The Hobbit

Being a big Tolkien Fan I was excited when I heard recently that Director Peter Jackson’s has decided to turn the forthcoming film adaptation of The Hobbit into a trilogy. The eagerly anticipated adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s book, starring Martin Freeman, (The Office, Sherlock), as Bilbo Baggins. was originally supposed to be in two parts but Peter has said that the richness of the story of The Hobbit is enough to support a third film.

They also decided to include some of the related material in the appendices of The Lord of the Rings and Unfinished Tales, in order to tell more of the tale and soon realized how compelling and engaging the story was and wanted to tell more of the tale of Bilbo Baggins, the Dwarves of Erebor, the rise of the Necromancer, and the Battle of Dol Guldur, which would all remain untold if they did not go into more detail with this complex and wonderful adventure.

Jackson said that extending the project to three films “allows us to tell the full story of the adventures of Bilbo Baggins and the part he played in the sometimes dangerous, but at all times exciting, history of Middle-earth and will make for an even more exciting journey. The first film in the trilogy, ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,’ will be released December 14, 2012, with the second film on December 13, 2013, and the third film will be released summer 2014.

Some are worried that while The Lord of the Rings which consisted of three parts totalling 1,008 pages could be adapted into three separate films, The Hobbit, on the other hand, is only 310 pages long and may require rewriting and the addition of new scenes and characters in order to stretch it over three films. Personally  I Think t’s a great idea I’m also hoping that Howard Shore does the Movie Theme Music , and they use Alan Lee’s Concept art as well.

Severn Valley Railway Evening Scenic Special

Over the past few Saturdays, since June 2nd, The Severn Valley Railway has been operating an Evening Scenic Special along the line, The train Departed at 7.00pm from Kidderminster, and travelled at a leisurely pace to Bridgnorth. During the journey there was also a fish and chip supper which was washed down by either buying a drink from the Bar on the train, or with a glass (or two) of one of the ales available in the Railwayman’s Arms, at Bridgnorth. (personally I like “Shropshire Gold” which won Gold Champion Beer of Britain in 2011).

The Evening Scenic Special is/was operating over the following summer Saturday evenings – June 2nd, 9th & 16th, July 7th, 14th, 21st & 28th, August 4th, 11th, 18th & 25th and September  1st, 8th & 15th, and has often been hauled by the diesel Multiple unit’ although last night (4th August) It was Steam Hauled

Happy Birthday Pat Smear

Rock musician Pat Smear was born August 5, 1959. He has been a guitarist in several well-known bands including the Germs, Nirvana and Foo Fighters. He is also known for appearing regularly on the MTV fashion show House of Style with friend and supermodel Cindy Crawford.

In 1993, he received a call from Nirvana’s frontman Kurt Cobain, asking him to join the band as a second guitarist for an upcoming tour. Smear accepted immediately and played his first show with Nirvana on Saturday Night Live on September 25, 1993. He toured with Nirvana for about six months, and appears on their live albums MTV Unplugged in New York and From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah, as well as the compilations Nirvana and With The Lights Out. Smear’s time with Nirvana, which brought him his first mass audience exposure, came to an end with Cobain’s death in April 1994

Following Cobain’s untimely demise, Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl formed a band to support his self-titled album, the first effort from the band which would become known as Foo Fighters. Smear joined the group from its inception, but because the band’s first album was a collection of demos recorded solely by Grohl, Smear did not appear on a Foo Fighters album until 1997’s The Colour and the Shape. Later that year, Smear quit the band: he announced his departure and introduced his replacement Franz Stahl,

During his absence from Foo Fighters, Smear kept a fairly low profile, producing the band Harlow’s debut album and making scattered television appearances.He has been employed as a creative consultant in a motion picture about the Germs and Darby Crash, entitled What We Do Is Secret, after one of the band’s best-known songs. In the film, he is depicted by actor Rick Gonzalez.In 2005, he also began performing reunion shows with the Germs, with actor Shane West (who portrays Darby Crash in the film) filling in as lead vocalist.

In May 2006, the Foo Fighters announced they would play limited acoustic dates across North America. It was announced Smear would be one of the touring musicians aiding the band during the shows.  He also joined the band for the Bridge School Benefit Concert and is a featured musician on the Foo Fighters live album Skin and Bones, and also appeared on stage with the Foo Fighters at the UK’s V Festival, Meadowbank Stadium, Edinburgh and Marlay Park, Dublin, Ireland. In 2007 Smear joined the Foo Fighters for their MTV Music Video Awards party room show and was added to the band as a touring guitarist for their supporting tour of the album Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace. Smear also is credited with playing guitar on the song “Let It Die” off the same album later that year Smear  joined the Foo Fighters on stage at the MTV Europe Music Awards, confirming his return to the band as a full member and also played both Foo Fighters dates at the O2 Arena, London.  On December 22, 2010, the remaining members of Nirvana played together for the first time since the death of Kurt Cobain, at a last-minute Foo Fighters show at Paladino’s in Tarzana, California. Since then he has performed with Foo Fighters on all live performances.

“Kick it!” – Tribute to Adam Yauch

Adam Yauch (A.K.A MCA) from the Beastie Boys was born on this day in 1964 .

Beastie Boys is an American hip hop band from New York City, formed in 1981. For the majority of its career, the group has consisted of threeMCs and musicians Michael “Mike D” Diamond (vocals, drums), Adam “MCA” Yauch (vocals, bass) and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz (vocals, guitar).

Originally formed as a four-piece hardcore punk band in 1981 by Michael Diamond (vocals), John Berry (guitar), Adam Yauch (bass) and Kate Schellenbach (drums), the band appeared on the compilation cassette New York Thrash, before recording their first EP Polly Wog Stew, in 1982. After achieving moderate local success with the 1983 experimental hip hop 12-inch “Cooky Puss”, the group transitioned to hip hop in 1984 and released a string of successful 12-inch singles. The Beastie Boys toured with Madonna in 1985 and a year later released their debut album Licensed to Ill. The group sold 22 million albums in the United States and 40 million albums worldwide, making them, according to Billboard, “the biggest-selling rap group” since 1991.

With seven platinum or better albums from 1986–2004, the Beastie Boys were one of the longest-lived hip hop acts worldwide, and they continued to enjoy commercial and critical success more than 25 years after Licensed to Ill. In 2009, the group released digitally remastered deluxe editions of their albums Paul’s BoutiqueCheck Your HeadIll Communication and Hello Nasty. Their eighth studio album, Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, was released in 2011, and received positive reviews. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2012, “just the third rap group to enter the Hall, after Run-D.M.C. (2009) and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five (2007).”  Sadly The following month, MCA died of cancer of the parotid salivary gland, which led to the speculation that the other members may decide to disband the group