Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces Day (formerly Veterans’ Day) in the United Kingdom is celebrated annually on  June 27 to commemorate the service of men and women in the British Armed Forces. Veterans’ Day was first observed in 2006. Although an official event, it is not a public holiday in the UK. The name was changed to Armed Forces Day in 2009. The four Armed Forces Dys so far have been held on the last Saturday of June. Plans for a Veterans’ Day were announced in February 2006 by then-Chancellor o the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, who said the aim was to ensure the contribution of veterans was never forgotten.

The day is marked across the UK by local ceremonies and the presentation of medals to living ex-servicemen and women. The date of 27 June was chosen as it came the day after the anniversary of the first investiture of the Victoria Cross, in Hyde Park, London in 1857. Veterans’ Day was created as a permanent extension of Veterans’ Awareness Week first held in 2005. In the UK it followed the model of the Veterans Day holiday in the United States which honours all military veterans and is both a federal holiday and a state holiday in all states. On 25 June 2007, Jim Devine the Member of Parliament for Livingston, tabled a House of Commons Early Day Motion calling for the day to be a public holiday, stating “that this House recognises the outstanding contribution that veterans have made to the country; and believes that Veterans’ Day should be a national public holiday across the United Kingdom.”

Over the past few years there have been many events to mark the occasion including a Parade of Standards” which was led by The Central Band of the Royal Air Force, a National Veterans’ Day Service , A Badge Presentation ceremony, The Red Devils parachute display team performed an illuminated “night time parachute drop”, A traditional Drumhead Service took place . A Fly-overs by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, the Red Arrows and Helicopter Formation. There have also been Arena displays including the Royal Marine Commando Display Team, and the Royal Marine Band as well as other Military displays representing all of the armed forces , Search and rescue Sea King rescue display on the water. Plus The opportunity to go aboard HMS Kent ,Royal Navy destroyers HMS Gloucester and HMS Daring, an evening of stage performances featuring The Soldiers and Only Men Aloud and A firework finale

Glastonbury Festival 2015

This years Glastonbury Festival takes place June 24th – 28th. The Foo Fighters were due to Headline, Unfortunately though Foo Fighters lead singer Dave Grohl recently broke his foot casting their appearance into doubt and the Headline Slot is now being filled by Florence +The Machine. This years lineup also includes Kanye West, Florence + the Machine and The Who as headliners, with Pharrell Williams, Alt-J, Lionel Richie, Motorhead, Patti Smith, The Chemical Brothers, Belle and Sebastian, Death Cab For Cutie, Spiritualized, Ryan Adams, and Death From Above1979. Stephen Hawking and the Dali Lama are also expected to appear and Pussy Riot will appear for a live conversation

Others performing at this years Glastonbury Festival include Enter Shikiri, Modestep,SBTRKT, Benjamin Booker, Jon Hopkins, Goat, Idris Elba, The Districts, Palma Violets, Frank Turner, Leon Bridges, Alvvays, Tricky, FFS (the collaborative project of Franz Ferdinand and Sparks), Mini Mansions, Shlomo, The Cribs, SOAK, Milky Chance, and The Gaslamp Killer, Mary J.Blige, Alabama Shakes, James Bay, Chronixx, Michael Clarke, Paloma Faith, George Ezra, The Waterboys, Courtney Bennett, The Unthanks, Alt-J, Hozier, Somghoy Blues, Burtle Silver Band, Rudimental, Mark Ronsom, The Couteeners, The Vaccines, Jungle, Catfish and the Bottlemen,

Everything Everything, The Cribs, Deadmau5, The Maccabees, Clean Bandit, Ella Eyre, Young Fathers, Azalia Banks, Swim Deep, Future Islands, TwinAtlantic, Adam Cohen, Hot Chip, Caribou, Run the Jewels, Kasabian Allstars, Marcos Valle, Cambodian Space Project, Vintage Trouble, Gregory Porter, Soil and Pimp Sessions, Flying Lotus, FKA TWIGS, , Sharon van Etten, Benjamen Booker, Wolf Alice, Glass Animals, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Spiritualized, Gaz Coombes, Ibeyi, Eaves, Flo Morrissey, Goat, Perfume Genius, Fat White Family, The Staves, Rae Morris, Jack Garrett, Rag’n’Bone Man, Jessie Ware, Circa Waves, Peace, Chet Faker, The Districts, Leon Bridges, Circa Waves, La Roux, Years and Years, The Pop Group, Lianne le Havas, Charli XCX, Django Django, Prodes, Saint Raymond, Mini Mansions, Gengahr and Lucy Kitchen.

