Tony Bennett

imageAmerican singer and Actor Tony Bennett (Anthony Benedetto) was born August 3, 1926 in Astoria. Queens, New York. He began singing at an early age and grew up listening to Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor, Judy Garland, and Bing Crosby as well as jazz artists such as Louis Armstrong, Jack Teagarden, and Joe Venuti. His Uncle Dick was a tap dancer in vaudeville, giving him an early window into show business,and his Uncle Frank was the Queens borough library commissioner. By age 10 he was already singing, and performed at the opening of the Triborough Bridge. Drawing was another early passion of his; he became known as the class caricaturist at P.S. 141 and anticipated a career in commercial art. He began singing for money at age 13, performing as a singing waiter in several Italian restaurants around his native Queens. He attended New York’s School of Industrial Art where he studied painting and music. He also worked as a copy boy and runner for the Associated Press in Manhattan. However Bennett began a professional singing career, performing as a singing waiter, playing and winning amateur nights all around the city, and having a successful engagement at a Paramus, New Jersey, nightclub.

He was drafted into the United States Army in November 1944, during the final stages of World War II. He did basic training at Fort Dix and Fort Robinson as part of becoming an infantry rifleman. in January 1945, he was assigned as a replacement infantryman to the 255th Infantry Regiment of the 63rd Infantry Division, a unit filling in for the heavy losses suffered in the Battle of the Bulge which he described as a “front-row seat in hell” and he narrowly escaped death several times.The experience made him a pacifist. He was involved in the liberation of a Nazi concentration camp near Landsberg, where some American prisoners of war from the 63rd Division had also been held.Benedetto stayed in Germany as part of the occupying force, but was assigned to an informal Special Services band unit that would entertain nearby American forces.However he was demoted and reassigned to Graves Registration Service duties. He then sang with the 314th Army Special Services Band under the stage name Joe Baria name he had started using before the war, chosen after the city and province in Italy and as a partial anagram of his family origins in Calabria).He played with many musicians who would have post-war careers.

Upon his discharge from the Army and return to the States in 1946, He studied at the American Theatre Wing on the GI Bill. He was taught the bel canto singing discipline,which would keep his voice in good shape for his entire career. He continued to perform wherever he could, including while waiting tables. In 1949, he was asked to open for Pearl Bailey in Greenwich Village. She had invited Bob Hope to the show. Hope decided to take Benedetto on the road with him, and simplified his name to Tony Bennett and In 1950, Bennett cut a demo of “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”. In 1951 he had his first number-one popular song with “Because of You”. Several top hits such as “Rags to Riches” followed in the early 1950s. He then refined his approach to encompass jazz singing.

imageBennett began his career as a crooner of commercial pop tunes. His first big hit was “Because of You”, a ballad produced by Miller with a lush orchestral arrangement from Percy Faith. This was followed by a rendition of Hank Williams’s “Cold, Cold Heart”. Bennett then recorded “Blue Velvet” then On February 12, 1952, Bennett married Ohio art student and jazz fan Patricia Beech, whom he had met the previous year after a nightclub performance in Cleveland. The couple had two sons, D’Andrea (Danny, born 1954) and Daegal (Dae, born 1955). He had A third number-one in 1953 with “Rags to Riches” an up-tempo big band number with a bold, brassy sound and a double tango in the instrumental break. Bennett then recorded “Stranger in Paradise” for the Broadway musical Kismet which became a number-one hit in the United Kingdom a year and a half later and started Bennett’s career as an international artist. Once the rock and roll era began in 1955, musical tastes changed nevertheless Bennett continued to enjoy success, releasing eight songs including “In the Middle of an Island”. In 1956, Bennett hosted a NBC Saturday night television variety show, The Tony Bennett Show, as a summer replacement for The Perry Como Show. Patti Page and Julius La Rosa had previously hosted the show, and they all shared the same singers, dancers, and orchestra. Then In 1959 Bennett filled in for The Perry Como Show, this time alongside Teresa Brewer and Jaye P. Morgan as co-hosts of the summer-long Perry Presents.

