Best known for writing the bestselling novels Digial Fortress, Angels and Demons The Lost Symbol and The Da Vinci Code, the American thriller Author Dan Brown was born June 22, 1964. Typically Brown’s novels are fast paced treasure hunts set during a short period of time, which feature the recurring themes of history and Christianity as well as cryptography, keys, symbols, codes, and conspiracy theories. His interest in secrets and puzzles stems from their presence in his household as a child, where codes and ciphers were the linchpin tying together the mathematics, music and languages in which his parents worked. The young Brown spent hours working out anagrams and crossword puzzles, and he and his siblings participated in elaborate treasure hunts devised by their father on birthdays and holidays. On Christmas, for example, Brown and his siblings did not find gifts under the tree, but followed a treasure map with codes and clues throughout their house and even around town to find the gifts.Brown’s relationship with his father inspired that ofSophie Neveu and Jacques Sauniere in The Da Vinci Code, and Chapter 23 of that novel was inspired by one of his childhood treasure hunts. After graduating from Phillips Exeter, Brown attended Amherst College, where he was a member of Psi Upsilon fraternity. He played squash, sang in the Amherst Glee Club, and was a writing student of visiting novelist Alan Lelchuk. Brown spent the 1985 school year abroad in Seville, Spain, where he was enrolle in an art history course at the University of Seville. Brown graduated from Amherst in 1986.
After graduating from Amherst, Brown dabbled with a musical career, creating effects with a synthesizer, and self-producing a children’s cassette entitled SynthAnimals, which included a collection of tracks such as “Happy Frogs” and “Suzuki Elephants”; it sold a few hundred copies. He then formed his own record company called Dalliance, and in 1990 self-published a CD entitled Perspective, targeted to the adult market, which also sold a few hundred copies.In 1991 he moved to Hollywood to pursue a career as singer-songwriter and pianist. To support himself, he taught classes at Beverly Hills Preparatory School.He also joined the National Academy of Songwriters, and participated in many of its events. It was there that he met Blythe Newlon, a woman 12 years his senior, who was the Academy’s Director of Artist Development. Though it was not officially part of her job, she took on the seemingly unusual task of helping to promote Brown’s projects; she wrote press releases, set up promotional events, and put him in contact with people who could be helpful to his career. She and Brown also developed a personal relationship, though this was not known to all of their associates until 1993, when Brown moved back to New Hampshire, and it was learned that Newlon would accompany him. They married in 1997, at Pea Porridge Pond, near Conway, New Hampshire.
On 1993 Brown released the CD Dan Brown, which included songs such as “976-Love” and “If You Believe in Love.”In 1994 Brown released a CD titled Angels & Demons. Its artwork was the same ambigram by artist John Langdon which he later used for the novel Angels & Demons. The liner notes also again credited his wife for her involvement, thanking her “for being my tireless cowriter, coproducer, second engineer, significant other, and therapist.” The CD included songs such as “Here in These Fields” and the religious ballad “All I Believe.” Brown and his wife moved to his home town in New Hampshire in 1993. Brown became an English teacher at his alma mater Phillips Exeter, and gave Spanish classes to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders at Lincoln Akerman School, a small school for K–8th grade with about 250 students, in Hampton Falls. While on holiday in Tahiti in 1993, Brown read Sidney Sheldon’s novel The Doomsday Conspiracy, and was inspired to become a writer of thrillers. He started work on Digital Fortress, setting much of it in Seville, where he had studied in 1985. He also co-wrote a humor book with his wife, 187 Men to Avoid: A Guide for the Romantically Frustrated Woman, under the pseudonym “Danielle Brown.” The book’s author profile reads, “Danielle Brown currently lives in New England: teaching school, writing books, and avoiding men.” The copyright is attributed to Dan Brown.
In 1996 Brown quit teaching to become a full-time writer. Digital Fortress was published in 1998. His wife, Blythe, did much of the book’s promotion, writing press releases, booking Brown on talk shows, and setting up press interviews. A few months later, Brown and his wife released The Bald Book, another humor book. It was officially credited to his wife, though a representative of the publisher said that it was primarily written by Brown. Brown subsequently wrote Angels & Demons and Deception Point, released in 2000 and 2001 respectively, the former of which was the first to feature the lead character, Harvard symbology expert Robert Langdon.Brown’s first three novels had little success, with fewer than 10,000 copies in each of their first printings. His fourth novel, The Da Vinci Code, became a bestseller, going to the top of the New York Times Best Seller list during its first week of release in 2003. It is now credited with being one of the most popular books of all time, with 81 million copies sold worldwide as of 2009. Brown’s third novel featuring Robert Langdon, The Lost Symbol, was released on September 15, 2009. The story takes place in Washington D.C. over a period of 12 hours, and features the Freemasons and Brown’s fourth novel is the mystery thriller Inferno which also features Robert Langdon,
His books have been translated into 52 languages, and as of 2012, sold over 200 million copies (a lot of which can be found in Charity shops). Two of them, have also been adapted into films – The Da Vinci Code, directed by Ron Howard and and starring Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon, Audrey Tautou as Sophie Neveu and Sir Ian McKellen as Sir Leigh Teabing And Angels & Demons, with Howard and Hanks returning. Filmmakers have also expressed interest in adapting The Lost Symbol into a film as well.
Jimmy Somerville, Scottish singer-songwriter and musician with Bronski Beat and The Communards) was born 22 June 1961. Somerviller started his music career in 1983, when he co-founded the synth pop group Bronski Beat, who had several hits in the British charts. Their biggest hit was “Smalltown Boy” which reached #3 in the U.K. charts. Somerville played the song’s titular character in the music video who leaves his hostile ‘straight’ hometown for the friendlier city (..Alone on a platform, the wind and the rain…) Somerville left Bronski Beat in 1985, and formed The Communards with classically trained pianist Richard Coles (now a Church of England vicar). They had several hits, including a cover version of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes’s “Don’t Leave Me This Way”, which spent four weeks at #1 in the UK charts, and became the biggest-selling single of 1986 in the UK. He also sang backing vocals on Fine Young Cannibals’ version of “Suspicious Minds”, which was a UK Top 10 hit.
