The Wolf of Wall Street

imagei would like to see Martin Scorsese’s latest black comedy The Wolf of Wall Street, which is out on DVD soon. based on Jordan Belfort’s memoir of the same name, it stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Belfort, a New York stockbroker who runs a firm that engages in securities fraud and corruption on Wall Street in the 1990s. It starts In 1987, after Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) becomes a stockbroker at an established Wall Street firm. His boss, Mark Hanna (Matthew McConaughey), advises him to adopt a lifestyle of sex and cocaine in order to succeed. He passes the Series 7 Exam and earns his broker’s license, only to lose his job when the firm fails after Black Monday. With the job market for stockbrokers slack, Belfort considers another career, but his wife Teresa Petrillo (Cristin Milioti) finds an advertisement for Investor Center, a Long Island boiler room which deals in penny stocks. His aggressive pitching style soon earns him a fortune. He befriends Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill), a salesman who lives in the same apartment complex as Belfort, and they decide to open their own firm together, recruiting several of Belfort’s friends (all experienced marijuana dealers) and some co-workers from Investor Center to join them. The firm, Stratton Oakmont, soon becomes a billion-dollar company, and Belfort brings his parents, accountants “Mad” Max (Rob Reiner) and Leah Belfort (Christine Ebersole), to handle his finances.

Belfort and his employees lead a lifestyle of total debauchery with lavish parties, sex and drugs both in the workplace and in their personal lives. He begins cheating on his wife with several prostitutes, and becomes addicted to cocaine, which soon grabs the attention of FBI Agent Patrick Denham (Kyle Chandler) who begins investigating Belfort and the company. At one of his parties, Belfort meets Naomi Lapaglia (Margot Robbie) and begins an affair with her that leads to him divorcing his wife. Belfort marries Lapaglia. The FBI investigation continues, with the Securities and Exchange Commission joining in. Belfort opens a Swiss bank account with Jean-Jacques Saurel (Jean Dujardin) in the name of Naomi’s aunt Emma (Joanna Lumley). She and other non-Americans regularly carry cash to Geneva for deposit, helping Belfort launder the proceeds of Stratton’s securities frauds. The scheme is nearly exposed by an incident where Azoff gets into a fight with Brad Bodnick (Jon Bernthal), a drug dealer and friend of Belfort’s who has been helping transfer money to Switzerland.

Predictably the Denham’s FBI Investigation gradually closes in on Belfort’s nefarious antics and he is advised to leave Stratton Oakmont to escape prosecution but refuses. Instead Belfort and Azoff go on holiday to The Mediterranean Coast but this is beset with tragedy. This convinces Belfort to sober up and change his ways before the FBI  arrests him, which happens eventually and despite initial reservations he agrees to cooperate with the FBI for a shorter sentence and also decides to reconcile with his wife and start afresh however things do not go to plan…

The film features Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey and Jean Dujardin. It is the fifth collaboration between Scorsese and DiCaprio and was nominated for five Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director for Scorsese, Best Adapted Screenplay for Winter, Best Actor for DiCaprio, and Best Supporting Actor for Hill. It is also nominated for four BAFTAs, including Best Director, Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay, and two Golden Globe Awards, including Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. DiCaprio won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.

Bill Bruford (Yes)

YFFHBill Bruford, The former Drummer, percussionist and composer with Progressive Rock Bands Yes & King Crimson was born 17th May 1949. He was the original drummer in the band, from 1968-1972, who achieved worldwide success with their progressive music, mystical lyrics, elaborate album art, live stage sets and symphonic style of rock music. They are regarded as one of the pioneers of the progressive genre. They were Formed in 1968 and released two albums together but began to enjoy success after the release of The Yes Album and Fragile, which featured new arrivals Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman. They achieved further success with the albums Close to the Edge and Tales from Topographic Oceans.Bruford began playing the drums when he was thirteen, and was influenced by jazz drumming, which manifested itself on early Yes albums and remained an influence on his style throughout his career.

During his time with Yes Bruford played on their first five albums including the LPs The Yes Album,Fragile, and Close to the Edge. Bruford has also performed for numerous other acts as well, including a stint as touring drummer for Genesis in 1976. Following his departure from Yes and at various times until 1997, Bruford was the drummer for progressive rock band King Crimson, But moved away from progressive rock to concentrate on jazz, leading his own jazz group, Earthworks, for several years. He retired from public performance in 2009, but continues to run his two record labels and to speak about music. His autobiography, Bill Bruford: The Autobiography, was published in early 2009

Yes_Wonderous+Stories.…and the day after that, his former bandmate keyboard player, composer and songwriter Rick Wakeman was born (18th May 1949). He is best known for being the former keyboardist with progressive rock band Yes. He is also known for his solo albums and for Rick’s Place, his former radio show on Planet Rock that aired until December 2010.Wakeman was born in West London. He purchased his first electronic keyboard at 12 years of age. In 1968, he studied the piano, clarinet, orchestration and modern music at the Royal College of Music before leaving after a year in favour of session music work. He went on to feature on songs by artists including Ozzy Osbourne, David Bowie, T. Rex, Elton John and Cat Stevens. Wakeman joined the folk group Strawbs in 1969 and played on three of their albums. He first joined Yes in 1971 to replace Tony Kaye, and left the group in 1974 to work on his solo career. He returned in 1976 before leaving with lead vocalist Jon Anderson in 1980.

