News From The World: I Predict 1990

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Steve Taylor does duet with the Clark Sisters

Steve Taylor's startling confession: "I always loved the old title better!"

The Delays

Master tapes destroyed by jealous Bigfoot

Lyrics shredded by National Security Council

Producer Dave Perkins' next lp opportunity Wayne Newton?

Steve borrows "Graceland" concept, travels to Iran for that "Mujadeen Jive" sound!

ALBUM DUE NOV. 1 ... Would we lie?

Extensive Rewriting Possible Reason for Incredible Delays of New Taylor Album!

AFTER SIFTING THROUGH RUBBISH cans outside the studio where most of the recording of Steve Taylor's new album, I Predict 1990, took place, a News From The World reporter uncovered one of many possible reasons for the endless delays on the long-awaited record. Steve Taylor has been secretly involved in extensive, perhaps even excessive, rewriting in the studio.

The finished album includes a cut called "I Blew Up the Clinic Real Good," but our reporter found discarded master tapes featuring entirely different sets of lyrics to the song. Among the rejected versions: "I Processed the Data Real Professional-Like," "I Sang at the Cornerstone Festival Fairly Well" and "Velma was a Cheese Hostess."

Likewise, the song "Since I Gave Up Hope, I Feel a Lot Better" went through several previous incarnations, all far less aesthetically pleasing: "Since I Gave Up Caffeine, I Have Fewer Headaches," "Since I Gave Up Rolfing, I No Longer Need a Chiropractor," "Since I Gave Up The Enquirer, I No Longer Have the Urge to Be the Center Hollywood Square" and "The Good, the Bad and the Cheese Hostess."

Perhaps the most unsuccessful side-trips were taking by the track titled, "Jung and the Restless," previously known as: "Freud and the Lethargic," "B.F. Skinner and the Post-Punk Generation," and "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Cheese, But Were Afraid to Ask Your Hostess."

Deliberate Chaos Reigns in Studio, Even as Time and Money Run Out!

STEVE TAYLOR HAS ADMITTED THAT even as the production of his new album, I Predict 1990, ran overtime and over budget, he and co-producer Dave Perkins were still running wild with rampant chaos in the studio-- particularly when famed guest Papa John Creach (formerly of the Jefferson Starship) came in to play violin on "Since I Gave Up Hope, I Feel A Lot Better."

Explains Taylor, "We didn't have time under the circumstances to teach him (Creach) the whole song with all the changes, because it's pretty complicated. So we just set up a microphone and had him improvise away. He came up with some very interesting musical ideas--not bad for a guy in his 70's. Dave was in his band for a year, and had a great rapport with him. It was probably the single most enjoyable experience I've ever had in the studio. Now if I could only get him to come on tour...."


The News From The World is published once in a blue moon (by Myrrh Records), or whenever Justine Bateman dumps her boyfriend and inquiring minds want to know. Mailing address: 6767 Forest Lawn Drive, Suite 110, Los Angeles, CA 90068. Subscriptions and submissions are as functionally useless as our reporters are functionally illiterate. Now stop squinting at the fine print and go pick up American Fisherman or something useful.

Editor/Chief Muckraker: Chris Willman
Assistant Editors: Melissa Helm, Debra Rhodes
Contributing Seersuckers: Steve Taylor, Glen C. Holmen
Photography: Victoria Pearson

9-01-6641-017 All Rights Reserved. Printed in the USA.

Taylor Gets "More Serious" With New Record; Thousands of Religious Leaders Express Regrets

THE RUMOR THAT STEVE TAYLOR'S new album would be "more serious" and "less satirical" than previous efforts has met with shocked and saddened reactions from the nation's religious leaders. In particular, many hard-line fundamentalist pastors said they will miss having their funnybones tickled by Steve-o's wacko humor.

"If there's anything I love, it's a really biting piece of subtle-yet- digging irony, accompanied by a really rockin' beat," said the Rev. Thehemiah Jehosevat, pastor of Backwoods Brethren Temple in Muskaloosa, Missouri. "Steve's tongue-in-cheek humor always challenged me right where I live, or at least where I've lived since I was voted out of my last pastorate in Rockytop. I don't know what me and my congregation will do if Steve isn't funny anymore."

Similar regrets about Taylor's alleged new direction were expressed by Bobert (B.J.) Jones, president of the nationally renowned Pale Christian Academy in Minstrelton, Virginia.

"Taylor always made me re-evaluate my own convictions--testing them, trying them, backing over them with a two-ton truck and then running them up the flagpole to see which of our students saluted," said a tearful Jones. "His savagely ironic lyrics were a hilarious, yet troublesome poke in the ribs that never failed to make me bust a gut. He made me laugh even as he challenged my own deeply rooted sense of racism and intolerance, and boy, that's something you can't replace with just any old Run DMC record. Besides, I don't know what we'll play at school dances now."

