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Russell Crow

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I'm walking from Winchester to Shoreham! [Sep. 10th, 2009|12:24 pm]
Russell Crow
[Tags|, , , , ]
[mood |determined]

I'm going to publicise this everywhere I can, so apologies if you've already seen this on Facebook or Twitter. Anyway, me and my doggy (Sansa) are going to walk all the way from Winchester (where I grew up) to Shoreham-by-Sea (where I live now), along the South Downs Way.

We're doing this in aid of the RSPB, and if you're feeling generous you can sponsor us here. In the meantime, here's a photo of me and Sansa on Mill Hill that my wife took yesterday!

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Separated at Birth? [Jun. 29th, 2008|12:51 pm]
Russell Crow
[mood |confusedconfused]

Regular readers of the hit-and-miss satirical rag Private Eye will know that the Letters page usually features a comedy picture of Andrew Neil, as well as a Separated at Birth section, where a celebrity is likened to someone or something ridiculous with a slight resemblance. Every now and then you get a freaky lookalike where you really could ask if the two were separated at birth, such as this disturbing picture of evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins and Harry Potter actress Emma Watson:



However, I got a text message from emma_emily last night saying that she was watching Bill Bailey, and never realised how much he looked like me. Now, I’ve been thinking about this one today, and there are some resemblances. Well, actually, there’s one, and that’s that I’ve got a beard, but then so has Brian Blessed and no one ever says I’m a dead ringer for Vultan in Flash Gordon. That seems to be where it ends, though, unless I’m missing something.

Anyway, here’s a picture – I invite you to play ‘Spot the Difference’ with these two apparent doppelgangers:

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I need a concept for a concept album [Jun. 23rd, 2008|06:23 pm]
Russell Crow
[music |Bolt Thrower - Spearhead]

After listening to a lot of prog rock late last night, I came to a few conclusions. One was that I really love old synthesizers and want my Roland HS-60 back. Another was that Roger Waters may be very clever, but he’s still a dick. Then, and more importantly, another was that I should really try to do something like this again.

If you’ve only known me for a short while then you probably don’t know that I misguidedly once fancied myself as prog metal’s answer to Trent Reznor. Back in the 1990s I did a couple of solo recording projects. One was a really badly produced concept album based on Mervyn Peake’s ‘The Rhyme of the Flying Bomb,’ which I recorded on a 4-track in my bedroom when I was 16, and somehow managed to get 4 Ks in Kerrang! The other was called Metropolis (yeah, Mr Original, I know), which is quite aptly summarised on the MySpace page I set up for the project:

‘At the time that he wrote the script, Ben was only 18, and thought that he'd made a ground-breaking commentary on modern life. However, it later transpired that he was actually just a depressed student who'd split up with his girlfriend, and wanted to blame society for this by writing a load of pretentious pseudo-philosophical bum spooge and calling it a concept album. Still, what do you expect when you have Roger Waters as a role model? You live and learn, don't you?’

Dodgy concepts and lyrics aside, I had a listen to a few tracks off it yesterday, and I’m still extremely chuffed with the music and production, especially considering it was all done on a crap tape recorder in my bedroom when I was 18. It’s a kind of ‘heavy metal with a drum machine meets John Carpenter with a bit of Pink Floyd thrown in’ thing, although that makes it sound slightly better than it actually is. I had it pressed on CD, got some good reviews and even got a distribution deal in the US. Twelve years later, you can pick up a ‘RARE’ copy on eBay from time to time. There are a few tracks on the MySpace page if you fancy having a listen.

Anyways, now that I’m my own boss, working from home and all, I figured that now could be a good time to do something else again, learning from all the benefits of hindsight i.e. you’re not the most important musician since Robert Johnson, you’re not even remotely hard done by, you’re probably never going to get a record deal and FFS just chill out! After all, if Axl Rose can take 17 years between original albums, then 12 years doesn’t seem quite so bad. As well as this, a lot of people are saying they'd love to get involved with me on another recording project.

Just one problem with this – I’d really like to do a concept album, but it’s not easy coming up with ideas. I want something that’s simple (doesn’t matter how cheesy), and something that will easily lend itself to music. I tried to do a musical project about a man who killed his wife in order to stuff her full of spiders’ egg sacks and invade the planet with mutant spiders and insects. It was called Insection, and I even recorded a bit of it in 2002 – a demo of the first track can be found here. Thing is – it turned out to be a rubbish idea, and the script never really developed beyond ‘stuff her full of egg sacks' (I wanted to pay Mark Heap just to say that line).

As such, I’m calling on the LJ community to come up with some ideas for me. If I like it, and I can get my arse in gear, I may even turn it into some kind of industrial-prog-metal concept album, by which time you’ll probably want to disown me. Any ideas? Then please leave them in the comments section below.
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Meet Sansa! [Jan. 17th, 2008|11:39 pm]
Russell Crow
We got a lovely little puppy today, who we've called Sansa. She's a four month old mutt, but we have no idea what breeds she's got in her as she's a rescue dog. After causing allsorts of chaos when I brought her home yesterday morning, she's now settling in well, and is quite happy to sleep by my feet when I'm working. She's ever so cute, and very soppy and friendly too.

Anyway, here are a couple of photos:




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Last minute SoulScream gig! [Oct. 7th, 2007|09:31 am]
Russell Crow
My band SoulScream has just been asked to play Brightona at the last minute after Dollar Sent pulled out - if any of you guys fancy seeing us play at the Concorde 2 today (not to mention coming to a fine charity event on the seafront), then please come along. Entry is a £5 donation to the Brighton Heart Support Trust, and we're on at 4.20, although it's always a fun event with stalls and two other stages, plus lots of shiny bikes, so it's worth coming down for the afternoon if you can.

Hope to see some of you there!
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First Review! [Feb. 20th, 2006|05:08 pm]
Russell Crow
The first review of my book went up on Bit Tech today. They liked it, which makes me happy :)
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Putting the gull into gullibility [Feb. 26th, 2005|03:02 pm]
Russell Crow
I’ve only ever met one person more gullible than me, and that’s my Mum. As an example, when I was little I used to call my brother various stupid names to irritate him, and one of these was names was ‘Spog’. The Spogs, you see, all worked for King Spog, who used to put all the Spogs into a ‘Spog Gun’ and fire them at King Spag and his Spags. Also, while the Spogs were undoubtedly loyal to King Spog, they were also really eager for the Speeger Beeger to be the leader of the Spogs, and their dogs. But that’s another story.

Anyway, my brother worked in a newsagent for a bit, and before he came back home I would often tell my Mum that he’d been ‘fired’. She believed it every time without fail, and when my brother came home she’d say ‘Are you ok? I heard you got fired.’ My brother would then sigh in disbelief and say ‘did Ben tell you that?, look Mum, he means I’ve been ‘fired from the Spog gun’ please stop listening to him’.

However, while I’m not as gullible as my Mum, I’ll still implicitly trust anybody, no matter what bullshit they’re spouting at me. When I lived in America, my friend Matt used to email me with ‘updates’ on what had been happening at home, which included my bathroom being flooded, Michael Barrymore dying and my kitchen catching fire. I believed all of it. I do, after all, seem to be a complete idiot. Forget gullible being taken out of the dictionary; you could probably tell me that the word ‘gullible’ referred to your ability to be a gull and I wouldn’t even question it.

The most recent one, though, really takes the biscuit (not that I’ve got any biscuits). It turns out that Bradley Fellows (‘Brad’), the guy who looked me up on the /whois directory to find the owner of www.russell-crow.com, offered me various amounts of money for the site, couldn’t spell ‘Russell Crowe’, contributed various abusive comments to my guestbook and then got my work email address from my boss…well, he wasn’t actually real.

