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Alannah Myles updates 'Black Velvet'

By Cassandra Szklarski, THE CANADIAN PRESS

e041740A.jpg

Singer Alannah Myles at home in her condominium overlooking Lake Ontario in Toronto, Wednesday, April 16, 2008. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ashley Hutcheson

It's been nearly two decades since Alannah Myles exploded onto the charts with her sultry hit, "Black Velvet," a global blockbuster that catapulted her to fame while sending her down a long road of legal battles and financial woes.

But through all her well-publicized struggles, it was the emotional toll that's weighed the heaviest, Myles says in a candid interview as she attempts a career comeback anchored by a reworked version of her biggest song.

"It was a corrupt industry and I rue the day that I signed that contract with (former record label) Atlantic," says Myles, her trademark dark curls now streaked with grey and pulled back from her face.

"And yet, if it wasn't for Atlantic I wouldn't have a 'Black Velvet' and I wouldn't be known in every country in the world."

Myles (who won't give her age) says it was naivete and inexperience that saw her essentially sign away the rights to her Grammy-winning 1989 self-titled debut.

Terms of the record deal kept her from re-recording her trademark song for 12 years, but once that time expired in 2003, she pounced, Myles says.

"I looked at my clock and said: 'It's 12 years and 15 minutes. Time to re-cut 'Black Velvet'!" she chuckles.

Five years later, she's ready to release it again on her first album in eight years, financed entirely by herself and released through indie label Linus Entertainment.

Myles says she did three different versions of "Black Velvet," mindful of tinkering with a Canadian classic revered by fans. She settled on a brighter take than the original.

"I really wanted to do something very contemporary, very sophisticated," she explains between sips of coffee in the living room of her sun-drenched lakeside condo.

"I really wanted to change the original without offending the track. It's such a great song. I wanted to slow it down because the record company sped it up because it was too long and I was really upset about that."

More re-workings of past hits could follow, she added.

"'Lover of Mine' was never a hit in America, I'd like to re-cut that," she says, barefoot and casual in a brightly coloured peasant-style dress and leather blazer.

"I'd love Celine Dion to re-cut it. God, she'd sing the crap out of it."

Earlier this month, Myles says she finally received her first royalty cheque from those early days - $1,900 US. It was the first time she had seen a penny from blockbuster albums that she says earned millions for everyone but her, since she had to pay back millions of dollars in advances doled out to launch her career in the late '80s.

Getting by without those cheques wasn't easy, says Myles, who doesn't own, but rents her condo.

"Somehow or other I just had to be really, really frugal. There were times when I didn't know how I was going to pay the rent," says Myles, whose place is decorated with an eclectic mix of wood furniture, equestrian memorabilia and photos of Myles - many taken at the height of her fame.

"I would take jobs doing recordings that would be released in Japan that no one would ever hear. They were silly but they paid me the money to stay alive."

Other odd jobs included a stint hosting the paranormal TV series, "Beyond," on Space in 2006 and singing for a film about Mario Lanza that never made it to air. Touring overseas has helped cover the rest.

But it was an out-of-court settlement in a libel suit against the National Post that really helped her fund the new recording, she says. Myles sued the newspaper for $9 million for defamation, over an article in 1998. The two sides settled the matter just before the case was to have gone to trial in 2001.

While she could not disclose the terms of the deal, Myles said the money allowed her to return to recording, on her own terms.

"I can't change the facts. I can only change me," says Myles, who estimates she invested $500,000 in the new disc, which features slide guitar by the late Jeff Healey on one track.

"And I tell you, the time it took was so necessary to change me. Otherwise you were going to be somebody who was right angry. And there's nothing more ugly than seeing someone - male or female - someone come out with all that success, who's fighting mad over money."

"Black Velvet" is the culmination of years of self-examination and a renewed sense of self-worth that had been battered by bad record deals, she says.

"The one thing I need to learn is to not to live in the past, because it'll drag you down with it, and not to live in the future because you can't rely on it. I've had to learn to live in the present."

