More than two months after the Astroworld crowd-control disaster claimed the lives of 10 people, the Houston Police Department on Friday asked attendees to upload their photos and video to a new dedicated website designed by the FBI.
“To ensure that we have captured all possible evidence for a complete investigation, we have partnered with the Federal Bureau of Investigation for additional technical assistance,” Houston Police said in a statement, adding that detectives previously reviewed “countless hours” of video, just not through such a sophisticated repository.
“I think this took far too long. They should have hit the gas immediately upon starting the investigation,” Dr. Darrin Porcher, a former NYPD lieutenant and adjunct professor at Pace University’s School of Criminal Justice, says. Porcher adds that the two-month delay suggests “the chain of command kind of fell asleep at the wheel.”
Porcher, who’s serving as an expert to Hilliard Martinez Gonzalez LLP, a plaintiffs’ law firm already representing more than 700 Astroworld attendees, says the FBI has a large field office covering the Houston area with resources that would be well-known to local police.
“For the life of me, I can’t understand why this wasn’t done immediately, because they clearly understood the police department only has so many people. You’re conducting an investigation with 50,000 people at one location. It’s clear, and it’s apparent, that the Houston Police Department didn’t have the ability to get this done, and there’s nothing wrong with that,” Porcher said. “They didn’t drive it as quickly as they should have.”
The new FBI website asks concertgoers to upload a maximum of four files and share their name and contact information.
— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) January 14, 2022
Asked if the two-month delay might mean valuable images and video might already be deleted and gone forever, lawyer Alex Hilliard said he didn’t think so.
“The plaintiff lawyers have been diligently obtaining all of this information, so to the extent that prosecutors need it and are asking for it, it’s already within organized, available portals that exits in a lot of the firms,” Hilliard tells Rolling Stone. “In the next couple of weeks, there will be a lot of information provided to prosecutors to establish that there was absolute criminal activity which occurred in this case.”
The terrifying Astroworld crowd crush killed eight people on Nov. 5, the first night of Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival at NRG Park in Houston. Two more people, including 9-year-old Ezra Blount, later died from their injuries.
The panoply of lawsuits filed over the tragedy name concert promoter Live Nation, Scott and various concert security vendors among the lead defendants.
Live Nation and Scott have denied any wrongdoing. In a video message posted on Instagram, Scott, whose legal name is Jacques Webster, said he “could just never imagine the severity of the situation.” His partner Kylie Jenner, mother of his daughter Stormi, also released a statement saying she and Scott were “broken and devastated.”
Hear Marianne Faithfull’s Forceful ‘Vagabond Ways’ Demo for ‘Incarceration of a Flower Child’
Marianne Faithfull will give her 1999 album, Vagabond Ways, the deluxe treatment with a reissue due out March 4. She’s teasing the release with the demo recording for the album’s “Incarceration of a Flower Child,” a song Roger Waters wrote in 1968 but never recorded with Pink Floyd.
On the demo, Faithfull sings along to a backdrop of acoustic guitars and one buzzy electric as she describes a scene of drinking cheap wine and smoking dope on Indian tapestry cushions. “Don’t get up to answer the door, just stay with me here on the floor,” she belts. “It’s going to get cold in the Seventies.” The studio version that appeared on Vagabond Ways sounds more polished thanks to electronics played by co-producer Mark Howard and synth bass by Waters.
The reissue will feature several other previously unreleased demos, an uncirculated studio recording, and new liner notes. In addition to digital and CD reissues, the record will be available on vinyl for the first time.
The bonus material includes “Blood in My Eyes,” a Bob Dylan cover that previously featured on the Japanese edition of the original album, as well as “Drifting,” a song Faithfull wrote and recorded with co-producer Daniel Lanois but never released. It also includes demos of “Vagabond Ways,” “Electra,” and her cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Tower of Song,” and Waters’ “Incarceration.”
She reflected on her enduring friendship with Waters in a 2014 Rolling Stone feature when she recorded another one of his songs, “Sparrows Will Sing,” for her Give My Love to London album. “He’s one of my dearest friends, and I love him and he’s everything a real gentleman rock star should be,” she said. “He’s not a misogynist. He is not only in it for the money. He is a great man.”
‘I Was in Prison. Now He Is’: Ronnie Spector Gets Raw on Phil Spector in Unearthed Audio
Ronnie Spector, who died last week at the age of 78, speaks candidly about her abusive ex-husband, Phil Spector, and more in never-before-heard audio on the new episode of Rolling Stone Music Now. Phil Spector, who died in 2021, was in prison for murder when Kory Grow interviewed Ronnie in 2016, and she told Grow she saw it as karmic justice for the years when her ex essentially locked her away in their mansion.
“I couldn’t go out for seven years,” Spector said. “I didn’t go anywhere… What goes around, comes around. I was in prison. Now he is. So that’s how I look at it.” In the interview clips, Spector also gives a vivid account of the making of the Ronettes’ epochal hit “Be My Baby” and more.
The episode also includes an in-depth discussion between Andy Greene, Angie Martoccio, Rob Sheffield, and host Brian Hiatt about Spector’s life, music, influence (from Jersey Shore rock to punk to riot grrrrl to, um, Eddie Money), and legacy — as well as her soon-to-be-reissued autobiography.
“She talks in the book about how she was possessed when she was young with the desire to be seen, to be heard, to be accepted,” Sheffield says. “She talks about how she was a cheerleader at her high school. And she was like, that wasn’t enough for me, to be the most popular girl in school. I needed to be in the most popular girl in the world. And you can hear that lust for power in ‘Be My Baby.’ This is the voice of an ordinary girl from the streets of Spanish Harlem who is absolutely intent on making the whole world hear her and go, what the hell was that? And that’s exactly what she did.”
Download and subscribe to our weekly podcast, Rolling Stone Music Now, hosted by Brian Hiatt, on Apple Podcasts or Spotify (or wherever you get your podcasts), and check out three years’ worth of episodes in the archive, including in-depth, career-spanning interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Halsey, Neil Young, Snoop Dogg, Brandi Carlile, Phoebe Bridgers, Rick Ross, Alicia Keys, the National, Ice Cube, Robert Plant, Dua Lipa, Questlove, Killer Mike, Julian Casablancas, Sheryl Crow, Johnny Marr, Scott Weiland, Liam Gallagher, Alice Cooper, Fleetwood Mac, Elvis Costello, John Legend, Donald Fagen, Phil Collins, Justin Townes Earle, Stephen Malkmus, Sebastian Bach, Tom Petty, Eddie Van Halen, Kelly Clarkson, Pete Townshend, Bob Seger, the Zombies, Gary Clark Jr., and many others — plus dozens of episodes featuring genre-spanning discussions, debates, and explainers with Rolling Stone’s critics and reporters. Tune in every Friday at 1 p.m. ET to hear Rolling Stone Music Now broadcast on SiriusXM’s Volume, channel 106.
Jamie Lynn Spears Says She Tried To Help Britney Get Out of Conservatorship
JAMIE LYNN SPEARS
I Tried To Free Britney …
But It Blew Up In My Face!!!
1/20/2022 12:00 PM PT
Call Her Daddy/Spotify
The former Nickelodeon star says Britney made it seem like she wanted out of the conservatorship during some late-night sister talks on a trip to Hawaii, and Jamie Lynn says she tried to get involved.
As Jamie Lynn explains on the “Call Her Daddy” podcast, she took Britney’s comments to heart and talked to her sister’s lawyer … but it blew up in her face big time.
What’s more, Jamie Lynn says she and her husband had some judges look into Britney’s conservatorship and told her all she needed to do was move out of California for 6 months and the conservatorship would end.
JL says she even offered to have Britney live with her in Louisiana in an effort to dissolve the conservatorship … but she still doesn’t know why Britney never followed through with that option.
Jamie Lynn doesn’t give an exact time frame for when any of this was happening … but says she was always going to support whatever Britney wanted to do.
Britney’s been reacting to a lot of Jamie Lynn’s interviews and excerpts from her new book, so it will be interesting if she has a response here.
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