Rick Savage (Def Leppard)

DefleppardRick Savage, bass player with Def Leppard was Born 2nd December 1960. Formed in 1977 in Sheffield as part of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement. Def Leppard ’s strongest commercial success came between the early 1980s and the early 1990s. Their 1981 album High ‘n’ Dry was produced by Robert 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 a nd 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 contained loads of great songs, including the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number one “Love Bites”, alongside Pour Some Sugar on Me , “Hysteria”, Armageddon It , “Animal” Rocket“, Gods of War and Women. Their next studio album Adrenalize 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 track “When Love & Hate Collide. Def Leppard’s latest album “Def Leppard” was released in 2015 together with a Magazine and Keyring as a limited edition Fanpack and contains sixteen tracks.

Nate Mandel (Foo Fighters)

Nate Mendel, the Bass Player with Sunny Day Real Estate and Foo Fighters was born 2nd December 1968. The Foo Fighters were formed Following Kurt Cobain’s untimely death in April 1994, after Dave Grohl made a Demo tape which created considerable major label interest. Nirvana’s A&R rep Gary Gersh & president of Capitol Records signed Grohl with the label. Grohl did not want the effort to be considered the start of a solo career so he recruited other band members: former Germs and touring Nirvana guitarist Pat Smear, and two members of the band Sunny Day Real Estate, William Goldsmith (drums) and Nate Mendel (bass). Rather than re-record the album, Grohl’s demo was given a professional mix by Rob Schnapf and Tom Rothrock and was released in July 1995 as Foo Fighters’ debut album.

In the midst of the initial sessions for Foo Fighters’ second album, tension emerged between Grohl and Goldsmith. After which Goldsmith officially announced his departure from the band. The band’s second album, The Colour and the Shape,was released in 1997 and cemented Foo Fighters as a staple of rock radio. The album spawned several hits, including “Everlong“, “My Hero“, and “Monkey Wrench“. Just prior to the album’s release, former Alanis Morissette drummer Taylor Hawkins joined the band on drums, he was joined by Grohl’s former Scream bandmate Franz Stahl. However Stahl departed the band prior to recording of Foo Fighters’ third album and was replaced by touring guitarist Chris Shiflett, who later became a full-fledged member during the recording of One by One

In 2000, the band recruited Queen guitarist Brian May to add some guitar flourish to a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Have a Cigar”. The friendship between the two bands resulted in Grohl and Taylor Hawkins being asked to induct Queen into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001. Grohl and Hawkins joined May and Queen drummer Roger Taylor to perform “Tie Your Mother Down”, with Grohl standing in on vocals for Freddie Mercury. (May later contributed guitar work for the song “Tired of You” on the ensuing Foo Fighters album, as well as on an unreleased Foo Fighters song called “Knucklehead”. In 2oo1 Foo Fighters returned to the studio to work on their fourth album “One by One”. After which, Grohl joined Queens of the Stone Age and helped them to record their 2002 album Songs for the Deaf. On November 23, 2002, singer Dave Grohl achieved a historical milestone by replacing himself on the top of the Billboard Modern Rock chart, when “You Know You’re Right” by Nirvana was replaced by “All My Life” by Foo Fighters. When “All My Life” ended its run, after a one week respite, “No One Knows” by Queens of the Stone Age took the number one spot.

On June 14, 2005 Foo Fighters released their fifth album In Your Honor Featuring collaborations with John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin, Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age and Norah Jones. the album was a departure from previous efforts, and included one rock and one acoustic disc. Foo Fighters’s sixth studio album Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace was released on September 25, 2007. and spawned three singles “The Pretender”, “Long Road to Ruin” and “Let It Die”. In 2009 Foo Fighters released their Greatest Hits collection, consisting of 16 tracks including a previously unreleased acoustic version of “Everlong” and two new tracks “Wheels” and “Word Forward” which were produced by Nevermind’s producer Butch Vig. The Foo Fighters’ next released the album Wasting Light, which was released Spring 2011, and included the single “Walk”. The Foo Fighters album Sonic Highways was released in Autumn 2014 and features songs inspired by some of the cities the Foo Fighters have visited while on tour. They also released an EP in December 2015 Entitled St. Cecilia to mark the end of their world Tour.

Blue and Lonesome by the Rolling Stones

The latest album by the Rolling Stones “Blue and Lonesome” is released on 2 December 2016. It is The Rolling Stone’s 23rd British and 25th American studio album and is entirely blues-based, consisting of covers of legendary blues artists such as Howlin’ Wolf, Memphis Slim, Willie Dixon, Buddy Johnson, Magic Sam and Little Walter.