imageIn 1955 Bennett released the album Cloud 7 and began focussing more on jazz resulting inthe 1957 album The Beat of My Heart which featured well-known jazz musicians such as Herbie Mann and Nat Adderley, with a strong emphasis on percussion from the likes of Art Blakey, Jo Jones, Latin star Candido Camero, and Chico Hamilton. Bennett then worked with the Count Basie Orchestra, becoming the first male pop vocalist to sing with Basie’s band resulting inThe albums Basie Swings, Bennett Sings (1958) and In Person! (1959) which featured the song “Chicago”. Then In June 1962, Bennett staged a highly promoted concert performance at Carnegie Hall, alongside Al Cohn, Kenny Burrell, and Candido, as well as the Ralph Sharon Trio, it featured 44 songs, including “I’ve Got the World on a String” and “The Best Is Yet To Come”. He also sang on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and rereleased “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” and won Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Best Male Solo Vocal Performance. Bennett’s following album, I Wanna Be Around… (1963), featured “I wanna be Around” and “The Good Life”.

Sadly Over the next couple of years, Bennett struggled despite having minor hits including “If I Ruled the World” from Pickwick in 1965 and as his popularity declined he attempted to break into acting in the 1966 film The Oscar. Bennett was a firm believer in the American Civil Rights movement, and also participated in the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches and refused to perform in apartheid South Africa. Sadly During this time There was great pressure on singers such as Lena Horne and Barbra Streisand to record “contemporary” rock songs, however Bennett was extremely reluctant to do this and his misgivings were proved correct on the album “Tony Sings the Great Hits of Today!” Which featured misguided attempts at Beatles and other current songs and a ludicrous psychedelic art cover. In 1972 he relocated to London and hosted a television show from the Talk of the Town nightclub. In 1971, he divorced his wife Patricia and became involved with aspiring actress Sandra Grant while filming The Oscar in 1965; the couple lived together for several years, and quietly married in New York in 1971 They had two daughters, Joanna (born 1970) and Antonia (born 1974), and moved to Los Angeles. Then Bennett started his own record company, Improv and released songs such as “What is This Thing Called Love?”, and made two well-regarded albums with jazz pianist Bill Evans, The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album (1975) and Together Again. Sadly Bennett and his wife separated in 1979, and divorced in 2007 and he developed a drug addiction, he was also living beyond his means, and had the Internal Revenue Service trying to seize his Los Angeles home..

————— PART TWO – RESURGANCE IN POPULARITY ————-

imageThings came to a head in 1979 when After a near-fatal cocaine overdose Bennett called his sons Danny and Dae for help. Danny Bennett, an aspiring musician himself, realised his musical abilities were limited but he did have a head for business. His father, on the other hand, had tremendous musical talent but not much business sense, so Danny signed on as his father’s manager. Danny got his father’s expenses under control, moved him back to New York, and booked him in colleges and small theaters to get him away from a “Vegas” image and kindle a new fan-base. Bennett also repaid the IRS reunited with Pianist and Musical Director Ralph Sharon until finally In 1986 Bennett released the album The Art of Excellence. Danny Bennett felt that younger audiences who were unfamiliar with Tony Bennett would respond to his music if given a chance. No changes to Tony’s formal appearance, singing style, musical accompaniment (The Ralph Sharon Trio or an orchestra), or song choice (generally the Great American Songbook) were necessary or desirable. Bennett subsequently appeared on Late Night with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Simpsons, Muppets Tonight, and various MTV programs. Then In 1993, Bennett played a series of benefit concerts organized by alternative rock radio stations around the country.

During this time, Also released the album “look-back Astoria: Portrait of the Artist” plus the Sinatra homage “Perfectly Frank” (1992) and the Fred Astaire tribute “Steppin’ Out” (1993) Both winning Grammys for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance (Bennett’s first Grammys since 1962). Bennett was seen at MTV Video Music Awards shows side-by-side with the likes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Flavor Flav, and as his “Steppin’ Out with My Baby” video received MTV airplay. Then in 1994 Bennett appeared on MTV Unplugged alongside rock and country stars Elvis Costello and k.d. Lang. The resulting MTV Unplugged: Tony Bennett album went platinum and, took the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance Grammy award for the third straight year, and the top Grammy prize of Album of the Year and Since his comeback, Bennett has prospered and had no intention of retiring. Bennett continued to record and tour steadily, doing a hundred shows a year by the end of the 1990s.In concert Bennett often makes a point of singing one song (usually “Fly Me to the Moon”) without any microphone or amplification, demonstrating his skills at vocal projection. One show, Tony Bennett’s Wonderful World: Live From San Francisco, was made into a PBS special. Bennett also created the idea behind, and starred in the first episode of, the A&E Network’s popular Live by Request series, for which he won an Emmy Award. Bennett has had cameo appearances as himself in films such as The Scout, Analyze This, and Bruce Almighty.