-

On the Net:

www.alannahmyles.com

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Thanks Pagemeister. I'm glad she's back and I think she looks great. She needed Peter Grant as her manager

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Alannah Myles updates 'Black Velvet'

By Cassandra Szklarski, THE CANADIAN PRESS

e041740A.jpg

Singer Alannah Myles at home in her condominium overlooking Lake Ontario in Toronto, Wednesday, April 16, 2008. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ashley Hutcheson

It's been nearly two decades since Alannah Myles exploded onto the charts with her sultry hit, "Black Velvet," a global blockbuster that catapulted her to fame while sending her down a long road of legal battles and financial woes.

But through all her well-publicized struggles, it was the emotional toll that's weighed the heaviest, Myles says in a candid interview as she attempts a career comeback anchored by a reworked version of her biggest song.

"It was a corrupt industry and I rue the day that I signed that contract with (former record label) Atlantic," says Myles, her trademark dark curls now streaked with grey and pulled back from her face.

"And yet, if it wasn't for Atlantic I wouldn't have a 'Black Velvet' and I wouldn't be known in every country in the world."

Myles (who won't give her age) says it was naivete and inexperience that saw her essentially sign away the rights to her Grammy-winning 1989 self-titled debut.

Terms of the record deal kept her from re-recording her trademark song for 12 years, but once that time expired in 2003, she pounced, Myles says.

"I looked at my clock and said: 'It's 12 years and 15 minutes. Time to re-cut 'Black Velvet'!" she chuckles.

Five years later, she's ready to release it again on her first album in eight years, financed entirely by herself and released through indie label Linus Entertainment.

Myles says she did three different versions of "Black Velvet," mindful of tinkering with a Canadian classic revered by fans. She settled on a brighter take than the original.

"I really wanted to do something very contemporary, very sophisticated," she explains between sips of coffee in the living room of her sun-drenched lakeside condo.

"I really wanted to change the original without offending the track. It's such a great song. I wanted to slow it down because the record company sped it up because it was too long and I was really upset about that."

More re-workings of past hits could follow, she added.

"'Lover of Mine' was never a hit in America, I'd like to re-cut that," she says, barefoot and casual in a brightly coloured peasant-style dress and leather blazer.

"I'd love Celine Dion to re-cut it. God, she'd sing the crap out of it."

Earlier this month, Myles says she finally received her first royalty cheque from those early days - $1,900 US. It was the first time she had seen a penny from blockbuster albums that she says earned millions for everyone but her, since she had to pay back millions of dollars in advances doled out to launch her career in the late '80s.

Getting by without those cheques wasn't easy, says Myles, who doesn't own, but rents her condo.

"Somehow or other I just had to be really, really frugal. There were times when I didn't know how I was going to pay the rent," says Myles, whose place is decorated with an eclectic mix of wood furniture, equestrian memorabilia and photos of Myles - many taken at the height of her fame.

"I would take jobs doing recordings that would be released in Japan that no one would ever hear. They were silly but they paid me the money to stay alive."

Other odd jobs included a stint hosting the paranormal TV series, "Beyond," on Space in 2006 and singing for a film about Mario Lanza that never made it to air. Touring overseas has helped cover the rest.

But it was an out-of-court settlement in a libel suit against the National Post that really helped her fund the new recording, she says. Myles sued the newspaper for $9 million for defamation, over an article in 1998. The two sides settled the matter just before the case was to have gone to trial in 2001.

While she could not disclose the terms of the deal, Myles said the money allowed her to return to recording, on her own terms.

"I can't change the facts. I can only change me," says Myles, who estimates she invested $500,000 in the new disc, which features slide guitar by the late Jeff Healey on one track.

"And I tell you, the time it took was so necessary to change me. Otherwise you were going to be somebody who was right angry. And there's nothing more ugly than seeing someone - male or female - someone come out with all that success, who's fighting mad over money."

"Black Velvet" is the culmination of years of self-examination and a renewed sense of self-worth that had been battered by bad record deals, she says.

"The one thing I need to learn is to not to live in the past, because it'll drag you down with it, and not to live in the future because you can't rely on it. I've had to learn to live in the present."

-

On the Net:

www.alannahmyles.com

She says she is not living in the past and yet she wants to remake her past songs. :blink: That is a sure sign she is creatively spent.

She lives in Toronto and i saw her once walking and no one gave her a second look. I doubt most people barely remember her.

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hi:

Alannah is classy and hot...but please do not ask Celine to sing LOVER OF MINE...

I would prefer she ask Avril Lavigne, Alannis Morissette, Feist or Gretchen Wilson to sing one of her tunes...

After seeing/hearing the video for Celine's tune Taking Chances, I need a break from her high-pitched notes and bizarre videos...

Juliet

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I checked and it turns out she is 50 years old.

Life begins at 50 B)

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Here's a silly email my good friend from Moosejaw, SK sent me:

25 Signs Showing You Might Be Canadian

1. You're not offended by the term 'HOMO MILK'.

2. You understand the phrase 'Could you pass me a serviette, I just dropped my poutine, on the chesterfield.'

3. You eat chocolate bars, not candy bars.

4. You drink Pop, not Soda.

5. You know that a Mickey and 24's mean, 'party at the camp, eh!!!'

6. You don't care about the fuss with Cuba. It's a cheap place to go for your holidays, with good cigars.

7. You know that a pike is a type of fish, not part of a highway.

8. You drive on a highway, not a freeway.

9. You have Canadian Tire money in your kitchen drawers.

10. You know that Casey and Finnegan were not part of a Celtic musical group.

11. You get excited whenever an American television show mentions Canada.

12. You brag to Americans that; Shania Twain, Jim Carrey, Celine Dion & Mike Myers are Canadians.

13. You know that the C.E.O. of American Airlines is a Canadian!

14. You know what a toque is.

15. You design your Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.

16. You know that the last letter of the English alphabet is always pronounced 'Zed'.

17. Your local newspaper covers the national news on 2 pages, but requires 6 pages for hockey.

18. You know that the four seasons mean: almost winter, winter, still winter, and road work.

19. You know that when it's 25 degrees outside, it's a warm day.

20. You understand the Labatt Blue commercials.

21. You know how to pronounce and spell 'Saskatchewan'.

22. You perk up when you hear the theme song from 'Hockey Night in Canada'.

23. You are in grade 12, not the 12th grade.

24. 'Eh?' is a very important part of your vocabulary, and is more polite than, 'Huh?'

25. You actually understand these jokes, and forward them to all of your Canadian friends!

(Then you send them to your American friends just to confuse them!)

O yes and if you are wondering where the expression 'eh' originates, it's simple

spell Canada :

C eh N eh D eh

see no secret to it EH

You're CLASSIC!! Love Canada and Hockey even MORE!!!!

GO FLYERS!!!!!

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Greetings to Western Canada Zep fans:

I hope the snow goes quickly..yes everyone...there's snow in Western Canada and lots of it..

I've been watching the weather reports and stories on all major networks and the weather network...

I was saddened to hear a farmer in Alberta lost some newborn calves...

TAKE CARE ALL

Juliet xo

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Greetings to Western Canada Zep fans:

I hope the snow goes quickly..yes everyone...there's snow in Western Canada and lots of it..

I've been watching the weather reports and stories on all major networks and the weather network...

I was saddened to hear a farmer in Alberta lost some newborn calves...

TAKE CARE ALL

Juliet xo

Bizarre weather we're having. I can't speak for Alberta but snow on the west coast in the middle of April is unheard of. It was sunny testerday but cold for this time of year

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The audio is from Jeff`s new record " Mess of Blues" and has been synced to Bob`s video footage of the same concert and the results are what you see.

healey-obit-cp-4450265.jpg

jeff-hands.jpg

Hi:

I bought Jeff's CD Mess of Blues...

It's very good...tunes include I'm Torn Down, How Blue Can You Get and Shake, Rattle and Roll. He also has included the Hank Williams' tune Jambalaya. He shares the singing duties with other bandmates; Dave Murphy and Alec Fraser...

I hope many go to the tributes on May 2 and 3...

