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Jarvis Cocker founded “Arabacus Pulp” (named after a tradeable commodity seen by Cocker in an economics class) at the age of 15 while he was still at The City School. After numerous line-up changes, and a shortening of the name to just “Pulp,” they eventually found fame in the 1990s with the success of the albums His ‘n’ Hers (1994) and Different Class (1995). Cocker invaded the stage at the 1996 BRIT Awards to protest against Michael Jackson‘s performance. Jackson performed surrounded by children and a rabbi, while making ‘Christ-like’ poses and performing his then-recent hit, “Earth Song“. Cocker and his friend Peter Mansell (a former Pulp member) performed an impromptu stage invasion in protest. In the ensuing confusion, as others attempted to eject Cocker from the stage, a child performer received minor injuries. Cocker was later detained and interviewed by the police on suspicion of assault. He was subsequently released without charge. Opinions from the press on Cocker’s actions were mixed. The March 2, 1996, edition of Melody Maker, for example, suggested Cocker should be knighted, while Cocker’s friend Noel Gallagher, of Oasis fame claimed “Jarvis Cocker is a star and he should be given an MBE“. Gallagher is also quoted as saying of Jackson’s behaviour “For Michael Jackson to come over to this country after what’s all gone on – and I think we all know what I’m talking about here — to dress in a white robe, right, thinking he’s the Messiah – I mean who does he think he is? Me?”[1] However, other journalists and the organisers of the BRIT Awards were outraged by Cocker’s behavior. In response to the ensuing media scrutiny of the action, Cocker responded, “My actions were a form of protest at the way Michael Jackson sees himself as some kind of Christ-like figure with the power of healing… I just ran on the stage… I didn’t make any contact with anyone as far as I recall.”[2] The resulting press attention saw the band’s record sales soar and a waxwork statue of Jarvis Cocker, which costs £30,000, was placed in Rock Circus, London. Pulp released two more albums (This Is Hardcore and We Love Life) to critical acclaim, though neither achieved the commercial success of Different Class. After releasing a greatest hits album the band are now on hiatus. [via WIKIPEDIA]

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