Godzilla (Gojira)

I would like to see the 2014 incarnation of Godzilla, which retells the origins of Godzilla in contemporary times as a “terrifying force of nature”, depicted in a style faithful to the Toho series of Godzilla films. The film is directed by Gareth Edwards, and stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn, and Bryan Cranston. The screenplay is credited to Max Borenstein, David Callaham, David S. Goyer, Drew Pearce, and Frank Darabont. I personally didn’t like the 2008  remake with Jean Reno and Matthew Broderick, it was too strait laced and not tongue-in-cheek enough and the army spent far too much time trying to kill everything, it was as if they had missed the point and used it just as an excuse to make everything explode for no reason.  I prefer the original Toho versions, yes, the effects were a bit dodgy and King Ghidora would never have been able to fly in reality, but they were great fun and the monsters looked cool. I have also seen the original 1954 Godzilla, Kong Escapes and King Kong vs Godzilla on DVD and thought they were more entertaining than the 1998 version.

The latest reboot starts in In 1999,when two scientists Ishiro Serizawa and Vivienne Graham (Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins) are called to a quarry in the Philippines to investigate a colossal skeleton and two egg-shaped pods. Meanwhile the nearby Janjira Nuclear Plant near Tokyo, Japan starts experiencing unexplained seismic activity. Plant supervisor Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) sends his wife Sandra (Juliette Binoche) (typical man, lol) and a team into the core to look for damage Unfortunately they are caught by a large explosion and radiation leak and are unable to escape the plant, which is destroyed. The disaster, is subsequently attributed to an earthquake, and the Janjira area is evacuated and quarantined

Fifteen years later, Joe’s son Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) is living in San Francisco with his family ( Elizabeth Olsen and Carson Bolde) and is working as an explosive ordinance disposal officer in the United States Navy, when he learns that his father Joe has been arrested for trespassing in the quarantined Janjira area. So Ford travels to Japan to bail him out and Joe convinces Ford to accompany him and discover cause of the catastrophe. However they are arrested again and taken to a secret facility where they meet Serizawa and Graham who are studying a mysterious object which hatches into a colossal winged creature which wreaks havoc and devastates the facility. So Serizawa, Graham, and Ford joins a US Navy team aboard the USS Saratoga to track the monster.

Ford learns that the winged creature he saw at Janjira was is known as a MUTO (or Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism), an ancient creature which has been living underground and feeding off radiation and radioactive material, and is in turn being hunted by a much larger animal, named Gojira, which was unwittingly awoken during the Nuclear Tests on Bikini Atoll in 1954, and whose existence has been covered up by the Authorities ever since.

Meanwhile A U.S. Navy Special Forces team in Hawaii finds the wreck of a Russian nuclear submarine which has been attacked by some large unidentified underwater creature, which escapes to Honolulu International Airport before being confronted by second larger creature named Gojira but manages to escape. Alarmingly A second MUTO is also discovered and bought to the Nuclear Waste Depository, unfortunately though, it also escapes and causes absolute havoc in Las Vegas. Predictably the two MUTO’s eventually meet and build a nest in San Francisco and lay eggs. So The authorities attempt to clobber the two MUTO’s using a nuclear weapon, sadly though this only makes things worse, and leaves Millions of people in even more danger. Then Gojira arrives and things really get interesting….

Hey ho! let’s Go- tribute to Joey Ramone

ramonesThe late great American vocalist and songwriter Joey ramone was born19th May in 1951. The Ramones were an American rock band that formed in the New York City neighborhood of Forest Hills, Queens, in 1974, and are often cited as the first punk rock group. Despite achieving only limited commercial success, the band was a major influence on the punk rock movement both in the United States and the United Kingdom. All of the band members adopted pseudonyms ending with the surname “Ramone”, though none of them were related. They performed 2,263 concerts, touring virtually nonstop for 22 years.

In 1996, after a tour with the Lollapalooza music festival, the band played a farewell concert and disbanded. Little more than eight years after the breakup, the band’s three founding members—lead singer Joey Ramone, guitarist Johnny Ramone, and bassist Dee Dee Ramone—had died.Their only record with enough U.S. sales to be certified gold was the compilation album Ramones Mania. However, recognition of the band’s importance built over the years, and they are now cited in many assessments of all-time great rock music, such as the Rolling Stone list of the 50 Greatest Artists of All Time and VH1′s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. In 2002, the Ramones were ranked the second-greatest band of all time by Spin magazine, trailing only The Beatles. On March 18, 2002, the Ramones—including the three founders and drummers Tommy and Marky Ramone—were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2011, the group was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

 

Colin Chapman (Lotus)

influential English design engineer, inventor, and builder in the automotive industry, and founder of Lotus Cars Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman CBE, was born 19 May 1928. Chapman studied structural engineering at University College London, joined the University Air Squadron and learned to fly. Chapman left UCL without a degree in 1948, resitting his final Mathematics paper in 1949 and obtaining his degree a year late. He briefly joined the Royal Air Force in 1948, being offered a permanent commission but turning this down in favour of a swift return to civilian life. After a couple of false starts Chapman joined the British Aluminium company, using his civil engineering skills to attempt to sell aluminium as a viable structural material for buildings.

In 1948 Chapman started building the Mk1, a modified Austin 7, which he entered privately into local racing events. He named the car “Lotus”. With prize money he developed the Lotus Mk2. With continuing success on through the Lotus 6, he began to sell kits of these cars. Over 100 were sold through 1956. It was with the Lotus 7 in 1957 that things really took off. In the 1950s, Chapman progressed through the motor racing formulae, designing and building a series of racing cars, sometimes to the point of maintaining limited production as they were so successful and highly sought after, until he arrived in Formula One. Besides his engineering work, he also piloted a Vanwall F1-car in 1956 but crashed into his teammate Mike Hawthorn during practice for the French Grand Prix at Reims, ending his career as a race driver and focusing him on the technical side. Along with John Cooper, he revolutionised the premier motor sport. Their small, lightweight mid-engined vehicles gave away much in terms of power, but superior handling meant their competing cars often beat the all-conquering front engined Ferraris and Maseratis. Eventually, with legendary driver Jim Clark at the wheel of his race cars, Team Lotus appeared as though they could win whenever they pleased. With Clark driving the legendary Lotus 25, Team Lotus won its first F1 World Championship in 1963. It was Clark, driving a Lotus 38 at the Indianapolis 500 in 1965, who drove the first ever mid-engined car to victory at the fabled “Brickyard.” Clark and Chapman had become particularly close and Clark’s death devastated Chapman, who publicly stated that he had lost his best friend.

Among a number of legendary automotive figures who have been Lotus employees over the years were Mike Costin and Keith Duckworth, founders of Cosworth. Graham Hill worked at Lotus as a mechanic as a means of earning drives? In 1952 he founded the sports car company Lotus Cars. Chapman initially ran Lotus in his spare time, assisted by a group of enthusiasts. His knowledge of the latest aeronautical engineering techniques would prove vital towards achieving the major automotive technical advances he is remembered for. He was famous for saying “Adding power makes you faster on the straights. Subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere”, as his design philosophy focused on cars with light weight and fine handling instead of bulking up on horsepower and spring rates. Under his direction, Team Lotus won seven Formula One Constructors’ titles, six Drivers’ Championships, and the Indianapolis 500 in the United States, between 1962 and 1978. The production side of Lotus Cars has built tens of thousands of relatively affordable, cutting edge sports cars. Lotus is one of but a handful of English performance car builders still in business after the industrial decline of the 1970s. Although these days Lotus is owned by the Malaysian Automotive Company “Proton”, Caterham Cars still manufacture the Caterham 7 based on the Lotus 7, and there have been over 90 different Lotus 7 clones, replicas and derivatives offered to the public by a variety of makers.

