Taylor Swift Gives Bonuses Totaling Over $55 Million to Every Person Working on Massive Eras Tour​

Sources confirm to PEOPLE that caterers, truck drivers, riggers, dancers and more all received bonuses from the pop superstar

I've never understood the appeal of spending $$$ for an entertainment and then using mind-altering drugs (which alcohol is) so you're not completely aware of what's going on, or you could forget altogether.
Or remember it as one of your most cherished memories, more aware of it than you would have been.

I hope the various guilds are paying attention. SAG-AFTRA is still striking, and talks don't seem to be progressing. I don't know if the WGA have formally signed the new agreement yet or not. I hope nobody ever believes that the AMPTP don't print money for themselves. If they ever show revenue or profit figures, just proceed on the assumption that it's really double that. "See, these documents show we made $50 billion last year." "Okay, since you made $100 billion last year, this is what we're thinking..."

Canadian actor Donald Sutherland honoured with new Canada Post stamp​

'I'm a Canadian and now I'm a Canadian stamp,' said the legendary actor

Donald Sutherland, celebrated star of stage and screen, is not short on accolades.

But on a list that includes an honorary Oscar, a companionship of the Order of Canada and a couple of Golden Globes, the latest addition — a stamp bearing his profile, unveiled Thursday — feels different, he said by phone.

"It's the biggest thing to me," he said from his home in Quebec's Eastern Townships. "I kept saying: 'I'm a Canadian and now I'm a Canadian stamp. God damn. This is really something.' I think just now when I said it, all the hair stood up on my arms. But it is cold in here."

It is so poignant, the 88-year-old said, because stamps were vital to his early life.

He was born in New Brunswick before moving to Nova Scotia in his teenage years, but left the Maritimes for higher education — first at the University of Toronto and later in England — where he pursued his passion for acting.

"The only thing that connects you, at that time in the late '40s, early '50s, was a letter in the post," he said. "They became ... the thread in the fabric that bound my family together. It was incredibly important to us. A long-distance telephone call cost money."

He just wishes his mother was here to see the stamp, he said. It features an austere photo of Sutherland in profile, overlaid with the titles of some of his most iconic projects, including Ordinary People, The Italian Job, and MASH. Sutherland originated the role of Hawkeye Pierce in the 1970 film MASH, before Alan Alda picked up the torch for the TV show that premiered two years later.

Sutherland more of an email guy these days​

Sutherland went on to star in the 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers and the 2005 version of Pride & Prejudice.

Canada Post said the stamp is meant to commemorate Sutherland's storied career, which has seen him appear in more than 200 films and TV programs.

More recently, he played the main antagonist in The Hunger Games movie franchise.

As his career has progressed, so too has technology. His love for the letter hasn't waned, but he's more of an email guy these days. It's hard to beat the convenience, particularly when it comes to sending long missives.

"They're so long, I don't think anybody reads them," he joked. "But I love writing."

Now, he hopes people make use of the stamp.

"Buy my stamp. Buy a lot of my stamps and send letters. Send them to people. Just little postcards: 'Hi, how are you? Donald asked me to send a stamp."'
When Did Rock Concerts Become Tame? Thank Alcohol-Free Gen Z

‘Conspicuous teetotaling’ is now prevalent at hot acts, confounding older partyers

SAN FRANCISCO—Pop star Conan Gray stopped midway through a performance here recently to make sure someone tended to a fan who appeared to have been partying too hard. “See, this is why you all really should be sober,” the 24year-old tsk-tsked to the crowd of fellow Gen Z-ers, who…cheered? And then the show went on at San Francisco’s Outside Lands—a three day-annual music festival in Golden Gate Park once associated with revelers urinating in neighbor’s yards. Rock and pop concerts are a far cry from the days when a boozed up Jim Morrison was accused of exposing himself at a Doors gig in Miami or when drunken fans rioted at Wood-stock ’99, a festival that tried to emulate the original. Many concerts now are comparatively staid affairs, at least among the millennial and Gen Z patrons who dominate the audience at the hottest acts, and who don’t have a whole lotta love for hangovers and regretful behavior.

“We want to enjoy ourselves and still be able to remember the music,” said 33year-old Ally Sewell of Reno, Nev., who was sipping a low-alcohol Aperol spritz with a friend at a pop-up bar called Less is More at Outside Lands. The pair used to drink hard liquor at concerts, but that was way, way back in their younger days. “We’re in our 30s now, we have to be careful,” Sewell said. Even the rock stars aren’t rolling like the wilder rockers of yore. “It’s a little passé,” said 31-year-old Nate Rath-burn, a DJ and record producer better known by his stage name Audien. “At some point, it’s as if, ‘Do I want longevity or party until I die?’” Music festivals are responding by offering more no-booze beverages. The Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits and Bonnaroo festivals provide nonalcoholic drinks at
every bar with names such Rambler, Waterloo and Liquid Death, according to C3 Presents, which represents them. Tennessee’s Bonnaroo has a sober camping area called SoberRoo.

The tame trend confounds more seasoned rockers. “I am an older Gen Xer and one of my younger Gen Z co-workers told me that they were invited to a weekend house party where they literally had no alcohol at all,” said David Slutes, 56, entertainment director for the Hotel Congress, a Tucson, Ariz., venue that hosts music acts. “This would have been alien to me.” Slutes said his hotel began noticing a decline in per cap-ita liquor consumption before the pandemic and it has accelerated since, most notably among younger concertgoers. “All of our indie shows, which is a large percentage of the shows we do, were the most conspicuously teetotaling,” Slutes said. “These are typically guests in their 20s. Alternately, our country, metal and older rock shows were down, but only slightly.” A 2020 study by Texas State University found that in 2018 about 30% of college-age adults between 18 and 22 had not had a single alcoholic drink in the previous year, compared with less than a quarter in 2002, according to federal data. “Generation Z and millennials perceive alcoholic consumption as less safe,” said Ty Schepis, a professor of psychology who led the study.

Meike Janssen, 22, said she never goes to concerts inebriated for that reason. “When ur drunk, things can go horrible (sic) wrong,” the 22-year-old said via text . “U could throw up, u could pass out and it’s totally possible the next day you forgot absolutely everything. That’s not what a concert is about.” Roxas Timmons has more practical reasons for abstaining. She likes to get as close to the stage as humanly possible, and knows alcohol might force her to step away. “I just don’t like having to find a restroom and then fight my way back,” said the 23-year-old from Daytona Beach, Fla. She also frowns on toking up at concerts. “Back in May, I went to see The Garden back to back, two days in a row,” Timmons said, referring to the rock band. “Day one, I smoked weed before and had a pretty underwhelming time. Day two, I went sober and I had an amazing time.”

Born to be mild

Omar Banos, a 25-year-old pop singer who goes by Cuco, said he hands out bottles of water when he performs and doesn’t drink himself, much to the relief of his manager, Eric Bindman. “No concerns about missed flights or trashing hotels,” said Bindman, also a teetotaler. Outside Lands for the first time this year included zero- or low-alcohol options at each of six bars in an outdoors zone called Cock-tail Magic. The first alcohol-free drink, Heineken Zero, was offered there just two years ago. There were even two liquor- free types of vino for the first time in the “Wine Lands” section of Outside Lands. “It’s a way to still feel like I’m partying with everyone else,” said 29 year-old Zach Young, The sober vibe can lead to some confusion, said Marsh Mokhtari, whose company Gray Whale Gin was selling old-fashioned liquor at Outside Lands. A Gen X friend of his recently bought five cans of Liquid Death for $5 each at a concert, thinking it was beer instead of water. “It was the craziest thing he’d ever seen,” Mokhtari recalled.

Good to see the “slow news day…better dredge up some minor personal inconvenience and ascribe it wholesale to the youngest adult-aged generation” continues apace. Glad that we as a society have learned nothing from when we did this to millennials…or x’ers…or boomers…etc.
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Shane MacGowan, Songwriter Who Fused Punk and Irish Rebellion, Is Dead at 65​

As frontman for the Pogues, he romanticized whiskey-soaked rambles and hard-luck stories of emigration, while providing a musical touchstone for members of the Irish diaspora.

By Matt Phillips
Nov. 30, 2023Updated 12:15 p.m. ET


Shane MacGowan, the brilliant but chaotic songwriter who as frontman for the Pogues reinvigorated interest in Irish music in the 1980s by harnessing it to the propulsive power of punk rock, died on Thursday. He was 65.
Mr. MacGowan’s wife, Victoria Mary Clarke, announced his death on Instagram but did not provide further details. Mr. MacGowan emerged from London’s punk scene in the late 1970s and spent nine tumultuous years with the initial incarnation of the Pogues. Rising from North London pubs, the band was performing in stadiums by the late 1980s, before Mr. MacGowan’s drug and alcohol problems and his mental and physical deterioration forced the band to fire him. He later founded Shane MacGowan & the Popes, with whom he recorded and toured in the 1990s.

Along the way, Mr. MacGowan earned twin reputations as a titanically destructive personality and a master songsmith whose lyrics painted vivid portraits of the underbelly of Irish immigrant life. His best-known are the opening lines of his biggest hit, an alcoholics’ lament turned unlikely Christmas classic entitled “Fairytale of New York”: “It was Christmas Eve babe/In the drunk tank/An old man said to me, won’t see another one.” “I was good at writing,” Mr. MacGowan told Richard Balls, who wrote his authorized biography, “A Furious Devotion” (2021). “I can write, I can spell, I can make it flow, and when I mixed it with music, it was perfect.”

Bruce Springsteen, Bono and others agreed with his self-assessment. But his boozy sketches of rakish immigrant life — delivered with a London punk sneer — initially provoked disgust from the public and the musical establishment in Ireland.

Shane Patrick Lysaght MacGowan was born on Christmas Day, 1957, in a hospital near the English town of Tunbridge Wells, Kent, to parents who had left Ireland just a few months earlier. His father, Maurice, a Dubliner, worked for a chain of clothing retailers. His mother, Therese, a former secretary and model, was from rural Tipperary. Mr. MacGowan spent his early years in the middle-class suburb of Tunbridge Wells, southeast of London, though the family regularly returned to Ireland for visits.
His parents had high expectations for their literary-minded son, who as a boy had read Joyce and Dostoyevsky. They sent him to prestigious fee-paying institutions rather than state schools. When the family moved to London, he earned a scholarship to the Westminster School, situated on the grounds of Westminster Abbey, which had educated several British prime ministers.

But Mr. MacGowan spent his summers far from this seat of the English establishment, staying for weeks at a time with relatives at the Commons, his mother’s family’s rustic homestead near Nenagh, in County Tipperary.
The house was a well-known local destination for marathon bouts of music, dancing and drinking. “On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the door was open all night, and it would be a place to go for a session,” Mr. MacGowan told Mr. Balls, his biographer. “I would be put upon the table from the earliest days I can remember and told to sing what songs I knew.” Mr. MacGowan would also claim it was in Tipperary where he first acquired his lifelong drinking habit. In “A Drink With Shane MacGowan,” the 2001 memoir he wrote with Ms. Clarke, he recalled that his uncle would bring him home two bottles of Guinness from a pub to drink each night starting when he was 5.

Back in London, Mr. MacGowan also began taking and selling drugs, resulting in his expulsion from the Westminster School and the first of what would be a series of addiction-driven personal crises. At 17, he was institutionalized for months; he spent his 18th birthday in London’s famous Bethlem psychiatric hospital, sometimes known as Bedlam.

After he was discharged, he was drawn into the emerging London punk scene. In 1976, the New Music Express, a music newspaper, featured his picture, ear trailing blood, under the blaring headline “Cannibalism at Clash Gig.” While he and a girl had been biting each other, Mr. MacGowan said, his ear had actually been cut by a bottle. The notoriety of that image helped establish his identity in punk circles, where he was known by the alias Shane O’Hooligan. The next year, he was fronting the Nipple Erectors (later shortened to the Nips).
But by the early 1980s the energy had largely drained from the punk movement, giving way to the synthesizers, eyeliner and bouffants of so-called New Romantic bands like Duran Duran and Adam and the Ants.

Punk refugees found themselves migrating into a growing world music scene in London, where British bands would try their hand at African, Latin American or Greek music. Tapping into Irish music seemed an obvious choice. Along with the tin whistle player Spider Stacy and the banjoist Jem Finder, both British, Mr. MacGowan formed a band called the New Republicans, the name an Irish political joke aimed at the dandified New Romantic scene. In 1982, the band re-emerged under the name Pogue Mahone, an Irish-language phrase meaning “kiss my ass” that was later shortened to the Pogues.

By 1984, their raucous live shows had earned the Pogues a loyal following. The band signed to the independent label Stiff Records, home of Elvis Costello, Madness and the Damned.

Mr. MacGowan, second from left, joined with Van Morrison (third from left), Elvis Costello (second from right), Bob Geldof (third from right) and other musicians in 1986 to announce plans for a benefit concert to focus attention on unemployment in Ireland.Credit...Associated Press The two albums the band recorded for Stiff showcased Mr. MacGowan’s gift for storytelling. His subject matter — from picaresque rambles to confessions of regret written from the perspective of someone far from home — marked him as an inheritor of a boisterous Irish tradition of irreverent poetry and song that developed in the 19th century — “songs of hard labor and hard living, of wandering and exile, resentment and loss,” Joseph Cleary, a professor of Irish literature at Yale, wrote in The Irish Times in 2018.
Mr. MacGowan’s song “Dark Streets of London” follows an immigrant’s life in London, from the initial exhilaration of freedom to poverty and homelessness: “And I’m buggered to damnation/And I haven’t got a penny/To wander the dark streets of London.”

By the late 1980s, the band was touring extensively, first in continental Europe and then worldwide, including along the heavily Irish American communities of the eastern United States, where it developed a following. In 1987, the Pogues were the opening act for U2 concerts, performing in massive venues like Wembley Stadium in London and Croke Park in Dublin. That November, the band reached the pinnacle of its commercial success with the release of “Fairytale of New York.” That song — co-written with Mr. Finer and featuring vocals by the English songwriter Kirsty MacColl — reached No. 2 on the British charts that year; it reliably appears on the charts every holiday season. The Pogues would keep up their energetic recording and touring pace for several more years, even though Mr. MacGowan had become addicted to heroin in addition to his longstanding alcohol problems. Shows were missed. He was repeatedly injured in falls and struck by moving vehicles. His bandmates ultimately decided to dismiss him before a concert in Yokohama, Japan, in August 1991.

But Mr. MacGowan, continued to write and record, issuing two albums with his group Shane MacGowan & the Popes that enjoyed modest critical and commercial success. He left the group in the late 1990s and performed sporadically with the reformed Pogues from 2001 to 2014, when the band again dissolved.

The Pogues in concert in Boston in 2007. Mr. MacGowan was fired from the band in 1991 but performed sporadically with a reformed version from 2001 to 2014.Credit...Erik Jacobs for The New York Times Mr. MacGowan remained an object of public interest in Britain and Ireland. In 2015, a documentary about the surgical replacement of his famously rotten teeth was shown on British television. That same year, however, he fractured his pelvis in a fall and never fully recovered. Mr. MacGowan never gave up alcohol, but his drinking and behavior mellowed. In 2018, he married Ms. Clarke, his longtime girlfriend. In addition to her, he is survived by his sister, Siobhan, and his father. His mother died in 2017.

In January 2018, Mr. MacGowan was feted for his 60th birthday with a tribute concert in Dublin that included Bono and Sinead O’Connor. During the event, President Michael D. Higgins of Ireland presented him with a lifetime achievement award. It was perhaps the culmination of Mr. MacGowan’s complex relationship with his ancestral home. The Pogues’ emergence had generated a backlash from musical traditionalists in Ireland. The great Irish singer Tommy Makem called the band “the greatest disaster ever to hit Irish music.”

But Mr. MacGowan’s lyrical talent ultimately won him admirers throughout Ireland, where he relocated with his wife after his time with the Pogues, and well beyond. Bruce Springsteen, in an appearance on Ireland’s “Late Late Show” in October 2020, called Mr. MacGowan “a master.” “I truly believe that a hundred years from now most of us will be forgotten,” Mr. Springsteen said. “But I do believe that Shane’s music is going to be remembered and sung.”
Derrick Bryson Taylor contributed reporting.

One awesome group!
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