Barracuda by Cristos Tsiolkas

imageThis week The Telegraph in collaboration with WHSmith is offering reader the novel Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas, which has been newly released in paperback, for just £2.99 instead of the normal price £7.99. The novel is available between Thursday, June 19 and Wednesday, June 25, or can be obtained by bringing in one of the printed vouchers published in the paper on Thursday, June 19 or Saturday, June 21.

Barracuda features a talented young swimmer named Daniel Kelly, who has a chance to escape his working-class upbringing and gain fame and fortune, thanks to His astonishing ability in the pool, as well as enabling him to get his own back on the rich boys at the private school to which he has won a sports scholarship. But this has been done at a cost to his family, his friends and his sense of what is right. Everything Danny has ever done, every sacrifice his family has ever made, has been in pursuit of his dream.

However after getting a disappointing result at his first big international championship . Danny discovers that he can’t always achieve what he sets out to do, and the shame that comes with this is the subject of his struggle. Subsequently he begins to destroy everything he has worked so hard for and turns on everyone around him who tries to help him. In addition He is also struggling to come to terms with his sexuality He is gay in a group of straights, working class in a group of well-to-do boys, and sometimes wishes his parents were more like those of his new friends.

Danny ends up asking himself who do you trust in this life: your mentors, your parents, your friends? Are they all doing just what they need to do to get ahead? Cutting between the boy’s life and that of the adult man many years later, still angry at the world but more comfortable in his skin and with himself and his sexuality. Barracuda is a novel about dreams and disillusionment, friendship and family, which tells a story of class, race and identity and of a teenager who after seemingly losing everything, eventually comes to realize what it means to be a good person and that his strongest identity lies in family and friends.

Dizzy Reed ( Guns’n’Roses)

appetitefordestructionBest known as the keyboard player and percussionist with rock band Guns’n’Roses Rock musician Dizzy Reed was born 18 June 1963. Dizzy Reed has played, toured, and recorded since 1990. Aside from frontman Axl Rose, Reed is the longest-standing and only member of Guns N’ Roses to remain from the band’s Use Your Illusion era. In 2012, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Guns N’ Roses, although he did not attend the ceremony.

Guns’n’Roses formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1985. The classic lineup as signed to Geffen Records in 1986, consisted of vocalistAxl Rose, lead guitarist Slash, rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin, bassist Duff McKagan, and drummer Steven Adler. During their turbulent career Guns N’ Roses gained a reputation as “The World’s Most Dangerous Band”and Today, Axl Rose is the only remaining original member, in a lineup that comprises Use Your Illusion–era keyboardist Dizzy Reed, lead guitaristsDJ Ashba and Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, rhythm guitarist Richard Fortus, bassist Tommy Stinson, drummer Frank Ferrer, and keyboardist Chris Pitman. The band has released six studio albums to date, accumulating sales of more than 100 million records worldwide, inluding shipments of 45 million in the United States,making them one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time.

A year after its release, Guns N’ Roses’ debut album Appetite for Destruction (1987) reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200, on the strength of the hit “Sweet Child o’ Mine”, their only single to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.The album has sold in excess of 28 million copies worldwide,including 18 million units sold in the United States, making it the best-selling debut album of all time in the U.S. The success of their debut was followed by the eight-song album G N’ R Lies (1988). The twin albums use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II (1991) debuted at No. 2 and No. 1 on theBillboard 200 and have sold a combined 35 million copies worldwide,including 14 million units sold in the United States alone.The cover album “The Spaghetti Incident” (1993) was the band’s last studio album to feature Slash and McKagan. After more than a decade of work and many lineup changes, Guns N’ Roses released the long-awaited album Chinese Democracy (2008) which, at an estimated $14 million in production costs, made it the most expensive album to ever be produced in music history.It debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 but underwhelmed industry expectations, despite mostly positive critical reception. ones.

Sadly Guns’n’Roses imploded after much in fighting and ex-members McKagen, Stradlin and Slash went on to do their own thing. Stradlin returned to his hometown of Lafayette, Indiana, and formed the band Izzy Stradlin and the Ju Ju Hounds, which consisted of Stradlin on vocals and rhythm guitar, Rick Richards of Georgia Satellites on lead guitar, Jimmy Ashhurst of Broken Homes on bass, and Charlie Quintana on drums. Slash formed the super group Velvet Revolver with his former Guns N’ Roses band mates McKagen and Matt Sorum and released the albums Slash’s Snakepit and Apocalyptic Love.Andrew “Duff” McKagan also released a solo album, Believe in Me (1993), and formed the short-lived supergroup Neurotic Outsiders, he also briefly reunited with his pre-success Seattle punk band 10 Minute Warning  and then formed the still-active hard rock band Loaded, with whom he performs lead vocals and rhythm guitar. The band’s classic lineup, along with later members Reed and drummer Matt Sorum, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, their first year of eligibility.Guns N’ Roses were credited with reviving the mainstream popularity of rock music, at a time when popular music was dominated by dance music and pop metal.Their late 1980s and early 1990s years have been described as the period in which they brought forth a “hedonistic rebelliousness” reminiscent of the early Rolling StOnes and Rose has also been named one of the greatest singers of all time by various media outlets, including Rolling Stone and NME.