Chapman sadly passed away on 16th December 1982, aged 54 after suffering a fatal heart attack, and on The day he died, Team Lotus was testing the first Formula One car with active suspension, which eventually made its début with the Lotus 99T in 1987, however he pioneered many innovations and Many of Chapman’s ideas can still be seen in Formula One and other top-level motor sport (such as IndyCars) today. Such as struts as a rear suspension device. Even today, struts used in the rear of a vehicle are known as Chapman struts, while virtually identical suspension struts for the front are known as MacPherson struts, monocoque chassis construction, the tube-frame chassis, positive aerodynamic downforce, through the addition of wings, moving radiators away from the front of the car to the sides, to decrease frontal area (lowering aerodynamic drag). He also designed a car that generated all of its downforce through ground effect, eliminating the need for wings, active suspension and a dual-chassis Formula One car.

Chequered

Phil Rudd (AC/DC)

Phil Rudd, the Drummer with Australian Rock Band AC/DC celebrates his birthday on 19th May. AC/DC were formed in 1973 by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young, who have remained the sole constant members. Commonly classified as hard rock, they are considered pioneers of heavy metal and are sometimes classified as such, though they themselves have always classified their music as simply “rock and roll”. To date they are one of the highest grossing bands of all time. AC/DC underwent several line-up changes before releasing their first album, High Voltage, on 17 February 1975.Membership subsequently stabilised until bassist Mark Evans was replaced by Cliff Williams in 1977 for the album Powerage. Within months of recording the album Highway to Hell, lead singer and co-songwriter Bon Scott died on 19 February 1980, after a night of heavy alcohol consumption. The group briefly considered disbanding, but Scott’s parents urged them to continue and hire a new vocalist.

Four hours of AC/DC http://youtu.be/OxkoU_xhC8c

Ultimately ex Geordie singer Brian Johnson was selected to replace Scott. Later that year, the band released their highest selling album, and ultimately the third highest-selling album by any artist, Back in Black.The band’s next album, For Those About to Rock We Salute You, was their first album to reach number one in the United States. AC/DC declined in popularity soon after drummer Phil Rudd was fired in 1983 and was replaced by future Dio drummer Simon Wright, though the band resurged in the early 1990s with the release of The Razors Edge. Phil Rudd returned in 1994 (after Chris Slade, who was with the band from 1989–1994, was asked to leave in favour of him) and contributed to the band’s 1995 album Ballbreaker.Since then, the band’s line-up has remained the same. Stiff Upper Lip was released in 2000 and was well received by critics, and the band’s latest studio album, Black Ice, was released on 20 October 2008. It was their biggest hit on the charts since For Those About to Rock, reaching No.1 on all the charts eventually. As of 2010, AC/DC had sold more than 200 million albums worldwide, including 71 million albums in the United States alone. Back in Black has sold an estimated 49 million units worldwide, making it the third highest-selling album by any artist, and the second highest-selling album by any band, behind Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of The Moon and Michael Jackson’s Thriller. The album has sold 22 million units in the U.S. alone, where it is the fifth-highest-selling album of all-time. AC/DC ranked fourth on VH1′s list of the “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock” and were named the seventh “Greatest Heavy Metal Band of All Time” by MTV. In 2004, AC/DC were ranked number 72 in the Rolling Stone list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”. In 2010, AC/DC were ranked number 23 in the VH1 list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

 

Peter Townshend (The Who)

the-whoPete Townshend, guitarist, keyboard player and vocalist with The Who was born this date 19th May in 1945. They were formed in 1964 by Roger Daltrey (lead vocals, harmonica and guitar), Pete Townshend, John Entwistle (bass guitar, brass and vocals) and Keith Moon (drums and percussion). They became known for energetic live performances which often included instrument destruction. The Who have sold about 100 million records, and have charted 27 top forty singles in the United Kingdom and United States, as well as 17 top ten albums, with 18 Gold, 12 Platinum and 5 Multi-Platinum album awards in the United States alone. The Who rose to fame in the UK with a series of top ten hit singles, boosted in part by pirate radio stations such as Radio Caroline, beginning in January 1965 with “I Can’t Explain”. The albums My Generation, A Quick One and The Who Sell Out followed, with the first two reaching the UK top five. They first hit the US Top 40 in 1967 with “Happy Jack” and hit the top ten later that year with “I Can See for Miles”.Their fame grew with memorable performances at the Monterey Pop, Woodstock and Isle of Wight music festivals.

