Arts and Entertainment Dusty, Heard Them Here First

Various Artists, Ace: An entertaining and inspiring collection

Radio VIVA! 963AM The launch

Few men, if they're honest about it, understand women. So one of the great services that can be performed by Viva!, London's new station run by women for women, is to give men some idea of what's going on in women's minds. And the first day and a half of transmission has been an eye-opener.

Food and Drink: A la recherche du temps fondu: It's truly a dinner to forget. Sadly, Rosie Millard remembered

'Well, I always thought fondue sets were fun,' I said defensively to my friend Alison, with regard to my lovely new fondue set complete with sweet little forks bearing plastic multicoloured handles. 'A fondue set?' she shrieked. 'How couple-ish, how ghastly, how Seventies]'

Obituary: Major Lance

Major Lance, singer: born Chicago 4 April 1941; married (nine children); died Decatur, Georgia 29 August 1994.

ROCK / Thirty years on, and worth their wait in gold

'WE WERE in an elevator, me and Mick Jagger and Ringo Starr,' says Ronald, lead singer of the Isley Brothers. 'Ringo said, 'Can we make a record of your 'Twist and Shout'?' We said, 'Sure, as long as you do it like we do it, with the oohs.' '

Travel: Detroit: hitsville is just the pitsville

RUSSIA'S FOOTBALLERS must be cursing their luck. Honolulu and Las Vegas were among the glamorous but unsuccessful bidders wishing to stage World Cup matches. Even places with a modicum of soccer heritage, such as Tampa Bay, were turned down. So Russia (along with Romania, Sweden and Switzerland) has been consigned to Detroit, America's prototype for post-industrial devastation, probably the worst place in the United States for a football match - or anything else.

Letter: Significance of Kurt Cobain's death

Sir: There is something poignant in the untimely death by his own hand of Kurt Cobain, whose life was so excellently chronicled by Chris Salewicz's obituary (11 April). This unhappy event is not just another rock'n'roll tragedy. This young man blew out his own brains. He does not therefore automatically join the 'Too fast to live, too young to die' club of Joplin, Hendrix and Morrison (the 'stupid club', as Cobain's mother described them). No, Cobain teams up, instead, with the 'non-copers', those who found the pressures all too much, and pursued a self-destructive lifestyle that led to their early demise. I am thinking of such unhappy performers as Marvin Gaye, Little Willie John, Frankie Lymon, the Temptations' Paul Williams and David Ruffin, and the Supremes' Mary Wilson.

ROCK / The old Young again

THE New York Times once wrote of Paul Young: 'Of the many soul singers to emerge from the British pop scene in the last five years, no one captures the intense kinetic energy of a '60s soul revue with more brio.' That was in 1985. In 1994 there is a 'Where are they now?' feel about him, though he was in the Top 20 only last October, with 'Now I Know What Made Otis Blue'.

The ultimate career move?: Early deaths have given the music business a constant run of lucrative anniversaries. Next month it's Marvin Gaye's 10th. Next year it will be Jimi and Janis's 25th. Be prepared with our selective guide to the living dead

ROCK DEATHS seem so dated, so Seventies, now. The vultures may have circled when Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain collapsed in Italy a few weeks ago, but they went away hungry. The excitement generated by the rumour, however - some American radio stations rushed to announce his 'death' - emphasised just how rare this kind of scare has become. River Phoenix may have supplied his generation in Hollywood with their own James Dean, but most of today's big rock stars have planned their futures too wisely to consider overdosing in a plush hotel room as a smart career move. Dangerous excess is either a phase they've 'recovered' from (Eric Clapton) or one they've apparently never considered (Madonna: too healthy). And the survivors - Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, Keith Richards - seem to be getting the last laugh over the idea that premature death is the supreme myth-maker. Even middling rock stars, such as Aerosmith, can receive huge contracts (in 1991 they got dollars 25m to stay with Sony) and expanding sales well into middle age, thanks to the kind of global marketing Jim Morrison never had.

ARTS / Everything was a song: Curtis Mayfield's voice used to be one of the sweetest sounds in soul music. Three and a half years ago it fell silent, when Mayfield was paralysed. Now, as the stars pay tribute on an album of his songs, he gives a rare and candid interview

'THERE'S not really much to talk about,' Curtis Mayfield said. 'It happened, and it happened fast. I never even saw it coming.' And then, gathering momentum, he started to describe the events of a late-summer day in 1990.

COMEDY / Vic and Bob's mad, mad world

BOUGHT-IN seats bolted on to wooden floorboards give the Wolverhampton Civic Hall the festive formality of an impending school play. Tonight's entertainment, The Smell of Reeves & Mortimer, will certainly have a juvenile streak, but the commendable reluctance of its perpetrators to give themselves airs should not be allowed to obscure the seriousness of their achievements. It's no accident that this crowd feels less studenty than your average comedy assembly. Vic and Bob have built a uniquely democratic world of laughter, transcending social and economic divisions to appeal equally to all who live in thrall to showbusiness.

ROCK / Some of the little things he does are still magic

THE POLICE were on Thirty Years of Top of the Pops the week before last: skinny and nervous, jerking their way through the jittery reggae verses and rushing punk choruses of 'Roxanne'. Gaps kept appearing in the thin fabric of their late-Seventies sound, exciting and over-excited hesitations which Sting's current, super-competent band iron out of their version of the song at the Albert Hall. Drummer Vinnie Colaiuta crowds the bare guitar riff with splashes of cymbals; keyboardist David Sancious plays a solo half as long as the original song; Sting himself stretches its title into a call-and-response with the audience. And they're all smiling.

INTERVIEW / Cyndi: my life with Ken and Barbie: Quite against expectations, the new Cyndi Lauper album, Hat Full of Stars, turns its attention to domestic violence, back-street abortion and incest. Joseph Gallivan catches up with the girl who once just wanted to have fun

Clothed throughout the 1980s in wacky skirt and jacket combinations and sporting hair that changed colour more often than that uniquely infantile voice changed key, Cyndi Lauper might easily have been left in the pop music sub-directory marked 'Madonna Wannabes - Unwanted'. Less comely, less talented and less successful than the first lady of telegenic dance pop, Lauper the faint- hearted feminist would probably have been herstory a year from now, were it not for the reprieve she has created for herself in the shape of a new album, Hat Full of Stars. 'Cyndi Lauper is back. And this time, it's personal]' she exclaims and bursts out laughing.

BOOK REVIEW / No pop, still fizzy: 'Corona, Corona' - Michael Hofmann: Faber, 5.99

THE DEATH of the German writer Gert Hofmann this summer may seem to have deprived contemporary English poetry of one of its most productive enmities. The second half of his son Michael's brilliant collection of poems Acrimony (1986), dedicated 'For my Father and Mother', consisted solely of poems of hate for the incommunicative monster with 'anal pleats' beneath his eyes - an honest, vulnerable, unmalicious hatred, laid out with skewering precision. But the complete success of this sequence exhausted its source, and the long interval between Acrimony and its successor suggests that Michael Hofmann has already had to retrain himself to raise new poems without the presiding ogre of the old.

PolyGram stakes future on golden oldies: Larry Black looks at the legendary label started by Berry Gordy in a dollars 700 studio

THE SALE of Motown, arguably the most successful black business enterprise of all time, marks the end of an era in pop music.

Then and Now: Label swapping

1963: Berry Gordy's new Motown record label has established itself with a string of black dance hits. The company would launch Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross and the Supremes and Stevie Wonder.
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

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Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment