Ian Gillan (Deep Purple)

English rock vocalist and songwriter Ian Gillan was born 19 August 1945 . He was the lead singer and lyricist for Deep Purple.Initially influenced by Elvis Presley, Gillan fronted several groups in the mid sixties, most notably Episode Six, but first found widespread commercial success after joining Deep Purple in 1969. After an almost non-stop workload, during which time he recorded six albums in four years, and problematic relationships with other band members, particularly guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, Gillan resigned from the band in June 1973, having given a lengthy notice period to their managers. After a short time away from the music business, he resumed his music career with solo bands the Ian Gillan Band and Gillan, before a year-long stint as the vocalist for Black Sabbath. He rejoined a reformed Deep Purple in 1984, but was fired in 1989. He rejoined the band for a second time in 1992 for their twenty-fifth anniversary, and following the recruitment of guitarist Steve Morse in 1994, has helped transform the group into a regular touring outfit, which he has fronted ever since.

In addition to his main work—performing with Deep Purple and other bands during the 1970s and 1980s—he sang the role of Jesus in the original recording of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar, performed in the charity supergroup Rock Aid Armenia, and engaged in a number of business investments and ventures, including a hotel, a motorcycle manufacturer, and music recording facilities at Kingsway Studios. More recently, he has performed solo concerts concurrently with his latter career in Deep Purple, and his work and affinity with Armenia, combined with his continued friendship with Tony Iommi since his brief time in Black Sabbath, has led to him to form the supergroupWhoCares with Iommi. His solo career outside of Deep Purple was given a comprehensive overview with the Gillan’s Inn box set in 2006.

John Deacon (Queen)

John Deacon, the Bass Player with Rock Band Queen was born on 19th August 1951. Queen were formed in London in 1971, consisting of Freddie Mercury (lead vocals, piano), Brian May (guitar, vocals), John Deacon (bass guitar, guitars), and Roger Taylor (drums, vocals). Queen’s earliest works were influenced by progressive rock, but the band gradually ventured into more conventional and radio-friendly works, incorporating more diverse and innovative styles in their music.

Before joining Queen, Brian May and Roger Taylor had been playing together in a band named Smile with bassist Tim Staffell. Freddie Mercury (then known as Farrokh/Freddie Bulsara) was a fan of Smile, and encouraged them to experiment with more elaborate stage and recording techniques after Staffell’s departure in 1970. Mercury himself joined the band shortly thereafter, changed the name of the band to “Queen”, and adopted his familiar stage name. John Deacon was recruited prior to recording their eponymous debut album (1973). Queen enjoyed success in the UK with their debut and its follow-up, Queen II (1974), but it was the release of Sheer Heart Attack (1974) and A Night at the Opera (1975) that gained the band international success. The latter featured “Bohemian Rhapsody”, which stayed at number one in the UK Singles Chart for nine weeks; it charted at number one in several other territories, and gave the band their first top ten hit on the US Billboard Hot 100.Their 1977 album, News of the World, contained two of rock’s most recognisable anthems, “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions”. Among some of Queen’s other popular songs, are Killer Queen”, “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy”, “We Are the Champions”, “Somebody To Love” and “Don’t Stop Me Now”, “Seven Seas of Rhye”, “Bicycle Race”, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and “Play the Game”. Queen have performed an estimated 700 concerts in countries around the world and by the early 1980s they were one of the biggest stadium rock bands in the world, A notable aspect of Queen concerts was the large scale involved.

By the early 1980s, Queen were one of the biggest stadium rock bands in the world, and their performance at Live Aid is regarded as one of the greatest in rock history. Sadly though in 1991, Freddie Mercury tragically died of bronchopneumonia, a complication of AIDS, and Deacon retired in 1997. Since then, May and Taylor have infrequently performed together, including a collaboration with Paul Rodgers under the name Queen + Paul Rodgers which ended in May 2009.The band have released a total of 18 number one albums, 18 number one singles, and 10 number one DVDs. Estimates of their album sales generally range from 150 million to 300 million albums, making them one of the world’s best-selling music artists. They received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Phonographic Industry in 1990, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.

Matthew Boulton

English manufacturer and business partner of Scottish engineer James Watt, Matthew Boulton FRS sadly passed away 17 August 1809). Born in Birmingham, England in September 1728 Boulton was the son of a Birmingham Manufacturer and became interested in the scientific advances of his times from an early age and eventually went on to inherit his late Father’s business when he was 31 years old and thereafter expanded it considerably, consolidating operations at the Soho Manufactory, built by him near Birmingham. At Soho, he adopted the latest techniques, branching into silver plate, ormolu and other decorative arts.In the final quarter of the 18th century the partnership between Boulton and James Watt installed hundreds of Boulton & Watt steam engines, which were a great advance on the state of the art, making possible the mechanisation of factories and mills. Boulton applied modern techniques to the minting of coins, striking millions of pieces for Britain and other countries, and supplying the Royal Mint with up-to-date equipment.

He discarded theories that electricity was a manifestation of the human soul, writing “we know tis matter & tis wrong to call it Spirit”. His interest brought him into contact with other enthusiasts such as John Whitehurst, who also became a member of the Lunar Society. In 1758 the Pennsylvania printer Benjamin Franklin, the leading experimenter in electricity, journeyed to Birmingham during one of his lengthy stays in Britain; Boulton met him, and introduced him to his friends. Boulton worked with Franklin in efforts to contain electricity within a Leyden jar, and when the printer needed new glass for his “glassychord” (a mechanised version of musical glasses) he obtained it from Boulton. Despite time constraints imposed on him by the expansion of his business, Boulton continued his “philosophical” work (as scientific experimentation was then called). He wrote in his notebooks observations on the freezing and boiling point of mercury, on people’s pulse rates at different ages, on the movements of the planets, and on how to make sealing wax and disappearing ink. However,Erasmus Darwin, another fellow enthusiast who became a member of the Lunar Society, wrote to him in 1763, “As you are now become a sober plodding Man of Business, I scarcely dare trouble you to do me a favour in the … philosophical way.”

Soon Boulton, Whitehurst, Keir, Darwin, Watt (after his move to Birmingham), potter Josiah Wedgwood and clergyman and chemist Joseph Priestley began to meet informally in the late 1750s. This evolved into a monthly meeting near the full moon, providing light to journey home afterwards, a pattern common for clubs in Britain at the time. The group eventually dubbed itself the “Lunar Society”, and following the death of member Dr William Small in 1775, who had informally coordinated communication between the members, Boulton took steps to put the Society on a formal footing. They met on Sundays, beginning with dinner at 2 p.m., and continuing with discussions until at least 8.While not a formal member of the Lunar Society, Sir Joseph Banks was active in it. In 1768 Banks sailed with Captain James Cook to the South Pacific, and took with him green glass earrings made at Soho to give to the natives. In 1776 Captain Cook ordered an instrument from Boulton, most likely for use in navigation. Boulton generally preferred not to take on lengthy projects, and he warned Cook that its completion might take years. In June 1776 Cook left on the voyage on which he was killed almost three years later, and Boulton’s records show no further mention of the instrument. In addition to the scientific discussions and experiments conducted by the group, Boulton had a business relationship with some of the members. Watt and Boulton were partners for a quarter century. Boulton purchased vases from Wedgwood’s pottery to be decorated with ormolu, and contemplated a partnership with him. Keir was a long-time supplier and associate of Boulton, though Keir never became his partner as he hoped. In 1785 both Boulton and Watt were elected as Fellows of the Royal Society. According to Whitehurst, who wrote to congratulate Boulton, not a single vote was cast against him. Though Boulton hoped his activities for the Lunar Society would “prevent the decline of a Society which I hope will be lasting”as members died or moved away they were not replaced. In 1813, four years after his death, the Society was dissolved and a lottery was held to dispose of its assets.

Boulton became associated with James Watt after Watt’s business partner, John Roebuck, was unable to pay a debt to Boulton, who accepted Roebuck’s share of Watt’s patent as settlement. He then successfully lobbied Parliament to extend Watt’s patent for an additional 17 years, enabling the firm to market Watt’s steam engine. The firm installed hundreds of Boulton & Watt steam engines in Britain and abroad, initially in mines and then in factories. Boulton was a key member of the Lunar Society, a group of Birmingham-area men prominent in the arts, sciences, and theology. Members included Watt, Erasmus Darwin, josiah Wedgwood and Joseph Priestley. The Society met each month near the full moon. Members of the Society have been given credit for developing concepts and techniques in science, agriculture, manufacturing, mining, and transport that laid the groundwork for the Industrial Revolution. Boulton founded the Soho Mint, to which he soon adapted steam power. He sought to improve the poor state of Britain’s coinage, and after several years of effort obtained a contract in 1797 to produce the first British copper coinage in a quarter century. His “cartwheel” pieces were well-designed and difficult to counterfeit, and included the first striking of the large copper British penny, which continued to be coined until decimalisationin 1971. He retired in 1800, though continuing to run his mint, and died in 1809. His image appears alongside James Watt on the Bank of England’s new Series F £50 note.