HYPE ALERT

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Indy Lifestyle Online
In 1965 Variety ran an ad for a pilot sitcom which read "Madness! Running parts for four insane boys aged 17 to 21." More than 400 hopefuls auditioned, among them psychopath Charles Manson, but even he might have baulked at joining the ersatz "cult" band if he'd seen the costumes he'd have to wear. In the event, it was Davy Jones, Mike Nesmith, Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz who spent two years looking like the kind of thing you'd dangle from your windscreen mirror, before splitting up in 1967. Now, after the 30 years in the fashion recovery room, The Monkees (below left) are reforming to do their first tour since the Sixties. It starts in Newcastle on 7 March.

June's Meltdown festival at the South Bank shakes off its fusty image with a roster of performance artists and adult popsters. Laurie Anderson is bringing along a home made animatronic parrot (as a comment on her role as festival director, perhaps?), and performers include Ryuichi Sakamoto, Lou Reed and David Byrne.

The BBC launches a new record label this month to release the thousands of original and live recordings it has in its archives. Accumulated since 1967, the collection features artists such as the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd.

A number of "official" virgins are scheduled to gather at the Roman Catholic Cathedral in Plymouth in May. The number of committed virgins in Britain is estimated at 100 and the vow is not available to men.

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