Brad Whitford (Aerosmith)

Aerosmith_PumpBrad Whitford, musician with the American rock band Aerosmith was born 23rd February 1952. Sometimes referred to as “The Bad Boys from Boston” and “America’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band.” The band was formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1970. Guitarist Joe Perry and bassist Tom Hamilton, originally in a band together called the Jam Band, met up with singer Steven Tyler, drummer Joey Kramer, and guitarist Ray Tabano, and formed Aerosmith. In 1971, Tabano was replaced by Brad Whitford, and the band began developing a following in Boston, Their style, which is rooted in blues-based hard rock, has come to also incorporate elements of pop, heavy metal, and rhythm and blues, and has inspired many subsequent rock artists. They were signed to Columbia Records in 1972, and released a string of multi-platinum albums, beginning with their 1973 eponymous debut album, followed by their 1974 album Get Your Wings. In 1975, the band broke into the mainstream with the album Toys in the Attic, and their 1976 follow-up Rocks cemented their status as hard rock superstars.

The band released two more albums, toured extensively, and charted a string of Hot 100 singles. By the end of the 1970s, they were among the most popular hard rock bands in the world and developed a loyal following of fans, often referred to as the “Blue Army”. However, drug addiction and internal conflict took their toll on the band, which resulted in the departures of Perry and Whitford in 1979 and 1981, respectively; they were replaced by Jimmy Crespo and Rick Dufay. The band did not fare well between 1980 and 1984, releasing a lone album, Rock in a Hard Place, which went gold but failed to match their previous successes. Perry and Whitford returned in 1984 and the band signed a new deal with Geffen Records. After a comeback tour, the band recorded Done with Mirrors, which won some critical praise but failed to come close to commercial expectations. It was not until the band sobered up and released 1987′s Permanent Vacation that they regained the level of popularity they had experienced in the 1970s.

Throughout the late 1980s and 1990s, the band scored several hits including Dude, looks like a lady Walk this Way (Featuring RUN DMC) and “love in an elvator“, and won numerous awards for music from the multi-platinum albums Pump, Get a Grip, and Nine Lives. The band also became a pop culture phenomenon with popular music videos and notable appearances in television, film, and video games. Their comeback has been described as one of the most remarkable and spectacular in rock ‘n’ roll history. Additional albums followed in 2001 and 2004 including the songs Crazy (Featuring Alicia Silverstone & Liv Tyler) and I don’t Wanna Miss a Thing, from the film Armageddon

After 42 years of performing, the band continues to tour and record music. Their latest album,is The Aerosmith reunion album “Music From Another Dimension” which was Released 2 Nov 2012, and is the first collection of new tunes since 2001. The album opens with Luv xxx which is an absolute classic Aerosmith track, Oh Yeah is another awesome bluesy track with huge depth and Out Go The Lights is an epic rock and roll song.’Closer’ also carries a bluesy edge and is a strong, slow-tempo song, while ‘Freedom Fighter’ is a pseudo-political rock number with Joe Perry on vocals. “Legendary Child.” is another awesome track.

Aerosmith is the best-selling American rock band of all time, having sold more than 150 million albums worldwide,including 66.5 million albums in the United States alone. They also hold the record for the most gold and multi-platinum albums by an American group. The band has scored 21 Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, nine number-one Mainstream Rock hits, four Grammy Awards, and ten MTV Video Music Awards. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, and were included among both Rolling Stone’s and VH1′s lists of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

Bernard Cornwell OBE

H-bc(1)British author Bernard Cornwell OBE, was born 23 February 1944. Famous for writing Exciting historical fiction, He is best known for his novels about Napoleonic Wars rifleman Richard Sharpe which were adapted into a series of Sharpe television films, starring Sean Bean. As a child, Cornwell loved the novels of C. S. Forester, chronicling the adventures of fictional British naval officer Horatio Hornblower during the Napoleonic Wars, and was surprised to find that there were no such novels following Lord Wellington’s campaign on land. Motivated by the need to support himself in the U.S. through writing, Cornwell decided to write such a series. He named his chief protagonist Richard Sharpe, a rifleman involved in most of the major battles of the Peninsular War. Cornwell took the name from rugby player Richard Sharp.He attended the University of London, and after graduating, worked as a teacher. He attempted to enlist in the British armed services at least three times, but was rejected on the grounds of myopia. He then joined the BBC’s Nationwide and was promoted to become head of current affairs at BBC Northern Ireland. He then joined Thames Television as editor of Thames News. He relocated to the United States in 1979 after marrying an American. Unable to get a green card, he started writing novels, as this did not require a work permit and later became a U.S. citizen.

Cornwell wanted to start the series with the Siege of Badajoz but decided instead to start with a couple of “warm-up” novels. These were Sharpe’s Eagle and Sharpe’s Gold, both published in 1981. Sharpe’s Eagle was picked up by a publisher, and Cornwell got a three-book deal. He went on to tell the story of Badajoz in his third Sharpe novel Sharpe’s Company published in 1982.Cornwell and wife Judy co-wrote a series of novels, published under the pseudonym “Susannah Kells”. These were A Crowning Mercy, published in 1983, Fallen Angels in 1984, and Coat of Arms (aka The Aristocrats) in 1986. (Cornwell’s strict Protestant upbringing informed the background of A Crowning Mercy, which took place during the English Civil War.) He also published Redcoat, an American Revolutionary War novel set in Philadelphia during its 1777 occupation by the British, in 1987.

After publishing eight books in his ongoing Sharpe series, Cornwell was approached by a production company interested in adapting them for television. The producers asked him to write a prequel to give them a starting point to the series. They also requested that the story feature a large role for Spanish characters to secure co-funding from Spain. The result was Sharpe’s Rifles, published in 1987 and a series of Sharpe television films starring Sean Bean. A series of contemporary thrillers with sailing as a background and common themes followed: Wildtrack published in 1988, Sea Lord (aka Killer’s Wake) in 1989, Crackdown in 1990, Stormchild in 1991, and a political thriller called Scoundrel in 1992.

In June 2006, Cornwell was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen’s 80th Birthday Honours List. Azincourt was released in the UK in October 2008. The protagonist is an archer who participates in the Battle of Agincourt, a devastating defeat suffered by the French during the Hundred Years War. In 2009, he released The Burning Land, another of the six Saxon Stories centered on the protagonist Uhtred of Bebbanburg. The sixth installment of the series, Death Of Kings was released in September 2011. Another of Cornwell’s standalone novels, The Fort, was published in 2010. It tells of the Penobscot Expedition of 1779 during the American Revolutionary War, in which a small British force, sent to what is now Castine in the State of Maine, were assaulted by an army with a huge fleet sent by the State of Massachusetts.  Cornwell also published The novel 1356 in 2012, which features protagonist Thomas of Hookton and his company of mercenary archers, who ravage the countryside of Gascony before joining the Black Prince’s army to fight at the Battle of Poitiers, and The Empty Throne in2014, which is book 8 in the Warrior Chronicles and sees Aethelred Lord of the Mercians dying without an heir, leaving rivals from Wessex and Mercia to contest the rule of Britain, amid the ever present threat of Viking attack.