Paula Abdul Sings For Real, Jermaine Jackson Disses Michael, Spinal Tap Need Drummer: This Week In 1991

Dance pop star Paula Abdul launched her first full-fledged tour this week in 1991.

"This is probably the most exciting time in my life — I didn't realize that really until opening night," she said during her tour stop in Miami. "There's nothing like it. The first day, on the show day in Atlanta, I was kind of a nervous wreck, and right before the show, when the lights went down and I heard the crowd yelling, I didn't know what I was going to do. I thought I was gonna pee in my pants."

For 100 minutes before a sold-out crowd in Miami, Abdul played all her hits and showed off her nine-piece band, eight dancers and one of the most elaborate stage sets seen up to that point.

"It's a bi-level set," Abdul explained. "There's elevators and different things that happen that we are using for the first time. There's video walls. This show is physically demanding. There's a lot of dancing going on."

While the former Laker Girl was proud of all the vocal training she'd gone through and she did sing live throughout the show, backing tapes did turn up here and there — something she was up front about, given the big lip-syncing backlash that followed the 1990 Milli Vanilli scandal.

"There are a couple numbers where there's technical support, on some of the heavy dance choreographed numbers," Abdul said. "The singing for me is extremely important. The dancing I knew would be there, but I wanted to be able to project vocally so we had to change a lot of stuff. If it was up to me I'd be doing all the same choreography as my dancers, but there's no way [I can do that and sing at the same time]."

An early version of a Jermaine Jackson song called "Word to the Badd," which took potshots at his brother Michael, leaked to radio in Los Angeles and New York City.

In the version included on Jermaine's album, You Said, the song was a straight love ditty, but in this earlier rendition, the track made some pointed swipes at Michael Jackson's penchant for skin lightening, plastic surgery and general eccentricity.

The song included the lines, "Once you were made/ You changed your shade/ Was your color wrong?" and "Could not turn back/ It's a known fact/ You were too far gone."

While Michael Jackson wouldn't talk about that track, Jermaine Jackson said he recorded it as a message because he couldn't get through to his brother on the telephone. The point, said Jermaine, was that Michael had lost touch with reality.

"My song is an attempt to heal our relationship," he said.

The one and only Spinal Tap resurfaced in Los Angeles back in 1991 armed with a new recording contract and desperately in need of yet another new drummer.

"Right now we're looking for a new drummer," David St. Hubbins said, something he surely had uttered many times before given his band's bad luck with disappearing and spontaneously combusting drummers. "Our last one, Joe 'Mama' Besser, he disappeared under mysterious circumstances. We looked around and he was gone."

"The prime objective would be to have an optimistic outlook on life knowing that you'll be dead soon," Nigel Tufnel said.

Even Jane's Addiction's Stephen Perkins turned up to audition.

"Jane's Addiction split up and I heard Spinal Tap was looking for a drummer," he said. "And I'm not really afraid of death, actually. I figured what the hell, I'll give it a try."

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