The Who Isle of Wight Festival 1970 http://youtu.be/pTcA3OCLlqI

the 1969 release of Tommy was the first in a series of top ten albums in the US, Followed by Live at Leeds, Who’s Next, Quadrophenia, The Who by Numbers, Who Are You, and The Kids Are Alright. Sadly though Moon died at the age of 32 in 1978, after which the band released two further studio albums, Face Dances and  It’s Hard, with drummer kenney Jones, before disbanding in 1983. They re-formed at events such as Live Aid and for reunion tours such as their 25th anniversary tour and the Quadrophenia tours of 1996 and 1997. In 2000, the three surviving original members discussed recording an album of new material, but their plans temporarily stalled upon Entwistle’s death at the age of 57 in 2002. Townshend and Daltrey continue to perform as The Who, and in 2006 they released the studio album Endless Wire, which reached the top ten in the UK and US.The Who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, their first year of eligibility; the display describes them as “Prime contenders, in the minds of many, for the title of World’s Greatest Rock Band.” Time magazine wrote in 1979 that “No other group has ever pushed rock so far, or asked so much from it.” Rolling Stone magazine wrote: “Along with The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, The Who complete the holy trinity of British rock.” They received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Phonographic Industry in 1988, and from the Grammy Foundation in 2001, for creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording. In 2008 surviving members Townshend and Daltrey were honoured at the 31st Annual Kennedy Center Honours. That same year VH1 Rock Honours paid tribute to The Who and Jack Black of Tenacious D called them “the greatest band of all time.

 

Dusty Hill (ZZ TOP)

ZZ-Top-Eliminator-art-paintingDusty Hill the splendidly hirsute bass player with ZZ Top was born 19th May 1949. Formed in 1969 in Houston, Texas , the group consists of Billy Gibbons (guitar and vocals), Dusty Hill (bass and vocals), and Frank Beard (drums and percussion). ZZ Top’s early sound was rooted in blues but eventually grew to exhibit contemporary influences. Throughout their career they have maintained a sound based on Hill’s and Beard’s rhythm section support, accentuated by Gibbons’ guitar and vocal style. Their lyrics often gave evidence of band’s humor and thematically focus on personal experiences and sexual innuendos.ZZ Top formed its initial lineup in 1969, consisting of Anthony Barajas (bass and keyboards) and Peter Perez (drums and percussion). After several incarnations, Hill and Beard joined within the following year.

Moulded into a professional act by manager Bill Ham, they were subsequently signed to London Records and released their debut album. They were successful as live performers, becoming known to fans as “that little ol’ band from Texas”, and their 1973 album Tres Hombres, according to Allmusic, propelled the band to national attention and “made them stars”. In 1979, after returning from a one-and-a-half year break of touring, the group reinvented themselves with their 1983 hit album Eliminator and the accompanying tour. ZZ Top incorporated New Wave and punk influences into their sound and performances, and embraced a more iconic image, with Gibbons and Hill sporting chest-length beards and sunglasses. Similar experimentation continued for the remainder of the 1980s and 1990s with varying levels of success. On ZZ Top’s 2003 album Mescalero, they adopted a more contemporary sound while maintaining their influences from their earlier musical pursuits.Maintaining the same members for over forty years, ZZ Top has released 14 studio albums and are among the most popular rock groups, having sold more than 25 million albums in the United States. They have won three VMAs and in 2004, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. VH1 ranked ZZ Top at number 44 in its list of the “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock”. They have performed at many charity events and raised $1 million for the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi.