Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The hard rock band Guns N’ Roses, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Beastie Boys were among this year’s inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, according to an announcement made on Wednesday.   Joining the acts were posthumous inductees, 1960s singer-songwriter Laura Nyro and producer Don Kirshner, who died earlier this year. Scottish singer-songwriter Donovan will also be inducted, as well as British group The Small Faces/The Faces, Freddie King, Cosimo Matassa, Tom Dowd and Glyn Johns.

They will be joining acts such as ABBA, The Beatles, Johnny Cash, Nat “King” Cole, Bob Dylan, Niel Diamond, Aretha Franklyn, Marvin Gaye, Al Green, Isaac Hayes, Bill Haley, Buddy Holly, Michael Jackson, Jimi Hendrix, B.B King, Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley, Roy Orbison, Pink Floyd, Queen, The Ramones and Tom Waits (Who celebrates his birthday today).   This year The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will return to its home in Cleveland for its 27th annual event, after having been held in New York City for some time, The ceremony will be held on April 14 and Tickets will go on sale to members of the public starting Dec. 17.

More information can be found here

Happy Birthday Tom Waits

American singer-songwriter, composer, and actor Tom Waits was born on this day, December 7 in 1949. His distinctive voice, once described by critic Daniel Durchholz as sounding “like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car, has helped him built up a distinctive musical persona, and over the years his trademark growl has been combined with a variety of pre-rock music styles such as blues, jazz, and vaudeville, and experimental tendencies verging on industrial music.

Waits has also worked as a composer for movies and musical plays and as a supporting actor in films, including Down by Law and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his soundtrack work on One from the Heart.   Lyrically, Waits’ songs frequently present atmospheric portrayals of grotesque, often seedy characters and places—although he has also shown a penchant for more conventional ballads. He has a cult following and has influenced subsequent songwriters despite having little radio or music video support. His songs are best-known through cover versions by more commercial artists: “Jersey Girl”, performed by Bruce Springsteen, “Ol’ ’55”, performed by the Eagles, and “Downtown Train”, performed by Rod Stewart.

Although Waits’ albums have met with mixed commercial success in his native United States, they have occasionally achieved gold album sales status in other countries. He has been nominated for a number of major music awards and has won Grammy Awards for two albums, Bone Machine and Mule Variations. In 2011, Waits was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

70th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbour

The Japanese assault on Pearl Harbour, took place 70 years ago on this date 7 December, in 1941. It catapulted America into the Second World War and resulted in, 2,390 Americans losing their lives in the attack. Twelve ships being sank or beached, and nine being damaged. The US lost 164 aircraft. On the Japanese side, 64 people died, five ships sank, and 29 planes were destroyed.

The attack on Pearl Harbor (called Hawaii Operation or Operation AI by the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters (Operation Z in planning and the Battle of Pearl Harbor) was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941 (December 8 in Japan). The attack was intended as a preventive action in order to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from interfering with military actions the Empire of Japan was planning in Southeast Asia against overseas territories of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the United States.   The base was attacked by 353 Japanese fighters, bombers and torpedo planes in two waves, launched from six aircraft carriers. All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four being sunk. All but two of the eight were raised, repaired and returned to service later in the war. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship, and one minelayer. One hundred eighty-eight U.S. aircraft were destroyed; 2,402 Americans were killed and 1,282 wounded. The power station, shipyard, maintenance, and fuel and torpedo storage facilities, as well as the submarine piers and headquarters building (also home of the intelligence section) were not attacked. Japanese losses were light: 29 aircraft and five midget submarines lost, and 65 servicemen killed or wounded. One Japanese sailor was captured.   The attack came as a profound shock to the American people and led directly to the American entry into World War II in both the Pacific and European theaters. The following day (December 8th ) the United States declared war on Japan. Domestic support for isolationism, which had been strong, disappeared. Clandestine support of Britain (for example the Neutrality Patrol) was replaced by active alliance.

Subsequent operations by the U.S. prompted Germany and Italy to declare war on the U.S. on December 11, which was reciprocated by the U.S. the same day. This led President Franklin D. Roosevelt to proclaim December 7, 1941, “a date which will live in infamy”.