Taylor, however, pooh-poohs any suggestion that the new I Predict 1990 will be on a level of seriousness comparable to a Dostoyevsky novel and purports that the album is more on the level of seriousness of, say, one of the great Kafka comedies.

"There's plenty of satire on this record--'I Blew Up The Clinic Real Good,' 'Since I Gave Up Hope, I Feel A Lot Better,' 'Jung And The Restless'--but I didn't want to get to the place where people were wondering, 'What's Steve Taylor going to trash this time out?' So I tried to write some things that were a bit different from what I've done before, and I suppose a few of the songs are more serious in their subject matter.

"But there's a reason for that. I find it's hard to laugh these days, knowing that 'The Late Show' is being hosted by Arsenio Hall."

Taylor's Shocking Claim: "I Was Inspired By a Dead Woman."

STEVE TAYLOR ADMITS THAT THE inspiration for one of his new songs, "Harder To Believe Than Not To," came to him from beyond the grave.

Specifically, the impetus for the Taylor ballad--a shocking enough idea in itself--came from the writing of the late Flannery O'Connor, one of the great Christian fiction writers of the 20th century.

"Flannery O'Connor was a writer from the Deep South in the 50's who died quite young," explains Taylor. "She write very moody and rather bizarre short stories and novels full of religious imagery and a lot of extreme characters.

"I was reading through her collected letters, and there was one instance where she was writing to another friend about her Christianity and about how all of her literary friends in New York City--she was very popular with the critics--had a hard time believing that a writer of her caliber could be something as common and unfashionable as a follower of Jesus. She writes, how they just don't understand the cost involved in Christianity, that "It is much harder to believe than not to believe.

"That quote stuck with me, and the song is written from the point of view, that the cost involved in Christianity--the idea of taking up your cross everyday and following Jesus--makes it hard to believe, because Christianity demands things from us that we don't naturally want to give.

"The song was recorded very simply in London with a small chamber group of orchestral instruments. It's quite different from anything I've done before, but I think it's an important song."


WHEN MOST RECORDING ARTISTS WANT TO RUB UP AGAINST THE STARS, THEY GO TO WILD HOLLYWOOD PARTIES. Steve Taylor, however, visits their graves--as he admitted while explaining the inspiration behind "Jim Morrison's Grave," a song from his new album: "The idea started a couple of years ago when I went to Paris and was wandering around a cemetery on the edge of town," said Taylor. "There's a number of famous people buried there: Oscar Wilde ... Isadora Duncan ... and who is that little French singer? I keep wanting to say Pia Zadora, but I think her name is Edith Piaf. Anyway, she's buried there, too. It's like a whole city of monuments to dead people--a lot of miniature cathedrals and large statues everywhere.

"I was meandering down one of the cemetery streets when I saw something sprayed on a tombstone. I looked closer and saw that someone had spray-painted the name 'Jim,' and then an arrow. I kept walking, seeing more of these arrows and following the spray-can clues. Then I came around and there it was, Jim Morrison's grave, with a bust of Jim Morrison on the headstone and The Doors graffiti everywhere. Bottles and cigarette butts covered the ground, and quite a few people were hanging around, hoping to catch some good vibes or something.

"The experience made me think a lot about who Jim Morrison was and what he stood for. I was into The Doors' music and read a biography of Morrison called No One Here Gets Out Alive. As I read the book, a picture emerged of Jim Morrison as someone who embraced the rock-n-roll myth of, 'It's better to burn out than to fade away.' I guess he thought of himself as somewhat of a 'tortured artist,' a modern-day Dylan Thomas, who not only believed that genius justifies cruelty, but that genius and selfishness are inseparable. And that's really how he lived his life. He was very cruel to the people who were close to him, even the people who loved him.

"So this song is just my thoughts about going to the grave, almost a stream- of-consciousness lyric. The last line of the song is, 'The music covers like an evening mist/Like a watch still ticking on a dead man's write.' Jim Morrison left the world some intriguing music. But as far as I'm concerned, that's not enough."

[Photos & captions: The Flamingo, The Pit Bull, The "New Monkees" Audition, Preventive Dentistry]

Taylor Denies Iran/Contra Connection; Issues New "Concept" Album as Possible Smokescreen

RECORDING ARTIST STEVE TAYLOR persists in denying rumors that the production of his new album, I Predict 1990, ran over budget because of a covert diversion of funds to the contras.

In fact, much of the new album has a theme that would seem to run counter to the government subterfuge philosophy that resulted in the Iran/Contra scandal, though some rumor-mongers maintain that the moralizing is merely a smokescreen designed to throw reporters off the scent of alleged sightings of Fawn Hall behind the mixing console.

Says Taylor: "There's a line in 'I Blew Up the Clinic Real Good' that has a preacher on the corner saying, 'The ends don't justify the means anytime.' And as we were finishing up the song, my wife Debbie remarked that if there's a general theme to be found running through the album, that's it."

Taylor points out that it's certainly the theme of another song on the record, 'A Principled Man.' Not only is the feel of the tune very positive and "up"--an admitted departure for Taylor--but its lyrics are unashamedly idealistic.

"Recent events point to a general philosophy being practiced by many Americans, including a lot of American Christians, that the end does justify the means," explains Taylor. "At a time when people are sympathetic with the idea that you occasionally have to do ethically questionable things in order to protect everything from personal to national interests, I think the overall theme of this album is very important. Those who say they are followers of Jesus can also say that choices are more than a matter of what's expedient--that there's such a thing as right and wrong."


By Glen C. Holmen, Newsflash Music Critic and Some Band Bassist


These Iowa rockers have forged a debut record with all the things that are necessary for the success of a 1980's rock band from the heartland--three chords, that denim-with-denim-over-denim image, songs about chicks in cars, and biting farm policy commentary. Featuring lead singer Big Red and guitarist Joe Boy Hereford, The Carcasses take on tofu-loving commie trendoid hipsters with a vengeance.

The guys are rockin' from the first note of "That's The Way I Hate The Go- Gos," and strengthen the pace with "Perils of Grooming." Then they settle into a very danceable rendition of the R&B standard "Snack & Learn."

A great rock band needs a great rock beat, and bassist Larry "The Wall" Pozgank and drummer Johnny "The Drummer" DeVito keep it moving along with more notes per measure than any group in recent memory (except of course Iron Butterfly but I think they broke up). The rhythm work in "Gerbils on Diet Pills" can only be described as fast. As a rhythm guitarist, Joe Boy really works as a team player. As a soloist, his phrasing is incredibly noticeable-- first a whisper, now a roar, now reminding me of my last trip to the dentist.

Look for strong radio play on the autobiographic "Bigger Hair," with that oh-so-infectious chorus hook:

Bigger hair
faster cars
we're Americans
yes we are

My next single pick would be either "Twinkies and Tomato Juice" or the pensive ballad "Bring The Bald One Out Now." And don't miss the sassy use of up to five (different) chords on "My Own Nametag."

These brave new artists take the voice of social conscience with a very strong anti-nuclear stance on "What Is Quiche?" Finally, my prediction for the single sleeper of the year--the rock anthem "Don't Touch That Pig (Please)."

This is the new group. Pick up the record, look for the videos, and don't miss their artistry on an upcoming TV episode of Hairstyles of the Rich and Fabulous.


PRODUCER DAVE PERKINS HAS PICKED UP AN IMAGE--FOSTERED BY COMMENTS FROM THOSE HE'S PRODUCED IN THE past--as a slave-master, a tyrant, a dictator, a demigod, a democrat, and the fascist leader of a small South American country. Former producee Randy Stonehill, still sweating months later from the strain, dubbed him "the Rock Nazi."

But Steve Taylor, who co-produced I Predict 1990 with Perkins, says that at least two or three of those descriptions are false and claims to have found their working styles entirely compatible--which suggests either that Perkins is more of a pussycat than previously theorized, or, more likely, that Taylor is as much of a workhorse as Perkins.

"Maybe people who've worked with him in the past weren't used to that type of death-or-glory environment in the studio," said Taylor, using his hand to carefully cover up the whip-marks across his face. "But this is the way I've always worked in the past. Dave and I both share something of a schedules-are- for-wimps mentality, so once we start recording, we're burning the candle at both ends. From that standpoint alone, we got along really well.

"We also share some of the same downfalls in the studio, in that we both have a tendency to go overtime and over budget," continued Taylor. "So the two of us together were destined to be a lethal combination.

"I think Dave brought a lot to this project. For one, he was willing to use my band. When I did the demos with Some Band for this project, I was thinking, 'Hey, this sounds good. This is how the record should sound.' But the producer I was talking with at the time wanted to use studio players, and ultimately I felt he and I were hearing two different records. When Dave and I got together, we both were hearing the same things.

"Of course, we have a lot of the same influences, particularly English bands like The Clash, Squeeze, Elvis Costello, things like that. But Dave's got a much deeper sense of rock's roots and history than I do, so he brought that with him.

"Also, the clincher for me as far as working with Dave was when someone sat me down and played me three rough mixes from his record." (That record is the recently released The Innocence, Perkins' debut solo album on What? Records.) "To me, his record is one of the best--if not the best--record on a Christian label I've ever heard. That was when I said, 'Yeah, I think this is the guy.'

"Ultimately, I don't think that rock-n-roll or making records is one of the most important things in the world, or something that God treats specially. But Dave and I approached this project with a very prayerful attitude and a desire that we find God in this record and in the recording process. Certainly, the ordeal of working on it for almost a year and going through a time where it looked like it might never get finished has helped me to see God' hand at work. I feel like we got our prayers answered."