Roger Faxon has been busy writing and sending emails to the troops again asking everyone to rally round the EMI flag and not to listen to rumours plus dismissing a few even we had never heard about. Seriously though, what do you expect Rog to do when he has the best gig he has ever had and needs to do and say something?

Remember, he still reports to The Guy from Terra Firma and The Guy needs to keep EMI alive until he works out some kinda exit strategy.

If Jolly Roger, we would still acquire the Rights to the EMI/Guy Hands/David Wormsely menage-a-trois and write a musical around this. It might just throw The Guy a lifeline.

Instead of agreeing or refuting Rog’s latest Rah Rah call, he has made some smart moves- got rid of Billy Mann- apparently a lovely guy, but vastly overpaid for doing nothing-and then Amanda Conroy- head of Corporate Communications and a real political animal. Yeah, perhaps it was simply about survival, but she let down many former “friends”.

One name always missing in this Guy Hands saga is Eric Nicoli.

Nicoli aka “The Biscuit Bungler” for days running United Biscuits and creating The Lion’s Bar and the Yorkie- and also known as “The Farmer” to Conroy when she was playing wicket keeper for the Alain Levy-David Munns team, did the smartest thing as CEO of the EMI Group when he sold the house of cards with a few jokers thrown in to Terra Firma.

We called Nicoli the “smiling assassin” as he “killed” and laid off people with a smile. For example. the day he introduced an internal award and named it “The Levy”, many old-timers at EMI knew that the Frenchman was being bade Adieu along with Munns- who, by the way, is a great, down-to-earth bloke.

Levy? Eh, a Frenchman with a Napoleonic complex and a little creepy “in love and war”. The stories one could tell about what made him tick and the demands he made when “off-duty”. Whatever creepiness Levy might have had, Eric Nicoli was creepy and a creep.

On the outside he was “Big Daddy”, who made humourous speeches, but inside beat the heart of one of the most Macchiavellian music executives. Despite all the talk about “the good of the company”, Nicoli was singing, “I Me Mine” to himself and left with close to 3 million quid from Terra Firma to get lost .

As for the county house he purchased with company  money, a fact, apparently, known only to his Personal Assistant, well, that’s another story altogether though the two are very much inter-connected.

This purchasing of houses for “personal favourites” seems to have been part of the works of running EMI:  One of Nicoli’s predecessors is well-known to have bought a house in China “for EMI” but with its ownership being under the name of one of his more “Favoured Nation” female Chinese staff. The house is now worth millions to its legal owner.



While standing there and watching and listening to the Raveonettes, I wished every band in Hong Kong could have been there, listened to the band and been humbled-even a little bit. Then again, one doubt local bands would “get” the Raveonettes as most local bands are so incredibly derivative and similar no matter what they say.

Sure, the sound was not perfect, nether was the venue and though the headline act were the Flaming Lips – great show- band supported by local band Merryweather Deer, the Raveonettes reminded us again how a small country like Denmark has such a remarkable “roster” of talent.

If the country were a record label, it would have one helluva artists list and be the most “artist friendly” label in the world.

The Danes must be drinking some special water as just off the top of our head, we can recommend Mew, Nephew, Spleen United, Thee Attack, Veto, Kashmir, Trentmoeller,  over many of the established bands in the world.

There is something about the sound and use of drums by most of these bands that is, somehow, different. It gives them a very different edge.

On the subject of Danish bands, we’d love to see Thee Attacks in Asia- especially in Japan- and where we reckon they can build up a large fan base. Sorry, but the world needs a break from sensitive “emo-warbling”.

Interested parties in Thee Attack, write to us.

Watching the Raveonettes- and it was pity the sound made their juxtapositioning of ironic, quirky lyrics against  Sixties-influenced retro-dream pop, get buried in the mix, the band made a huge impression on us. Then, again, we are fans of the band.

Watching them ‘live’- and how we wish we could have heard them in a smaller setting than the aircraft hangar that is the AsiaWorld venue and not suitable for all acts- especially the smaller bands. For Pink Floyd, it’s the perfect venue.

As for Raveonettes, the chemistry between guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Sune Wagner and vocalist/guitarist Sharin Foo- she could be a major influence on female rockers in Asia and is certainly one of the hottest “rock chicks” in the world-  was very evident as “the band” is actually the duo.

What surprised us was Wagner’s guitar playing: not flashy, but the right balance of sounds that complemented the songs and how we made the songs build. At times it was like listening to this trippy combination of Duane Eddy, the Velvet Underground, the Ramones, the Ronettes, Phil Spector, Tarantino, David Lynch, ? Mark and the Mysterians  and early Beach Boys.

Strangely, it all worked. And watching Sharin Foo “work” her guitar was something which made us quite hot and bothered.

