Record Label Accuses Airline Of Ripping Off Britney, JT And Other Artists

Some of the nation’s top singers and musicians are losing out on royalties because airlines are playing their songs without coughing up adequate payment-that’s what Sony Music is claiming in its lawsuit against United Airlines. The record label says the carrier has been playing music by Michael Jackson, Carrie Underwood, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, among others, in breach of copyright.

While it’s standard practice for airlines to make music available to passengers through the inflight entertainment system, Sony is complaining that United is breaching copyright by duplicating sound recordings and music videos and then uploading these illegal copies to servers on its planes.But it’s not just newer music that’s causing a stir. Sony says it isn’t happy that airlines are playing older music by artists like Jimi Hendrix and Aretha Franklin. Copyright laws surrounding music created before the 1970s are a bit hazy, but the record label is going after the airline for that too. Sony wants to stop all the music and is seeking damages from United.

The Historic Homes Where Jimi Hendrix And George Frideric Handel Were Neighbors (250 Years Apart)

When walking in London, keep an eye out for the Blue Plaques. These historic markers will tell you where famous people once lived, and occasionally make for strange combinations.

One blue plaque at 23 Brook Street in the exclusive Mayfair neighborhood tells how Jimi Hendrix lived there from 1968-1969. Next door at number 25 is another Blue Plaque, this time for Classical composer George Frideric Handel, who lived in the house from 1723 until his death in 1759. Sadly, there’s no record of what Jimi thought about living so close to an earlier and slightly different composer.

The upper stories of these two homes are now the Handel House Museum, which, as the name implies, is dedicated to Handel and not Hendrix. The house has been refurnished with period furniture and paintings and contains a collection of Handel’s personal items. The museum hosts many special events and concerts throughout the year, including weekly recitals. My wife is a big Classical music fan and taking her here to listen to a string quartet is something she still talks about years later.

One disappointment was not being able to see where Jimi Hendrix stayed. He loved London and loved his place, calling it his first real home of his own. At that time he had no neighbors and so he could practice his music as loudly as he wanted.

When the Handel House Museum opened in 2001, his apartment was restored to look like it had when he lived there, minus the large amount of drugs scattered about. Sadly, the apartment is now used as museum’s administrative offices and isn’t generally shown to the public.

[Photo courtesy David Holt]

Hotel death undiscovered for two weeks: do not disturb

Be careful when you hang that “Do Not Disturb” sign from your hotel room doorknob. It may take people forever to find you. This is exactly what happened to Kieran Toman at the Hyde Park Towers Hotel just north of London. On July 9, 2010, he left that instruction on his door.

Unfortunately, the 39-year-old starved to death after doing so. His body, described by The Daily Mail as being in “an ’emaciated’ state,” wasn’t found until July 23, 2010. The staff was instructed not to enter without his permission, but the awful smell caused a maid to check out the cause.

Toman had booked a five-month stay at the spot, once home to Jimi Hendrix, but after those first two weeks, the remainder of his reservation was moot.

[Via Business Insider, photo by R.B. Boyer via Flickr]

London’s Cumberland Hotel unveils Jimi Hendrix-themed suite

Paying homage to one of the greatest musicians of all time, London’s Cumberland Hotel is unveiling its new Jimi Hendrix-themed suite, complete with swinging mirrors and a purple haze.

The hotel, where Hendrix is said to have given his last ever interview, created a suite worthy of a rock legend, complete with a giant bed adorned with velvet cushions and zebra throws. The suite is being unveiled on Sept. 18, the day Hendrix died 40 years ago. An hour-long recording session of Hendrix talking to his music writer friend Keith Altham can be played on the iPod docked in the suite. “Everybody should have a room where they get rid of all their releases. My room was a stage,” Hendrix said in the interview.

Among the typical amenities and decor, guests can marvel at the Hendrix-inspired Flying V guitar that hangs on the wall alongside framed copies of NME articles. For a truly memorable trip, you’ll notice a rainbow that swirls across the ceiling past a cascading light in the form of a human figure. A mirror swings towards the bed, showcasing the crimson carpet, orange curtains and, of course, a haze of purple.

The Hendrix Suite at London’s Cumberland hotel costs 399 pounds a night (approximately $612 USD) for two people, which includes a bottle of Hendrix’s favourite Smokehead scotch and breakfast.