Sunday, December 11, 2005

You Looking At Me …?

If you are ever invited to New Zealand’s north island and the village of Tamaki Maori, whatever you do, don’t laugh.

A Maori performer taking part in a traditional welcoming ceremony at the end of November has admitted head butting a tourist and fracturing his nose. Richard Minarapa Mitai-Ngatai told a court in Rotorua, New Zealand, that he thought the man was laughing at him.

Dutch tourist Johannes Scheffers, and others visiting Tamaki Maori Village, had been warned that laughing was disrespectful. A police sergeant said that Mr Scheffers accidentally gave a "nervous grin". At which point, Mr Mitai-Ngatai stepped forward and head butted Mr Scheffers, causing him to fall backwards with blood pouring from his nose.

"His intention was to nudge him back into the line with the main group of visitors," the court was told. "However, the force he used was well in excess of his intention."

Mr Mitai-Ngatai will be sentenced next month, so stitch that.

A Quick Sonic Screw … Driver …

A 17-inch model of Doctor Who's Tardis first used as a prop in a 1965 episode of the classic BBC science fiction series is being auctioned. The plywood time-travelling device is being offered for sale at Christie's auction house on 14 December.

The famous blue police box is expected to fetch up to £6,000 and was built at the BBC visual effects department.

The idea to use the Police Box design was originally conceived by Anthony Coburn, author of the first episode The Unearthly Child. It is believed that this particular model was built by Ron Oates, said Christie's.

Anyone know what Tardis means? That’s right children … Time and Relative Dimension in Space.

At £6,000 your wallet better be bigger on the inside … now, how much for the girl?

Richard Pryor …

US comedian Richard Pryor has died after suffering 20 long and painful years with multiple sclerosis. He died at the age of 65 of a heart attack at Encino hospital near Los Angeles, his wife Jennifer Pryor said.

A series of hit comedies in the 1970s and 1980s - including Stir Crazy and Silver Streak - helped make him one of Hollywood's highest-paid stars.

RIP RFP - you made me laugh.

Not Rocking All Over The World …?

Status Quo have cancelled tour dates after guitarist Rick Parfitt was hit by a health scare. The masters of the 12-bar boogie are no strangers to the troubled world of rock stardom.

The band have fallen victim to musical snobbery, health problems and internal unrest. But Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi have enjoyed huge commercial success over the decades, and their popularity endures.

Parfitt, now 57, first met fellow frontman Francis Rossi at a holiday camp in 1965. Guitarist and singer Rossi, now 56, had been a co-founder of south London-based beat band The Spectres in 1962, together with bassist Alan Lancaster. They were later joined by organist Roy Lynes and drummer John Coghlan, but the quartet struggled to achieve success.

Parfitt joined in 1967 and the band became Status Quo.

In 1985, Status Quo were on top of the world when they opened Live Aid at Wembley Stadium, but it would prove to be Lancaster's last outing with the band. He tried to take out a High Court injunction to prevent Status Quo performing without him. But Rossi and Parfitt secured the rights to the name and re-formed the band with a new line-up. They were joined by John "Rhino" Edwards on bass, Jeff Rich on drums, and keyboardist Andy Brown.

Health problems hit in 1997 when Parfitt's old lifestyle of drink and drugs began to take its toll and he underwent a quadruple heart bypass after doctors warned he could die at any time. But he went on to make a full recovery, admitting he was still fond of the "odd pint".

In 2001 the band - which now featured drummer Matthew Letley - cancelled thee concerts after Parfitt was diagnosed with repetitive strain injury (RSI) and could not play the guitar.

Earlier this year, the band found themselves snubbed again, by organisers of the Live 8 concert. Rossi said they were "desperate" to join the Hyde Park concert, but despite opening its Live Aid predecessor, they were kept off the bill.

Status Quo remain defiantly unfashionable, but they still have legions of supporters around the world. They, like many in the music business, will be hoping Parfitt and Rossi can bounce back once again.

I saw The Quo’s concert in Paris a few years ago.

One of the best night’s entertainment I’ve had with my kit on.



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