A number of legacy acts have also been added including Donovan, The Proclaimers, Nick Lowe, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, Sly and the Family Stone, Burt Bacharach, Super Furry Animals, Paul Weller, Lionel Richie, The Fall and Suede,

Laurie Lee MBE

imageEnglish poet, novelist, and screenwriter,Laurence Edward Alan “Laurie” Lee, MBE was born 26 June 1914 Having been born in Stroud, Lee moved with his family to the village of Slad i1917 and went to Marling School, Gloucestershire, At twelve, Laurie went to the CentalBoys’ School in Stroud and left at fifteen to become an errand boy at a Chartered Accountantsin Stroud. In 1931 he first found the Whiteway Colony, two miles from Slad, a colony founded by Leo Tolstoyan Anarchists. It gave him his first smattering of politicization and was where he met the composer Benjamin Frankel and the ‘Cleo’ who appears in As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning. In 1933 he met Sophia Rogers, an “exotically pretty girl with dark curly hair” who had moved to Slad from Buenos Aires, an influence on Lee who said later in life that he only went to Spain because “a girl in Slad from Buenos Aires taught me a few words of Spanish.” At twenty he worked as an office clerk and a builder’s labourer, and lived in London for a year before leaving for Vigo, northwest Spain, in the summer of 1935. From there he travelled across Spain as far as Almuñecar on the coast of Andalusia. Walking more often than not, he eked out a living by playing his violin.

After the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in July 1936 Lee was picked up by a British destroyer from Gibraltar, collecting marooned British subjects on the southern Spanish coast. He started to study for an art degree but returned to Spain in 1937 as an International Brigade volunteer. However his service in the Brigade was cut short by his epilepsy. These experiences were recounted in A Moment of War (1991), an austere memoir of his time as a volunteer in the Spanish Civil War. During this period, he also made documentary films for the GPO Film Unit (1939–40) and the Crown Film Unit (1941–43). From 1944 to 1946 and worked as the Publications Editor for the Ministry of Information. Lee’s first love was always poetry, though he was only moderately successful as a poet, Lee’s first poem appeared in The Sunday Referee in 1934. Another poem was published in Cyril Connolly’s Horizon in 1940 and his first volume of poems, The Sun My Monument, was launched in 1944. This was followed by The Bloom of Candles (1947) and My Many-coated Man (1955). Several poems written in the early 1940s reflect the atmosphere of the war, but also capture the beauty of the English countryside.

However Lee’s most famous work was an autobiographical trilogy which consisted of Cider with Rosie (1959) which captured images of village life from a bygone era of innocence and simplicity , As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (1969), which deals with his leaving home for London and his first visit to Spain in 1935 and A Moment of War (1991). Which deals with his return to Spain in December 1937 to join the Republican International Brigades. Other works include A Rose for Winter, about a trip he made to Andalusia fifteen years after the Civil War; Two Women (1983), a story of Lee’s courtship and marriage with Kathy, daughter of Helen Garman; The Firstborn (1964), about the birth and childhood of their daughter Jessye; and I Can’t Stay Long (1975), a collection of occasional writing. Lee also wrote travel books, essays, a radio play, and short stories. Laurie Lee sadly passed away 3 May 1997 but his classic novels continue to be popular and remain required reading in many schools. They have also been adapted for screen, television and radio many times

——————————————————————————–

MICK JONES – THE CLASH

220px-TheClashLondonCallingalbumcoverBest known for being a member of The Clash and Big Audio Dynamite, the guitarist vocalist and songwriter Mick Jones was born 26 June 1955. Formed in 1976 as part of the original wave of British punk. The Clash’s music incorporated elements of reggae, ska, dub, funk, rap, dance, and rockabilly. For most of their recording career, the Clash consisted of Joe Strummer (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Mick Jones (lead guitar, vocals), Paul Simonon (bass guitar, vocals) and Nicky “Topper” Headon (drums, percussion). Headon left the group in 1982, and internal friction led to Jones’s departure the following year. The group continued with new members, but finally disbanded in early 1986.

The Clash achieved commercial success in the United Kingdom with the release of their debut album, The Clash, in 1977. Their third album, London Calling, released in the UK in December 1979, brought them popularity in the United States when it came out there the following month. It was declared the best album of the 1980s a decade later by Rolling Stone magazine. The Clash’s politicised lyrics, musical experimentation and rebellious attitude had a far-reaching influence on rock, alternative rock in particular. They became widely referred to as “The Only Band That Matters”, originally a promotional slogan introduced by the group’s record label, CBS. In January 2003, the band—including original drummer Terry Chimes—were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked the Clash number 28 on their list of the 100 greatest artists of all time

After being ousted from the Clash in 1983 and following a brief stint with the band General Public, Mick Jones formed a new band called Top Risk Action Company (T.R.A.C.) He recruited bassist Leo “E-Zee Kill” Williams, saxophone player John “Boy” Lennard (from Theatre of Hate), and ex-Clash drummer Nicky “Topper” Headon. Headon was quickly sacked for his heroin addiction and Lennard either left or was fired and the band folded. Although the band released no material (only demos were recorded which have yet to be officially released), T.R.A.C. can be seen as a forerunner to Big Audio Dynamite in much the same way London SS can be seen as an early incarnation of The Clash. Jones then formed Big Audio Dynamite with film director Don Letts (maker of The Punk Rock Movie, various Clash music videos, and later The Clash documentary Westway to the World), bassist Leo Williams (from T.R.A.C.), drummer Greg Roberts, and keyboardist Dan Donovan.

n 1985 the group’s debut, This Is Big Audio Dynamite, was released. The album’s cover shows the group as a four-piece (minus Donovan); the full group is pictured on the back cover.1986′s No. 10, Upping St. reunited Jones for one album with former Clash band-mate Joe Strummer, who was a co-producer of the album and co-writer of a number of its songs. The cover painting, based on a still taken from the Brian de Palma film “Scarface” was painted by Tim Jones. BAD supported U2 on their 1987 world tour, then released 1988′s Tighten Up, Vol. ’88 and 1989′s Megatop Phoenix. Tighten Up, Vol. 88 contained “Just Play Music!”, which was the second No. 1 single on Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks. The band also recorded an unreleased track called “Keep off the Grass” which was a rock-style instrumental of the theme to the classic western film, The Magnificent Seven. A promo video can be seen on YouTube. In 1990, the original line-up wrote and recorded the song “Free” for the soundtrack to the movie Flashback. This would be the final song written with the original lineup, as the band would dissolve shortly after. “Bottom Line” from the first LP was remixed and used as the title track for Flashback. However this track was not included on the soundtrack. It can be found on the 12″ or by possible download. Later in 1990, Mick Jones debuted Big Audio Dynamite II and release the UK only album Kool-Aid. Dan Donovan remained in BAD II for one song, a re-working of the final BAD track “Free” renamed “Kickin’ In”.

For 1990′s The Globe, only Jones remained from BAD, and the band was now called “Big Audio Dynamite II”. This new line-up featured two guitarists. The Globe featured the band’s most commercially successful single, “Rush” which hit No. 1 on both the US modern rock chart and the Australian National Aria Chart. “Innocent Child” and “The Globe” were also released as singles.BAD supported U2 on their ZooTV tour and released the live EP “On The Road Live ’92″. The band later recruited keyboardist Andre Shapps (co-producer of The Globe and Mick Jones’s cousin) and Michael “DJ Zonka” Custance as DJ and vocalist. Both appeared on the band’s 1994 album Higher Power, Don Letts and Mick Jones broached the idea of a Big Audio Dynamite reunion in 2011.

Besides a Big Audio Dynamite reunion, There may be more Legacy Editions of the group’s albums after more unreleased material was found in the vaults. The reformation of the original line up of B.A.D was confirmed on 25 January 2011 with the announcement of a UK tour. Two Shepherd’s Bush Empire shows, a concert at Manchester Academy and a headline slot at Beautiful Days festival. Big Audio Dynamite have also played sets at the 2011 Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival, Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival,Glastonbury Festival 2011, Lollapalooza, the Levellers festival, Beautiful Days,Bestival, V Festival, and Fuji Rock Festival.

George Michael

English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record produce George Michael, was born 25 June 1963. Michael rose to superstardom during the 1980s and 1990s as a member of Wham! And on his own, with his style of post-disco dance-pop proving immensely successful. He has also been characterised as a blue-eyed soul singer, although his material draws more from middle-of-the-road pop than soul music. Michael first found success after forming the duo Wham! with Andrew Ridgeley in 1981. The band’s first album Fantastic reached No. 1 in the UK in 1983 and included the songs Young Guns”, “Wham Rap!” and “Club Tropicana”. Their second album, Make It Big included the songs Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” (No. 1 in the UK and US), “Freedom”, “Everything She Wants”, and “Careless Whisper”. Michael sang on the original Band Aid recording of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” and donated the profits from “Last Christmas/Everything She Wants” to charity. He also contributed to David Cassidy’s 1985 hit “The Last Kiss”, and Elton John’s 1985 songs “Nikita” and “Wrap Her Up”. Wham!’ Also made a historic tour of China in April 1985, which had never been done before by a Western Pop Group and was documented by film director Lindsay Anderson and producer Martin Lewis in their film Foreign Skies: Wham! In China. Michael then released two solo singles, “Careless Whisper” (1984) and “A Different Corner” (1986), And Wham! Officially separated during the summer of 1986, after releasing a farewell single, “The Edge of Heaven” and a singles compilation, The Final, plus a sell-out concert at Wembley Stadium.

