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Sunday, April 6, 2008

Web Scout exclusive! Rick Astley, king of the 'Rickroll,' talks about his song's second coming

On a frosty Canadian morning, a masked crusader tromps across a parking lot, over a snow bank and onto the sidewalk. He has a loudspeaker strapped ominously to his chest.

He halts, aiming the speaker toward the building across the street. “This is a song by some dead guy,” he says. And then, music booms forth:

“Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down, never gonna run around and desert you.”

It’s an anti-Scientology protest, and across the street, a dozen or so warmly dressed young people begin to dance and sing along, waving their picket signs in rhythm to the familiar tune.

“It’s a bit spooky, innit?” said Rick Astley, the singer who made the song famous in 1987 and who is not dead. With considerable help, including assists from RCA Records, the webmaster of Astley’s U.K. fan site, and his manager at Sony BMG, I tracked down Astley...

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