Arts and Entertainment

One minute he was a humble punter trying to peek up Debbie Harry's skirt at a Hammersmith Odeon gig, the next he was the owner of the venue which was to steal the Odeon's crown. If Simon Parkes' autobiography – full of raucous tales and Geezer-speak – is ever made into a film, it will be fun trying to find an actor who can do him justice. When he wants to sound hard, he can sometimes come across like Ray Winstone. But would Ray Winstone ever have banked at Coutts?

Pop: Been a long time since they rock 'n' rolled

PAGE & PLANT WEMBLEY ARENA

When dinosaurs rocked the earth

First Night: Led Zeppelin Wembley Arena London

Pop: High revs, poor handling

BOB MOULD/ MERCURY REV THE FORUM LONDON

Music: Poisonous, exhibitionist fluff - and I love it

He has been compared to Prince but admires the confessional pop of Pulp. Rachid is one black R&B singer who won't be typecast.

Why this village loves its festival

For over 20 years Cropredy has embraced its rockers

Blondie legend swings back into vogue

DEBBIE HARRY, the face of the Seventies pop group Blondie, sang for a jazz band at the Barbican in London last night after confirming that her pop comeback plans were in full swing.

Arts: Sorry seems to be the hardest word

Sir Elton John and his manager John Reid have been friends for years and suffered their fair share of rows. So why have they split up for good?

Pop: Top 10

SINGLES

Film: Make sure you...

Carry on camping. The highlight of the 12th London Lesbian Gay and Film Festival will, of course, be our very own David Benedict who, with Amy Lame, will be dishing up an exploration of "Camp Cooking and Queer Cuisine". Once you've feasted on that, there are over 180 screenings of the best in gay and lesbian cinema, from a Mother's Day of films celebrating mater to rare 70s porn which, it says here, makes Boogie Nights look like Noddy. To 26 March, National Film Theatre, BFI on the South Bank, Waterloo, London SE1; Box Office 0171 928 3232 or visit www.llgff.co.uk

Music: What's love got to do with it Lisa?

I had considered making a quip to the effect that Lisa Loeb is the the exception to the rule about men, making passes, at women who wear glasses. It would not have gone down well.

Obituary: Rainer

Rainer Ptacek, guitarist, singer, songwriter: born East Berlin 7 June 1951; married Patti Keating (two sons, one daughter); died Tucson, Arizona 12 November 1997.

Gold loses its shine among young Tajiks

There are many mysteries in Tajikistan, though perhaps none greater than the national obsession with gold teeth. In Dushanbe, the capital of this desperately impoverished nation, they still glint at you from almost every mouth. In some instances, every single tooth has been replaced.

the real hard rock cafe

Cayte Williams on a man with a mission to give rockers back their favourite haunt

OBITUARY:Peter Grant

Peter Grant, the manager of Led Zeppelin, perhaps the most successful rock band of all time, was a towering personality whose dedication to Zeppelin helped make them Seventies superstars. Jimmy Page and Robert Plant were Zeppelin's front men; behind the scenes Peter Grant was their fearless protector. It was Grant who arranged their deal with Atlantic Records in 1968, then hailed as one of the biggest in industry history. He never interfered with their music, but was a "hands-on" manager who travelled the world with his charges to ensure their financial and physical well-being.

Rock: A punk for the Nineties

MICHAEL STIPE throttled his mic-stand, and tossed its lifeless body to the floor. He sat on the stage, lay on the stage, threw John Travolta disco poses, jumped onto monitors, and, for most of the time, jolted and twitched like a malfunctioning robot during that sequence in a science- fiction film when its head is about to explode.
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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker