I recently had the "was that real, or did I dream that?" feeling about the upcoming Spider-Man musical featuring songs by U2, and I happily concluded that it was a dream. Glancing at the news, though, I see that they're holding open auditions to cast a lead webslinger, and that raises the disturbing possibility that this thing is for real. But, no, that's too ridiculous — I'm just gonna assume I'm still dreaming, so it doesn't really matter what I write.
Speaking of open auditions: BILLY CORGAN is on the lookout for a new drummer for the Smashing Pumpkins, who now consist of just Billy after the departure of Jimmy Chamberlin, the only other dude who really played on the records, and the group's last surviving non-gnome member. Interested parties can e-mail their drum résumés, or whatever drummers have, to email@example.com.
Auditioning members for a millions-selling band via free e-mail service seems a little low-rent, doesn't it? This has the smell of an idea first introduced with the words "Fuck it, let's just . . . "
There was much hoopla and a moment of subdued Beatlemania last week when PAUL MCCARTNEY and RINGO STARR took to the stage together for the first time in years. I'm not sure why this is terribly exciting —in my personal Venn diagram of "Beatles I care about" versus "Beatles who are alive," the circles aren't touching. I guess it thrills people because it's the closest we're likely to get to an impromptu Beatles reunion, since a falling chandelier could take Paul and Ringo both out at once.
Hey, that's a terrible thing to say — but remember, I'm still dreaming, so you're not really reading any of this.
So, what was the big occasion? They were there to benefit DAVID LYNCH's Lynch Foundation, which promotes Transcendental Meditation. What with the Maharishi and levitating the Pentagon and Moby and Sheryl Crow and all that, TM is the music industry's equivalent of Scientology. Lynch is a major evangelist of the Hindu-lite lifestyle; you might recall this fabulous quote from a couple of years ago, when he and Donovan started a TM university in Edinburgh: "For a country the size of Scotland it would take only 250 students meditating to protect Scotland from its enemies and to bring peace, to stop violence and drug abuse." Apparently they don't quite have that many students yet; as of 2008, Scotland still had nearly double the homicide and suicide rates of England. Meditate harder, fellas!
In other BEATLES news: Apple and EMI have just announced plans to issue a remastered 14-CD set of all their albums as they originally appeared in the UK — pretty much an obligatory buy for any serious rock fan who hasn't already spent way too much on vinyl imports like a yuppie nerd. It's also a big slap in the face for the ROLLING STONES, who just announced deluxe reissues of 14 of their post-1971 albums, meaning maybe four worth buying. The other 10 — the two-star, "hey, at least it's the Stones" era — might have stood a decent chance of being revisited by bored classic-rockers if it weren't for those dastardly Fabs stealing all the thunder.