The Communards split in 1988, and Somerville launched his solo career. He had several solo hits between 1989 and 1991, also singing on the second Band Aid project at the end of 1989. After releasing his 1989 album Read My Lips, which included a hit cover of Sylvester’s disco classic “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” as well as a cover of The Bee Gees’ hit song “To Love Somebody” a year later, Somerville left the limelight. In 1990, Somerville contributed the song “From This Moment On” to the Cole Porter tribute album Red Hot + Blue produced by the Red Hot Organization, the proceeds from which benefitedAIDS research.
In 1991 Somerville provided backing vocals to a track called “Why aren’t you in love with me?” from the album “Ripe” by Communards offshoot band Banderas. The Banderas duo Caroline Buckley and Sally Herbert had previously been part of Somerville’s backing band.Somerville returned in 1995 with the album Dare to Love, which included “Heartbeat”, a #1 hit on the U.S. dance chart, “Hurts So Good” and “By Your Side”. Another album, entitled Manage The Damage, was released in 1999, and its companion remix album Root Beercame out a year later. His dance-oriented fourth solo album, Home Again, was released in 2005. May 2009 saw the release of Somerville’s Suddenly Last Summer album, which contained acoustic interpretations of other people’s songs. .In 2011 Somerville released a dance EP called “Bright Thing”. Somerville has also led an acting career, appearing in Sally Potter’s 1992 film of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, in Isaac Julien’s 1998 Looking for Langston, and has also appeared in an episode of the cult science fiction television series Lexx (“Girltown”).
Best known for his work with the Scottish band Simple Minds,Scottish bassist, vocalist, and sometime guitarist, Derek Forbes was born 22 June 1956, in Glasgow, Scotland. He joined Simple Minds in 1978, and recorded on their early demos and 1979 debut album, Life in a Day until shortly after their 1985 hit, “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”).
Simple Minds are a Scottish rock band that formed in Glasgow in 1977. The most commercially successful Scottish band of the 1980s, they have achieved five UK number one albums during their career and have sold 60 million records worldwide. Despite various personnel changes, they continue to record and tour. The band had a string of hit singles, becoming best known internationally for their 1985 hit “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” , from the soundtrack of the film The Breakfast Club. “Sanctify Yourself” “Alive and Kicking” and “Belfast Child” they won the British Academy’s Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Song Collection. The core of the band is the two remaining founding members – Jim Kerr (vocals, songwriting) and Charlie Burchill (guitars, keyboards after 1990, other instruments, songwriting). The other current band members are Andy Gillespie (keyboards), drummer Mel Gaynor (who first joined the band in 1982) and Ged Grimes (bass guitar). Former members include bass guitarist Derek Forbes, drummer Brian McGee, and keyboardist Mick MacNeil.
Forbes was dismissed from Simple Minds, apparently due to petty jealousy, as cited by Jim Kerr, who stated that it was a regrettable mistake, prior to the release of the global success of Once Upon a Time. Forbes has claimed that he wrote on 60% of the album, yet remained uncredited. Assuming he would quickly be asked to re-join the band, no legal action was taken. Forbes reunited with the band for a three-year period, before and during the recording of Néapolis from 1995-1998 and, along with Mel Gaynor, were to find out a few days before the Kosovo show at Glasgow’s SECC, that they both weren’t included, much to the confusion of the fans, as they had been told that both Forbes and Gaynor were not available to play, but were onstage directly before the Minds went on. Forbes states that he has never left the band, and Forbes has cited that he wasn’t happy with the final mix of the album. Forbes and Mel Gaynor appeared at the Scotland Rocks for Kosova in 1999 performing Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir”, whilst Simple Minds also appeared on the bill with Mark Kerr on drums and Eddie Duffy on bass.
After Simple Minds, Forbes went on to play in number of other bands, including Propaganda (Germany) and Oblivion Dust (Japan). He also played in Fourgoodmen, a Scottish supergroup, between 2005-2007 and formed XSM, who were originally to consist of Forbes, MacNeil and McGee from the original Simple Minds line up. XSM recorded an albums worth of tracks, but Mick MacNeil didn’t want to play ‘Live’, so Forbes and McGee took the band out, along with ‘one Hit Wonder’ Owen Paul (McGee), sibling of Brian McGee. The guitar and keyboard player roles were twofold, with Steven Curley (version 1) on guitar, followed by Ant Seaman guitar (version 2) and Gary O’Hagan keyboards (version 1) and Andy Gall keyboards (version 2).
Forbes was voted ‘Best Bass Player in the World’ in 1982, and ‘Best International Bass Player’ in a music poll in Australia, the same year. Forbes was also voted ‘Best Bass Player in UK’. Forbes is highly respected by his peers and fellow musicians, including Adam Clayton, Peter Hook, Nicky Wire, Tony Butler, Pino Palladino, JJ Burnell, Bruce Foxton, John Giblin and Malcolm Foster. In 2009, Forbes was voted ‘Scotland’s Greatest Ever Bassist’ by the readers of Dear Scotland, and his life and work is the subject of a biography in both print and film by writer/director Ethan Dettenmaier. Forbes had his own Hollywood radio show on LA Talk Radio for two years, before joining Big Country which, stopped production of his show ‘May the Forbes Be With You’ and was a featured extra in the film ‘This Is Not A Love Song’. Forbes was the bass player with Scottish band Big Country, replacing the longstanding Tony Butler who retired from the band, but left the band in 2015.
English novellist Sir Henry Rider Haggard, KBE was born 22 June 1856 in Bradenham, Norfolk, and studied at Garsington Rectory in Oxfordshire under Reverend H. J. Graham but unlike his older brothers who graduated from various private schools, he attended Ipswich Grammar School. In 1875, Haggard’s father sent him to South Africa, to take up an unpaid position as assistant to the secretary to Sir Henry Bulwer, Lieutenant-Governor of the Colony of Natal. In 1876 he was transferred to the staff of Sir Theophilus Shepstone, Special Commissioner for the Transvaal. I was in this role that Haggard was present in Pretoria in April 1877 for the official announcement of the British annexation of the Boer Republic of the Transvaal. In 1878 he became Registrar of the High Court in the Transvaal, and wrote to his father informing him that he intended to return to England. When Haggard eventually returned to England, he married a friend of his sister, (Mariana) Louisa Margitson in 1880. And they settled in Ditchingham, Norfolk, Louisa’s ancestral home. Later they lived in Kessingland and had connections with the church in Bungay, Suffolk.
After returning to England in 1882, Haggard published a book on the political situation in South Africa and handful of unsuccessful novels, before writing the book for which he is most famous, King Solomon’s Mines. He accepted a 10% royalty rather than ₤100 for the copyright. A sequel, Allan Quatermain, soon followed, and She and its sequel Ayesha, swashbuckling adventure novels set in the context of the Scramble for Africa (the action of Ayesha however happens in Tibet). Due to this The hugely popular King Solomon’s Mines is sometimes considered the first of the Lost World genre and features the heroic Zulu warrior Umslopogaas and Ignosi, the rightful king of Kukuanaland, while Sheon the other hand is generally considered to be one of the classics of imaginative literature . He is also remembered for Nada the Lily (a tale of adventure among the Zulus) and the epic Viking romance, Eric Brighteyes. Three of Haggard’s novels were written in collaboration with his friend Andrew Lang who shared his interest in the spiritual realm and paranormal phenomena.
Haggard also studied law and was called to the bar in 1884 and He stood unsuccessfully for Parliament as a Conservative candidate for the Eastern division of Norfolk in the 1895 summer election, losing by only 198 votes.Haggard was also heavily involved in reforming agriculture and was a member of many commissions on land use and related affairs, work that involved several trips to the Colonies and Dominions Haggard also wrote about agricultural and social reform, in part inspired by his experiences in Africa, but also based on what he saw in Europe and this eventually led to the passage of the 1909 Development Bill.
Haggard’s Lost World genre influenced popular American pulp writers such as Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, Talbot Mundy, Philip José Farmer and Abraham Merritt and his stories are still widely read today. Ayesha, the female protagonist of She, has been cited as a prototype by psychoanalysts as different as Sigmund Freud (in The Interpretation of Dreams) and Carl Jung. Her epithet “She Who Must Be Obeyed” is used by British author John Mortimer in his Rumpole of the Bailey series as the private name which the lead character uses for his wife, Hilda, before whom he trembles at home (despite the fact that he is a barrister with some skill in court). Allan Quatermain, the adventure hero of King Solomon’s Mines and its sequel Allan Quatermain, was a template for the American character Indiana Jones, featured in the films Raiders of the Lost Ark, Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Quatermain has gained recent popularity thanks to being a main character in the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Haggard was praised in 1965 by Roger Lancelyn Green, one of the Oxford Inklings, as a writer of a consistently high level of “literary skill and sheer imaginative power” and a co-originator with Robert Louis Stevenson of the Age of the Story Tellers. The first chapter of his book People of the Mist is credited with inspiring the motto of the Royal Air Force (formerly the Royal Flying Corps), Per ardua ad astra.
In recognition of his agricultural reforms Haggard was made a Knight Bachelor in 1912 and a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1919. towards the end of his life he also became a staunch opponent of Bolshevism, a position he shared with his friend Rudyard Kipling, with whom he had bonded upon Kipling’s arrival at London in 1889, and the two remained lifelong friends. Haggard sadly passed away 14 May 1925 at the age 68. His ashes were buried at Ditchingham Church and his papers are held at the Norfolk Record Office
Brandon Flowers, American singer and keyboard player with American rock band The Killers was born June 21st 1981. The killers were formed in 2001, by Brandon Flowers (lead vocals, keyboards) and Dave Keuning (guitar, backing vocals). Mark Stoermer (bass, backing vocals) and Ronnie Vannucci Jr. (drums, percussion) completed the current line-up of the band in 2002.
The name The Killers is derived from a logo on the bass drum of a fictitious band portrayed in the music video for the New Order song “Crystal”.The group has released three studio albums, Hot Fuss (2004), Sam’s Town (2006) and Day & Age (2008)and Battle Born. They have also released one compilation album, Sawdust (2007) and one live album and DVD titled Live from the Royal Albert Hall (2009). To date, the band has sold over 6 million albums in the United States, over 5 million albums in the United Kingdom, and over 15 million worldwide.
The Killers trace their beginings to 2001, when Flowers was fired by his first band, a Las Vegas synthpop trio known as Blush Response After attending an Oasis concert at the Hard Rock Hotel during The Tour of Brotherly Love, Flowers realized his calling was to be in a rock band and began searching for like-minded musicians.He eventually came across an ad posted in a Las Vegas newspaper by Dave Keuning, a 25-year-old guitarist who had moved to Vegas from Iowa a year earlier. When the pair met they bonded over similar musical influences and immediately began writing songs together in Keuning’s apartment. In November 2001, they headed to Kill The Messenger Studio in Henderson, Nevada along with recently recruited drummer Matt Norcross to begin recording a demo; they recorded two tracks: “Mr. Brightside”, which was the first song Flowers and Keuning wrote together, and “Desperate”. A month later they recorded two more, “Under the Gun” and “Replaceable”, with Keuning’s roommate Dell Neal on bass.
Keuning and Flowers played their first live show together at an open mic night at the Cafe Espresso Roma in Las Vegas in January 2002; the pair, joined by Neal and Norcross, began playing venues around the city where they would also hand out free copies of their demo. The Killers brought a unique style to the small Vegas music scene which was predominately filled with punk, nu metal, and rap bands; one local reviewer stated, “The Killers, thankfully, don’t come across like any other band in town” and described their sound as a mix between the “pop styles of British music and the lo-fi fuzz of modern indie rock. However, The Killers, whose early live sound was also described as erratic, had, by the summer of 2002, fired drummer Matt Norcross and replaced him briefly with Brian Havens, who also was eventually fired. Bassist Dell Neal later left the band due to personal reasons.
Ronnie Vannucci Jr. joined The Killers shortly before Neal’s departure. Vannucci was well-known on the Las Vegas music scene, having played in numerous bands since a young age. It was while he was drumming for other bands including Daphne Major and Romance Fantasy in 2002 that he had met The Killers. Ronnie’s first show with the band was on August 30, 2002, at a club called The Junkyard. Playing bass for The Killers that night was Mark Stoermer, who was at this point the lead guitarist for local progressive rock band The Negative Ponies. The band were keen on Stoermer joining them on a permanent basis with full commitment, but he was reluctant to leave The Negative Ponies. Stoermer eventually accepted the invitation to join. According to Ryan Pardey who booked many of the band’s early shows “They (The Killers) became a great band when Ronnie and Mark joined.