Juliet

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Re: TTC strike

I'm so sick and tired of all involved with the TTC. Bottom line it's the commuters that suffer. If there is no money they should stop expanding and try to fix the existing problems. Those with Metro Passes are not compensated for the days the TTC is on strike...even though they paid $109.00 for it. What a freaking joke.

They refuse the deal proposed cause it didn't suit their needs...even though they are the highest paid in the province. Another complaint I have is that some of the staff and drivers are the rudest people I've ever met. So if they want me to sympathize with them they are going to have to adjust their attitude. Not to mention service is still shitty. I'm so pissed off! :rant:

Edited by the queen without a king

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Hi Q:

I hear ya...loud and clear...

When I heard about the strike...I felt bad for people stranded on Friday night...

I heard on the news today that the Premier wants everybody to greet the TTC drivers with a smile today and not be abusive to them for what they pulled on Friday night...WTF...

If I did a similar thing in my workplace....I'd probably be fired...

HOPE THIS WEEK GOES BETTER FOR YA, Q ....

Juliet :wave:

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I know someone who is a subway driver and he didn't want to strike. He wasn't thrilled with the deal but he didn't want to strike. So i can't blame all the drivers or employees. Because not all of them wanted to do it.

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I know someone who is a subway driver and he didn't want to strike. He wasn't thrilled with the deal but he didn't want to strike. So i can't blame all the drivers or employees. Because not all of them wanted to do it.

More often than not, they're union executive talks them into it. They go along because they don't want to comprimise they're barganing position by looking weak. Mc Guinty did them a favour by legislating them back to work. Now they have to allow an arbitrator to come up with a solution.

I'm guessing money (hourly rate ) had little to do with this dispute. I think it's more about schedules and working conditions which go hand in hand

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Hi Q:

I hear ya...loud and clear...

When I heard about the strike...I felt bad for people stranded on Friday night...

I heard on the news today that the Premier wants everybody to greet the TTC drivers with a smile today and not be abusive to them for what they pulled on Friday night...WTF...

If I did a similar thing in my workplace....I'd probably be fired...

HOPE THIS WEEK GOES BETTER FOR YA, Q ....

Juliet :wave:

Hey Juliet :)

Luckily all Torontonians can breathe a little easier now and they announced they would reimburse metro pass holders. They said the reason they went on the strike so suddenly was because if they gave notice they were afraid the public would take out their anger on the drivers. Yeah right, like people wouldn't be angry after an impromptu strike that shut the city down for the whole week-end. What a bunch of turds.

Not to mention all the stations that were vandalized...I can't say I agree with the vandals but I understand their frustration. One person spray painted "If you want to make $30.00/hour, go to university" in one of the stations.

Hope they solve this TTC problem once and for all by making it an essential service. We'll see what happens...

Edited by the queen without a king

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Hey Juliet :)

Luckily all Torontonians can breathe a little easier now and they announced they would reimburse metro pass holders. They said the reason they went on the strike so suddenly was because if they gave notice they were afraid the public would take out their anger on the drivers. Yeah right, like people wouldn't be angry after an impromptu strike that shut the city down for the whole week-end. What a bunch of turds.

Not to mention all the stations that were vandalized...I can't say I agree with the vandals but I understand their frustration. One person spray painted "If you want to make $30.00/hour, go to university" in one of the stations.

Hope they solve this TTC problem once and for all by making it an essential service. We'll see what happens...

I don't agree that the drivers should be getting assulted and spat on because TTC can't get it's act together. (Schedules ) my guess is that most people here would be more than happy to withdraw they're own services if that was a constant threat. BTW, it's a good bet that most of those drivers have got some education. What's a university degree got to do with driving and dealing with the public anyway's ? Some of the most successful people I've met in my life were lucky to finish High Shool let alone go to College.

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I don't agree that the drivers should be getting assulted and spat on because TTC can't get it's act together. (Schedules ) my guess is that most people here would be more than happy to withdraw they're own services if that was a constant threat. BTW, it's a good bet that most of those drivers have got some education. What's a university degree got to do with driving and dealing with the public anyway's ? Some of the most successful people I've met in my life were lucky to finish High Shool let alone go to College.