I suspected it might be a prank when he first sent me an abusive email, but I knew that the obvious suspect (i.e. Matt) wouldn’t know his /whois directory from his bum pipe, and then assumed he was real. Come on, it would be really cool if he was a proper idiot wouldn’t it? But he isn’t, he turned out to be one of my ex work-colleagues from PC Pro. You can go to Hotmail, login as ‘bradleyfellows@hotmail.com’ with the password ‘windupben’ and everything's there.

When I eventually found him out, he said that he’d only intended to do it for a couple of weeks, but once he’d started he couldn’t stop and carried it on for nearly six months. I also found out that most of the idiotic fundamentalists (Jennifer Walters etc) contributing to my guestbook were also Matt in disguise.

What can I say? Gullibility runs in my family, but that’s no excuse. I’d like to say that from now on I’m going to question more of what people tell me, but I know I won’t. Now I have to come up with a revenge scheme!
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American Psycho [Nov. 19th, 2004|10:48 am]
Russell Crow
A couple of years ago I read 'American Psycho', a truly disturbing book that got inside the mind of a serial killer and sadist. The scariest thing about it was that no one around him could figure out that he was actually a psycho. He just seemed like an ordinary Wall Street tosser with the suits, the enormous ego, and a bizarre love of Huey Lewis & The News (so he's not all bad!). However, I'm starting to think that Patrick Bateman represents the true elite of American psychos, because the rest of them don't seem to be nearly as sophisticated.

What's my evidence? Well, as you may remember, I recently set up a website at www.russell-crow.com, which a weird American guy called Brad wanted to buy from me (see Here). After he kept sending me abuse, I eventually blocked his email address from my home email account, and never wrote to him again.

But that didn't stop him being weird. After that, he continued to post in my Guestbook as 'BF', coming out with choice lines such as 'Glad to see so many people, like me, regard this site as a total farce that paints Russell Crow in a poor light. I urge real fans to continue to mock this joke - check back soon and you could find an official Russell Crow web site, offering pictures, features and insight into one of the world's best actors.' Yes, even after I'd told him repeatedly about the 'e' on the end, he still couldn't spell Russell Crowe's name.

Eventually this stopped, but last week he popped up again. I'm guessing that he must have run a search on my name and 'journalist' under Google and found out which magazine I write for, because he emailed my editor with this:

_________________________________________________________________
From: "bradley"
To: "Gareth"
Subject: Contact
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 2004 16:42:03 +0100

Do you have the contact details for Ben who I believe writes for your magazine? I'm a friend of his and I'm trying to get back in touch.

Yours ,


Brad

_________________________________________________________________


Of course, Gareth wouldn't have just emailed back my contact details to a complete psycho intentionally, but he was unfortunately out of the office at this time. This meant that Brad automatically received this:

_________________________________________________________________
From: "Gareth"
To: "bradley"
Subject: Re: Contact
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 2004 16:42:03 +0100

I am now out of the office until Monday 1 November without access to email.
For news and all other urgent matters, please contact Ben (ben@bensemailaddress.co.uk).

_________________________________________________________________


Yep, now Brad has my work email address, and despite the fact that I haven't written back to a single one of his emails, he's now trying to be my mate and keeps writing to me. Here's the first one:

_________________________________________________________________
-----Original Message-----
Sent: 29 October 2004 16:48
Subject: Re: Contact

Ben!

How ya doing buddy! Long time no speak! I wonder whether you are having
problems with your other email address? I tracked you down on the Internet.

Seems I should apologise. Didnt realise you were a journalist! The
problem
with email is you never can tell who youre talking to.

Anyway, what have you been up to? Hows the site going?

Brad
_________________________________________________________________



This isn't completely insane, I'll admit, although it's a bit weird that he seems to be stalking a guy he doesn't even know and spent most of his time insulting me. Anyway, remember the American election? Yep, Brad knows absolutely nothing about me, but he still thinks I want to know his opinion on the result:

_________________________________________________________________
-----Original Message-----
Sent: 03 November 2004 16:01
Subject: Bush Bush Bush - FOUR MORE YEARS!!!!

Hey Ben!!!