Wakeman was part of the side project Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe, a group of ex-Yes members formed in 1989, and the eight-member Yes line-up that followed until his third departure in 1992.He returned for two years in 1995 and once more in 2002, where he was part of the band’s 35th anniversary tour until its end in 2004. Wakeman began his solo career during his first run with Yes. His perhaps most known records being his first three, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Journey to the Centre of the Earth and The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. He has produced over 100 solo albums that have sold more than 50 million copies. In November 2010, Wakeman was awarded the Spirit of Prog award at the annual Marshall Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards, and Yes continue to perform to thisday, more than 40 years since their formation.

Ian Curtis (Joy Division)

English musician, singer and songwriterIan Kevin Curtis sadly passed away on 18th May 1980. Born 15 July 1956 he is best known as the lead singer and lyricist of the post-punk band Joy Division. Joy Division released their debut album, Unknown Pleasures, in 1979 and recorded their follow-up, Closer, in 1980. Curtis, who suffered from epilepsy anddepression, committed suicide on 18 May 1980, on the eve of Joy Division’s first North American tour, resulting in the band’s dissolution and the subsequent formation of New Order. Curtis was known for his baritone voice, dance style, and songwriting filled with imagery of desolation, emptiness and alienation.In 1995, Curtis’ widow Deborah published Touching from a Distance: Ian Curtis and Joy Division, a biography of the singer. His life and death have been dramatised in the films 24 Hour Party People (2002) and Control In 1976 at a Sex Pistols gig, Curtis met Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook. They were trying to form a band, and Curtis immediately proposed himself as vocalist and lyricist. The trio then unsuccessfully recruited a number of drummers before selecting Stephen Morris as their final member.Initially the band was called Warsaw, but as their name conflicted with that of another group,Warsaw Pakt, the name was changed to Joy Division. The moniker was derived from a 1955 novel The House of Dolls, which featured a Nazi concentration camp with a sexual slavery wing called the “Joy Division”. After starting Factory Records with Alan Erasmus, Tony Wilson signed the band to his label following the band’s appearance on Wilson’s Something Else television programme, itself prompted by an abusive letter sent to Wilson by Curtis.

Whilst performing for Joy Division, Curtis became known for his quiet and awkward demeanour, as well as a unique dancing style reminiscent of the epileptic seizures he experienced, sometimes even on stage.There were several incidents when he collapsed and had to be helped off stage. In an interview for Northern Lights cassette magazine in November 1979, Ian Curtis made his only public comment on his dancing and performance. He explained the dance as a type of sign language with which to further express a song’s emotional and lyrical content: “Instead of just singing about something you could show it as well, put it over in the way that it is, if you were totally involved in what you were doing”.Curtis’ writing was filled with imagery of emotional isolation, death, alienation, and urban decay. He sang in a baritonevoice, in contrast to his speaking voice, which fell in the tenor range. Earlier in their career, Curtis would sing in a loud snarling voice similar to shouting; it is best displayed on the band’s debut EP, An Ideal for Living (1978). producer Martin Hannett developed Joy Division’s sparse recording style, and some of their most innovative work was created in Strawberry Studios in Stockport (owned by Manchester act 10cc) and Cargo Recording Studios Rochdale in 1979), which was developed from John Peel’s investing money into the music business in Rochdale.

Although predominantly a vocalist, Curtis also played guitar on a handful of tracks (usually when Sumner was playing synthesizer; “Incubation” and a Peel Session version of “Transmission” were rare instances when both played guitar). At first Curtis played Sumner’s Shergold Masquerader, but in September 1979 he acquired his own guitar, a Vox Phantom Special VI (often described incorrectly as a Teardrop or ordinary Phantom model) which had many built-in effects used both live and in studio. After Curtis’ death, Sumner inherited the guitar and used it in several early New Order songs, such as “Everything’s Gone Green”. Curtis also played keyboard on some live versions of “She’s Lost Control”. He also played the melodica on “Decades” and “In a Lonely Place”; the latter was written and rehearsed for the cancelled American tour and later salvaged as a New Order B-sideCurtis’ last live performance was on 2 May 1980, at High Hall of Birmingham University, a show that included Joy Division’s first and only performance of “Ceremony”, later recorded by New Order and released as their first single. The last song Curtis performed on stage was “Digital”. The recording of this performance is on the Still albumCurtis was cremated at Macclesfield Crematorium and his ashes were buried. His memorial stone, inscribed with “Ian Curtis 18 – 5 – 80″ and “Love Will Tear Us Apart”, was stolen in July 2008 from the grounds of Macclesfield Cemetery.The missing memorial stone was later replaced by a new stone