I don't agree with spitting/hitting drivers either (although I think some need an attitude adjustment because they are rude and not very helpful) The drivers of the buses and streetcars have the toughest jobs because they deal with the most abuse. At least the subway drivers have a closed off area with a door that locks.

I think the person with the university comment meant that some TTC employees make too much money. I agree with this in part. I don't think it's fair that drivers and booth collectors should be making the same amount of money. One faces daily verbal and physical assault with no protection whatsoever while the other sits safely behind a bulletproof glass booth collecting fares and selling tickets. Those guys don't deserve all that money for a job a trained chimp could probably do.

Do I think the TTC workers should be paid according to the level of difficulty of their job? Absolutely. Will it ever happen? Never. Am I sick and tired of a strike or threat of a strike every year? Heck yes.

Toronto has got to solve this problem. And if making it an essential service is what it takes lets do it and get it over with once and for all. In the end, it's the citizens who will have to pay for this too.

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I don't agree with spitting/hitting drivers either (although I think some need an attitude adjustment because they are rude and not very helpful) The drivers of the buses and streetcars have the toughest jobs because they deal with the most abuse. At least the subway drivers have a closed off area with a door that locks.

I think the person with the university comment meant that some TTC employees make too much money. I agree with this in part. I don't think it's fair that drivers and booth collectors should be making the same amount of money. One faces daily verbal and physical assault with no protection whatsoever while the other sits safely behind a bulletproof glass booth collecting fares and selling tickets. Those guys don't deserve all that money for a job a trained chimp could probably do.

Do I think the TTC workers should be paid according to the level of difficulty of their job? Absolutely. Will it ever happen? Never. Am I sick and tired of a strike or threat of a strike every year? Heck yes.

Toronto has got to solve this problem. And if making it an essential service is what it takes lets do it and get it over with once and for all. In the end, it's the citizens who will have to pay for this too.

Longer term contracts would help along with some real cooperation in making the system better. Essential Service legislation is usually just an excuse for both party's not to bargain, Not a positive way to reach an agreement. The public does however have the right to know that the system is not going to stop on a moments notice, That can be achieved with open, fair collective bargainning. Goals have to be set and that is where the provincial gov. can assist. They should be realistic about what the real costs of public transportation are and plan longer term. If everyone is on the same page with real costs, then bargainning a fair agreement should be possible and strikes could easily be averted

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Last week it was snow in the West

This week it's flooding in the East...

Hang in there New Brunswick.....

Juliet :wave:

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triumph85norva.jpg

Triumph 1985 norfolk Va

hearttoronto90.jpg

Heart Toronto CN 90

17may86vanhalen5150tourhamptonbto.jpg

BTO opened this one for Van Halen 1986 hampton VA

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Chad Kroeger...NICLEKBACK.....

I imagine he's not a happy guy right now...

He was charged with twice the legal limit of booze in him...

He lost his licence for a year and has to pay a fine...

I need my car for work..so if I lost my licence I'd lose my job...I also live in rural Ontario with no town bus or VIA train service...THE GREY HOUND Bus comes through here once a month if that....sp there's no f'****g way I drink and drive....

I took a cab last time I went out and the a**ho*e driving gave me the creeps....but I still will never drink and drive to the local pub...it's not worth it......

GROW UP CHAD....

Juliet

PS I don't mean to be harsh but as my dad always said you have to be cruel to be kind..

PSS YOU HAVE HEARD IT BEFORE BUT HERE IT IS ONE MORE TIME....DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE CANADA....

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triumphwarehouseNola78withflint.jpg

Triumph and Flint at the Warehouse New Orleans LA 1978 Flint is all the mambers of Grand Funk Railroad except Mark Farner

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Thanks...

General Admission....those days are gone....

The price- $4.99.......we'll never see those prices again,eh?...

I like gigs that are free....you see them now and again when the community is involved and there are lots of sponsors..

One that comes to mind is The Huron County Folk Festival in London Canada...I think The Sunfest in London is free also...

Rik Emmett of Triumph works occasionally with Orchestra London...a multi-talented guy

Juliet

Edited by Juliet

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