Then In 1998 he appeared at the Glastonbury Music Festival and also published The Good Life: The Autobiography of Tony Bennett in 1998. He released a series of albums, based on themes (such as Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, blues, or duets). Bennett also won eight more Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance or Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album Grammys in the subsequent years, most recently for the year 2011. In 2005 Bennett was honoured by President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush alongside actress Julie Harris, actor Robert Redford, singer Tina Turner, ballet dancer Suzanne Farrell. Tony Bennett was also given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1560 Vine Street and inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1997. Bennett was also awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001, and received a lifetime achievement award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) in 2002. He was also in Q Magazine’s list of the “50 Bands To See Before You Die”and also received a Kennedy Center Honor in 2005.A theatrical musical revue of his songs, called I Left My Heart: A Salute to the Music of Tony Bennett featured songs like I Left My Heart in San Francisco”, “Because of You”, and “Wonderful” and he was also inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame. Bennett frequently donates his time to charitable causes, to the extent that he is sometimes nicknamed “Tony Benefit”. In 2002 he joined Michael Jackson, Chris Tucker and former President Bill Clinton in a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee at New York’s Apollo Theater.

In the 1980s, Bennett began seeing Susan Crow, a former New York City schoolteacher, 33 years his junior. They founded Exploring the Arts, a charitable organization dedicated to creating, promoting, and supporting arts education. They also founded the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Queens, a public high school dedicated to teaching the performing arts. Bennett married Crow in 2007 in a private civil ceremony in New York that was witnessed by former Governor Mario Cuomo.Danny Bennett continues to be Tony’s manager while Dae Bennett is a recording engineer who has worked on a number of Tony’s projects and opened Bennett Studios in Englewood, New Jersey. Tony’s younger daughter Antonia is an aspiring jazz singer. In 2007 Bennett released the album. Duets: An American Classic, Winning two Grammy Awards. He also performed for New York radio station WLTW-FM with Christina Aguilera. Alec Baldwin also impersonated Bennett on Saturday Night Live. A television special Tony Bennett: An American Classic on NBC, also won multiple Emmy Awards and the Billboard Century Award. Bennett also guest-mentored on American Idol season 6 and performed during the finale. He received the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ Humanitarian Award and was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award in 2006. In 2008 Bennett appeared on “New York State of Mind” with Billy Joel at the final concerts given at Shea Stadium. He also released the album A Swingin’ Christmas with The Count Basie Big Band. In 2009, Bennett performed at the Macworld Conference & Expo for Apple Inc., singing the “The Best Is Yet to Come” and “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” and appeared at Jazz Fest in New Orleans. In February 2010, Bennett sang on “We Are the World 25 for Haiti”, a charity single in aid of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. He also performed “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” and “God Bless America” at AT&T Park during the 2010 World Series and sang “America the Beautiful” at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear in Washington, D.C.

In September 2011, Bennett appeared on The Howard Stern Show and named American military actions in the Middle East as the root cause of the September 11 attacks. Bennett also claimed that former President George W. Bush told him that he felt he had made a mistake invading Iraq. Following bad press resulting from his remarks, Bennett clarified his position, writing: “There is simply no excuse for terrorism and the murder of the nearly 3,000 innocent victims of the 9/11 attacks on our country. My life experiences, ranging from the Battle of the Bulge to marching with Martin Luther King, made me a life-long humanist and pacifist, and reinforced my belief that violence begets violence and that war is the lowest form of human behavior.” Bennett also released Duets II, to celebrate his 85th birthday. He sings duets with seventeen prominent singers of varying techniques, including Aretha Franklin, Willie Nelson and Queen Latifah. Bennett appears on the season 2 premiere of Blue Bloods performing “It Had To Be You” with Carrie Underwood and duetted with Amy Winehouse on “Body and Soul” reportedly the last recording she made before her death which reached number One. making Bennett the oldest living artist to have a Number One Song as well as the artist with the greatest span of appearances.A model of Koss headphones, the Tony Bennett Signature Edition (TBSE1), was created for this milestone. In 2011, Tony Bennett – The Complete Collection, a 73-CD plus 3-DVD set, was released and Bennett also appeared at the Royal Variety Performance in Salford in the presence of HRH Princess Anne

