Curious George and Iron (Brained) Mike
Perhaps trying to prove that young whippersnappers like Pete Doherty and Courtney Love (well, okay, relatively young) don't have the market cornered on "bat-shit crazy," a couple of once gorgeous and wildly famous Pop stars have made some interesting "What the fuck?" headlines in the last week. First, George Michael continued his trek in first class on the crazy train as reports say he openly smoked pot on camera for a British TV appearance (slated to air Tuesday overseas), just days after getting busted again for being passed out in his car and possessing drugs. The spliffing (which he says keeps him "sane and happy") can be the only thing to explain the other freaky Michael news that came to the surface recently that he'll be reuniting with that other guy from Wham! for some shows around Christmas. Meanwhile, it used to be that the scariest things aging heartthrob Tom Jones had to duck were giant granny-panties. Now, he'll be dodging left hooks, if the recent reports that he'll be boxing Mike Tyson turn out the be legit. Once considered to be on the path to becoming the greatest boxer of all time, Tyson has now reduced himself to embarking on a gimmicky world tour, where he is seemingly fighting anyone ... even women. And swivel-hipped 66-year-olds. Tyson has been quoted as saying Jones has a shot a beating him, but the fight -- reportedly a charity event slated for before the end of the year has yet to be confirmed.
Five words of advice, Tom -- protective headgear with ear flaps.
What would it be like to grow older and have every cranky, curmudgeonly outburst you vomited out become a news story on the Internet? Those would be the first questions we would ask Sting and Pete Townshend if we ever interviewed them. Bob Dylan created a mini-backlash when he complained about the actual audio quality of modern music in Rolling Stone. Perhaps sensing the publicity potential, Pete and the Stingster have weighed in, though each attacked different aspects of the current musical landscape. Sting recently told a German newspaper that he decided to record his current album of 16th century English ballads because "Rock music has come to a standstill -- it's not going forward any more, it only bores me." Nothing gets people more excited than 500-year-old lute music! Meanwhile, The Who's guitarist made some fairly befuddling (though refreshingly honest) remarks in the current issue of Rolling Stone, not about new music, but about the old farts who are still cashing in our their past glories. Biting the hand that feeds with trademark rabidity, Townshend said the "boomer"-friendly bands banking on nostalgia (like Crosby, Stills and Nash, The Stones, Dylan and, uh, The Who) won't be able to do it much longer, because fans only go to their concerts once, just to say they got to see them before they all die. "I don't want to go out and see the Stones. I wouldn't pay money to go see the Who, not even with new songs," Pete said. "I don't want to look at these old guys in their self-congratulatory mode." Good sales pitch, Pete. Tickets for The Who tour are available now!
And, rounding out our special "Washed Up Rockers" edition of Minimum Gauge ... if you're like us, when you heard Genesis were getting back together for an "our bank accounts are down to $14.53" reunion tour, you were all like, "Oh cool, it would be great to see Peter Gabriel back in that setting." Perfect timing, given the little Prog resurgence going on right now. Then came word that ol' Pete wasn't going to be part of the reunion, just Phil "Charlie Brown" Collins and those other two guys (sadly putting a kibosh on that much-anticipated Mike and the Mechanics reunion happening any time soon). Turns out it wasn't that Gabriel wasn't asked to participate, it's just that he actually still has a career and is working on new material, according to a recent interview with the BBC. He added that he hasn't completely ruled out rejoining the group; we suspect he's just figuring a way to play his songs first and then run out of the arena before they launch into "I Can't Dance" and "Invisible Touch." Hey, why isn't anyone asking Ray Wilson (the Gary Cherone of Genesis, who replaced Collins in 1997) to participate? We bet he'd totally be up for it.