Props to promoter Justin Sweeting and all involved at Unlimited Entertainment for putting their balls on the line to bring the Raveonettes and Flaming Lips to Hong Kong plus including solid local band Merryweather in the lineup.

All we can suggest is that for their next event, they consider a complete Made In Denmark “A&R strategy” and turn this into a two-day festival. The country sure has the musical talent.



When we received an email saying that Hong Kong-based real estate billionaire and entrepreneur extraordinaire Allan Zeman is, today, “the most powerful man in Hollywood” and “pumping money, big time into movies”, AN we had to pick ourselves off the floor.

The last thing we knew was that Zeman, the “King Of Lan Kwai Fong”, once the trendiest area in Hong Kong,  and all-round good, laid-back, street-wise guy had his fingers burned so badly dabbling in investing in films- namely, the disaster that was “Dungeons And Dragons”- that Hollywood had become more like Hollyweed to him and far worse than The Kiss of the Spider Woman..

But, no, said the email: “Allan Zeman is the most powerful man in Hollywood mostly through a company called After Dark Pictures”.

After Dark Pictures, we asked ourselves? The film and distribution company known for their horror movies and co-founded by Courtney Solomon and Zeman in 2006?

After Dark Films and its new expansion to include After Dark Originals with ties to Lionsgate and NBC Universal’s Syfy?

This is being “powerful” and “investing into the movie business”?

Speak to us, Allan.



While the world has suddenly spawned a million new entrepreneurs, each with get-rich-quick schemes- most of them in Asia, but, sadly, plowing their money into same-same club and bars and restaurants and where consumers are spoiled for choice and also a bit tired of the choices- Jay-Z keeps trumping them all.

His latest money-making and creative effort? To print pages from “Decoded”, his first book, into the inside of a Gucci jacket and other things and places relevant to the Man who is King and possible presidential candidate in either years time. President Jay-Z? Who knows.

Details of the contest can be found at and with the winner getting the Gucci jacket from The Jiggaman himself.

Expensive: Everything to do with music today must look expensive.




It might have a “small music industry” but Hong Kong has not only been “the gateway  China”. Hong Kong and those who took control of the local music industry going back to the Seventies and Eighties milked Hong Kong dry- and having sold themselves to the International companies which made the city their “regional centre”, executives who signed the cheque books and had the power to make the decisions also made the decision that there was more money to be made outside of Hong Kong as well- and with everyone having a “controlling interest” on who will be “stars” and what music will be heard.

Of course, this still goes on and we all know that several disc-jockeys are on the take. Pay them, give them a gift, entertain them, get them laid and they’ll promote the shit outta your artist or record.

All this dirty laundry- past and present- will be aired when a spate of “tell all” books and at least one movie on “The Hong Kong musical connection” comes out. Why now?

Perhaps it has been the arrests of Stephen Chan and his cronies in -and out- of HKTVB, the leading local terrestrial television station, on corruption charges. So does this mean that the top management was in the dark about Chan’s wheeling and dealing? Wait: Chan was top management and, as he was, who hired this doofus- and why?

Someone give the man the finger to go with the thumbs up

Then there were the recent the arrests and firings for- what else?- graft of senior executives of Government radio station RTHK, and people simply fed up with being “controlled” and the sanctimonious tsk-ing by many over things like “Edisongate” and which was way over-played.

We genuinely like Edison and what did he do that was so wrong? Have his computer hacked into and have some douche bag release photos of him doing the hootchie cootchie with some Canto-poppets  who were willing participants?

Hell, many doing this tsk-ing have mistresses, false marriages and still use the old Hong Kong casting couching method for “nurturing” naive newcomers wishing to sell/buy themselves into the local entertainment world? Tsk tsk, indeed.And now for a commercial break: The new video from Edison.

When the lid is blown off about what someone calls “the Hong Con“, the list of names will include sure, the minions like DJs and junior music execs, but there will also be names of leading radio personalities, senior music executives, promoters and how their tentacles spread into Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines and, of course, China.

These are tentacles which have shackled the Asian music industry as they created a “framework” and “business plan” that has been handed down from generation-to-generation and an industry built on control as to what would be promoted and even released and huge dollops of greed.

So, when some insignificant, untalented Canto-pop moppet asks for “at least HK$500,00″- around US$80,000- to make a personal appearance at some function, understand that there has been a great deal of work been placed into creating this “demand” for such a “short supply” of “talent” and that there is an entire team pulling the strings in the background and each one getting a cut.Like the good old days though the money today is much bigger.

Pseudo Twins: A massive double shot of a saccharine overdose

TVB’s Stephen Chan being arrested was just the tip of the iceberg. And this iceberg will soon topple over and drown quite a few of the Asian music industry’s “Mr, Miss, and Mrs Bigs”.  The degrees of separation between them all are less than one degree.

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