irish pounds), Bono came up with an original method of house-hunting - he chartered a helicopter and flew around until he saw one he liked, landed and offered the occupiers a blank cheque. On meeting with a refusal the singer, undeterred, bought the next mansion down the road. A few months later, he bought a one-roomed "castle" that overlooked his property for a staggering 204,000 after various friends, unbeknown to each other, had raised the price from £84,000 by bidding against each other at the auction in an effort to help. Makes Spinal Tap look like a serious documentary. The tragedy is, even more dosh looks set to come flooding in on the release of their long-awaited new album: "Achtung, Baby!" Inspired by the climactic changes in Eastern Europe, the new release is heralded by some as the band's best yet and the first single from the album, "The Fly", is on heavy rotation on BBC Radio 1 as I write....
Our venerable Editor recently confessed to a truly ham-fisted action. While in Nashville, Tennessee, at the famous/infamous Gospel Music Awards he spied across a crowded luxury hotel foyer a certain John Styll, much respected and respectable editor of CCM magazine and thought of by many as the John Major of rock-and-roll dress sense. Tony approached said Editor with some trepidation, as his avowed intent was to apologise for the use of a CCM article, without permission, in the first-ever Cross Rhythms. Taking his courage in both hands he stuttered: "Hello, you're John Styll, aren't you?" Around turned the gentleman and replied: "No, I'm Kosher, lead singer with One Bad Pig". This post-punk, hard-core band are not usually noted for their conservative day wear. Tony retired with a bad case of swine fever.
Witnessed at the Adrian Snell/Caroline Bonnett concert at Tetford on 21st October. Before her second song, Caroline announces: "It's a special day today" and she's got a gift for the audience which she's going to throw out to them. It's an apple because apparently it's 'National Apple Day'. Cute, huh? A song or two later, on comes Adrian Snell. He announces it's a special day and he's got a gift for the audience. Why's he got a gift? "It's National Rotten Peach Day!" You can imagine the audience reaction as he hurls handfuls of... screwed-up tissues! As an impromptu gag (Ms Bonnett swears she was no knowing party of Mr. Snail's japes) it was not without merit. For anyone old enough to own the first-ever Cross Rhythms magazine or fortunate enough to be a subscriber, thus possessing the Cross Rhythms CD; here's an amazing story for you. The fresh-faced man with the immaculate coiffure staring from a polaroid up someone's trouser-leg is none other than Simon Foster, erstwhile Eurovision Song Contester and back-up vocalist on U2's 'October'. Currently on tour with Paul Poulton and shortly to record his debut with Chapel Lane, Simon almost recorded an album for Big Feet Media. Well, it got as far as the artwork! Never one to look a cheapie but goody in the mouth, Tony Cummings bought the artwork.
The first issue saw Simon obscured by the rugged, yet spiky visage of Roly Johnson Bell. (Check it out for yourself; can you see Simon's fringe behind Roly's specs?)
Should Chapel Lane wish to save money on Simon's album they could, perhaps, buy back the artwork or even take out a few thousand subscriptions and simply exchange the enclosed CD's. 'Country Music Round-up' newspaper gratifyingly included a review of eight Christian artists. You might expect Buddy Greene or Bruce Carroll. Well, no. Garth Hewitt, apparently "Britain's No. 1 singer/writer and a top five international name", certainly has country colourations but is Susan Ashton really contemporary country pop? Said august publication abandons any attempt to render Katina Boyz, Caroline Bonnett or Billy and Sarah Gaines as doyens of bluegrass or paragons of New Country. Instead, it colours them all as "Gospel, the biggest growth music of the past decade. Sales escalate month by month and the artists concerned enjoy superstar status'. With a double bend on the steel guitar and a Nashville drawl I can only sing: "Dereamm, dream dream dream."The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.