’90s News: Geri vs. Mel B, Everclear, Live, Take That



It’s impossible to explain just how massive the Spice Girls were to someone who wasn’t sentient during the ’90s. While your One Directions and Justin Biebers rack up hundreds-of-millions of YouTube views, Twitter followers, and other stats that won’t make linguistic sense in thirty years’ time, in the mid-’90s – when ‘On Demand’ sounded like the name of a shitty punk band, and TV channels were on actual TVs – The Spice Girls seemingly burst out of nowhere and dominated: a whirlwind of strong, distinct personalties, furious feminism, cheeky sexuality, chip-shop accents – and that iconic British flag dress.

When Geri Halliwell unceremoniously quit in 1998, at their very peak, it seemed unfathomable; “who would leave The Spice Girls”, members of Atomic Kitten no doubt wondered. And while the infighting, gruelling schedules, creative differences, crushing fame, the dizzying pace at which it all accelerated, and the fact that Mel C was the only one who actually did anything  were all obvious enough at the time, the public at least assumed the band found out Geri was leaving before we did.

Not so, according to Mel B, who this week told Larry King that one day Geri decided in her heart of hearts that things weren’t sitting right professionally or personally for her, and so quite simply didn’t show up – on Mel’s birthday to boot!

“When Geri left the group, it was bad. She left on my birthday, and didn’t tell anybody… Just didn’t show up. We had the rest of the [massive, massive Spiceworld] tour; the American part of the tour […] We had a five-year plan that got shortened after three years.”

Still, with Mel B now enjoying a successful career as a judge on X Factor, it’s all water under the bridge, right?

“I still remind her of it. Like, I saw her a couple weeks ago and I said, ‘Do you remember when you left on my birthday.’”

And, while we’re on the subject of the most orange members (bear with me) of ’90s pop groups straight walking out…

Year zero for so, so many things…


Jason Orange is a name that anyone who frequently read pop bible Smash Hits will remember fondly, less for his otherwise-subtle contributions to seminal boy band Take That, and more because it’s ‘Jason Orange’. Well, those with a ‘Jason Orange’ Google alert will have no doubt heard the news that he has pulled a Robbie and left Take That, leaving Gary Barlow with lipstick marks still on his coffee cup yet again. His statement is on their website for you to print out, but the below video basically sums it up.

Take That will continue as a power trio, with a new record due out around Christmas time.

More Take That news next week (probably not though).


These days, Everclear are the same band that released three excellent albums throughout the ’90s in name only. (Don’t sleep on their ’93 debut World Of Noise: recorded for $400 and sounding like it, it’s a great, raw collection that might surprise those who found their radio singles too polished.)

Despite two thirds of the band leaving in 2003 after the conclusion of their Capitol deal, frontman and songwriter Art Alexakis has kept the band active over the past decade: releasing a bunch of records, touring the world, and even launching the Summerland nostalgia-fest tour – the guys are currently on the road with Spacehog and Soul Asylum which makes all kinds of awesome sense.

2014 will see the release of the band’s ninth studio album, which was completed in June – recorded and produced by Alexakis in a studio owned by the band Live because that also makes all kinds of awesome sense. There’s yet to be an official announcement or a release date set as the guys are too busy stealing the good dip from Dave Pirner’s rider at the moment, but an interview with Rock Cellar Magazine reveals this quote from Alexakis: “It’s probably the biggest guitar record we’ve ever made, especially since Sparkle & Fade and World of Noise.”

Exciting news, and speaking of Live…


Unless it is 1980, and you just hired Brian Johnston, the odds are stacked firmly against any band who attempts to replace their vocalist and whistle along merrily as if the reason for their success wasn’t due to the charismatic frontman driving things. Tim and Eric based an entire novelty band around footage which captured the awkward, desperate lack of chemistry the remaining members of The Doors shared post-Jim studio sessions. Also, J.D. Fortune.

Live’s frontman Ed Kowalczyk went rather Christian a few years ago, denouncing his former music despite it also being rather Christian and releasing the born-again record Alive. He started touring solo while using the name ‘Live’ in his promotional efforts, to which the remaining members sued him to the (earnest, earnest) tune of two million copper dollars.

The Ed-less Live has since rolled on, bringing in Chris Shimm from Unified Theory (which also featured members of Pearl Jam and Blind Melon – geez, this column writes itself) and recording new album, The Turn, which is due out October 28.

They are aiming for the fences too, bringing in producer Jerry Harrison who helmed their massive eight-million selling Throwing Copper – the only record to date to land the word ‘placenta’ on commercial radio.



Why, it’s just Jonny Greenwood from Radiohead and Nick Cave bumping into each other on the streets of NYC this week. That’s some quick-thinking camera work, too (and a caption that sounds like the opening line to a Lou Reed song).


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