SPECTRE

imageI have recently watched SPECTRE again. It is the twenty-fourth exciting James Bond film. It features Daniel Craig as James Bond, Lea Sedoux, Ben Whishaw, Ralph Feinnes, Monica Bellucci and Christoph Waltz. It starts shortly after the unfortunate death of M (Dame Judy Dench) at the hands of Raoul Silva and it is revealed that M has left James Bond a cryptic message. Meanwhile Gareth Mallory, (Ralph Feinnes) the newly appointed M, continues fighting political pressures that threaten the future of MI6 in the face of a global surveillance initiative code-named “Nine Eyes”. Bond’s is relieved of duty after an assignment goes pear shaped. However he absconds with Q branches latest prototype and he is forced to take matters Into his own hands without M knowing. His investigations take him from the Dia de la Muerte celebrations in Mexico City to Rome, and Austria where he meets Madalaine Swann, (Lea Sedoux) a psychologist who is working at a mysterious private medical clinic in the Austrian Alps, whose Father Mr. White turns out to be a dangerous fugitive from MI6 and is also a senior figure in the mysterious Quantum Organisation and Bond would very much like to meet him in relation to a shadowy Organisation named SPECTRE, however things do not turn out as expected and Madelaine Swann also finds herself in great danger.

Bond then tries to track down Lucia Sciarra, (Monica Bellucci) the widow of a notorious former criminal and assassin named Marco (Alessandro Cremona) who Bond assassinated. she helps him infiltrate a sinister organization named SPECTRE (SPecial Executivie for Counter-intelligence Terrorism and Extortion). However Bond’s cover is blown and he soon finds himself in mortal danger as he is drawn into a lethal web of intrigue which bring him into conflict with the sinister assassin named Mr Hinx (Dave Bautista) and he ends up being taken prisoner to the hideout of a mysterious and illusive chap named Franz Oberhauser (Christopher Waltz) whose real name is Ernst Stavro Blofeld, who is far more involved in nine Eyes than Bond realises and could compromise international security for his own sinister purposes.

Neal Schon (Journey, Bad English, Santana)

JourneyAmerican guitarist, songwriter and vocalist Neal George Joseph Schon was born February 27, 1954. He is best known for his work with the bands Journey and Bad English. He is Journey’s only constant member, having participated in every album and tour to date. He was also a member of the rock band Santana before forming Journey. Schon was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame on August 23, 2013. Schon was born at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma Schon first picked up the guitar at “around the age of five.”A quick learner, he joined Santana as a teenager at 15. Schon has said he was asked by Eric Clapton to join Derek and the Dominos,but that he joined Santana instead, and performed on the album Santana III. Schon also played in Azteca before moving on in 1973 to form Journey, a group he continues to lead as of late 2013. Schon’s guitar style has been described as soulful, taking inspiration from 1960s-era soul singers such as Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight, and blending it with blues runs similar to B. B. King. He was influenced by guitarists such as Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana and Wes Montgomery.

JOURNEY GREATEST HITS http://youtu.be/QzGrAoMA4s4

SANTANA III http://youtu.be/FMCMdjVhcL8

In addition to his five solo albums and 14 studio albums with Journey, his work also includes: a pair of albums with keyboardist Jan Hammer, short-term collaborations withSammy Hagar (HSAS and Planet Us) and Paul Rodgers, stints with Bad English (a supergroup that featured Journey’s Jonathan Cain and Deen Castronovo and Jonathan Cain’s former Babys bandmates John Waite and Ricky Phillips) and Hardline (which also featured Deen Castronovo). Even as Journey’s latest lineup plays to a still-faithful body of fans, Schon has immersed himself in side projects such as Piranha Blues (1999) and “Black Soup Cracker” a funk outfit that features former Prince associates Rosie Gaines and Michael Bland, and more recently Soul SirkUS with Jeff Scott Soto. Schon can also be heard on other albums including three tracks on Michael Bolton’s The Hunger, with the Schon sound most recognizable on “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay”. He also joined Larry Graham to play in an all-star band for cult funk artist and ex-wife of Miles Davis,Betty Davis. In addition, Schon (along with then Journey manager Herbie Herbert) also contributed to Lenny White’s 1977 album “Big City”, specifically the instrumental jam “And we meet again”

Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden)

imageAdrian Smith, Guitarist with splendidly noisy English Heamy metal band Iron Maiden was born 27th February 1957. Iron Maiden hail from Leyton in east London and were formed in 1975 by bassist and primary songwriter, Steve Harris. Since their inception, the band’s discography has grown to include a total of thirty-six albums: fifteen studio albums; ten live albums; four EPs; and seven compilations. Pioneers of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Iron Maiden achieved success during the early 1980s. After several line-up changes, the band went on to release a series of U.S. and UK platinum and gold albums, including 1982′s The Number of the Beast, 1983′s Piece of Mind, 1984′s Powerslave, 1985′s live release Live After Death, 1986′s Somewhere in Time and 1988′s Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. Their latest album Book of Souls was released in 2015.

eddieSince the return of lead vocalist Bruce Dickinson and guitarist Adrian Smith in 1999, the band have undergone a resurgence in popularity, and received widespread critical acclaim. Considered one of the most successful heavy metal bands in history, Iron Maiden have sold over 85 million records worldwide with little radio or television support. The band won the Ivor Novello Award for international achievement in 2002, and were also inducted into the Hollywood RockWalk in Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California during their United States tour in 2005. As of August 2011, the band have played almost 2000 live shows throughout their career. For the past 30 years, the band have been supported by their famous mascot, “Eddie”, who has appeared on almost all of their album and single covers, as well as in their live shows.

Ronnie van Zant (Lynyrd Skynyrd)

SkynyrdRonnie van Zant, the lead singer with Lynyrd Skynyrd was born 15 January 1948. Best known for popularizing the Southern hard rock genre during the 1970s Lynyrd Skynyrd were Originally formed In the summer of 1964, when teenage friends Ronnie Van Zant, Allen Collins, and Gary Rossington formed the band “The Noble Five” in Jacksonville, Florida. The band changed in 1965 to “My Backyard”, when Larry Junstrom and Bob Burns joined. In 1968, the group won a local Battle of the Bands contest and the opening slot on several Southeast shows for the California-based psychedelic rock band Strawberry Alarm Clock. the group eventually settled on the name “Leonard Skinner”, a mocking tribute to a physical-education teacher at Robert E. Lee High School, Leonard Skinner, who was notorious for strictly enforcing the school’s policy against boys having long hair.

During the 1970′s the band experienced many line-up changes and in 1972 the band was discovered at one of their shows at a club in Atlanta, GA. They soon changed the spelling of their name to “Lynyrd Skynyrd”and their fan base continued to grow rapidly throughout 1973, largely due to their opening slot on The Who’s Quadrophenia tour in the United States. Their 1974 follow-up, Second Helping, was the band’s breakthrough hit, and featured their most popular single, “Sweet Home Alabama” helping them rise to worldwide recognition. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s third album, Nuthin’ Fancy, was released in 1975 and the fourth album Gimme Back My Bullets was released in January 1976, but did not achieve the same success as the previous two albums. Steve Gaines joined the band in June 1976 and the newly-reconstituted band recorded the double-live album One More From the Road at the Fox Theatre (Atlanta, Georgia) in Atlanta, and performed at the Knebworth festival, which also featured The Rolling Stones. The next album 1977′s Street Survivors turned out to be a showcase for guitarist/vocalist Steve Gaines and included the iconic rock anthem “Free Bird”.

Sadly though, On October 20, 1977, just three days after the release of Street Survivors, and at the peak of their success, three members (Including Gaines) all died in an airplane crash, Following the crash and the ensuing press, Street Survivors became the band’s second platinum album and reached No. 5 on the U.S. album chart. The single “What’s Your Name” reached No. 13 on the single airplay charts in January 1978. Surviving members re-formed in 1987 for a reunion tour with lead singer Ronnie Van Zant’s younger brother Johnny as frontman. A version of the band continues to tour and record, with only Gary Rossington of its original members remaining as of 2012. Lynyrd Skynyrd was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 13, 2006

John Steinbeck

js-eoeAmerican author John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr. was Born February 27, 1902 in Salinas California, He is widely known for the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath (1939) and East of Eden (1952) and the novella Of Mice and Men (1937). As the author of twenty-seven books, including sixteen novels, six non-fiction books and five collections of short stories, Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962.