He began his solo career, in 1987, was a highly successful duet with Aretha Franklin. “I Knew You Were Waiting”, for which Michael and Aretha Franklin won a Grammy Award in 1988 for Best R&B Performance – Duo or Group with Vocal for the song. Michael released his first solo album, Faith in 1987 which contained the controversial song “I Want Your Sex”,which was banned by many radio stations and The second single, “Faith”, was released in 1987 shortly before the album “Faith” and was accompanied by an iconic video. This was followed by the songs “Father Figure”, “One More Try”, and “Monkey”.In 1988, Michael embarked on a world tour, which included “Everything She Wants” and “I’m Your Man”, as well as covers of “Lady Marmalade” or “Play That Funky Music”. In Los Angeles, Michael was joined on stage by Aretha Franklin for “I Knew You Were Waiting”. In 1989, Faith won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year at the 31st Grammy Awards and also received the Video Vanguard Award At the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards. In 1990 Michael released the album Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1, which was more serious in tone and contained the songs “Praying for Time”, which dealt with social ills and injustice, and the acoustic “Waiting for That Day”, this was followed by Freedom! ’90”, “Heal the Pain”, and “Cowboys and Angels”.The video for ‘Freedom ’90” was directed by David Fincher and featured the supermodels Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Tatjana Patitz, and Cindy Crawford. The song “Mother’s Pride” also gained significant radio play in the US during the first Persian Gulf War during 1991. Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 also won the award for Best British Album at the 1991 Brit Awards.

In 1991 Michael embarked on the “Cover to Cover tour” in Japan, England, the US, and Brazil, where he performed at Rock in Rio, singing his favourite cover songs, including Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”, a 1974 song by Elton John which he and Michael had performed together at the Live Aid concert in 1985, and again at London’s Wembley Arena in 1991. Due to legal problems with Sony Michael ended the idea for a follow up album called Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 2 and donated three songs to the charity project Red Hot + Dance, for the Red Hot Organization which raised money for AIDS awareness, including “Crazyman Dance” and Too Funky”, whose video features Michael (sporadically) filming supermodels Linda Evangelista, Beverly Peele, Tyra Banks, Estelle Lefébure and Nadja Auermann at a fashion show. Next George Michael teamed up with Queen for the EP Five Live. Which they performed at The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert on 20 April 1992 at London’s Wembley Stadium, with proceeds going to AIDS research. Tracks for the event were performed by George Michael, Queen, and Lisa Stansfield and included “Somebody to Love”, “These Are the Days of Our Lives”,”Killer”, “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone”, “Calling You “’39″and “Somebody to Love”. Michael’s performance of “Somebody to Love” was hailed as “one of the best performances of the tribute concert”.The idea of having George Michael take over as full-time lead singer of Queen was even given serious consideration. In 1994, George Michael appeared at the first MTV Europe Music Awards show, performing his new song, “Jesus to a Child” this was followed by “Fastlove”, an energetic tune about wanting gratification and fulfilment without commitment, followed by the album’s title track Older, and “Star People ’97”.

In 1996, Michael was voted Best British Male, at the MTV Europe Music Awards and the Brit Awards and at the British Academy’s Ivor Novello Awards, he was awarded the prestigious title of ‘Songwriter of The Year’ for the third time. In 1998 George Michael released Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael a Double CD containing 28 songs (29 songs are included on the European and Australian release). The first CD, titled “For the Heart”, predominantly contains Michael’s successful ballads, while the second CD, “For the Feet”, consists mainly of his popular dance tunes. It also contains a large number of compilation tracks and duets that had not previously appeared on his albums, including his duet with Aretha Franklin, “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)”; “Desafinado”, a duet in Portuguese with Brazilian legendary singer Astrud Gilberto; and the Elton John duet “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on me”. George Michael’s next album was “Outiside”, the titular track was a humorous song about his arrest for soliciting a policeman in a public restroom. He also sang a duet with Mary J.Blige called “As”. In 1999: George Michael released the album Songs from the Last Century, which contained mainly cover-versions including “Roxanne”, “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”; and the Frank Sinatra classic “Where or When”. In 2000, Michael sang on “If I Told You That” with Whitney Houston. Michael’s next single was “Freeek!”, this was followed by the controversial single “Shoot the Dog” which was highly critical of George W. Bush and Tony Blair in protest against the 2003 Iraq War, this was followed by a cover version of Don McLean’s The Grave. Which was released as part of the War Child charity album Hope. Michael’s fifth hit album, Patience, was released in 2004 and included the songs “Amazing” and “Flawless” which sampled The Ones’ original dance hit “Flawless”, this was followed by “Round Here” and “John and Elvis Are Dead”.