Following the premature deaths of Winehouse and Whitney Houston, Bennett caused controversy by calling for the legalization of drugs in 2012 and also released Viva Duets, an album of Latin American music duets, featuring Vicente Fernández, Juan Luis Guerra, and Vicentico among others, he also performed “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” in front of more than 100,000 fans at a City Hall ceremony commemorating the 2012 World Series victory by the San Francisco Giants and published another memoir, Life is a Gift: The Zen of Bennett, and a documentary film produced by his son Danny was released, also titled The Zen of Bennett. Bennett also performed for the first time in Israel, with his jazz quartet at the Charles Bronfman Auditorium in Tel Aviv, and made a surprise cameo appearance on stage with Lady Gaga at Hayarkon Park, Tel Aviv, he also released the Grammy-winning album, Cheek to Cheek, at the age of 88 and went on tour with Lady Gaga.

P.D.James

English Crime Novelist P.D.James OBE, FRSA, FRSL (Baroness James of Holland Park), was born 3 August 1920 in Oxford. She was educated at the British School in Ludlow and Cambridge High School for Girls. She had to leave school at the age of sixteen to work because her family did not have much money and her father did not believe in higher education for girls. She worked in a tax office for three years and later found a job as an assistant stage manager for a theatre group. In 1941, she married Ernest Connor Bantry White, an army doctor. They had two daughters, Clare and Jane.When White returned from World War II, he was experiencing mental illness, and James was forced to provide for the whole family until her husband’s death in 1964. James studied hospital administration and from 1949 to 1968 worked for a hospital board in London.

She began writing in the mid-1950s. Her first novel, Cover Her Face, featuring investigator and poet Adam Dalgliesh of New Scotland Yard, (named after a teacher at Cambridge High School), was published in 1962.Many of James’s mystery novels take place against the backdrop of UK bureaucracies, such as the criminal justice system and the National Health Service, in which she worked for decades starting in the 1940s. Two years after the publication of Cover Her Face, James’s husband died, and she took a position as a civil servant within the criminal section of the Home Office. She worked in government service until her retirement in 1979. The final Dalgleish novel was The Private Patient.

In 1991, James was made a life peer as Baroness James of Holland Park and sat in the House of Lords as a Conservative. She was an Anglican and a lay patron of the Prayer Book Society. Her 2001 work, Death in Holy Orders, displays her familiarity with the inner workings of church hierarchy. Her later novels were often set in a community closed in some way, such as a publishing house or barristers’ chambers, a theological college, an island or a private clinic.

She was also guest editor of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme in December 2009 and conducted an interview with the Director General of the BBC, Mark Thompson, in which she seemed critical of some of his decisions. Regular Today presenter Evan Davis commented that “She shouldn’t be guest editing; she should be permanently presenting the programme. In 2008, she was inducted into the International Crime Writing Hall of Fame at the inaugural ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards. James was also one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter opposing Scottish independence during the run up to the referendum. P.D.James sadly died at her home in Oxford on 27 November 2014, aged 94.She is survived by her two daughters, Clare and Jane, five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Many of James’s mystery novels have also been adapted for television Featuring Roy Marsden as Adam Dalgliesh including Death in Holy Orders in 2003, and The Murder Room in 2004, both as one-off dramas starring Martin Shaw as Dalgliesh. Her novel The Children of Men (1992) was the basis for the feature film Children of Men (2006), directed by Alfonso Cuarón which starred Clive Owen, Julianne Moore and Michael Caine.

Peter O’Toole

British Actor Peter James O’Toole was Born 2 August 1932, He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and began working in the theatre, gaining recognition as a Shakespearean actor at the Bristol Old Vic and with the English Stage Company, before making his film debut in 1959.He achieved stardom playing T. E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia (1962) for which he received his first Academy Award nomination. He received seven further Oscar nominations – for Becket (1964), The Lion in Winter (1968), Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969),The Ruling Class (1972), The Stunt Man (1980), My Favorite Year (1982) and Venus(2006) – and holds the record for the most Academy Award acting nominations without a win. He won four Golden Globes, a BAFTA and an Emmy, and was the recipient of anHonorary Academy Award in 2003.

O’Toole began working in the theatre, gaining recognition as a Shakespearean actor at the Bristol Old Vic and with the English Stage Company, before making his television debut in 1954. He first appeared on film in 1959 in a minor role in The Day They Robbed the Bank of England. O’Toole’s major break came when he was chosen to play T. E. Lawrence in David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia (1962), afterMarlon Brando proved unavailable and Albert Finney turned down the role. His performance was ranked number one in Premiere magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Performances of All Time. The role introduced him to US audiences and earned him the first of his eight nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actor.O’Toole is one of a handful of actors to be Oscar-nominated for playing the same role in two different films; he played King Henry II in both Becket (1964) and The Lion in Winter (1968). O’Toole played Hamlet under Laurence Olivier’s direction in the premiere production of the Royal National Theatre in 1963. He demonstrated his comedic abilities alongside Peter Sellers in the Woody Allen-scripted comedy What’s New Pussycat? (1965). He also appeared inSeán O’Casey’s Juno and the Paycock at Gaiety Theatre, Dublin.

LAWRENCE OF ARABIA 

As King Henry II in The Lion in Winter(1968)O’Toole fulfilled a lifetime ambition when taking to the stage of the Irish capital’s Abbey Theatre in 1970, to perform in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot alongside Donal McCann. In 1972, he played both Miguel de Cervantes and his fictional creation Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha, the motion picture adaptation of the 1965 hit Broadway musical, opposite Sophia Loren. The film was a critical and commercial failure, criticised for using mostly non-singing actors. O’Toole’s singing was dubbed by tenor Simon Gilbert, but the other actors sang their own parts. O’Toole and co-star James Coco, who played both Cervantes’s manservant and Sancho Panza, both received Golden Globenominations for their performances. In 1980, O’Toole starred as Tiberius in the Penthouse-funded biographical film Caligula.In 1980, he received critical acclaim for playing the director in the behind-the-scenes filmThe Stunt Man. He received good reviews as John Tanner in Man and Superman and Henry Higgins in Pygmalion, and won a Laurence Olivier Award for his performance in Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell (1989). O’Toole was nominated for another Oscar for My Favorite Year (1982), a light romantic comedy about the behind-the-scenes at a 1950s TV variety-comedy show, in which O’Toole plays an ageing swashbuckling film star reminiscent of Errol Flynn. He also appeared in 1987’s acclaimed The Last Emperor

.O’Toole won an Emmy Award for his role in the 1999 mini-series Joan of Arc. In 2004, he played King Priam in the summer blockbuster Troy. In 2005, he appeared on television as the older version of legendary 18th century Italian adventurer Giacomo Casanova in the BBC drama serial Casanova. The younger Casanova, seen for most of the action, was played by David Tennant, who had to wear contact lenses to match his brown eyes to O’Toole’s blue. O’Toole was once again nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of Maurice in the 2006 film Venus, directed by Roger Michell, his eighth such nomination.O’Toole co-starred in the Pixar animated film Ratatouille (2007), an animated film about a rat with dreams of becoming the greatest chef in Paris, as Anton Ego, a food critic. O’Toole appeared in the second season of Showtime’s successful drama series The Tudors(2008), portraying Pope Paul III, who excommunicates King Henry VIII from the church; an act which leads to a showdown between the two men in seven of the ten episodes.On 10 July 2012, O’Toole released a statement that he was retiring from acting and he sadly passed away 14 December 2013 but has left the world with some fantastic films.

Joe Lynn Turner – Deep Purple/Rainbow/Butch Vig – Garbage/The La’s

rainbowJoe Lynn Turner, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (Deep Purple, Rainbow, Fandango, Brazen Abbot, and Hughes Turner Project was born 2 August 1951. British rock band Deep Purple were formed in Hertford in 1968.They are considered to be among the pioneers of heavy metal and modern hard rock,although their musical approach changed over the years.Originally formed as a progressive rock band, the band’s sound shifted to hard rock in 1970. Deep Purple, together with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, have been referred to as the “unholy trinity of British hard rock and heavy metal in the early to mid-Seventies”. They were listed in the 1975 Guinness Book of World Records as “the globe’s loudest band” for a 1972 concert at London’s Rainbow Theatre,and have sold over 100 million albums worldwide, including 7.5 million certified units in the US. There band has gone through many line-up changes and an eight-year hiatus (1976–1984). The 1968–1976 line-ups are commonly labelled Mark I, II, III and IV. Their second and most commercially successful line-up featured Ian Gillan (vocals),Jon Lord (organ), Roger Glover (bass), Ian Paice (drums), and Ritchie Blackmore(guitar). This line-up was active from 1969 to 1973, and was revived from 1984 to 1989, and again from 1992 to 1993.