Just a quick email to spread the news! It looks like George-the-man has
taken John Kerry downtown! Boy, thats good news! Hopefully George and
your pal Tony Blair can keep up the fight against those assholes in the middle
east.

I dont have much time for those liberal pussies who puss foot around,
worrying about upsetting people. George is kinda in your face, but its
what we need. Are you with me on that Ben?

What do you think? Have you followed the elections at all?

Let me know Ben, its been a long time!

Bye buddy.

Brad
_________________________________________________________________



Of course, I didn't write back to him, and I thought he'd given up until this morning, when he sent me this:

_________________________________________________________________
-----Original Message-----
Sent: 18 November 2004 18:23
Subject: Jo Whiley

Didya see this?

http://www.contactmusic.com/new/xmlfeed.nsf/0/F9AD67D9C199D2BA80256F4E004CCAC2!opendocument

Sounds to me that that British DJ bitch was being a bit presumptuous.

The B Man.
_________________________________________________________________


Why does this weirdo keep emailing me?! I have this nasty feeling he's going to find out the phone number for my publishing house and call me for a chat one day. He's obviously under the impression that I firstly want to be his friend, and secondly actually give a shit about Russell Crowe's news. Should I be scared? Thank fuck he's in America, that's all I can say.
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Going into business [Aug. 8th, 2004|07:40 pm]
Russell Crow
Bored with lame birthday cards and crap comedy t-shirts? Life can be hard when you're tied to high-street shops and dodgy market stalls, but what if you could show those people with their hilarious 'I think I'll have another beer' and 'FCUK' t-shirts how it's really done?

Well now you can! Yes, why not draw attention to your tits with an 'I'm a fucking kite' tank top, pack your cheese and chutney sandwiches into a 'David Lunch and his amazing goat sharpening act' lunch box, or simply sip some lovely tea from a 'Sharks in the Parks' mug?

Do they really make such things? Indeed they do, all you have to do is go to: www.cafepress.com/russellcrow where you'll find the most fantastic Russell Crow-related merchandise you've ever seen.

I've tried to include just about everything - coasters, jerseys and t-shirts in both men and women shapes. I'll put a link on the website soon too. Oh, and just so you know, no I don't make any profit on this, I just like the idea of sexy girls walking round with my shitty drawings on their boobs. Hopefully it'll happen one day.
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My website [Jul. 26th, 2004|05:25 pm]
Russell Crow
I set up a website recently at www.russell-crow.com, which, as some of you know has generated some interest from a proper Russell Crowe website. They offered $250 first, then $400 and then, when I put the site up, they sent me this:

> Ben
>
> I've just been onto www.russell-crow.com and it now seems clear that your
> only intention is to irritate us. The web site is quite simply a joke, and I
> can only imagine you're doing this to get more money out of us.
>
> I will put in a final offer of $500, and when I say final, I mean it. I urge
> you to take this offer, and then you can stop wasting your time drawing
> inane sketches that presumably are supposed to be funny.
>
> Ben, my daughter has a better sense of humour than you.
>
> Let me remind you that we're planning to set up a proper Russel Crow site, a
> serious tribute to one of the best actors in the world. I don't find your
> English humour funny.
>
> Please be advised that $500 is my final offer.From your grammer, it sounds to
> me like you're quite young. Maybe you need to get some lessons in writing, and
> maybe you also don't know the true value of money.
>
> If only you'd stop trying to haggle with me on the money, we could get this
> sorted out quickly. You English guys know how to do a good business deal.
> Can I just ask you to perhaps speak to your father or something. It really
> is a sizeable about of money.
>
>
> Sorry if I'm being a bit strong with you, but I think it will be in both of
> our interests if you stop stringing me along. I look forward to hearing from
> you.
>
>
> Brad


Seriously, what a dick, I told him to get some 'grammer' (sic) lessons and learn how to spell Russell Crowe's name properly. He wrote back saying 'You idiot, if you're a professional writer then I'm Russell Crow.' He probably doesn't realise how stupid that made him look. Wrong in so many ways.
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