PART TWO

In 2006 George Michael released his second greatest hits album TWENTY FIVE celebrating the 25th anniversary of his music career. Containing George’s solo songs and Wham! Songs Plus three new songs: “An Easier Affair”; “This Is Not Real Love” (a duet with Mutya Buena, formerly of Sugababes, and a new version of “Heal the Pain” recorded with Paul McCartney and “Understand”. The limited edition three-CD version also contains an additional 14 lesser known tracks, including one from Wham! It was also released in North America as a 29-song, two-CD set featuring several new songs (including duets with Paul McCartney and Mary J. Blige and a song from the short-lived TV series Eli Stone) where George Michael portrayed a guardian Angel protecting Johnny Lee Miller’s character. He also toured North America for the first time in 17 years and played the 2005 Live 8 concert at Hyde Park, London, Where he was joined by Paul McCartney on stage, harmonising on The Beatles classic “Drive my Car”.The DVD version of Twenty Five contains 40 videos on two discs.In 2008, he toured North America playing 21 dates in the United States and Canada his first tour there in 17 years.

Michael appeared on the 2008 finale show of American Idol singing “Praying for Time”. Michael performed in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, as part of the 37th National Day Celebrations and released the song “December Song” on his website for free. In 2010, Michael performed his first show in Perth, Australia since 1988 and was a guest performer at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras After Party. In 2011, Michael covered New Order’s 1987 hit “True Faith” in aid of the charity Comic Relief and released a cover of Stevie Wonder’s 1972 song, “You and I” on 15 April 2011, as an MP3 gift to Prince William and Catherine Middleton on the occasion of their wedding on 29 April 2011. In 2011, George’s European Symphonica Tour was announced. He was also nominated for the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. Sadly though he became severely ill with Pneumonia. However two months after leaving hospital, Michael made a surprise appearance at the 2012 Brit Awards at London’s O2 Arena, where he received a standing ovation, and presented Adele the award for Best British Album. In 2012, George Michael released a single “White Light” to celebrate 30 years since the release of Wham Rap. Plus “Song to the Siren”, and two remixes and released and his latest album Symphonica was released in 2014.

In2006 George Michael released his second greatest hits album TWENTY FIVE celebrating the 25th anniversary of his music career. Containing George’s solo songs and Wham! Songs Plus three new songs: “An Easier Affair”; “This Is Not Real Love” (a duet with Mutya Buena, formerly of Sugababes, and a new version of “Heal the Pain” recorded with Paul McCartney and “Understand”. The limited edition three-CD version also contains an additional 14 lesser known tracks, including one from Wham! It was released in North America as a 29-song, two-CD set featuring several new songs (including duets with Paul McCartney and Mary J. Blige and a song from the short-lived TV series Eli Stone) where George Michael portrayed a guardian Angel protecting Johnny Lee Miller’s character. He also toured North America for the first time in 17 years and also played the 2005 Live 8 concert at Hyde Park, London, And was joined by Paul McCartney on stage, harmonising on The Beatles classic “Drive my Car”.The DVD version of Twenty Five contains 40 videos on two discs.In 2008, he toured North America playing 21 dates in the United States and Canada. This was Michael’s first tour of North America in 17 years. Michael appeared on the 2008 finale show of American Idol singing “Praying for Time”.

Michael performed in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, as part of the 37th National Day Celebrations and released the song “December Song” on his website for free. In 2010, Michael performed his first show in Perth, Australia since 1988 and was a guest performer at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras After Party. In 2011, Michael covered New Order’s 1987 hit “True Faith” in aid of the charity Comic Relief and released a cover of Stevie Wonder’s 1972 song, “You and I” on 15 April 2011, as an MP3 gift to Prince William and Catherine Middleton on the occasion of their wedding on 29 April 2011. In 2011, George’s European Symphonica Tour was announced. He was also nominated for the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. Sadly though he became severely ill with Pneumonia. However two months after leaving hospital, Michael made a surprise appearance at the 2012 Brit Awards at London’s O2 Arena, where he received a standing ovation, and presented Adele the award for Best British Album. In 2012, George Michael released a single “White Light” to celebrate 30 years since the release of Wham Rap. Plus “Song to the Siren”, and two remixes and released and his latest album Symphonica was released in 2014.

George Orwell

English novelist and journalist George Orwell, (Eric Arthur Blair) was Born on 25 June 1903, in Motihari, Bihar, in India, His work is marked by clarity, intelligence and wit, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, and belief in democratic socialism. Although Orwell wrote literary criticism, poetry, fiction and polemical journalism. He is best known for the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) and the allegorical novella Animal Farm (1945), which together have sold more copies than any two books by any other 20th-century author. His book Homage to Catalonia (1938), an account of his experiences in the Spanish Civil War, is widely acclaimed, as are his numerous essays on politics, literature, language and culture. In 2008, The Times ranked him second on a list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945″. Orwell’s work continues to influence popular and political culture, and the term Orwellian — descriptive of totalitarian or authoritarian social practices — has entered the vernacular with several of his neologisms, such as doublethink, thoughtcrime, Big Brother and thought police.

NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR

Nineteen Eighty-Four was published in 1949. It is a dystopian and satirical novel set in Oceania, where society is tyrannized by The Party and its totalitarian ideology.The Oceanian province of Airstrip One is a world of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance, and public mind control, dictated by a political system euphemistically named English Socialism (Ingsoc) under the control of a privileged Inner Party elite that persecutes all individualism and independent thinking as thoughtcrimes. Their tyranny is headed by Big Brother, the quasi-divine Party leader who enjoys an intense cult of personality, but who may not even exist. Big Brother and the Party justify their rule in the name of a supposed greater good.The protagonist of the novel, Winston Smith, is a member of the Outer Party who works for the Ministry of Truth (Minitrue), which is responsible for propaganda and historical revisionism. His job is to re-write past newspaper articles so that the historical record always supports the current party line. Smith is a diligent and skillful worker, but he secretly hates the Party and dreams of rebellion against Big Brother.As literary political fiction and as dystopian science-fiction, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a classic novel in content, plot, and style. Many of its terms and concepts, such as Big Brother, doublethink, thoughtcrime, Newspeak, and memory hole, have entered everyday use since its publication in 1949. Moreover, Nineteen Eighty-Four popularised the adjective Orwellian, which describes official deception, secret surveillance, and manipulation of the past by a totalitarian or authoritarian state. In 2005 the novel was chosen by TIME magazine as one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005. It was awarded a place on both lists of Modern Library 100 Best Novels, reaching number 13 on the editor’s list, and 6 on the reader’s list. In 2003, the novel was listed at number 8 on the BBC’s survey The Big Read.

ANIMAL FARM

Animal Farm is an allegorical novella which was published in England on 17 August 1945. According to Orwell the book reflects events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917, and then on into the Stalin era in the Soviet Union. Orwell, a democratic socialist, was a critic of Joseph Stalin and hostile to Moscow-directed Stalinism, especially after his experiences with the NKVD and the Spanish Civil War. The Soviet Union he believed, had become a brutal dictatorship, built upon a cult of personality and enforced by a reign of terror. In a letter to Yvonne Davet, Orwell described Animal Farm as his novel “contre Stalin” and in his essay of 1946, Why I Write, he wrote that Animal Farm was the first book in which he had tried, with full consciousness of what he was doing, “to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole”.The original title was Animal Farm: A Fairy Story, but the subtitle was dropped by U.S. publishers for its 1946 publication and subsequently all but one of the translations during Orwell’s lifetime omitted the addition. Other variations in the title include: A Satire and A Contemporary Satire. Orwell suggested the title Union des républiques socialistes animales for the French translation, which recalled the French name of the Soviet Union, Union des républiques socialistes soviétiques, and which abbreviates to URSA, the Latin for “bear”, a symbol of Russia.

It was written at a time (November 1943-February 1944) when the wartime alliance with the Soviet Union was at its height and Stalin was held in highest esteem in Britain both among the people and intelligentsia, a fact that Orwell hated. It was initially rejected by a number of British and American publishers, including one of Orwell’s own, Victor Gollancz. Its publication was thus delayed, though it became a great commercial success when it did finally appear—in part because the Cold War so quickly followed WW2. Time magazine chose the book as one of the 100 best English-language novels (1923 to 2005); it also places at number 31 on the Modern Library List of Best 20th-Century Novels. It won a Retrospective Hugo Award in 1996 and is also included in the Great Books of the Western World. The novel addresses not only the corruption of the revolution by its leaders but also how wickedness, indifference, ignorance, greed and myopia corrupt the revolution. It portrays corrupt leadership as the flaw in revolution, rather than the act of revolution itself. It also shows how potential ignorance and indifference to problems within a revolution could allow horrors to happen if a smooth transition to a people’s government is not achieved. Orwell sadly passed away on 21 January 1950 although his novels have remained popular and have also been adapted numerous times for film, television and Radio.

Patrick Moraz & Clint Warwick (Yes & Moody Blues)

Moody Blues-On the Threshold of a Dream

Moody Blues-On the Threshold of a Dream

Musicians Patrick Moraz and Clint Warwick were born 24 July 1948 and 25 June1940 respectively they were both members of the Moody Blues and Moraz was also a member of progressive Rock band Yes, who achieved worldwide succes 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 by Jon Anderson and Bill Bruford 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.Wakeman was replaced by Patrick Moraz, who played on Relayer (1974). Wakeman returned on Going for the One (1977) and Tormato (1978). Anderson and Wakeman left the group due to musical differences amongst the band in 1980, and both went on to pursue solo careers. Their replacements, Trevor Horn and Stee Downes, featured on Drama (1980) and its supporting tour before disbanding in 1981. Howe and Downes went to form Asia.

Yes -Fly From Here

Yes -Fly From Here

Yes reformed in 1982 after Squire and White were joined by the returning Jon Anderson and T0ny Kaye, with the addition of guitarist Trevor Rabin. They adopted a pop rock sound and released the number one single “Owner of a Lonely Heart” and 90125 (1983), their best-selling album to date, followed by Big Generator (1987). Anderson left and co-formed the side project Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe with the named members in 1989. Following a legal battle amongst both Yes groups, they formed an eight-man band to perform on Union (1991) and its supporting tour. Rabin and Kaye featured on Talk (1994) before leaving, while Wakeman and Howe returned with Keys to Ascension (1996) and Keys to Ascension 2 (1997). Wakeman wasthen replaced by Igor Khoroshev, who was featured on Open Your Eyes (1997) and The Ladder (1999) along with guitarist Billy Sherwood. The release of Magnification (2001) marked the first album since 1970 to feature an orchestra.In 2002, Wakeman returned for the band’s 35th anniversary tour. The band ceased to tour in 2004, partly due to health concerns regarding Anderson and Wakeman. Following a hiatus, Yes restarted in 2008 with keyboardist Oliver Wakeman and singer Benoît David. After the release of Fly from Here (2011), which saw Downes returning on keyboards, David was replaced by Jon Davison, lead singer of progressive rock band Glass Hammer, on vocals. The band’s current line-up consists of singer Jon Davison, bassist Chris Squire, guitarist Steve Howe, drummer Alan White, and keyboardist Geoff Downes, and they continue to perform to this day, more than 40 years since their formation.

The Moody Blues formed on 4 May 1964, in Erdington, Birmingham, England containing Ray Thomas, John Lodge, Graeme Edge and Michael Pinder The name was a a subtle reference to the Duke Ellington song, “Mood Indigo. They released a single, “Steal Your Heart Away” in 1964 and appeared on the cult UK series “Ready Steady Go!” singing the uptempo “Lose Your Money (But Don’t Lose your Mind)”. But it was their second single, “Go Now” which launched their career & became a hit in the United Kingdom. Their debut album The Magnificent Moodies contained the hit singles “Go Now” and “Bye Bye Bird” together with one side of classic R&B covers. including a cover of “I Don’t Want To Go On Without You”,”From The Bottom of My Heart (I Love You)”, “Everyday”,”This is My House (But Nobody Calls)” and and “Boulevard de la Madeleine”.The group released the singles “Fly Me High” and “Really Haven’t Got the Time” in 1967 followed by “Love And Beauty” & “Leave This Man Alone”.

The Moody Blues were then offered a deal to make a rock and roll version of Antonín Dvořák’s New World Symphony, and although executives were initially skeptical about the hybrid style of the resulting concept album. Days of Future Past became one of the most successful pop/rock releases of the period, earning a gold record award. It takes place over the course of a single day & drew inspiration from the pioneering use of the classical instrumentation by The Beatles. It includes the songs “Nights in White Satin” & “The Sun Set” “Another Morning”, “Twilight Time”,”Peak Hour” and “Evening (Time To Get Away)”. The 1968 follow-up LP, In Search of the Lost Chord included the songs “Legend of a Mind”,”House of Four Doors”,”Voices in the Sky”, “Ride My See-Saw” and “The Best Way To Travel”.The 1969 album On the Threshold of a Dream contained the songs “In The Beginning”,”Lovely To See You”,”Never Comes The Day”,”Dear Diary” and “Lazy Day”,”So Deep Within You”,”The Dream”&”Have You Heard”. The band’s music continued to become more complex and symphonic,resulting in 1969′s To Our Children’s Children’s Children which was inspired by the first moon landing.and contained the songs “Higher And Higher” “Floating” and “Eternity Road” “Gypsy”,”Out And In” the two part “Eyes of A Child” and “Candle of Life””Sun is Still Shining”. and “Watching and Waiting”.

The Moodies had a somewhat psychedelic style and progressive rock sound, the group next album was A Question of Balance (1970) & contained the songs “Question” and “Melancholy Man”. For their next two albums, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (1971) and “Seventh Sojourn”the band returned to their signature orchestral sound.These contained the songs “Procession”, “Story in Your Eyes” “Our Guessing Game”,”You Can Never Go Home”, “One More Time To Live”, “My Song” and “Nice To Be Here”. The Album “After You Came” (1971) featured “Isn’t Life Strange ?” “I’m Just A Singer (in A Rock ‘n’ Roll Band)”,”Sojourn”,”Lost in A Lost World” “When You’re A Free Man”, “For My Lady”, and “New Horizons”. In late 1972, a re-issue of the five-year-old Nights in White Satin became the Moody Blues’ biggest US hit.

The Moodies were also among the pioneers of the idea that a successful rock band could promote itself through their own label, so following the Beatles’ creation of Apple Records, they created Threshold Records. However it proved unsuccessful although They did lay the groundwork for other major acts to set up similar personal labels and distribution deals including The Rolling Stones’ own label and Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song Record label.In the spring of 1974, after completing a vast world tour that culminated with a tour of Asia, the group took an extended break and released a compilation album This Is The Moody Blues. Justin Hayward and John Lodge then released the album, Blue Jays, and a single, “Blue Guitar”. Mike Pinder released a album The Promise.” Edge produced two albums with guitarist Adrian Gurvitz, Kick Off Your Muddy Boots and Paradise Ballroom; Hayward composed the albums Songwriter, followed by Night Flight, Moving Mountains, Classic Blue, The View From The Hill and Live In San Juan Capistrano; Lodge released Natural Avenue; Pinder produced The Promise; and Thomas produced From Mighty Oaks and Hopes, Wishes and Dreams.

In 1977, the group reunited and despite many problems The album Octave was released in 1978 contining “Steppin’ in a Slide Zone” & “Driftwood”. Around this time Justin Hayward enjoyed a solo hit with the song “Forever Autumn” from Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds. The next album ,Long Distance Voyager,was released in 1981 and yielded two hits, “The Voice” &”Gemini Dream”. and the band embraced a more modern, less symphonic approach, while still retaining a lush keyboard-led sound. The next album The Present yeilded the singles “Blue World” and”Sitting at the Wheel”. In 1986 they released the album The Other Side of Life, containing “Your Wildest Dreams”which garnered a Billboard Video of the Year award,as well as the songs “House of Four Doors”, “Candle of Life” and “One More Time To Live” “Here Comes The Weekend”, “Rock and Roll Over You”, “Love is On The Run (From Me)”, “The Actor”, “Dawning is the Day”, “You Can Never Go Home”& “The Land of Make Believe”.

The Moody Blues also performed live at the Birmingham Heart Beat Charity Concert 1986 which raised money for the Birmingham Children’s Hospitals, and also provided backup with the Electric Light Orchestra for George Harrison.The Moodies released Sur La Mer in 1988 containing the single, “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere”.In 1991 they released the album Keys of the Kingdom contained the songs “Say It With Love”, “Never Blame The Rainbows For The Rain”,”Bless the Wings (That Bring You Back)”,”Magic” “Shadows On the Wall” “Lean On Me (Tonight)”and “Say What You Mean.”They also played at the Montreux Jazz Festival and remained. a steady concert draw, They also made a series of recordings of their Night at Red Rocks concert.The next album Strange Times, was released in 1999 with the songs”English Sunset”,”Nothing Changes” and”This is The Moment”.The Moody Blues also appeared in one episode of “The Simpsons” called “Viva Ned Flanders”.In 2000, the band released “Hall of Fame”, a new live concert from Royal Albert Hall. In 2001, an IMAX film was released, entitled Journey into Amazing Caves. In 2006, the first five of the band’s ‘Core Seven’ albums ( Days of Future Passed to Seventh Sojourn) were re-released featuring bonus songs and previously unreleased tracks.Remastered versions of Octave, Long Distance Voyager and The Present soon followed. The Moodies also released a compilation of sessions recorded at BBC Studios, rarities & various TV appearances, entitled Live at the BBC: 1967-1970. The Moody Blues have sold more than 70 million albums worldwide and have been awarded 14 platinum and gold discs. As of 2012 they remain active and continue to tour,

World Vitiligo Day

The United Nations designated June 25 as the World Vitiligo Day, in order to build global awareness about vitiligo, a frequent and often disfiguring skin disease that can have a significantly negative social and/or psychological impact on patients, in part because of numerous misconceptions still present in large parts of the world.

The idea of a World Vitiligo Day was suggested by Steve Haragadon, the founder of the Vitiligo Friends network, and then developed and finalized by Ogo Maduewesi, a Nigerian vitiligo patient who is the founder and Executive Director of the Vitiligo Support and Awareness Foundation (VITSAF). In her words, “World Vitiligo Day is a day to create extensive awareness on vitiligo and a day dedicated to all living with vitiligo globally”. The first World Vitiligo Day (also defined as “Vitiligo Awareness Day” or “Vitiligo Purple Fun day”, from the color chosen as Vitiligo Awareness Colour was observed on June 25, 2011. The choice of June 25 as World Vitiligo Day is a memorial to musical artist Michael Jackson, who suffered from vitiligo from 1986 until his death, which occurred on June 25, 2009. The main event of the first World Vitiligo Day occurred at Silverbird Galleria’s Artrum in Lagos, Nigeria, with the participation of several volunteers with different experiences (dermatologists, motivational speakers, dancers, artists, comedians, patients), united by the common will of spreading knowledge and awareness about vitiligo. Simultaneously, other events took place in other parts of the world, organized by local associations.

In 2012, Vitiligo Research Foundation (VRF), a non-profit organization aiming to fund and fast-track medical research, as well as connect investigators, care providers, patients and philanthropists, to accelerate vitiligo research and relieve suffering of patients, joined VITSAF and other organizations to increase the efficacy of their efforts in favor of global vitiligo awareness.