Rudolf Schencker (Scorpions)

imageGuitarist, and founder member of German Rock Group The Scorpions Rudolf Schenker was born 31st August 1948. Formed in 1965 , the Scorpions first had beat influences and Schenker himself did the vocals then things began to come together in 1970 when Schenker’s younger brother Michael and vocalist Klaus Meine joinedthe band. In 1972, the group recorded and released their debut album Lonesome Crow. Sadly Michael Schenker left the band, which led to the breakup of the band In 1973, however In 1974 a new line-up of Scorpions released Fly to the Rainbow. This album proved to be more successful than Lonesome Crow and established the band’s sound. In 1975 the band released In Trance, The album was a huge step forward for Scorpions and established their heavy metal formula and contained songs like “Dark Lady”, “Robot Man”. In 1976, Scorpions released Virgin Killer, which featured rather controversial artwork, that brought the band considerable media exposure but resulted in the album being “pulled” in some countries.

The music itself garnered demographic praise for its music from select critics and fan base. The follow-up album was Taken by Force, They also recorded material during the band’s Japanese tour, and the resultant double live album was called Tokyo Tapes.In 1979 The Scorpions released the album “Love Drive” which some critics consider to be the pinnacle of their career. Containing such fan favourites as “Loving You Sunday Morning”, “Always Somewhere”, “Holiday” and the instrumental “Coast to Coast”. The album’s provocative artwork was also named “Best album sleeve of 1979″ by Playboy magazine but was changed for American release. In 1980 the band released Animal Magnetism, which contained “The Zoo” and “Make It Real”. In 1982 The Scorpions released their next album, Blackout, which became the band’s best selling to date eventually going platinum andspawned three singles “Dynamite”, “Blackout”, and “No One Like You”, but It was not until 1984 and the release of Love at First Sting that the band finally cemented their status as metal musicians. Propelled by the single Rock You Like a Hurricane, Love at First Sting climbed the charts and went double platinum in the USA a few months after its release.

The band toured extensively and recorded their very successful second live album, World Wide Live in 1985. The bands next album Savage Amusement was released in 1988 containing the songs Don’t Stop at the Top and Rhythm of Love, which represented a more polished and mature sound. During the Savage Amusement tour, Scorpions became only the second Western group (not American) to play in the Soviet Union as a result, Scorpions developed an extended Russian fan base and still return to perform.In 1990. Crazy World was released and displayed a less polished sound. The album was propelled in large part by the massive success of the ballad Wind of Change which muses on the socio-political changes that were occurring in Eastern Europe and in other parts of the world at the end of the Cold War. On July 21, 1990 they joined many other guests for Roger Waters’ massive performance of The Wall in Berlin. Scorpions performed both versions of “In the Flesh” from The Wall. In 1993, Scorpions released Face the Heat but this did not come close to matching the success of “Wind of Change” and was only a moderate success.

Their 13th studio album, 1996s Pure Instinct, contained the singles “Wild Child” and the soothing ballad “You and I” which both enjoyed moderate success. 1999 saw the release of Eye II Eye and a significant change in the band’s style, mixing in elements of pop and techno. The following year, Scorpions had an artistic collaboration with the Berlin Philharmonic that resulted in a 10-song album named Moment of Glory. In 2001, Scorpions released Acoustica, which featured acoustic reworkings of the band’s biggest hits, plus new tracks. In 2004, the band released Unbreakable, which was hailed by critics as a long-awaited return to form. The album was the heaviest the band had released since Face the Heat, and cintained tracks such as “New Generation”, “Love ‘em or Leave ‘em” and “Deep and Dark”. Scorpions released their 17th studio album, Sting in the Tail, on March 23, 2010 and announced that it would be their last album and that the tour supporting it will be their final tour. On 6 April 2010, Scorpions were enshrined in Hollywood’s Rock Walk in a handprint ceremony, with the band members placing their hands in a long slab of wet cement, which was placed on the Rock Walk.

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Anthony Thistlethwaite (The Waterboys, The Saw Doctors)

Best known as a founding member (with Mike Scott) of the folk rockgroup, The Waterboys and later as a long-standing member of Irish rock band The Saw Doctors. British multi instrumentalist Anthony “Anto” Thistlethwaite was (born 31 August 1955, Lutterworth, Englan. He started out busking in Paris, playing tenor saxophone around the streets of the Latin Quarter, in 1980 Thistlethwaite moved to London and in 1981 he played saxophone onRobyn Hitchcock’s Groovy Decay album as well as Nikki Sudden’s Waiting on Egypt. Mike Scott heard the saxophone solo on Nikki’s “Johnny Smiled Slowly” and invited Thistlethwaite to come and play with his fledgling band “The Red and The Black”. Their first record together “A Girl Called Johnny” was to be released as The Waterboys’ first single in March 1983 and featured Thistlethwaite’s tenor sax howl.

Although Thistlethwaite is mainly known as a saxophonist he has also featured on mandolin, harmonica, Hammond organ, guitar andbass with The Waterboys and other acts. During the 1980s and 90s he also featured on recordings by: World Party, Fairground Attraction, Psychedelic Furs, Sharon Shannon, Bob Dylan, China Crisis, Johnny Thunders, Donovan, The Vibrators, Chris De Burgh,Bruce Foxton, The Mission, and others as a session musician.During the 1990s which included contributions from the likes of: Kirsty MacColl, Eddi Reader and Ralph McTell as well as many musicians including (‘Rolling Stones’ guitarist) Mick Taylor and Sonny Landreth. His third album Crawfish and Caviar consisted of songs recorded in St. Petersburg, Russia and Louisiana. For the past twelve years Thistlethwaite has been a full-time member of The Saw Doctors from County Galway, Republic of Ireland. Sharon Shannon, also a member of The Waterboys, recorded a song that she named “Anto’s Cajun Cousins”, after his Louisiana Thistlethwaite relatives, on her eponymous debut album.

The Waterboys were formed in 1983 by Mike Scott. The band’s membership, past and present, has been composed mainly of musicians from Scotland, Ireland and England. Edinburgh, London, Dublin, Spiddal, New York, and Findhorn have all served as homes for the group. The band has played in a number of different styles, but their music is a mix of Celtic folk music with rock and roll. After ten years of recording and touring, they dissolved in 1993 and Scott pursued a solo career. They reformed in 2000, and continue to release albums and tour worldwide. Scott emphasises a continuity between The Waterboys and his solo work, saying that “To me there’s no difference between Mike Scott and the Waterboys; they both mean the same thing. They mean myself and whoever are my current travelling musical companions.”The early Waterboys sound was dubbed “The Big Music” after a song on their second album, A Pagan Place. This musical style was described by Scott as “a metaphor for seeing God’s signature in the world.”

It either influenced or was used to describe a number of other bands, including Simple Minds, The Alarm, In Tua Nua, Big Country, the Hothouse Flowers and World Party, which was made up of former Waterboys members. In the late 1980s the band became significantly more folk influenced. The Waterboys eventually returned to rock and roll, and have released both rock and folk albums since reforming. Their songs, largely written by Scott, often contain literary references and are frequently concerned with spirituality. Both the group and its members’ solo careers have received much praise from both rock and folk music critics, but The Waterboys as a band has never received the commercial success that some of its members have had independently. Aside from World Party, The Waterboys have also influenced musicians such as Eddie Vedder, Johnny Goudie, Colin Meloy ofThe Decemberists, Grant Nicholas of Feeder, James Marshall Owen,and Miles Hunt of The Wonder Stuff; both Bono and The Edge from U2 are fans of the band.

Irish rock band The Saw Doctors were. Formed in 1986 in Tuam, County Galway, they have achieved eighteen Top 30 singles in The Republic of Ireland including three number ones. Their first number one, “I Useta Lover,” topped the Irish charts for nine consecutive weeks in 1990, and still holds the record for the country’s all-time biggest-selling single. Renowned for their live performances, the band has a cult following, especially in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. On 15 February 2008, they received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Meteor Ireland Music Awards. The Saw Doctors finished touring in 2013, with three of the band (Moran, Thistlethwaite and O’Neill) forming a band with fellow Galway Musicians called The Cabin Collective. It is currently unknown whether the band will be returning from their break.

