Hear And Now
NOT EASY BEING GREENE NARAS president Mike Greene has struggled to make the Grammys hipper — helping nudge Radiohead and Beck into nominee slots — but how hip are Greene’s own tastes? Recently, clues emerged when the Los Angeles Times’ website excerpted six songs from a Greene solo album, produced by NARAS chairman Phil Ramone and set for release on Mercury Records this year. The industry scarcely had time to fathom the implied cronyism when Greene ”voluntarily withdrew” the album amid conflicting reports of whether there was a formal agreement in the first place. Mercury says ”no money changed hands” and that talks were still under way when Greene pulled out. Greene’s spokesperson, though, says the album was only delayed for a few months. Many figure the controversial Grammy guy (caught up in battles with New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and the Times, whose unflattering profile of Greene raised difficult financial questions) may not have been prepared for any additional scorn his audio clips aroused in tastemaker circles he’s trying to bring in. Tracks like ”New Mojo” and ”Gangster Samurai” suggest that Greene is nothing if not an admirer of Toto, the big Grammy winners of…1983. — Chris Willman
THE ROSE, PART 2? If he’s not too busy working on Guns N’ Roses’ terminally delayed next album, Axl Rose might want to wander over to the L.A. club Largo. That’s where ex-Wall of Voodoo singer Andy Prieboy has been showcasing songs for a work in progress called White Trash Wins Lotto, a satirical musical loosely based on a Rose-like character’s misadventures in the rock world. Prieboy calls the musical — which might be described as Gilbert and Sullivan meet Spinal Tap — ”very mean-spirited, very cruel, and very dark.” Song titles include ”At the Throne of the Lizard King” and ”Heavy Metal Stripper Chicks.” Says Prieboy: ”It started out as a party joke. But I’ve already been approached by several filmmakers who want to turn it into a movie. It looks like it’s going to happen.” No word yet on what Rose thinks of the project, but we’re taking bets the film beats the new GN’R album to the marketplace.