Shirley Manson (Garbage)

GarbageBest known internationally as the lead vocalist of the alternative rock band Garbage, Scottish recording artist and actress Shirley Ann Manson was born 26 August 1966. For much of her international career Manson commuted between her home city of Edinburgh and theUnited States to record with Garbage; she now lives and works in Los Angeles.Manson gained media attention for her forthright style, rebellious attitude and distinctive voice.Manson’s musical career began in her teens when she was approached to perform backing vocals and keyboards for Scottish band Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie. Quickly she developed into a prominent member of the group and developed a formidable stage presence. Manson was approached by her band’s record label with the idea of launching her as asolo artist, and recorded an album with her band under the Angelfish name.

After seeing Manson in an Angelfish video broadcast on MTV’s 120 Minutes, Garbage invited Manson to record vocals on a few of their songs; she eventually co-wrote and co-produced an entire album with the band. The resulting self-titled debut, Garbage, was a worldwide hit, and was followed by three studio albums, including the multiple Grammy Award-nominated Version 2.0, and a greatest hits album. Garbage toured worldwide and sold 12 million records over ten years. In 2006, Manson began to write and record solo material after Garbage was put on “hiatus” and in 2008 was cast in her first professional acting role on the second and final season ofTerminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles as series regular Catherine Weaver, a liquid metal T-1001 Terminator. Manson returned to the recording studio in 2010 to write and produce material for the group’s fifth studio album Not Your Kind of People.

Garbage were formed in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1994. The group consists of Scottish singer Shirley Manson (vocals, guitar) and American musicians Duke Erikson (bass, guitar, keyboards, percussion), Steve Marker (guitar, keyboards), and Butch Vig (drums, percussion). All four members are involved in songwriting and production. The band have counted worldwide album sales of over 17 million units.Garbage released a string of increasingly successful singles in 1995–1996, including “Stupid Girl” and “Only Happy When It Rains”. Their debut album,Garbage, was an unexpected smash, selling over 4 million copies and certifieddouble platinum in the UK, US, and Australia. Garbage won the Breakthrough Artist award at the 1996 MTV Europe Music Awards. Garbage spent two years working on follow-up album, Version 2.0, which topped the charts in the UK upon its 1998 release and the following year was nominated for two Grammy Awards, Album of the Year and Best Rock Album.Version 2.0 went on to match the sales of its predecessor.

Garbage followed this up by performing and co-producing the theme song to the nineteenth James Bond movie The World Is Not Enough. Despite being named one of Rolling Stone’s Top 10 Albums of the Year, Garbage’s 2001 third album Beautiful Garbage failed to match the commercial success achieved by its predecessors. Garbage released a fourth album Bleed Like Me in 2005, peaking at a career-high No. 4 in the US. However the band cut short their concert tour in support of Bleed Like Me announcing an “indefinite hiatus”, emphasizing that they had not broken up, but wished to pursue personal interests. In 2006, Vig returned to producing while Manson worked on an as yet unreleased solo album. Garbage ended their hiatus in 2007 and released greatest hits retrospective Absolute Garbage. Garbage’s fifth album Not Your Kind of People was released in 2012.

Maureen Tucker (Velvet Underground)

Velvet_Underground_and_NicoBest known for being the drummer in The Velvet Underground Maureen Ann “Moe” Tucker was born August 26, 1944, in Levittown, New York.Tucker first began playing the drums at age 19. When she was asked to join the Velvet Underground, Tucker had dropped out of Ithaca College and was working for IBM. The band’s original percussionist, Angus Maclise, had left in November 1965. Tucker was drafted because Velvets guitarist Sterling Morrison remembered her as the younger sister of one of his college friends who played the drums. Tucker was frequently noted for her androgynous appearance. Tucker’s style of playing was unconventional. She played standing up rather than seated (for easier access to the bass drum, using a simplified drum kit of tom toms, a snare drum and an upturned bass drum, playing with mallets rather than drumsticks. She rarely used cymbals; she claimed that since she felt the purpose of a drummer was simply to “keep time”, cymbals were unnecessary for this purpose and drowned out the other instruments. Apart from drumming, Tucker sang co-lead vocals on three Velvet Underground songs: the acoustic guitar number “After Hours” and the strange poem set to music “The Murder Mystery”, both from 1969’s The Velvet Underground album, as well as “I’m Sticking with You”, a song recorded in 1969 but left (officially) unreleased until it appeared on the 1985 outtakes compilation VU. Tucker also occasionally played the bass guitar during live gigs.Tucker temporarily left the group when she became pregnant with her first child, Kerry “Trucker” Tucker, in early 1970. Because of this She only played on a few songs on Loaded, the band’s fourth and final album with Lou Reed.Billy Yule, the younger and high-school-age brother of bassist Doug Yule, filled in the role of drummer for most of the songs on the album and live performances.

