Wednesday, June 29, 2005

In The Name Of Pants! or: Icon Hat Wait For Love Anymore

It's hard to ignore a headline that blares Bono Suing Former Stylist to Recover Pants, Hat.

After all, you figure he's well off enough these days to afford another pair of pants. Surely the court costs alone would quickly outstrip the cost of a new pair of trousers.

Or maybe he's like me, and the sheer torture of the process of finding a new pair of pants that you like is worse than the prospect of an extended court case.

There must be more to this.

"Former U2 stylist Lola Cashman told Dublin Circuit Civil Court today she had been incredibly frightened when she was accused of taking items worn by Bono while on tour.

The Irish band is seeking the return of an iconic Stetson hat, a pair of metal hoop earrings, a pair of black trousers and a green sweatshirt, all of which were worn by Bono during the 1987 Joshua Tree tour.

Well, you should have said it was 'iconic' in the first place. Say, she didn't make off with one of those cactuses on the cover, too, did she? Ouch!

On the second day of the trial at Dublin Circuit Civil Court, Ms Cashman said she had never been made aware of any problem with her possession of the items until she was contacted by U2’s lawyer in 2002.

“I was intimidated over the phone by a big firm of lawyers. I was incredibly frightened,” she said.

They threatened to make her listen to Bono's speech inducting Bob Marley into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

Ms Cashman had attempted to put the items up for auction at Christie’s in London in 2002, but they were held back after U2 questioned their ownership.

“I did not steal those pieces. They were given to me,” she said.

She told the court that she was given the items as gifts by Bono, who had recruited her to update the band’s image.

"Frankly, Lola," Bono said, head in hands, "it's the hat thing. I'm lost...totally lost. I need something...I don't know...iconic."

“I was proud of what I had achieved with the band. Bono liked wearing hats and I changed his style slightly,” she said.

"Your enjoyment of hat wearing at least gives us something to work with," Lola replied, "We just need to tweak your natural iconographic instinct."

This is some job she's got. But who I am to talk? I'm not the one getting paid the big pants, er, bucks.

But senior counsel Paul Sreenan, representing U2, accused her of exaggerating her role in creating the band’s image. He produced a 20-second video clip which showed Bono shopping with Barry Devlin, the lead singer of Irish band, Horslips, in 1987 and purchasing a black Stetson hat.

Ah, ha! Wiggle out of that one, Ms Cashman! If you can!

Seriously, documented is your life when your lawyer can put their hand to video footage of you buying a hat, even if it is iconic?

Ms Cashman said that hat was not in the U2 wardrobe when she arrived and added that her job was to provide the band with a complete image.

So what was it she did that gave Bono's already iconic hat-wearing mystique that special little something?

“Just because Bono had a Stetson on his head, it doesn’t create an iconic image. It’s a whole compilation of an outfit and a hat,” she said.

Absolutely! If you want to achieve true iconogrosity, you have to know how to handle that delicate balance between hat and trousers. It's a whole...thing! Look what happened to Devo after they started putting the flower pots on their heads. The hat/trouser dichotomy has defeated some of the greatest minds of our time. Even Springsteen knew when to throw away that floppy montrosity that used to adorn his working class bean.

And say what you will about that silly cap that Tennille let The Captain wear, at least it matched his trousers.

Her defence counsel, Martin Dully, later brandished the actual Stetson hat in court and got Ms Cashman to confirm that it was a different colour to the hat shown in the video.

Oh, this is better than the Michael Jackson trial, if you ask me.

And the hats just keep on coming...

If you happened to miss the President's speech last night, accept the following as a public service.

The 30 minute speech, billed as a list of specific blueprints the President has regarding his plans for the war in Iraq, was made (no doubt coincidentally) at a time when public support for the war seems to be eroding.

Keeping in mind that many of you might not have the time to read through the entire speech, I have edited the transcript down somewhat in an attempt to save time, but still preserve the gist of it. Enjoy.

"…war on terror…September 11, 2001…freedom…free…September 11…freedom…terrorism…terrorists…free…war on terror…freedom…freedom…terrorists…terror…terrorists…terrorists…terrorists…terrorists…terrorists…terrorists…terrorists…free…terrorists…freedom…September 11…free…war on terror…free…free…terrorists…terrorist…free…terrorists…terrorists…free…terrorists…terrorists…terrorists…terrorist…terrorists…freedom…terrorist…terror…free…freedom…freedom…freedom…free…freedoms…free…free…free…freedom…freedom…freedom…September 11, 2001…terrorists…freedom…terror…terrorists…freedom…freedom…freedom…freedom…freedom…freedom…September 11, 2001."


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