The four of them would get together in Vannucci’s garage to work on song ideas. They would also sneak into the band room at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (where Vannucci was studying classical percussion) at night to practice. It was during this period that the band wrote much of their debut album Hot Fuss including hit singles “Somebody Told Me” and “Smile Like You Mean It”. The band continued playing at small venues around their hometown, often playing Sunday nights at a transvestite bar named Sasha’s (later renamed Tramps).
Braden Merrick, brothers dicvoereed their demo on a website dedicated to unsigned bands in the Las Vegas area; after attending a live show he offered to help the band find a record deal and eventually became their manager. He took the band to the San Francisco area, to Berkeley, California, to record demos with former Green Day manager Jeff Saltzman, they then sent the demo tapes out to major record labels in the US. The band was invited to perform at a number of showcases but were ultimately not signed, the band however did catch the eye of Alex Gilbert, who was an A&R rep from the United Kingdom. Gilbert took a demo with him back to the UK and showed it to his friend Ben Durling, who worked at the newly formed Independent label Lizard King Records in London. Despite not yet meeting the band in person, Lizard King were quick to offer the band a deal based on the strength of the five song demo. The Killers signed with the British label in July 2003.
On August 19, 2003, the song “Mr. Brightside” premiered on DJ Zane Lowe’s BBC Radio 1 show in the UK The Killers travelled to London the following month to spend a week playing at influential live music venues across the city. On September 29, 2003, the song “Mr. Brightside” was released in the UK on a limited number of CDs and vinyl records, critical reviews of both the song and the shows were positive, NME magazine noted the band’s retro sound. Then the US began showing strong interest in the band and they were invited to play at the ASCAP CMJ Music Marathon in New York City. They eventually signed with the record company Island Def Jam
The band finished recording Hot Fuss in November 2003 with Jeff Saltzman, they decided to keep many of the previously recorded demos as they felt they had a spontaneity that re-recordings would not have. Shortly afterwards they returned to London having been invited to support British Sea Power on their UK tour, the band also worked with Alan Moulder at Eden Studios and Townhouse Studios mixing tracks for their upcoming album. They continued playing support slots during the first half of 2004 most notably touring both the US & UK with Stellastarr and opening for Morrissey on two separate occasions. The band filmed their first music video for the Spring 2004 release of “Somebody Told Me” which was to be the band’s debut single in the US and second single in the UK. The band’s first headline tour started in the UK in May 2004. During the spring and summer of 2004, the group played well-received sets at festivals across Europe and North America which helped add to their growing fanbase. The Killers released their debut album Hot Fuss on June 7, 2004 in the United Kingdom on Lizard King Records and a week later in the United States on Island Records.
The track listing differed depending on territory, in the UK and Australia “Glamorous Indie Rock and Roll” replaces “Change Your Mind” as track eight. Extensive touring and the success of the Grammy Award nominated singles “Somebody Told Me”, “All These Things That I’ve Done” and “Mr. Brightside” led to the album becoming a huge commercial success. The Killers were named The World’s Best Selling New Group at the 2005 World Music Awards, and also won the MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist and were also nominated for three Grammy Awards with Hot Fuss being nominated for Best Rock Album, in the UK they picked up an NME Award for Best International Band. The band was recognized by Rolling Stone as the “best-selling new rock band of the past year” in June 2005. Lead singer Brandon Flowers had also gained media attention, being named both Sexiest and Best Dressed Man at the NME Awards, In July 2005, The Killers performed at the Live 8 concert, playing “All These Things That I’ve Done”. Robbie Williams incorporated the song’s refrain “I’ve got soul but I’m not a soldier” into his own performance. Coldplay and U2 followed suit and, at their separate concerts played in Las Vegas, with The Killers in the crowd, incorporated the line into their songs “God Put a Smile Upon Your Face” and “Beautiful Day”, respectively.
The band fired manager Braden Merrick in 2006, Merrick later filed a lawsuit against the band for breach of contract and their new manager and lawyer Robert Reynolds for $16 million each.The band counter sued citing that Merrick’s poor management had cost them millions. The case was settled in 2009. Shortly after finishing touring for Hot Fuss, The Killers headed back into the studio to start recording their highly anticipated second studio album with producers Alan Moulder and Flood, who were working together for the first time in a decade. Sam’s Town was mostly recorded at Studio at the Palms in Las Vegas, with finishing touches added to the album at Criterion Studios, London in June 2006. Upon completion of the album, Flowers claimed he felt the band had made “one of the best albums of the past twenty years” and that he wanted the album to capture “everything important that got me to where I am today”. In July 2006, the lead single “When You Were Young” was premiered and it became a hit, gaining another two Grammy Award nominations and mostly positive reviews with many bringing attention to the influence of Heartland rock on the song Dustland Fairytale The Killers’ second album, Sam’s Town, was named after a locals casino in the band’s hometown of Las Vegas.The Killers also recorded a live session at Abbey Road Studios for Live from Abbey Road on November 29, 2006. They performed an almost totally unplugged set, which included stripped back versions of the album’s title track “Sam’s Town”, “When You Were Young” and a rendition of the Dire Straits hit “Romeo and Juliet”. In December 2006 the band released a Christmas charity song, “A Great Big Sled”, which benefited Product Red. This has since become an annual tradition.
In February 2007, The Killers attended the BRIT Awards in the United Kingdom, where they performed “When You Were Young”. The band won two awards — Best International Group & International Album. In the same month the band’s Tim Burton-directed video for the album’s second single “Bones” won Best Video at the NME Awards. The band recorded the video for third single “Read My Mind” in Tokyo, Japan during a break in their Sam’s Town Tour, the single release was accompanied by a remix of the song by the Pet Shop Boys. The Killers also began headlining arenas including Madison Square Garden for the first time, they also headlined a number of major European festivals during 2007 including Glastonbury Festival. The band released a compilation album called Sawdust, containing B-sides, rarities and unreleased material in November 2007 including the song “Tranquilize”, a collaboration with Lou Reed, And a cover of “Shadowplay” by Joy Division which was recorded for the soundtrack to the Anton Corbijn directed biopic Control.
The band enlisted Stuart Price to produce their third studio album, he had previously remixed their songs under his Jacques Lu Cont moniker, the most notable being the remix of “Mr. Brightside”. They first met Price at his London home in 2007 to discuss the possibility of him producing some unreleased tracks for their b-sides album Sawdust, they recorded a demo of “Human” a new song that would become the eventual lead single from Day & Age which was released in October 2008 with Brandon Flowers describing the song as “Johnny Cash meets the Pet Shop Boys”. The song went on to become a huge hit worldwide, the lyric “Are we human, or are we dancer?” created much confusion and debate due to its grammar and ambiguity, with some believing the lyric was “dancers” or “denser” rather than “dancer”, Flowers explained that the line was inspired by a Hunter S. Thompson quote where he stated America was raising “a generation of dancers”. The Killers’ third album, Day & Age, was released on November 18, 2008. Brandon Flowers stated that “Day & Age” was “like looking at Sam’s Town from Mars”, the band have called it their “most playful record” with the album making use of saxophones, steel drums, harpsichord & tribal chanting. It also became a huge success and contains the songs “Goodnight, Travel Well” and “A Dustland Fairytale”. The band embarked on the Day & Age World Tour, on every continent except Antarctica and headlined US festivals Lollapalooza and Coachella. In 2009 The Killers recorded their first live DVD, “Live from the Royal Albert Hall”.
From 2010 The Killers to a break Which lasted for about a year-and-a-half, during which band members devoted themselves on solo projects. sadly in 2010, Flowers’ mother died after a two-year fight with brain cancer. This resulted in the cancellation of dates in Asia. Two Australian dates in Sydney and Perth were also cancelled; however, both the Gold Coast and Melbourne concerts went ahead, with the Day & Age tour finally coming to a close in Melbourne on February 21 as the headline act at the Good Vibrations Festival at Flemington Racecourse. In 2011 the Killers headlined the new International Lollapalooza Festival in Santiago, Chile and performed at the season closing Top of the Mountain concert in Ischgl, Austria on April 30, 2011. They headlined Hard Rock Calling for the second time in Hyde Park, London on June 24, 2011 and The Killers were also the inaugural headliner of the new Orlando Calling Festival in Orlando, FL on November 12, 2011. Sadly In April 2012, Tommy Marth, who had played saxophone on the band’s Sam’s Town and Day & Age albums, toured with the band during their Day & Age World Tour and can be seen performing with the band on the Live From The Royal Albert Hall DVD, committed suicide at his Las Vegas home. The band released their fourth successful studio album “Battle Born” in 2012, produced by Steve Lillywhite, Damian Taylor, Brendan O’Brien, Stuart Price and Daniel Lanois featuring the single “Runaways”. They also headlined Saturday night at the inaugural Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware. The band’s Battle Born World Tour includedAmerica, Europe, Australia, Russia and China. They also headlined festivals across Europe, Australia, South America & North America. In October 2013 The Killers headlined the inaugural Life Is Beautiful Festival in Las Vegas, concluding their Battle Born World Tour.
On September 16, 2013, exactly ten years to the day of their first show in London, The Killers released “Shot at the Night” which was produced by Anthony Gonzalez. The also released their first greatest hits compilation, Direct Hits on November 11, 2013, featuring songs from all four studio albums, plus the new single “Shot at the Night” and another new song “Just Another Girl”. the band also played a number of festivals in 2014 including the opening night of the new T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas strip on April 6, 2016. the band (including Stoermer) also celebrated the tenth anniversary of their second album, Sam’s Town, by playing two nights at the Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall, which the album was named after. The Killers wrote and performed all the instruments (minus the vocals) for the track “Mixed Signals” off Robbie Williams’ latest studio album, The Heavy Entertainment Show. In 2016, The Killers released a Christmas compilation album Don’t Waste Your Wishes with 100% of proceeds donated to the Product Red campaign they will headline the 2017 Australian Football League (AFL)Grand Final entertainment show on September 30, 2017
Some of the Killers best known songs are Mr Brightside,smile like you mean it, When You were Young, Bones, Read my Mind and For Reasons Unknown. The Killers have also performed at T in the Park, Lollapalooza, Glastonbury Festival, V Festival and performed a barnstorming set at the 2013 Isle of Wight Festival. Brandon Flowers has also released two solo albums. His second solo album “The Desired Effect” was released in May 2015 and is described as a collection of big bold and brassy Stadium Ready pop/rock anthems. The Killers are set to release their fifth album, entitled Wonderful Wonderful, on September 20, 2017. The lead single, “The Man”, was released on June 14, 2017.
American singer-songwriter, musician, record producer and actor Lionel Richie was born 20, June 1949 in Tuskegee, Alabama. From 1968, he was a member of the musical group Commodores signed to Motown Records. Richie made his solo debut in 1982 with the album Lionel Richie and number-one hit “Truly”. As a student in Tuskegee, Richie formed a succession of R&B groups in the mid-1960s.
In 1968 he became a singer and saxophonist with the Commodores who became established as a popular soul group. Their first several albums had a danceable, funky sound, as in such tracks as “Machine Gun” and “Brick House.” Over time, Richie wrote and sang more romantic, easy-listening ballads such as “Easy,” “Three Times a Lady,” “Still,” and the tragic breakup ballad “Sail On.” By the late 1970s he had begun to accept songwriting commissions from other artists. He composed “Lady” for Kenny Rogers, which hit #1 in 1980, and produced Rogers’s album Share Your Love the following year. Richie and Rogers maintained a strong friendship in later years. Latin jazz composer and salsa romantica pioneer La Palabra enjoyed international success with his cover of “Lady,” which was played at Latin dance clubs. Also in 1981 Richie sang the theme song for the film Endless Love, a duet with Diana Ross. Issued as a single, the song topped the UK and US pop music charts, and became one of Motown’s biggest hits. Its success encouraged Richie to branch out into a full-fledged solo career in 1982.
He was replaced as lead singer for The Commodores by Skyler Jett in 1983. His debut album, Lionel Richie, produced another chart-topping single, “Truly,” which continued the style of his ballads with the Commodores. Richie’s 1982 self-titled debut contained three hit singles: the U.S. #1 song “Truly”,”You Are” and “My Love.”His 1983 follow-up album, Can’t Slow Down won two Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, propelling him into the first rank of international superstars. The album contained the #1 hit “All Night Long”. Several more Top 10 hits followed, the most successful of which was the ballad “Hello” (1984), Richie had three more Top Ten hits in 1984, “Stuck on You” (#3), “Running with the Night” and “Penny Lover” in 1985 Richie wrote and performed, “Say You, Say Me,” for the film White Nights, winning an Oscar for his efforts as well as reaching on the U.S. charts. He also collaborated with Michael Jackson on the charity single “We Are the World” by USA for Africa, In 1986, Richie released Dancing on the Ceiling, which produced the hits “Say You, Say Me”, “Dancing on the Ceiling” , “Ballerina Girl” and “Se La”
Richie remains popular to this day and in 2004, he appeared on Top Gear as the “Star in a Reasonably Priced Car” where he was interviewed by host Jeremy Clarkson and During his lap, the Suzuki Liana he was driving lost a wheel due to hard cornering. In November 2005, he performed with Kenny Rogers on a CMT Crossroads special. Richie was also the headliner at a 2000 Fourth of July tribute concert with Fantasia Barrino at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. On May 7, 2006, Richie performed on the main stage (Acura Stage) at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Richie released his eighth studio album entitled “Coming Home” on September 12, 2006. The first single of the album was “I Call It Love” and was premiered in July 2006, becoming his biggest hit in the U.S. in ten years. The album was an incredible success for Richie in the United States, peaking at #6. His adopted daughter Nicole Richie stars in the music video for this track.
On December 9, 2006, Richie hosted and performed live on the British television show An Audience with Lionel Richie. Two months later, he performed “Hello” on the 49th Grammy Awards show. On November 25, 2007, he made a surprise appearance on the Australian Idol grand finale performing “All Night Long (All Night)” at the Sydney Opera House. Richie donated to Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential campaign. On May 2, 2008, he became the 21st recipient of the George and Ira Gershwin Lifetime Achievement Award at UCLA’s annual Spring Sing and Recently, he announced that he would like to get The Commodores back together soon, “or in the next 10 years no one will care.” On December 31, 2008, Richie performed in Times Square for the New Year’s Eve celebration and ball drop. He also performed on the 2009 season finale for American Idol with Danny Gokey. On July 7, 2009, Richie performed “Jesus is Love” at Michael Jackson’s memorial service and the album, Just Go was released in spring 2009.
The film Jaws was released 20 June 1975 it was inspired by the novel by Peter Benchley who was himself inspired by reports of several great white sharks caught in the 1960s off Long Island and Block Island by the Montauk charterboat captain Frank Mundus. Steven Spielberg initially found many of the characters unsympathetic and wanted the shark to win. Book critics such as Michael A. Rogers of Rolling Stone shared the sentiment however the book struck a chord with readers. Benchley also co-wrote the screenplay with Carl Gottlieb (along with the uncredited Howard Sackler and John Milius, who provided the first draft of a monologue about the USS Indianapolis) for the Spielberg film released in 1975. Benchley made a cameo appearance as a news reporter on the beach. The film, starring Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, and Richard Dreyfuss, was released in the summer season, with editing by Verna Fields, score by John Williams and directed by Steven Spielberg who was credited with infusing the film with such an air of understated menace that he was hailed as the heir apparent to “Master of Suspense” Alfred Hitchcock. Jaws became the first film to gross over $100 million in United States and grossed over $470 million worldwide.
The film takes place in Amity Island, Where the grisly remains of a young woman who went swimming in the ocean are discovered. The medical examiner rules the death a shark attack which leads Police Chief Martin Brody to close the beaches. However Mayor Larry Vaughn overrules him, fearing it will ruin the town’s summer economy. The coroner now concurs with the mayor’s theory that the girl was killed in a boating accident. Brody reluctantly accepts their conclusion until another fatal shark attack occurs shortly after. A bounty is then placed on the shark, resulting in an amateur shark-hunting frenzy. Local professional shark hunter Quint offers his services for $10,000. Meanwhile, consulting oceanographer Matt Hooper examines the first victim’s remains and confirms the death was from a shark attack.
When local fishermen catch a large tiger shark, the mayor proclaims the beaches safe. However no human remains are found inside it. Hooper and Brody find a half-sunken vessel while searching the night waters in Hooper’s boat. Underwater, Hooper retrieves a sizable great white shark’s tooth embedded in the submerged hull. He drops it after finding a partial corpse. Vaughn discounts Brody and Hooper’s claims that a huge great white shark is responsible and refuses to close the beaches, for the Fourth of July weekend, when tourists pack the beaches.
Following a juvenile prank, the real shark enters a nearby estuary, killing a boater and Brody finally convinces a devastated Vaughn to hire Quint. Quint, Brody, and Hooper set out on Quint’s boat, the Orca, to hunt the shark. While Brody lays down a chum line, Quint waits for an opportunity to hook the shark which suddenly appears before disappearing beneath the waves. However the Great White returns later and damages the boat which starts sinking so they make for shore but the engine gives up. So Hooper dons scuba gear and enters the water in a shark-proof cage, intending to lethally inject the shark with strychnine using a hypodermic spear. The shark demolishes the cage before attacking the boat directly, killing Quint. Trapped on the sinking vessel, Brody is left to deal with the shark
The film spawned three sequels, none of which matched the success of the original critically or commercially, two video games, Jaws in 1987 and Jaws Unleashed in 2006 and was also adapted into a theme park attraction at Universal Studios Florida (in Orlando, Florida and Hollywood), and two musicals: JAWS The Musical!, which premiered in the summer of 2004 at the Minnesota Fringe Festival; and Giant Killer Shark: The Musical, which premiered in the summer of 2006 at the Toronto Fringe Festival.
The State Opening of Parliament for the 2017-18 session occurred on Wednesday 21 June 2017. It marked the formal start of the parliamentary year and featured the Queen’s Speech which set out the government’s agenda for the coming session, outlining proposed policies and legislation. This year Prime Minister Theresa May’s position is incredibly precarious after having lost her party’s majority in the 8 June general election. So May announced a deal with the homophobic, anti-abortion, climate-change deniers of the Democratic Unionists Party in order to get her Majority and an audience with the Queen. However the Democratic Unionists Party have since denied the existence of such a deal
State Opening happens on the first day of a new parliamentary session or shortly after a general election and is the main ceremonial event of the parliamentary calendar, attracting large crowds and a significant television and online audience. It begins with the Queen’s procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster, escorted by the Household Cavalry. The Queen arrives at Sovereign’s Entrance and proceeds to the Robing Room. Wearing the Imperial State Crown and the Robe of State, she leads the Royal Procession through the Royal Gallery, packed with 600 guests, to the chamber of the House of Lords. It is the only regular occasion when the three constituent parts of Parliament – the Sovereign, the House of Lords and the House of Commons – meet.
The House of Lords official known as ‘Black Rod’ is sent to summon the Commons. The doors to the Commons chamber are shut in his face: a practice dating back to the Civil War, symbolising the Commons’ independence from the monarchy. Black Rod strikes the door three times before it is opened. Members of the House of Commons then follow Black Rod and the Commons Speaker to the Lords chamber, standing at the opposite end to the Throne, known as the Bar of the House, to listen to the speech.
The Queen’s Speech is then delivered by the Queen from the Throne in the House of Lords. Although the Queen reads the Speech, it is written by the government. It contains an outline of its policies and proposed legislation for the new parliamentary session. This year the Queen’s Speech was reduced to little more than a press conference and this is seen as a snub to the current government
When the Queen leaves, a new parliamentary session starts and Parliament gets back to work. Members of both Houses debate the content of the speech and agree an ‘Address in Reply to Her Majesty’s Gracious Speech’. Each House continues the debate over the planned legislative programme for several days, looking at different subject areas. The Queen’s Speech is voted on by the Commons, but rarely in the Lords. Traditions surrounding State Opening and the delivery of a speech by the monarch can be traced back as far as the 16th century. The current ceremony dates from the opening of the rebuilt Palace of Westminster in 1852 after the fire of 1834.
This year The Queen’s speech focussed on Britain leaving the European Union. HM Queen Elizabeth II Stressed the government’s priority to work with Parliament, administrations, business and others In order to secure the best possible deal as the country leaves the European Union, and build the widest possible consensus on the country’s future outside the European Union. A bill will be introduced to repeal the European Communities Act and provide certainty for individuals and businesses. This will be complemented by legislation to ensure that the United Kingdom makes a success of Brexit, establishing new national policies on immigration, international sanctions, nuclear safeguards, agriculture, and fisheries.
The Queen also stated that The government will try to maintain a deep and special partnership with European allies and to forge new trading relationships across the globe. New bills on trade and customs will help to implement an independent trade policy, and support will be given to help British businesses export to markets around the world. The speech also outlined the Governments intention to strengthen the economy so that it supports the creation of jobs and generates the tax revenues needed to invest in the National Health Service, schools, and other public services and the Government will continue to improve the public finances, while keeping taxes low and spread prosperity and opportunity across the country through a new modern, industrial strategy and attract investment in infrastructure to support economic growth.
Legislation will be introduced to ensure the United Kingdom remains a world leader in new industries, including electric cars and commercial satellites. The speech also outlined the Government’s commitment to ensure that every child has the opportunity to attend a good school and that all schools are fairly funded and to ensure people have the skills including technical education, they need for the high-skilled, high-wage jobs of the future, The National Living Wage will be increased so that people who are on the lowest pay, benefit from the same improvements in earnings as higher paid workers. protections in the modern workplace will also be maintained. Efforts to improve gender pay gap and discrimination against people on the basis of their race, faith, gender, disability or sexual orientation have also been promised and Reforms will be introduced to protect the victims of domestic violence and abuse and ensure that mental health is prioritised in the National Health Service in England.
The sppech also mentioned Proposals to ban unfair tenant fees, promote fairness and transparency in the housing market, and to ensure more homes are built and improve social care. According to the speech Efforts to ensure fairer markets for consumers, including measures to help tackle unfair practices in the energy market to help reduce energy bills will also be introduced. The speech also said that building a more united country, strengthening the social, economic and cultural bonds between England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales would be a priority. The Queen also stated that the Government will work in cooperation with devolved administrations, and parties in Northern Ireland to support the return of devolved government and will also ensure that the United Kingdom retains its world-class regime protecting personal data, with proposals for a new digital charter to ensure that the United Kingdom is the safest place to be onlin. Legislation will also be introduced to modernise the courts system and to help reduce motor insurance premiums.
The Government has said that they will launch a full public inquiry into the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower to ascertain the causes, and ensure that the appropriate lessons are learnt And will also introduce an independent public advocate, who will act for bereaved families after a public disaster and support them at public inquests. The speech stated that In the light of the terrorist attacks in Manchester and London the government’s counter-terrorism strategy would be reviewed to ensure that the police and security services have all the powers they need.
The Government has also said in the speech that it will invest in the Armed Forces, and meet the NATO commitment to spend at least two per cent of national income on defence, The Government intends to introduce proposals to ensure that critical national infrastructure is protected to safeguard national security and will also establish a commission for countering extremism and removing extremist ideology in all its forms, both across society and on the internet. the Government also said that they would ensure that the United Kingdom’s leading role on the world stage is maintained and enhanced as it leaves the European Union and that they would continue to drive international efforts that increase global security and project British values around the world. The Government has also said that it would work to find sustainable political solutions to conflicts across the Middle East and would tackle the threat of terrorism at source by continuing the United Kingdom’s leading role in international military action to destroy Daesh in Iraq and Syria. The Government has also said it Would reform the international system to improve the United Kingdom’s ability to tackle mass migration, alleviate poverty, and end modern slavery and would continue to support international action against climate change, including the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
The Fête de la Musique, also known as Make Music Day or World Music Day, is celebrated annually on June 21, around the world. Music is an important art form and cultural activity whose medium is sound organized in time. The common elements of music are pitch (which governs melody and harmony), rhythm (and its associated concepts tempo, meter, and articulation), dynamics (loudness and softness), and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture (which are sometimes termed the “color” of a musical sound). Different styles or types of music may emphasize, de-emphasize or omit some of these elements. Music is performed with a vast range of instruments and vocal techniques ranging from singing to rapping; there are solely instrumental pieces, solely vocal pieces (such as songs without instrumental accompaniment) and pieces that combine singing and instruments. The word derives from Greek μουσική (mousike; “art of the Muses”). Ancient Greek and Indian philosophers defined music as tones ordered horizontally as melodies and vertically as harmonies. Common sayings such as “the harmony of the spheres” and “it is music to my ears” suggest that music is often ordered and pleasant to listen to. However, 20th-century composer John Cage thought that any sound can be music, saying, for example, “There is no noise, only sound.”
The creation, performance, significance, and even the definition of music vary according to culture and social context. Indeed, throughout history, some new forms or styles of music have been criticized as “not being music”, including Beethoven’s Grosse Fuge string quartet in 1825, early jazz in the beginning of the 1900s and hardcore punk in the 1980s. There are many types of music, including popular music, traditional music, art music, music written for religious ceremonies and work songs such as chanteys. Music ranges from strictly organized compositions–such as Classical music symphonies from the 1700s and 1800s, through to spontaneously played improvisational music such as jazz, and avant-garde styles of chance-based contemporary music from the 20th and 21st centuries.
Music can be divided into genres (e.g., country music) and genres can be further divided into subgenres (e.g., country blues and pop country are two of the many country subgenres), although the dividing lines and relationships between music genres are often subtle, sometimes open to personal interpretation, and occasionally controversial. For example, it can be hard to draw the line between some early 1980s hard rock and heavy metal. Within the arts, music may be classified as a performing art, a fine art or as an auditory art. Music may be played or sung and heard live at a rock concert or orchestra performance, heard live as part of a dramatic work (a music theater show or opera), or it may be recorded and listened to on a radio, MP3 player, CD player, smartphone or as film score or TV show.
In many cultures, music is an important part of people’s way of life, as it plays a key role in religious rituals, rite of passage ceremonies (e.g., graduation and marriage), social activities (e.g., dancing) and cultural activities ranging from amateur karaoke singing to playing in an amateur funk band or singing in a community choir. People may make music as a hobby, like a teen playing cello in a youth orchestra, or work as a professional musician or singer. The music industry includes the individuals who create new songs and musical pieces (such as songwriters and composers), individuals who perform music (which include orchestra, jazz band and rock band musicians, singers and conductors), individuals who record music (music producers and sound engineers), individuals who organize concert tours, and individuals who sell recordings and sheet music and scores to customeors
The concept of an all-day musical celebration on the days of the solstice, was originated by American musician Joel Cohen, who spent two seasons as a producer of musical radio programs for the French National Radio (France Musique). The idea was adapted as a national celebration each June 21 in France and made official by the French Minister of Culture, Jack Lang. The festival later became celebrated in 120 countries around the world.
October 1981, Maurice Fleuret became Director of Music and Dance at Minister of Culture Jack Lang’s request, and discovered, in a 1982 study on the cultural habits of the French, that five million people, one child out of two, played a musical instrument, he began to dream of a way to bring people out on the streets. It first took place in 1982 in Paris as the Fête de la Musique. Since then he festival has become an international phenomenon, celebrated on the same day in more than 700 cities in 120 countries, including Germany, Italy, Greece, Russia, Australia, Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico, Canada, the United States, and Japan.
The purpose Of Fête de la Musique is to promote music in two ways with both professional musicians and amateur musicians being encouraged to perform in the streets, under the slogan “Faites de la musique” (“make music”, a homophone of Fête de la Musique). Many free concerts are also organized, to make all genres of music accessible to the public. in order to organize an official event it must be approved by the official Fête de la Musique organization in Paris and must be free to the public, with all performers donating their time for no fee. However despite there being a large tolerance about the performance of music by the general public of amateurs in public areas after usual hours, noise restrictions apply, and some establishments are forbidden to open and broadcast music out of their doors without prior authorization.
World Humanist Day is a Humanist holiday celebrated annually around the world on the June solstice, around June 21st As a way of spreading awareness of Humanism as a philosophical life stance and means to effect change in the world. It is also seen as a time for Humanists to gather socially and promote the positive values of Humanism. The holiday developed during the 1980s after several chapters of the American Humanist Association (AHA) began to celebrate it. At the time, the date on which it was celebrated varied from chapter to chapter, with selections such as the founding date of the IHEU, or International Humanist and Ethical Union. From the late 1980s to the early 1990s, the AHA and IHEU passed resolutions declaring World Humanist Day to be on the summer solstice.
Humanism is a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers critical thinking and evidence (rationalism, empiricism) over acceptance of dogma or superstition. The meaning of the term humanism differs between intellectual movements. The term was coined by theologian Friedrich Niethammer at the beginning of the 19th century. Generally, however, humanism refers to a perspective that affirms some notion of human freedom and progress. In modern times, humanist movements are typically aligned with secularism, and today humanism typically refers to a non-theistic life stance centred on human agency and looking to science rather than revelation from a supernatural source to understand the world
The manner in which World Humanist Day is celebrated varies considerably among local Humanist groups, reflecting the individuality and non-dogmatism of Humanism as a whole. Whilst the event might be a simple gathering, such as a dinner or picnic, with ample time for both socialising and reflection, the method of celebration is down to the individual. Some groups actually develop intricate social rituals, music, and proceedings which highlight the metaphoric symbolism of the solstice and the light (knowledge) which brings us out of darkness (ignorance).
Despite this World Humanist Day has not yet become a fully celebrated holiday in all Humanist organizations, although many of them are beginning to recognize it and plan events and activities around the holiday. International Humanist and Ethical Union lists several different ways that national and local Humanist groups celebrate World Humanist Day. For example, the Dutch Humanist Association broadcast short films about World Humanist Day on Dutch TV in 2012. In 2013, the first National Humanist Day will be organized in The Netherlands. The Humanist Association of Ireland held poetry readings in the park to celebrate the day. The Humanists of Florida Association suggested that groups hold Introduction to Humanism classes on World Humanist Day.