Tucker returned to the band in late 1970, by which time Reed had left the group and Doug Yule had assumed leadership. She toured North America and Europe with the band during 1970 and 1971; shortly before leaving the band and moving to Phoenix, Arizona in 1971, with her husband and several children, where she played drums in the short-lived band Paris 1942 with Alan Bishop of the Sun City Girls. In the early 1980s, she divorced her husband and relocated to Douglas, Georgia, where she was hired at a Wal-Mart distribution center.She quit the job in 1989 when she was asked to go on tour of Europe with the band Half Japanese.Tucker started recording and touring again, releasing a number of albums on small, independent labels that feature her singing and playing guitar, fronting her own band. This band at times included former Velvets colleague Sterling Morrison. Tucker also participated in the 1992–1993 Velvet Underground reunion, touring Europe and releasing the double album Live MCMXCIII. Tucker has also made guest performances on a number of others’ records, including producing Fire in the Sky (1993) for Half Japanese, whose guitarist, John Sluggett, plays drums on her own recordings. She has also, appeared withMagnet and former Velvet Underground band members Lou Reed (New York) and John Cale (Walking on Locusts).Tucker also played drums on and produced the album The Lives of Charles Douglas by indie rocker and novelist Charles Douglas (also known as Alex McAulay) in 1999.She played bass drum, wrote songs, and sang with the New York/Memphis punk rock–delta blues fusion group, The Kropotkins with Lorette Velvette and Dave Soldier in 1999–2003, recording “Five Points Crawl”.

The Velvet Underground were formed in New York City. First active from 1964 to 1973, its best-known members were Lou Reed and John Cale, who both went on to find success as solo artists. Although experiencing little commercial success while together, the band is often cited by many critics as one of the most important and influential groups of the 1960s. Brian Eno made the often repeated statement that while the first Velvet Underground album may have sold only 30,000 copies in its early years, “everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band. Andy Warhol managed the Velvet Underground and it was the house band at his studio, theFactory, and his Exploding Plastic Inevitable events. The provocative lyrics of some of the band’s songs gave a nihilistic outlook to some of their music. Their 1967 debut album, The Velvet Underground & Nico (which featured German singer Nico), was named the 13th Greatest Album of All Time, and the “most prophetic rock album ever made” by Rolling Stone in 2003. In 2004,Rolling Stone ranked the band No. 19 on its list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”. And they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, by Patti Smith

Jet Black (The Syranglers)

imageJet Black, the English drummer and founder member of punk rock / new wave band The Stranglers was born 26 August 1938, Ilford, Essex. Initially Black was a successful businessman up until the mid-1970s, owning a fleet of ice cream vans, and an off-licence in Guildford, called ‘The Jackpot’.this establishment was the base for the early Stranglers. He was also the owner of one of the earliest home brewing equipment companies, at the time of a vogue in home brewing. He became a full-time professional musician in the mid-1970s and met Hugh Cornwell of band Johnny Sox after reading an advertisement in the Melody Maker magazine. Cornwell joined Black in The Stranglers in 1974.

The Stranglers are an English punk rock music group.Scoring some 23 UK top 40 singles and 17 UK top 40 albums to date in a career spanning four decades, the Stranglers are the longest-surviving and most “continuously successful” band to have originated in the UK punk scene of the mid to late 1970s. Beginning life as the Guildford Stranglers on 11 September 1974 in Guildford, Surrey, they originally built a following within the mid-1970s pub rock scene. While their aggressive, no-compromise attitude identified them as one of the instigators of the UK punk rock scene that followed, their idiosyncratic approach rarely followed any single musical genre and the group went on to explore a variety of musical styles, from New Wave,art rock and gothic rock through the sophisticated pop of some of their 1980s output.They had major mainstream success with their single “Golden Brown”. Their other hits include “No More Heroes”, “Peaches”, “Always the Sun” and “Skin Deep”.The Stranglers’ early sound was driven by Jean-Jacques Burnel’s melodic bass, but also gave prominence to Dave Greenfield’s keyboards at a time when the instrument was seen as unfashionable. Their early music was also characterised by the growling vocals and sometimes misanthropic lyrics of both Jean-Jacques Burnel and Hugh Cornwell. Over time, their output gradually grew more refined and sophisticated. Summing up their contribution to popular music, critic Dave Thompson later wrote: “From bad-mannered yobs to purveyors of supreme pop delicacies, the group was responsible for music that may have been ugly and might have been crude – but it was never, ever boring.”