Van Morrison

Northern Irish singer-songwriter and musicia Van Morrison, OBE (born George Ivan Morrison; was born 31 August 1945. His live performances at their best are described as transcendental, while some of his recordings, such as the studio albums Astral Weeksand Moondance and the live album It’s Too Late to Stop Now, are critically acclaimed and appear at the top of many greatest album lists.Known as “Van the Man” to his fans, Morrison started his professional career when, as a teenager in the late 1950s, he played a variety of instruments including guitar, harmonica, keyboards and saxophone for various Irish showbands covering the popular hits of the day. He rose to prominence in the mid-1960s as the lead singer of the Northern Irish R&B band Them, with whom he recorded the garage band classic “Gloria”. His solo career began under the pop-hit oriented guidance of Bert Berns with the release of the hit single “Brown Eyed Girl” in 1967. After Berns’ death, Warner Bros. Records bought out his contract and allowed him three sessions to record Astral Weeks in 1968.

Even though this album would gradually garner high praise, it was initially poorly received; however, the next one,Moondance, established Morrison as a major artist, and throughout the 1970s he built on his reputation with a series of critically acclaimed albums and live performances. Morrison continues to record and tour, producing albums and live performances that sell well and are generally warmly received, sometimes collaborating with other artists, such as Georgie Fame and The Chieftains. In 2008 he performed Astral Weeks live for the first time since 1968.Much of Morrison’s music is structured around the conventions of soul music and R&B, such as the popular singles “Brown Eyed Girl”, “Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven When You Smile)”, “Domino” and “Wild Night”. An equal part of his catalogue consists of lengthy, loosely connected, spiritually inspired musical journeys that show the influence of Celtic tradition, jazz, and stream-of-consciousness narrative, such as Astral Weeks and lesser-known works such as Veedon Fleece and Common One. The two strains together are sometimes referred to as “Celtic Soul”. Morrison has received considerable acclaim, including six Grammy Awards, the Brit Awardfor Outstanding Contribution to Music, being inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and appearing on several “Greatest Artists” lists.

VAN MORRISON BBC SESSIONS 

Mightier than the Sword by Jeffrey Archer

ArcherI would like to read Mightier than the Sword by Jeffrey Archer. This is is the fifth exciting Installment in the Clifton Chronicles and follows on from the Fourth Installment “Be Careful what you Wish For” and features the ongoing saga of the rival Clifton and Barrington families. It opens with Author Henry Clifton who is now President of the English PEN launching A campaign for the release of fellow author Anatoly Babakov, however in doing so he unwittingly puts his own life in danger.

Elsewhere an IRA bomb explodes aboard the Ocean Liner MV Buckingham during her maiden voyage across the Atlantic Ocean and Unfortunately Harry’s wife Emma is aboard. Then In dealing with the repercussions of the explosion she crosses swords with Lady Victoria Fenwick, who will stop at nothing to cause Emma’s downfall.

Meanwhile Sir Charles Barrington is now Minister of the Crown, unfortunately though his latest official trip to Berlin becomes a diplomatic nightmare. Elsewhere Back In London Harry and Emma’s son Sebastian starts work at Farthing’s Bank where he quickly makes a name for himself. However his rival, the villainous Adrian Sloane decides to do whatever it takes to remove Sebastian once and for all.

Mary Shelley (Frankenstein)

FrankensteinsMonsterBest known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein or the modern Prometheus, the English Novellist, short story writer essayist, biographer and travel writer Mary Shelley (née Wollstonecraft Godwin) was born 30 August 1797. She also edited and promoted the works of her husband, the Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. Her father was the political philosopher William Godwin, and her mother was the philosopher and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, who died when her daughter was eleven days old, so she and her older half-sister, Fanny Imlay, were reared by her father.

When Mary was four, William Godwin married his neighbour, Mary Jane Clairmont. Godwin provided his daughter with a rich, if informal, education. In 1814, Mary Godwin began a romantic relationship with one of her father’s political followers, the married Percy Bysshe Shelley. Together with Mary’s stepsister, Claire Clairmont, they left for France and travelled through Europe. In 1816, the couple famously spent a summer with Lord Byron, John William Polidori, and Claire Clairmont near Geneva, Switzerland, where Mary conceived the idea for her novel Frankenstein. which remains popular to this day and has been adapted for theatre, Film and Television numerous times. During her prolific writing career Shelley also wrote the historical novels Valperga (1823) and Perkin Warbeck (1830), the apocalyptic novel The Last Man (1826), and her final two novels, Lodore (1835) and Falkner (1837). Together with lesser-known works such as the travel book Rambles in Germany and Italy (1844) and the biographical articles for Dionysius Lardner’s Cabinet Cyclopaedia (1829–46)

Upon their return to England, Mary was pregnant with Percy’s child, who tragically died prematurely. They married in 1816 after the suicide of Percy Shelley’s first wife Harriet. Sadly the marriage was dogged with tragedy, their first second and third children died before Mary Shelley gave birth to her last and only surviving child, Percy Florence. Then n 1818 The Shelleys left Britain for Italy, sadly In 1822, her husband drowned when his sailing boat sank during a storm near Viareggio. year later, Mary Shelley returned to England and from then on devoted herself to the upbringing of her son Percy and a career as a professional author.

During 1840 and 1842, mother and son travelled together on the continent, journeys that Mary Shelley recorded in Rambles in Germany and Italy in 1840, 1842 and 1843 (1844). In 1844, Sir Timothy Shelley finally died at the age of ninety. In 1848, Percy Florence married Jane Gibson St John. The marriage proved a happy one, and Mary Shelley and Jane were fond of each other. Mary lived with her son and daughter-in-law at Field Place, Sussex, the Shelleys’ ancestral home, and at Chester Square, London, and accompanied them on travels abroad and in order to fulfil Mary Shelley’s wishes, Percy Florence and his wife Jane had the coffins of Mary Shelley’s parents exhumed and buried with her in Bournemouth. In the mid-1840s, Mary Shelley found herself the target of three separate blackmailers. In 1845, an Italian political exile called Gatteschi, whom she had met in Paris, threatened to publish letters she had sent him. Shortly afterwards, Mary Shelley bought some letters written by herself and Percy Bysshe Shelley from a man calling himself G. Byron and posing as the illegitimate son of the late Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley’s cousin Thomas Medwin approached her claiming to have written a damaging biography of Percy Shelley.

Mary Shelley’s last years were blighted by illness. From 1839, she suffered from headaches and bouts of paralysis in parts of her body, which sometimes prevented her from reading and writing. She died On 1 February 1851, at Chester Square, at the age of fifty-three from what her physician suspected was a brain tumour. According to Jane Shelley, Mary Shelley had asked to be buried with her mother and father; but Percy and Jane, judging the graveyard at St Pancras to be “dreadful”, chose to bury her instead at St Peter’s Church, Bournemouth, near their new home at Boscombe.On the first anniversary of Mary Shelley’s death, the Shelleys opened her box-desk. Inside they found locks of her dead children’s hair, a notebook she had shared with Percy Bysshe Shelley, and a copy of his poem Adonaïs with one page folded round a silk parcel containing some of his ashes and the remains of his heart.

The international Day Of the Disappeared

The International Day of the Disappeared is held annually on August 30 to draw attention to the fate of individuals imprisoned at places and under poor conditions unknown to their relatives and/or legal representatives. It was founded by the Latin American Federation of Associations for Relatives of Detained-Disappeared (Federación Latinoamericana de Asociaciones de Familiares de Detenidos-Desaparecidos, or FEDEFAM), a non-governmental organisation created in 1981 in Costa Rica as an association of local and regional groups actively working against secret imprisonment, forced disappearances and abduction in a number of Latin-American countries.

Work on secret imprisonment is an important part of the activities for a number of international bodies and organizations in the fields of human rights activism and humanitarian aid, including for example Amnesty International (AI), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The International Day of the Disappeared is an opportunity to highlight these institutions’ work, increase public awareness, and to call for donations and volunteers.

Of those agencies, the ICRC has additional privileges and a strict policy of neutrality. In some cases, the ICRC is the only institution granted access to specific groups of prisoners, thereby enabling a minimum level of contact and inspection of their treatment. For affected families, messages transmitted by the ICRC are often the only hint about the fate of these prisoners. Visiting those detained in relation to conflicts and enabling them to restore and maintain contact with their families, is a very important part of the ICRC’s mandate. But the definition of the Missing or the Disappeared goes far beyond the victims of enforced disappearance. It includes all those whose families have lost contact as the result of conflicts, natural disasters or other tragedies.