It is their first studio release since 2005’s A Bigger Bang and is the band’s first album to feature only cover songs. “Just Your Fool”, a Little Walter cover, is the first single from the album. Eric Clapton has also contributed guitar on two tracks as he was recording his own album in the same studio as the Stones were and was invited to contribute. Keith Richards also stated that the album would feature “a lot of Chicago blues”.

“Just Your Fool” Buddy Johnson
“Commit a Crime” Howlin’ Wolf
“Blue and Lonesome” Memphis Slim
“All of Your Love” Magic Sam
“I Gotta Go” Little Walter
“Everybody Knows About My Good Thing”
“Ride ‘Em On Down” Eddie Taylor
“Hate to See You Go” Little Walter
“Hoo Doo Blues” Otis Hicks and Jerry West
“Little Rain” Ewart G. Abner Jr. and Jimmy Reed
“Just Like I Treat You” Willie Dixon
“I Can’t Quit You Baby” Willie Dixon

What Remains of Me by Alison Gaylin

I would like to read What Remains of Me by Alison Gaylin. This novel features Kelly Michelle Lund who, On June 28, 1980, shot and killed Oscar-nominated director John McFadden at a wild wrap party at his house in the Hollywood Hills. Lund had previously been hanging out with McFadden’s son, Vee, and Bellamy Marshall, the daughter of another Hollywood big shot, actor Sterling Marshall—friendships her mother disapproved of since Kelly’s twin, Catherine, died in a plunge into a canyon that was ruled a suicide after she started running with this fast crowd. Subsequently Convicted of the murder, she loses her youth and her freedom amid much speculation over this enigmatic seventeen-year-old’s motives.

Fast-forward 20 years: Kelly has served her time and married her former friend Bellamy’s younger brother, Shane, and they live in the desert outside LA. Their marriage is rocky since Shane is addicted to sleeping pills and Kelly is sleeping with their oddball neighbor, a sculptor who calls himself Rocky Three. Bellamy has made a name for herself as an artist with a piece based on Kelly called Mona Lisa, “which features a seven-foot-tall version of the iconic 1981 photograph taken of Lund outside the Los Angeles courthouse.”

However Thirty years later—and five years after her release from prison, the past comes back to haunt Kelly. Her father-in-law, movie legend Sterling Marshall, is found in a pool of blood in his home in the Hollywood Hills—dead from a shot to the head, just like his old friend John McFadden. Naturally Kelly is suspected of the high-profile murder.

Woody Allen

American screenwriter, director, actor, comedian, author, playwright, and musician Woody Allen (born Allen Stewart Konigsberg Was born December 1, 1935. His career spans more than 50 years.He worked as a comedy writer in the 1950s, writing jokes and scripts for television and publishing several books of short humor pieces. In the early 1960s, Allen began performing as a stand-up comic, emphasizing monologues rather than traditional jokes. As a comic, he developed the persona of an insecure, intellectual, fretful nebbish, which he insists is quite different from his real-life personality. In 2004, Comedy Central ranked Allen in fourth place on a list of the 100 greatest stand-up comics, while a UK survey ranked Allen as the third greatest comedian.

By the mid-1960s Allen was writing and directing films, first specializing in slapstick comedies before moving into dramatic material influenced by European art cinema during the 1970s. He is often identified as part of the New Hollywood wave of filmmakers of the mid-1960s to late ’70s. Allen often stars in his own films, typically in the neurotic persona he developed as a standup. Some best-known of his over 40 films are Annie Hall (1977), Manhattan (1979), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), and Midnight in Paris(2011). Critic Roger Ebert described Allen as “a treasure of the cinema”.

Allen has been nominated 23 times and won four Academy Awards: three for Best Original Screenplay and one for Best Director (Annie Hall (1978). He has more screenwriting Academy Award nominations than any other writer. He has won nine British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards. Allen performs regularly as a jazz clarinetist at small venues in Manhattan. In 2011, PBS televised the film biography, Woody Allen: A Documentary, on the American Masters TV series, covering biographies of actors and writers who have had a profound impact on the nation’s popular culture.

World AIDS Day

AidsWorld AIDS Day, takes place annually on December 1 and is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection, and mourning those who have died of the disease. Government and health officials, non-governmental organizations and individuals around the world observe the day, often with education on AIDS prevention and control.

World AIDS Day was first conceived in August 1987 by James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter, two public information officers for the Global Programme on AIDS at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. Bunn and Netter took their idea to Dr. Jonathan Mann, Director of the Global Programme on AIDS (now known as UNAIDS). Dr. Mann liked the concept, approved it, and agreed with the recommendation that the first observance of World AIDS Day should be on December 1, 1988. Bunn, a former television broadcast journalist from San Francisco, had recommended the date of December 1 that believing it would maximize coverage of World AIDS Day by western news media, sufficiently long following the US elections but before the Christmas holidays.