The band achieved more modest success in the intervening periods between 1968 and 1969 with the line-up including Rod Evans(vocals) and Nick Simper (bass, backing vocals), between 1974 and 1976 (Tommy Bolin replacing Blackmore in 1975) with the line-up including David Coverdale(vocals) and Glenn Hughes (bass, vocals), and between 1989 and 1992 with the line-up including Joe Lynn Turner (vocals). The band’s line-up (currently featuring Ian Gillan, and guitarist Steve Morse from 1994) has been much more stable in recent years, although organist Jon Lord’s retirement from the band in 2002 (being succeeded by Don Airey) left Ian Paice as the only original Deep Purple member still in the band. Deep Purple were ranked number 22 on VH1’s Greatest Artists of Hard Rockprogramme and a British radio station Planet Rock poll ranked them5th among the “most influential bands ever”. At the 2011 Classic Rock Awards in London, they received the Innovator Award. In October 2012, Deep Purple were nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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Butch Vig, American drummer, songwriter, and producer with alternative rock band Garbage and Spooner was Born 2 August 1957. Garbage were formed in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1994.The group consists of Scottish singer Shirley Manson (vocals, guitar) and American musicians Duke Erikson (bass, guitar, keyboards, percussion), Steve Marker (guitar, keyboards), and Butch Vig (drums, percussion). All four members are involved in songwriting and production. The band have counted worldwide album sales of over 17 million units.Garbage released a string of increasingly successful singles in 1995–1996, including “Stupid Girl” and “Only Happy When It Rains”. Their debut album, Garbage, was an unexpected smash, selling over 4 million copies and certified double platinum in the UK, US, and Australia. Garbage won the Breakthrough Artist award at the 1996 MTV Europe Music Awards. Garbage spent two years working on follow-up album, Version 2.0, which topped the charts in the UK upon its 1998 release and the following year was nominated for two Grammy Awards, Album of the Year and Best Rock Album.Version 2.0 went on to match the sales of its predecessor. Garbage followed this up by performing and co-producing the theme song to the nineteenth James Bond movie The World Is Not Enough. Despite being named one of Rolling Stone’s Top 10 Albums of the Year, however Garbage’s 2001 third album Beautiful Garbage failed to match the commercial success achieved by its predecessors. Garbage quietly disbanded in late 2003, but regrouped to complete fourth album Bleed Like Me in 2005, peaking at a career-high No. 4 in the US. The band cut short their concert tour in support of Bleed Like Me announcing an “indefinite hiatus”,emphasizing that they had not broken up, but wished to pursue personal interests. In 2006, Vig returned to producing while Manson worked on an as yet unreleased solo album. Garbage ended their hiatus in 2007 and released the greatest hits retrospective Absolute Garbage. Garbage’s fifth album Not Your Kind of People was released in 2012 via the band’s own independent label, Stunvolume Record

GARBAGE VERSION 2.O 

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Lee Mavers (The La’s)

Lee Mavers, English singer-songwriter and guitarist with English rock band the La’s, was Born 2 August 1962. The La’s are from Liverpool, and were originally active from 1984 until 1992. Fronted by singer, songwriter and guitarist Lee Mavers, the group is best known for their hit single “There She Goes”. The band was formed by Mike Badger in 1984 and Mavers joined soon after, although for most of the group’s history, the frequently changing line-up revolved around the core duo of Lee Mavers (vocals, guitar) and John Power (bass, backing vocals) along with numerous other guitarists and drummers including Paul Hemmings, John “Timmo” Timson, Peter “Cammy” Camell, Iain Templeton, John “Boo” Byrne, Chris Sharrock, Barry Sutton, and Neil Mavers.After the departure of Badger in late 1986, the band signed to Go! Discs in 1987 and commenced recording of their debut album. Following the release of singles “Way Out” (1987), “There She Goes” (1988) and “Timeless Melody” (1990) and having aborted several recording sessions with different producers, the band released their debut album The La’s in 1990 to critical acclaim and modest commercial success. John Power left The La’s to form Cast and the group entered a prolonged hiatus in 1992 which lasted almost two decades. The group later reformed briefly in the mid-1990s, 2005 and 2011. However, no new recordings have been released.