His style is usually simple and jazz-influenced, although “Duchess” and “Down in the Sewer” are examples of Stranglers songs that feature more frantic drumming. In the mid-1980s, Black elected to cease playing acoustic drums in the recording studio and used aSimmons kit triggered by pick-ups, most notably on the Feline and Aural Sculpture albums. Black is still currently drumming for The Stranglers, despite his advancing years. His name is frequently chanted by the crowd at concerts.Speaking ahead of their 2008/2009 tour, Stranglers bassist Jean-Jacques Burnel said: “None of us are getting any younger but our drummer, Jet Black, is 70 now so I don’t know how much longer he’s going to want to carry on. I mean, he was always a lot older than the rest of the band but I don’t think we’d carry on without him.”However, in October 2009, it was announced that the band (featuring Black) would embark on a 16-date tour in February and March 2010 and a full UK tour took place starting in March 2011.

John Buchan

Scottish novelist, historian and Unionist politician John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir GCMG GCVO CH PC was born 26 August 1875. Buchan was brought up in Kirkcaldy, Fife, and spent many summer holidays in Broughton, in the Scottish Borders. There he developed a love of walking, as well as for the local scenery and wildlife, which often featured in his novels; the name of a protagonist in several of Buchan’s books—Sir Edward Leithen—is borrowed from the Leithen Water, a tributary of the River Tweed. After attending Hutchesons’ Grammar School, Buchan was awarded a scholarship to the University of Glasgow at age 17, where he studied classics, wrote poetry, and became a published author. With a junior Hulme scholarship, he moved on in 1895 to study Literae Humaniores (the Oxonian term for the Classics) at Brasenose College, Oxford, alongside Hilaire Belloc, Raymond Asquith, and Aubrey Herbert. Buchan won both the Stanhope essay prize, in 1897, and the Newdigate Prize for poetry the following year, as well as being elected as the president of the Oxford Union and having six of his works published. It was at around the time of his graduation from Oxford that Buchan had his first portrait painted, done in 1900 by a young Sholto Johnstone Douglas.

Buchan worked in diplomacy and government after graduating from Oxford, becoming in 1901 the private secretary to Alfred Milner, who was then the High Commissioner for Southern Africa, Governor of Cape Colony, and colonial administrator of Transvaal and the Orange Free State, He also gained an acquaintance with a country that would feature prominently in his writing, which he resumed upon his return to London, at the same time entering into a partnership in the Thomas Nelson & Son publishing company and becoming editor of The Spectator. Buchan also read for and was called to the bar though he did not practise as a lawyer,and on 15 July 1907 married Susan Charlotte Grosvenor—daughter of Norman Grosvenor and a cousin of the Duke of Westminster. Together, Buchan and his wife had four children, Alice, John, William, and Alastair.

In 1910, Buchan wrote Prester John, the first of his adventure novels set in South Africa, and the following year he suffered from duodenal ulcers, a condition that later afflicted one of his fictional characters. At the same time, Buchan became a Unionist candidate in March 1911 for the Borders seat of Peebles and Selkirk; he supported free trade, women’s suffrage, national insurance, and curtailing the powers of the House of Lords, though he did also oppose the welfare reforms of the Liberal Party, and what he considered to be the “class hatred” fostered by demagogic Liberals such as David Lloyd George.

With the outbreak of the First World War, Buchan went to write for the British War Propaganda Bureau and worked as a correspondent in France for The Times. He continued to write fiction, and in 1915 published his most famous work, The Thirty-Nine Steps, a spy-thriller set just prior to World War I. The novel featured Buchan’s oft used hero, Richard Hannay, whose character was based on Edmund Ironside, a friend of Buchan from his days in South Africa. A sequel, Greenmantle, came the following year. Buchan then enlisted in the British Army and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Intelligence Corps, where he wrote speeches and communiqués for Sir Douglas Haig. Recognised for his abilities, Buchan was appointed as the Director of Information in 1917, under Lord Beaverbrook and also assisted Charles Masterman in publishing a monthly magazine that detailed the history of the war, the first edition appearing in February 1915 (and later published in 24 volumes as Nelson’s History of the War). It was difficult, given his close connections to many of Britain’s military leaders, for Buchan to be critical of the British Army’s conduct during the conflict.