In its first two years, the theme of World AIDS Day focused on children and young people. While the choice of this theme was criticized at the time by some for ignoring the fact that people of all ages may become infected with HIV, the theme helped alleviate some of the stigma surrounding the disease and boost recognition of the problem as a family disease. The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) became operational in 1996, and it took over the planning and promotion of World AIDS Day. Rather than focus on a single day, UNAIDS created the World AIDS Campaign in 1997 to focus on year-round communications, prevention and education. In 2004, the World AIDS Campaign became an independent organization. Each year, Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have released a greeting message for patients and doctors on World AIDS Day. In the US, the White House began marking World AIDS Day with the iconic display of a 28-foot AIDS Ribbon on the building’s North Portico in 2007. The display, now an annual tradition, and was the first banner, sign or symbol to prominently hang from the White House since the Abraham Lincoln administration.

As of 2013, AIDS has killed more than 36 million people worldwide (1981-2012), and an estimated 35.3 million people are living with HIV, making it one of the most important global public health issues in recorded history. Despite recent improved access to antiretroviral treatment in many regions of the world, the AIDS epidemic claims an estimated 2 million lives each year, of which about 270,000 are children.

World AIDS Day is one of the eight official global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO), along with World Health Day, World Blood Donor Day, World Immunization Week, World Tuberculosis Day, World No Tobacco Day, World Malaria Day and World Hepatitis Day. Since 1995, the President of the United States has made an official proclamation on World AIDS Day.

Suicide Squad

The Suicide Squad is out on DVD IT takes place in the aftermath of Superman’s death. It features a US intelligence officer Amanda Waller assembles Task Force X, a team of dangerous criminals imprisoned at Belle Reve Prison, to be used as disposable assets in high-risk missions for the United States government reasoning that they’re all expendable and much cheaper than Special Forces Mercenaries. They consist of elite hitman Deadshot, (will Smith) former psychiatrist Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), pyrokinetic ex-gangster El Diablo, opportunistic thief Captain Boomerang, genetic mutation Killer Croc, and specialized assassin Slipknot. Now armed with government weapons, they are placed under command of Colonel Rick Flag .

However One of Waller’s intended recruits is Flag’s girlfriend Dr. June Moone, an archaeologist who is possessed by a witch-goddess known as the “Enchantress”. Enchantress quickly turns on Waller, deciding to eradicate humankind with a mystical weapon and She besieges Midway City. Meanwhile Harley’s homicidal lover, the Joker, finds out about her predicament and tortures Belle Reve Security Officer Griggs into leading him to the facility where the nano bombs are made. Meanwhile Boomerang convinces Slipknot that the bombs are a ruse to keep them in check, with explosive results,

Then the squad is attacked by Enchantress’ minions. The Joker hijack’s a helicopter to try and rescue Harley Quinn. However Enchantress’ minions kidnap her. Deadshot learns the truth about Enchantress, compromising Flag in the process. They eventually locate Enchantress at a partially-flooded subway station. Killer Croc and a group of Navy SEALs, led by Lieutenant GQ Edwards, come up with a plan. The remaining squad members battle Enchantress together, but are ultimately defeated. The Enchantress then attempts to pursuade the Suicide Squad to join her instead. Later the squad members are returned to Belle Reve with ten years off their sentences. All but Captain Boomerang are allowed special privileges, however The Joker rescues Harley from Belle Reve for the inevitable sequel.

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

Having read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs I would like to read the thrilling follow-up “Hollow City”. It follows on from Miss Peregrine’s home for Peculiar Children and features ten peculiar children, including Jacob Portman, Hugh, Emma Bloom and Millard, who have managed to escape the destruction of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and are now being pursued by an army of deadly monsters including wights and Hollowghasts, to London the peculiar capital of the World. Where they hope to find a cure for Miss Peregrine who is still trapped in the body of a bird.

After fleeing in a boat from the hollowgasts, the peculiar children are caught up in a bad storm and end up on a beach pursued by wights, so they flee into the forests of the mainland. They discover that Miss Wren, is a ymbryne and has flown to London to rescue her other fellow ymbrynes, So, the peculiar children leave in search of her, in hopes that she can turn Miss Peregrine back into a human, before her human self is lost forever. They travel with Gypsies who’s leader has a peculiar son, whilst being pursued by wights

While looking for Miss Wren they encounter new allies and a menagerie of peculiar animals together with many hideous surprises including Wights and Hollowghasts, lurking round every dark corner before making it to St.Paul’s Cathedral where they enter an underground crypt and meet two peculiar children named Joel and Peter who are echolocators and seem to share one mind. They also meet a girl named Melina Manon who is gifted with telekinesis who agree to assist them in finding Miss Wren who is the only person who can turn Miss Peregrine’s back into her human form.

Cities for Life Day

Cities for Life Day is held annually on November 30 to celebrate the first abolition of the death penalty by a European state, which was decreed by Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor of Habsburg-Lorraine in 1786 for his Grand Duchy of Tuscany. On this occasion the participating cities show their commitment for life and against the death penalty. It is also held in recognition of Cesare Beccaria who was one of the greatest Italian Enlightenment writers, and wrote Of Crimes and Punishments (1764). In it, Beccaria put forth some of the modern arguments against the death penalty. His treatise was also the first full work of penology, advocating reform of the criminal law system. The book was the first full-scale work to tackle criminal reform and to suggest that criminal justice should conform to rational principles. As a consequence in Italy the first pre-unitarian state to abolish the death penalty was the Grand Duchy of Tuscany as of November 30, 1786, under the reign of Pietro Leopoldo, later Holy Roman Emperor Leopold II. So Tuscany was the first civil state in the world to do away with torture and capital punishment. Since then many more People have also abandoned the death penalty

“In 2012, 141 states abolished the Death Penalty either by law or on a de facto basis. Since 2007, the United Nations General Assembly has repeatedly called for a universal moratorium with a view toward total abolition of capital punishment. In 2011 progress was made in all regions of the world, particularly the United States: Illinois became abolitionist and in April 2012 Connecticut became the 17th state to abolish the death penalty, thus becoming the fifth American state to revoke capital punishment in the last five years.”

participating cities illuminate a symbolic monument, such as the Atomium in Brussels, the Colosseum in Rome and the Plaza de Santa Ana in Madrid. Participating cities in 2009 include more than 60 capitals worldwide, and over 1,200 cities and towns around the world, such as Rome, Brussels, Madrid, Ottawa, Mexico City, Berlin, Barcelona, Florence, Venice, Buenos Aires, Austin, Dallas, Antwerp, Vienna, Naples, Paris, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Reggio Emilia, Bogotá, Santiago de Chile.

By this symbolic action, these cities demand a stay of all executions worldwide. This initiative is promoted by the Community of Sant’Egidio and supported by the main international human rights organizations, gathered in the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty (Amnesty International, Ensemble contre la Peine de Mort, International Penal Reform, FIACAT). In 2005, the Cities for Life Day also featured the “Africa for Life” conference about the death penalty in Africa, in which 14 ministers of justice from as many African countries participated. The conference took place in Florence, Tuscany. Cities continue to join this cause, many in countries that maintain the death penalty. In 2012 there were 1625, of which 72 were capitals.

Thriller by Michael Jackson

Thriller by Michael Jackson was released 30 November 1982. It became—and currently remains—the world’s best-selling album, with estimated sales surpassing 65 million copies.It is the best-selling album in the United States and the first album to be certified 32x multi-platinum, having shipped 32 million album-equivalent units. The album won a record-breaking eight Grammy Awards in 1984, including Album of the Year. Seven singles were released from the album, all of which reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Thriller, was the follow-up to Jackson’s successful fifth album Off the Wall (1979), and explores genres similar to those of its predecessor, including pop, post-disco, rock and funk. Quincy Jones produced the album, while Jackson wrote four of its nine songs.

Thriller enabled Jackson to break down racial barriers in pop music, via his appearances on MTV and meeting with President of the United States Ronald Reagan at the White House. The album was one of the first to use music videos as successful promotional tools, and the videos for the songs “Thriller”, “Billie Jean” and “Beat It” all received regular rotation on MTV. In 2001, a special edition reissue of the album was released, which contains additional audio interviews, demo recordings and the song “Someone in the Dark”, which was a Grammy-winning track from the E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial storybook. In 2008, the album was reissued again as Thriller 25, containing remixes that feature contemporary artists, a previously unreleased song and a DVD, which features the short films from the album and the Motown 25 performance of “Billie Jean”. That same year the album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, along with Jackson’s Off The Wall album.

In 2012, Slant Magazine placed Thriller at number one on its list of “Best Albums of the 1980s”. Rolling Stone placed the album at number 20 on their list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. The album was listed by the National Association of Recording Merchandisers at number three on its list of the “Definitive 200 albums of all time”. Thriller was also included in the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry of culturally significant recordings, and the Thriller music video was included in the National Film Preservation Board’s National Film Registry of “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant films”.

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