We know, we know. Outside of the Presidential election, perhaps the most historic thing 2008 is going to be remembered for is that its ending couldn't come fast enough for most people--especially anyone who actually had to work for a living (no, Heather Mills, going to divorce court doesn't count).
So, before the ball drops at midnight on December 31 and we can finally put '08 out of its well-earned misery, let's pause to reflect on some of the more memorable music-related moments from the last year, with Stop The Presses' stories of the year for 2008.
JANUARY: At the request of her mother, Dr. Phil goes to see Britney Spears at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in L.A., then is accused of breaking their trust by blabbing to the media about it.
FEBRUARY: While her drug-related woes prevent her from getting a visa so she can attend the ceremonies in L.A. in person,
MARCH: Before Madonna's entrance into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Justin Timberlake takes up most of his speech inducting her detailing how she'd recently helped him get over the flu while they were in the studio recording together: She ordered him to drop his pants, and then pulled a loaded hypodermic needle out of her purse and proceeded to inject him in the buttocks…with vitamin B-12!
APRIL: Teen queen Miley Cyrus gets her first taste of controversy because of a "revealing" (as in semi-disrobed) Vanity Fair photoshoot with legendary shutterbug Annie Leibowitz, which the 15-year-old teen queen quickly disowns as not being as "artistic" as she'd been assured it would be. Meanwhile, Bob Dylan receives a Pulitzer Prize for his "profound impact on popular music and American culture," marking the first time that any rock-related artist has been so honored. This event doesn't get five percent of the media coverage of the Cyrus dustup. There's a lesson in there somewhere.
JUNE: Rock 'n' roll pioneer Bo Diddley passes away at age 79. Without him, his square-shaped guitar, and his patented bomp-bomp-bomp, bomp-bomp "Bo Diddley beat," there'd be no "Not Fade Away" by Buddy Holly, no "His Latest Flame" by Elvis Presley, no "I Want Candy" by the Strangeloves (or Bow Wow Wow), no "1969" by the Stooges, no "She's The One" by Bruce Springsteen, no "Desire" by U2--
JULY: From Bill Clinton's saxophone belches to Mike Huckabee's aborted bass lines, it's pretty clear that when it comes to music, politicians should just play the radio--and nothing else. Then again, the poorly received songs that Big & Rich's John Rich and Ludacris respectively unveil in support of Presidential candidates John McCain ("Raising McCain") and Barack Obama ("Obama Is Here") don't do much for the rep of musicians playing politics, either.
AUGUST: Did they or didn't they? L'Oreal denies lightening the Bootylicious Beyonce's skin tone in pics for a new hair color ad campaign. Not quite the same as TV Guide getting busted for putting Ann-Margret's body underneath Oprah Winfrey's head a few years ago, but still enough to raise many a plucked eyebrow.
SEPTEMBER: A South Carolina plane crash kills four people and leaves Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker and celeb turntablist Adam Goldstein (DJ AM) severely injured. While they will recover, the here-and-gone realities of life are underscored with several more music-related illness-caused passings:
OCTOBER: Dreamgirl's nightmare: Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson's mother and brother are found shot to death in Hudson's mother's home in Chicago. Four days later, her 7-year-old nephew, missing from the home since the shootings, is also found gunned down in a car parked elsewhere in town. The suspect, who will later be arrested and charged, is the estranged husband of Hudson's sister.
NOVEMBER: Fresh off the success of her number one hit "Womanizer," Britney Spears celebrates her 27th B-day by declaring herself "old and boring." As she tells Rolling Stone: "I go to bed at, like, 9:30 every night, and I don't go out or anything, you know what I mean?" Considering she's had a year free of head-shaving and pantyless bar-hopping, can't really argue with her definition of boring.
DECEMBER: Michael Jackson's famed glove goes on the auction block, along with several thousand other pieces of Jacko "memorabilia" (insert your favorite bad thoughts here). AC/DC hit the top ten. Kiss announce they'll be recording a new CD. As they say, everything old is new again. Which reminds us: You Guns N' Roses fans over at Dr. Pepper--where's our free can of soda?
Let's hold him to that one, OK?
- Britney Spears