A survey of 45,000 people in the UK and Europe asking what song they would like played at their funerals revealed some delightfully peculiar quirks. The Brits have generally bad taste (Robbie Williams' "Angels" was their No. 1 pick) but also a wicked sense of humour (Monty Python's "Always Look On the Bright Side of Life" was No. 3). Europeans are just kinda weird, with Queen's "The Show Must Go On" topping their death-march countdown. And by and large all those folks "over there" have a complete lack of Classic Rock song lyric understanding, as "Stairway to Heaven" made the Top 5 on both lists (perhaps they thought the question was "What song to you want to hear when you have a bustle in your hedgerow?"). For the record, when Minimum Gauge goes to that big dead-column-office in the sky, we want Toby Keith's "Beer For My Horses" and 2 Live Crew's "Face Down Ass Up" playing. At the same time. Backwards.
Chris LeDoux, a Country music star and former rodeo champ, died March 9 from complications of "cancer of the bile duct," according to his official Web site. He was 56. LeDoux self-recorded 22 albums before becoming an "overnight success" after being name-dropped in a Garth Brooks song. LeDoux was quickly signed by Capitol Records and went on to sell around 6 million copies of his 15 album releases.
Also on March 9, George Scott, a member of the Blind Boys of Alabama, a sight-impaired Gospel vocal group that crossed over to appeal to Roots and Americana music fans in recent years, died in his sleep. Scott, who co-founded the group in 1939, was 75. The singer retired from touring last year, but sings lead on several cuts on the Blind Boys' new album, Atom Bomb, which was released just six days after Scott's death.
A 9-year-old boy in Wales who was in the midst of a two-week coma after being hit by a car was reportedly roused to consciousness after his mother played for him the Green Day CD, American Idiot, he had received as a birthday gift. Rumors that he sat up, muttered "Overexposed," turned off the CD player and went back into the coma could not be substantiated.
Don't Race Bait. Legislate
Germany's highest courts recently upheld a ruling that declared that neo-Nazi band Landser was a "criminal organization" bent on spreading racial hatred. The band's singer, Michael Regener, was ordered to finish a three-year prison sentence. The ruling was the latest government action cracking down on the display and espousing of Nazi iconography and ideology (outside of educational usage); the new laws were put in place to prevent planned pro-Nazi demonstrations timed to the May 8 anniversary of Germany's surrender in World War II. Hate groups worldwide have responded by saying these rulings infringe on their constitutional right to free expression.
Pimp My Rinds
From a P. Diddy student/manservant to minor celebrity/star to pork rinds spokesman? Yup, sounds like the typical life of a reality show contestant. According to an Evans Food Group press release, rapper Chopper -- whose 15 minutes of fame came via his participation in a Sean P. "Puff Daddy" Diddy Combs reality show on MTV (resulting in the ultimately unsuccessful Rap/R&B train wreck, Da Band) -- is the new face of Rap Snacks Pork Skins and Cracklins. The rapper was the only Da Band member to get a deal with Diddy's Bad Boy South subsidiary, which apparently doesn't pay too well. Chopper's face will appear on bags of the snacks' various flavors, along with uplifting slogans like, "Be who you are without shame" and, fittingly, "Seize every opportunity."