Are Backstage Massages a Write-off?

The vagaries of musician tax returns and other conundrums.

As we're all painfully aware, Monday is this year's tax deadline. For the average 9-to-5 shmoe, that means scrounging through a pile of employment forms, bank statements, and gas receipts for stuff to write off. Of course, some people try deducting every receipt in the house, from so-called business meetings (lunch at Scores) to electronics (the webcam is for what, exactly?).

For those employed by the music industry — more specifically, in the celebrity industry — April 15 is a chance to let your creativity shine. When your job description includes dealing with tabloids, entertainment reporters, and the occasional lawsuit, the sky's the limit for what you can deduct. (Really. 'NSync's would-be cosmonaut Lance Bass tried writing off the troposphere before his flight got canceled.) So as you rack up your last-minute deductions, Outtakes offers this list of rock star write-offs to keep in mind for next year.

Henry RollinsHank spent a good chunk of last year's income on his upcoming autobiographical film, Dude, Where's My Neck? The cost was split equally between production and nutrition, with nearly $7,500 of the film's budget going to weight-gainer's fuel, energy bars, and supplements we've never heard of (gluten-free glute boosters?)

YanniIt's no surprise the New Age music maven spends a pretty penny on French manicures and hand massages. After all, during the recent domestic dispute case brought on by his girlfriend, Yanni's attorney argued that the keyboardist would never do anything to hurt his hands. In fact, Yanni said he grabbed the woman only after she kicked him in the 'nads. However, according to the receipt he submitted from a local store called Guard Your Goods (pictured), the Manalapan resident must have foreseen the attack.

Fall Out Boy— As headliners of the Nintendo Fusion Tour, Fall Out Boy has its Game Cube merch covered. But for PS2 games, they have to pony up to Sony. Just don't tell Nintendo. There could be some serious, um, fallout.

Scott Stapp— The former Creed singer and current has-been filed an interesting receipt from last November — boxing lessons totaling $311.

50 Cent — In 2005, the rapper was busy working on his first (and hopefully last) movie, Get Rich or Die Tryin'. He must have been really busy. According to a Waldenbooks receipt, 50 bought a copy of Screenwriting for Dummies a good month after the film came out.

Wayne CoyneThe Flaming Lips' lead man is known for rolling on top of his audience in a giant, plastic orb. Some may think it's just a stage gimmick, but Coyne's Netflix rentals prove otherwise. To wit: The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, The Billion Dollar Bubble, Bubble Trouble, The Bubble People, and Bubble Boy. We're guessing he's seen this year's Bubble.

Axl Rose — He's still working on his taxes from 1994. But they'll be done by the end of this year. He swears. Jason BudjinskiHorn Dog

Dear Pussycat Dolls,

Did you get the messages I left? I mean, I left like 20 of 'em. Forty-two to be exact. It's like you've chosen to pretend away that amazing night we spent together, the six of you swiveling your hips and swinging those invisible lassos over your pretty little heads. Sure, it was just a music video. On TV. And I was the only one naked. But, come on, what I felt was real.

Then again, what would you know about reality? You're a sextet of sex-selling sex kittens who make a living off the promise of sex. Personally, I don't mind at all, but... well, I can see why others might find it odd that a six-member girl group really has only one singer and the backup singers don't sing. Carmit, Ashley, Jessica, Melody, and Kimberly, I'm talking to all five of you, so listen up now. Have you ever considered maybe, you know, actually singing, since that's how you're being marketed? Doesn't it feel odd to jiggle around under the pretense of being musically inclined when you're really just hot and — I'll give it to you — great dancers? Then again, that's what the Pussycat Dolls were originally known for: Neo-burlesque dancing. And hell, Britney duped people into thinking she can sing. Who can fault you for doing the same, right?

I can forgive the rest of the group for cashing in on their assets, but you, Ms. Nicole Scherzinger, don't get a free pass. Didn't the collapse of the WB's prefab Popstars band Eden's Crush teach you anything besides how not to name a pop act? The point is, you're talented. You can actually sing. While nailing any one of the other P-Dolls would be more than enough to brag about, I'd actually bring you home to meet Mom and Dad. Though I'm a little worried about your willingness to do anything for a buck — like fronting this equally prefabricated mobile strip club. It makes me worried about letting you hang around my male friends.

You sing, "Don't cha' wish your girlfriend was hot like me/Don't you wish your girlfriend was a freak like me." Well, duh. But what I don't wish is for her to be a gold-digging hussy. That evening we spent together was great. I'll forever remember your "Don't Cha'" video and how it made me feel. But I expect more from a video vixen. At least Tera Patrick doesn't bullshit me about who she really is.

Yours truly,

Cole Haddon

P.S. Call me?

Dis-Sertation

When Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas sings about "My Humps," is she referring to her tits or her ass?

It's a puzzling question and the cause of much-heated debate. You could say that Fergie calls her booty "my humps" and her titties "my lovely lady lumps." But she seems to interchange the words "humps" and "lumps" so frequently, it's difficult to figure out what the hell she's talking about.

It doesn't help that, in real life, Fergie has small "lumps/humps," making it difficult to visually determine what she's referring to. Her ass, to paraphrase Martin Lawrence when he talked about Michael Douglas' exposed rear in Basic Instinct, looks like someone smacked it with a book. Pow!

The true meaning of said "humps" requires close analysis. In the song, Fergie says, "They say I'm really sexy/The boys they wanna sex me/They always standing next to me/Always dancing next to me/Tryin' a feel my hump, hump/Lookin' at my lump, lump." Here, it isn't clear if "the boys" are trying to feel her breasts or her ass. Also, she refers to her "hump, hump" and "lump, lump," even though most people have one ass and two breasts.

However, she later says, "I'm just trying to dance, boy/And move my hump."That could be interpreted as "moving my ass." When Will.I.Am asks, "What you gonna do with all that junk/All that junk inside your trunk?," he uses a phrase — "junk inside your trunk" — that is commonly known as having "ass." Appropriately, Fergie answers, "I'ma get get get get you drunk/Get you love drunk off my hump." But she doesn't respond the same way when Will.I.Am says, "What you gon' do with all that breast/All that breast inside your shirt?" Instead, she says, "I'm a make make make make you work/Make you work, work, make you work."

While the lyrics to "My Humps" are just vague enough to evade a definitive theory about their meaning, one can reasonably determine that the "humps" in question refer to the two ridges of an ass, not a pair of breasts. Still, "My Humps" is clearly a sloppy use of metaphor. Mosi Reeves

The Black Eyed Peas play with the Pussycat Dolls at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 13, at the BankAtlantic Center, 1 Panther Pkwy., Sunrise. Tickets cost $47.25 or $37.25, plus service charge. Call 954-523-3309.

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