These missing may be detained, stranded in foreign countries, hospitalized or dead. Through its tracing services and working with the 189 national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies around the world, the ICRC seeks to obtain information about their fate on behalf of their families. It reminds governments and other groups of their obligations to respect the families’ right to know the fate of their loved ones. It also works with families of the missing to help them address their particular psychological, social legal and financial needs.

Imprisonment under secret or uncertain circumstances is a grave violation of some conceptions of human rights as well as, in the case of an armed conflict, of International Humanitarian Law. The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a Declaration on the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance as resolution 47/133 on December 18, 1992. It is estimated that secret imprisonment is practiced in about 30 countries. The OHCHR Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances has registered about 46,000 cases of people who disappeared under unknown circumstances.

On August 30, 2007, hundreds of Philippine relatives and supporters of desaparecidos, mostly activists, missing after being abducted or killed by Philippine security forces protested against the government to mark International Day of the Disappeared. Edita Burgos remembered her missing son, Jonas, a member of the Peasants’ Movement of the Philippines.

On August 30, 2008 the International Coalition against Enforced Disappearances, which gathers family member organizations and human rights organizations from around the world, joined hands for a global campaign event to promote the ratification of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.

Alex Griffin (Ned’s Atomic Dustbin)

Ned's_Atomic_Dustbin-God_FodderAlex Griffin the Bass Player and founding member of  Ned’s Atomic Dustbin was born 29 August 1971. Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, were formed in 1988 by lead singer John Penney while he was still at sixth form college in November 1987.The band took their name from an episode of The Goon Show. The band were unusual for using two bass players in their lineup: Alex Griffin played melody lines high up on one bass, and Mat Cheslin played the regular bass lines on the other. This gave the band a tense and highly driven sub-hardcore sound featuring distorted effects-laden guitar and energetic drums. The band was formed while at sixth form college and they recorded their first album while some of the members were still teenagers. This led to a strong teenage fanbase with a reputation for enjoying crowd surfing and moshing at their gigs. The band were also noted (and occasionally ridiculed) for their early image which consisted of uniformly crimped hair and a predilection for sporting shorts and band/skateboard T-shirt. Alex Griffin’s bass lines were instantly recognisable, as he played the bass guitar as if it were a lead instrument, similar to Peter Hook from New Order.

In the early 1990s they had several hit singles, including “Happy”, “Kill Your Television” and “Not Sleeping Around”. Together they released three successful albums (God Fodder, Are You Normal? and Brainbloodvolume. The Neds” (as their fans referred to them) were also well known for their own distinctive T-shirt designs, reportedly producing over 86 different designs within three years (1987–1990). Alex left when The band split up in 1995 after record company problems.

Penney subsequently formed a new band, Groundswell, initially with former Ned’s Atomic Dustbin guitarist Rat. The band released a few singles, and played some successful shows, but did not have much commercial success. After Groundswell split he completed a degree course, and now works as Media officer for Wolverhampton Civic Hall, while lecturing part-time and writing a weekly column titled ‘Up Penneyscope’ for local newspaper The Express & Star. In 2000 he reformed Ned’s Atomic Dustbin (with an altered line up including Andy King (bass) and Martin Warlow (guitar) for occasional gigs. The band completed a five date tour in 2004, and Penney continued to play occasional gigs with the band.

Griffin meanwhile completed a degree and now lectures on the music business to students. He also formed a computer based electronic music project called Tickle, mostly for his own enjoyment. In 2000, Griffin partook in the Ned’s Atomic Dustbin reunion, and continues to play occasional gigs with the band. In June 2006, they released their first single in eleven years, entitled “Hibernation”. On 12 May 2008, the band announced that the original line-up would be performing live together for the first time since 1995, on 6 December 2008 at the Astoria in London. The band have now reformed and play regular shows, most recently a sell out show at the 2200 capacity Manchester Academy with support from indie heritage acts, the Wedding Present and The Chameleons. Ned’s will also headline the Indie Daze event at the 3200 capacity London Forum on September 13th 2014.

NED’S ATOMIC DUSTBIN LIVE AT BRIXTON ACADEMY