The Grapes of Wrath was published in 1939 and won the annual National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize and was cited prominently when he won the Nobel Prize in 1962. Set during the Great Depression, the novel focuses on the Joads, a poor family of tenant farmers driven from their Oklahoma home by drought, economic hardship, and changes in financial and agricultural industries. Due to their nearly hopeless situation, and in part because they were trapped in the Dust Bowl, the Joads set out for California. Along with thousands of other “Okies”, they sought jobs, land, dignity, and a future.The Grapes of Wrath is frequently read in American high school and college literature classes due to its historical context and enduring legacy. A celebrated Hollywood film version, starring Henry Fonda and directed by John Ford, was made in 1940.

East of Eden is Often described as Steinbeck’s most ambitious novel East of Eden is set between the beginning of the 20th century and the end of World War I, It is the story of warmhearted inventor and farmer Samuel Hamilton his wife Liza, and their nine children who live on a rough, infertile piece of land in the Salinas Valley, California,. As the Hamilton children begin to grow up and leave the nest, a wealthy stranger, Adam Trask, purchases the best ranch in the Valley, Adam joined the military and then wandered the country until He was caught for vagrancy, escaped from a chain gang and burgled a store for clothing to use as a disguise. Then he learns that his father has died and left him an inheritance of $50,000.

Meanwhile a girl named Cathy Ames, lives near to the brothers’ family farm. She is cold, cruel, and utterly incapable of feeling for anyone but herself and leaves home after killing both parents. Finally, she is viciously beaten by a pimp and is left close to death on the brothers’ doorstep. Although Charles Hamilton is repulsed by her, Adam, unaware of her past, falls in love with and marries her and they settle in Salinas Valley California, near the Hamilton family ranch. Cathy does not want to be a mother or to stay in California, but Adam is so ecstatically happy with his new life that he does not realize there is any problem. Shortly after Cathy gives birth to twin boys, she shoots Adam in the shoulder and flees. Adam recovers, but remains in a deep and terrible depression until he becomes good friends with Cantonese Cook Lee and Samuel Hamilton and learns the story of Cain & Abel and the Hebrew word “Timshel” which means “thou mayest” suggesting that mankind is neither compelled to pursue sainthood nor doomed to sin, but rather has the power to choose.

Meanwhile, Cathy has become a prostitute and embarks on a devious plan to ingratiate herself with the owner, murder her and inherit the business. She makes her new brothel infamous and is not concerned that Adam might look for her, and has no feelings her children Caleb and Aron – echoing Cain and Abel – who grow up oblivious of their mother’s situation. Aron then meets a girl named Abra and the two fall in love. Soon after Samuel Hamilton passes away. As the boys reach the end of their school days, Caleb decides to pursue a career in farming and Aron goes to college to become an Episcopalian priest. Soon Caleb discovers that his mother is alive and the head of a brothel. Caleb then goes into business with Will Hamilton, as an automobile dealer and also makes a fortune selling beans grown in the Salinas Valley. Aron returns from Stanford for the holiday and Caleb takes Aron to see their mother, who Wracked with self-hatred, signs her estate over to Aron, who then enlists in the army to fight in World War I, but is killed in battle and Adam is overcome with grief. A now bedridden Adam is asked to forgive his only remaining son, responds by giving Caleb his blessing in the form of the word Timshel.

Of Mice and Men tells the tragic story of George Milton and Lennie Small, two displaced migrant ranch workers, who move from place to place in search of new job opportunities during the Great Depression in California, USA.Based on Steinbeck’s own experiences as a bindlestiff in the 1920s (before the arrival of the Okies he would vividly describe in The Grapes of Wrath), the title is taken from Robert Burns’ poem “To a Mouse”, which read: “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley.” (The best laid schemes of mice and men / Often go awry.). John Steinbeck sadly passed away on December 20th, 1968. however his novels are regarded as classics by many, and are Required reading in many schools. Of Mice and Men has also been a frequent target of censors for vulgarity and what some consider offensive and racist language; consequently, it appears on the American Library Association’s list of the Most Challenged Books of 21st Century