Joe Elliot (Def Leppard)

imageJoe Elliot, the lead singer with English rock bnd Def Leppard, celebrates his birthday on August 1st, which seemed the perfect excuse to post some classic songsDef Leppard were formed in 1977 in Sheffield as part of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement. The band’s strongest commercial success came between the early 1980s and the early 1990s. Their 1981 album High ‘n’ Dry was produced byRobert John “Mutt” Lange, who helped them begin to define their style, and the album’s stand out track “Bringin’ On the Heartbreak” became one of the first metal videos played on MTV in 1982. The band’s next studio album Pyromania in 1983, with the singles “Photograph” and Rock of Ages, turned Def Leppard into a household name. In 2004, the album ranked number 384 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Def Leppard’s fourth album Hysteria, released in 1987, topped the U.S and UK album charts. As of 2009 it has 12x platinum sales in the United States, and has gone on to sell over 20 million copies worldwide. The album spawned six hit singles, including the U.S. Billboard Hot 100number one “Love Bites”, alongside Pour Some Sugar on Me , “Hysteria”,Armaggeddon It , “Animal” and Rocket“”

.Their next studio album Adrenalize (the first following the death of guitarist Steve Clark) reached number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 and UK Album Chart in 1992, and contained several hits including, “Let’s Get Rocked” and “Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad”. Their 1993 album Retro Active contained the acoustic hit song “Two Steps Behind”, while their greatest hits album Vault, released in 1995 featured the new track “When Love & Hate Collide”.

Since 1992, the band have consisted of Rick Savage (bass, backing vocals), Joe Elliott (lead vocals), Rick Allen (drums, backing vocals), Phil Collen (guitar, backing vocals), and Vivian Campbell (guitar, backing vocals). Therefore, this is the band’s longest-standing lineup.As one of the world’s best-selling music artists, Def Leppard have sold more than 100 million albums worldwide,and have two albums with RIAAdiamond certification, Pyromania and Hysteria. They are one of only five rock bands with two original studio albums selling over 10 million copies in the U.S.The band were ranked No. 31 in VH1′s “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock”and ranked No. 70 in “100 Greatest Artists Of All Time”.Def Leppard latest release is the live album, Mirrorball and they are touring during 2015 alongside Tesla and STYX.

ON THROUGH THE NIGHT 
HIGH’N’DRY

HYSTERIA

Herman Melville (Moby Dick)

American writer Herman Melville was born 1st August 1819, so I thought I would pay tribute to him. He was also a short story writer, essayist, and poet and is best known for his novel Moby-Dick. His first three books, including Typee and Moby Dick, gained much contemporary attention (the first, Typee, becoming a bestseller).

The novel Moby Dick features the crew of a doomed whaling vessel called the Pequod, sailing from Nantucket and captained by one legged Captain Ahab, who becomes obsessed with the idea of hunting down and killing a White Whale named Moby Dick, who bit off his leg during a previous encounter. Despite dire warnings from a Native American crew member named Queequay, who foresees doom and the efforts of various crew members, who try to prevent the voyage, their efforts come to no avail and Ahab’s obsession ends up costing many lives and sinking the ship.

Sadly after a fast-blooming literary success in the late 1840s, his popularity declined precipitously in the mid-1850s and never recovered during his lifetime. When he died in 1891, he was almost completely forgotten. It was not until the “Melville Revival” in the early 20th century that his work won recognition, especially Moby-Dick, which was hailed as one of the literary masterpieces of both American and world literature. He was the first writer to have his works collected and published by the Library of America. Melville sadly passed away on September 28, 1891 but has left behind some great literature including Moby Dick and many others. Moby Dick has also been adapted for film and television many times, once with Gregory Peck as Captain Ahab and once with Patrick Stewart in the same role.

Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead)

Featured Image -- 16036The late great Jerry Garcia, musician with American rock band The Grateful Dead was Born 1st August 1942. formed in 1965 in the San Francisco Bay Area. The band were known for their unique and eclectic style, which fused elements of rock, folk, bluegrass, blues, reggae, country, improvisational jazz, psychedelia, and space rock, and  long musical improvisation. “Their music,” writes Lenny Kaye, “touches on ground that most other groups don’t even know exists.” These various influences were distilled into a diverse and psychedelic whole that made the Grateful Dead “the pioneering Godfathers of the jam band world.” They were ranked 57th in the issue The Greatest Artists of all Time by Rolling Stone magazine. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 and their Barton Hall Concert at Cornell University was added to the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry.The founding members of the Grateful Dead were Jerry Garcia (guitar, vocals), Bob Weir (guitar, vocals), Ron “Pigpen” McKernan (keyboards, harmonica, vocals), Phil Lesh (bass, vocals), and Bill Kreutzmann (drums). Lesh was the last member to join the Warlocks before they became the Grateful Dead; he replaced Dana Morgan Jr., who had played bass for a few gigs.

With the exception of McKernan, who died in 1973, the core of the band stayed together for its entire 30-year history.Phil Lesh and Jerry Garcia were brought together by Gert Chiarito in 1964 to perform on The Midnight Special. The Grateful Dead began their career as the Warlocks, a group formed in early 1965 from the remnants of a jug band called Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions, although The band changed its name after finding out that another band of the same name had signed a recording contract. The name “Grateful Dead” was chosen from a dictionary, The definition being that there was “the soul of a dead person, or his angel, showing gratitude to someone who, as an act of charity, arranged their burial.”One of the group’s earliest major performances in 1967 was at the Avalon Ballroom by the San Francisco Hare Krishna temple. The Grateful Dead performed at the event along with the Hare Krishna founder Bhaktivedanta Swami, poet Allen Ginsberg, bands Moby Grape and Big Brother and the Holding Company with Janis Joplin, donating proceeds to the Krishna temple. The band’s first LP, The Grateful Dead, was released in 1967. 1970 included tour dates in New Orleans, Louisiana, where the band performed at The Warehouse for two nights.

Mickey Hart quit the Grateful Dead in February 1971, leaving Kreutzmann once again as the sole percussionist. Hart rejoined the Grateful Dead for good in October 1974. Tom “TC” Constanten was added as a second keyboardist from 1968 to 1970, while Pigpen also played various percussion instruments and sang. Following the Grateful Dead’s “Europe ’72″ tour, Pigpen’s health had deteriorated to the point that he could no longer tour with the band. His final concert appearance was June 17, 1972 at the Hollywood Bowl, in Los Angeles and he died in March, 1973 of complications from alcohol abuse. The Grateful Dead formed their own record group, Grateful Dead Records & Later that year, they released their next studio album, the jazz influenced Wake of the Flood. It became their biggest commercial success thus far.During the late 1970s the band went back to the studio, and the next year released another album, Grateful Dead from the Mars Hotel. Not long after that album’s release however, the Grateful Dead decided to take a hiatus from live touring so that its members could focus on their solo careers. This hiatus was short lived, though, as they resumed touring in 1976, and released another album Terrapin Station in 1977.

During the 1980s the bands sound transformed. Sadly though Garcia’s health began to decline. His drug habits caused him to lose his liveliness on stage. After kicking his drug habit in 1985, he slipped into a diabetic coma for several days in July 1986. After he recovered, the band released In the Dark in 1987, which resulted as their best selling studio album release, and also produced their only top-10 chart single, Touch of Grey. Inspired by Garcia’s improved health and a successful album, the band’s energy and chemistry peaked in the late 1980s and 1990. Performances were vigorous and as a result, every show exceeded its maximum audience capacity. The band’s “high time” came to a sudden halt when Mydland died after the summer tour in 1990. So Vince Welnick, joined on keyboards and vocals and Bruce Hornsby joined the band as the pianist and vocals on September 15, 1990.

Fans of the Grateful Dead, the “Deadheads” are known for their dedication and follow the band from concert to concert for years. From 2003 to 2009 former members of the Grateful Dead, along with other musicians, toured as The Dead and The Other Ones. There are many contemporary incarnations of the Dead, with the most prominent touring acts being Furthur and Phil Lesh & Friends and although Jerry Garcia passed away in 1995, the music lives on.