Sir Paul McCartney MBE Hon RAM FRCM

mmt-bEnglish musician, singer-songwriter and composer Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE, Hon RAM, FRCM celebrates his birthday on 18th June. Born in 1942 he gained worldwide fame as a member of the Beatles With John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Star, and formed one of the most celebrated songwriting partnerships of the 20th century with Lennon.The Beatles were formed when, At the age of fifteen, McCartney met Lennon and his skiffle band, the Quarrymen in 1957 andjoined the group soon thereafter, and formed a close working relationship with Lennon. Harrison joined in 1958 as lead guitarist, followed in 1960 by Lennon’s art school friend Stuart Sutcliffe on bass. By May 1960 they had tried several new names, including “Johnny and the Moondogs” and “the Silver Beetles”, They changed their name to”the Beatles” in mid-August 1960, and drummer Pete Best was recruited prior to the first of what would be five engagements in Hamburg, Germany.

The recording brought them to the attention of Brian Epstein, who became their manager in January 1962. Epstein negotiated a record contract for the group with Parlophone that May. After replacing Best with Ringo Starr in August, and releasing their first hit; “Love Me Do” in October, they became increasingly popular in the UK during 1963 and in the US in 1964. Their fans’ frenzied adulation became known as “Beatlemania”; during which McCartney was dubbed the cute Beatle. His contributions to the band’s early hits include: “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (1963); co-written with Lennon, “Can’t Buy Me Love” (1964) and “We Can Work It Out” (1965); co-written with Lennon. In 1965 the Beatles were appointed Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) and they recorded the McCartney composition “Yesterday”, featuring a string quartet. It was the group’s first recorded use of classical music elements in their music and their first recording that did not include more than one band member, McCartney also composed 1966 Beatles’ hits “Paperback Writer” as “a satire of pop ambition” and “Eleanor Rigby”, which included a string octet. Between 1962 and 1970 the group released twenty-two UK singles and twelve LPs, of which seventeen of the singles and eleven of the LPs became number ones. The band topped the US Billboard Hot 100 twenty times, and recorded fourteen number one albums as Lennon and McCartney became one of the most celebrated songwriting partnerships of the 20th century Before their break-up in 1970 they produced what some critics consider to be their finest material, including the innovative and widely influential albums Rubber Soul (1965), Revolver (1966), Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles and Abbey Road McCartney was the primary writer of five of their last six US number one singles: “Hello, Goodbye”, “Hey Jude”, which was the band’s most successful single ever, “Get Back”, “Let It Be” and “The Long and Winding Road”.

After the break -up of The Beates in 1970 McCartney continued his musical career, releasing his first solo album, McCartney, which contained the stand-out track “Maybe I’m Amazed”, written for Linda Eastman. With the exception of some vocal contributions from her, it is a self-performed album, Paul providing all the instrumentation himself. In 1971 Paul collaborated with Linda on a second album, Ram, a UK number one which included the co-written US number one hit single, “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey”. Later that year, the pair were joined by ex-Moody Blues guitarist Denny Laine and drummer Denny Seiwell to form the group Wings, and release their first album together, Wild Life.In March 1973 Wings’ achieved their first US number one, “My Love”, included on their second LP, Red Rose Speedway, in 1973 McCartney’s collaboration with Linda and former Beatles producer George Martin resulted in the James Bond theme song and Wings hit, “Live and Let Die”. The song was nominated for an Oscar, and it earned Martin a Grammy for his orchestral arrangement.

In 1974 Wings achieved a second US number one, “Band on the Run”; the acclaimed album of the same name, their third, was a massive success that became Wings’ first platinum LP. They followed with the chart topping albums, Venus and Mars and Wings at the Speed of Sound. in November, the Wings song “Mull of Kintyre”, co-written with Laine, was fast becoming one of the best-selling singles in UK chart history. The track became The most successful single of his solo career. Wings completed their final concert tour together in 1979. Active through 1981 Wings produced seven studio albums, five of which topped the US charts, as well as their live triple LP, Wings over America, one of few live albums ever to achieve the top spot in America. They also recorded six US number one singles including, “Listen to What the Man Said”, “Silly Love Songs, “With a Little Luck”, and “Coming Up”. Wings was formally disbanded in 1981,

Since then McCartney has had a prolific solo career and has been described by Guinness World Records as the “most successful composer and recording artist of all time”, with 60 gold discs and sales of over 100 million albums and 100 million singles, and “the most successful songwriter” in UK chart history. His Beatles song “Yesterday” has been covered by over 2,200 artists—more than any other song in the history of recorded music. Wings’ 1977 release “Mull of Kintyre”, co-written with Laine, was one of the best-selling singles ever in the UK. He has written or co-written thirty-two songs that have reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and as of 2012 he has sold over 15.5 million RIAA-certified units in the United States.

McCartney has composed film scores, classical and electronic music and has released a large catalogue of songs as a solo artist. He has taken part in projects to help international charities, been an advocate for animal rights, vegetarianism and music education, campaigned against landmines and seal hunting and supported efforts such as Make Poverty History. His company MPL Communications owns the copyrights to more than 25,000 songs, including those written by Buddy Holly, as well as the publishing rights to the musicals Guys and Dolls, A Chorus Line and Grease. He is one of the UK’s wealthiest people, with an estimated fortune of £475 million in 2010.He has been married three times, and married his third wife Lady Nancy Shevell on Sunday 9th October 2011, and is the father of five children. McCartney also performed “Magical Mystery Tour”,”All My Loving” and “Let is Be” followed by a stirring version of “Live and Let Die” accompanied by some impressive pyrotechnics and “Oh-Bla-Di” at Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Concert and also played at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics.