Brian Wise covers the classical music business for WQXR, including aspects of performance, technology, philanthropy and institutional trends. He produces the Café Concerts series and the podcast/show Conducting Business. He manages the station's homepage and makes sure what you hear on air is what you see online. Follow him on Twitter at @Briancwise.
British Politician Recalls Violinist Kennedy's Wild Times
Sunday, July 31, 2011 - 10:23 PM
A Conservative Member of Parliament has admitted to taking drugs with violinist Nigel Kennedy and dancing with him at a nightclub in the latest twist in the British phone-hacking scandal.
The Conservative MP Louise Mensch, who sits on the Commons culture committee, recently questioned News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch about phone-hacking at the News of the World. She was responding to allegations put to her by investigative journalists.
The MP, who also writes romantic novels under her maiden name Louise Bagshawe, used to serve as a press officer at EMI, according to BBC News.
Mensch responded to the journalists: "Although I do not remember the specific incident, this sounds highly probable. Since I was in my twenties, I'm sure it was not the only incident of the kind; we all do idiotic things when young."
She later posted a message on Twitter saying her actions had been "idiotic," adding that it was "never a good idea to mess with your brain."
In a statement, Kennedy said: “I am a socialist myself but do remember having some great times with my beautiful and very clever right-wing friend when she was at EMI. Louise is pretty scary and I would warn anyone that it’s not a good idea to mess with her."
Kennedy, the self-proclaimed "bad boy of classical music," first rose to fame in the late 1980s with his best-selling recording of Vivaldi's Four Seasons. He has also recorded jazz, klezmer music and the songs of Jimi Hendrix. He admitted in the past that smoking cannabis aids his creativity.