After war ended Buchan wrote about historical subjects, along with his usual thrillers and novels. By the mid-1920s, he was living in Elsfield and had become president of the Scottish Historical Society and a trustee of the National Library of Scotland,and he also maintained ties with various universities. Robert Graves, who lived in nearby Islip, mentioned his being recommended by Buchan for a lecturing position at the newly founded Cairo University and, in a 1927 by-election, Buchan was elected as the Unionist Party Member of Parliament for the Combined Scottish Universities. Politically, he was of the Unionist-Nationalist tradition, believing in Scotland’s promotion as a nation within the British Empire. Buchan remarked in a speech to parliament: “I believe every Scotsman should be a Scottish nationalist. If it could be proved that a Scottish parliament were desirable … Scotsmen should support it.”The effects of the Great Depression in Scotland, and the subsequent high emigration from that country, also led Buchan to reflect in the same speech: “We do not want to be like the Greeks, powerful and prosperous wherever we settle, but with a dead Greece behind us,” he found himself profoundly affected by John Morley’s Life of Gladstone, which Buchan read in the early months of the Second World War. He believed that Gladstone had taught people to combat materialism, complacency, and authoritarianism; Buchan later wrote to Herbert Fisher, Stair Gillon, and Gilbert Murray that he was “becoming a Gladstonian Liberal.

After the United Free Church of Scotland joined in 1929 with the Church of Scotland, Buchan remained an active elder of St. Columba’s Church in London, as well as of the Oxford Presbyterian parish. In 1933 and 1934 Buchan was further appointed as the King George V’s Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. Beginning in 1930 Buchan aligned himself with Zionism and the related Palestine All Party Parliamentary Group. Buchan also denounced Hitler’s anti-Semitic policies. In recognition of his contributions to literature and education, on 1 January 1932,Buchan was granted the personal gift of the sovereign of induction into the Order of the Companions of Honour.

In 1935 Buchan’s literary work was adapted to the cinematic theatre with the completion of Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps, starring Robert Donat as Richard Hannay, though with Buchan’s story much altered. This came in the same year that Buchan was honoured with appointment to the Order of St. Michael and St. George on 23 May, as well as being elevated to the peerage, when he was entitled by King George V as Baron Tweedsmuir of Elsfield in the County of Oxford on 1 June in preparation for Buchan’s appointment as Canada’s governor general; when consulted by Canadian prime minister R. B. Bennett about the appointment, the Leader of His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, William Lyon Mackenzie King, had recommended that the King allow Buchan to serve as viceroy as a commoner, but George V insisted that he be represented by a peer.

Canadian parliament Acting Prime Minister Sir George Perley made the announcement in the place of ailing Prime Minister R.B. Bennett who recommended Buchan’s name to King George V who approved the appointment, made by commission under the royal sign-manual and signet. Buchan then departed for Canada and was sworn in as the country’s governor general in a ceremony on 2 November 1935 in Quebec. Buchan was the first viceroy of Canada appointed since the enactment of the Statute of Westminster on 11 December 1931

He brought to the post a longstanding knowledge of Canada. He had written many appreciative words about the country as a journalist on The Spectator and had followed the actions of the Canadian forces in World War I when writing his Nelson History of the War. His knowledge and interest in increasing public awareness and accessibility to Canada’s past resulted in Buchan being made the Champlain Society’s second honorary president between 1938 and 1939.Buchan continued writing during his time as governor general, but he also took his position as viceroy seriously and travelled the length and breadth of Canada, as one way to promote Canadian unity. Buchan also encouraged a distinct Canadian identity and national unity.

In 1938 George V died, and his eldest son, the popular Prince Edward, succeeded to the throne as Edward VIII, while Rideau Hall—the royal and viceroyal residence in Ottawa—was decked in black crepe and all formal entertaining was cancelled during the official period of mourning. As the year unfolded, it became evident that the new king planned to marry American divorcée Wallis Simpson, which caused much discontent throughout the Dominions. Buchan conveyed to Buckingham Palace and British prime minister Stanley Baldwin Canadians’ deep affection for the King, but also the outrage to Canadian religious feelings, both Catholic and Protestant, that would occur if Edward married Simpson. By 11 December, King Edward had abdicated in favour of his younger brother, Prince Albert, Duke of York, who was thereafter known as George VI. In order for the line of succession for Canada to remain parallel to those of the other Dominions, Buchan, as Governor-in-Council, gave the government’s consent to the British legislation formalising the abdication, and ratified this with finality when he granted Royal Assent to the Canadian Succession to the Throne Act in 1937 . Upon receiving news from Mackenzie King of Edward’s decision to abdicate, Tweedsmuir commented that, in his year in Canada as governor general, he had represented three kings.

In May and June 1939, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth toured the country from coast to coast and paid a state visit to the United States. The royal tour had been conceived by Buchan before the coronation in 1937; according to the official event historian, Gustave Lanctot, the idea “probably grew out of the knowledge that at his coming Coronation, George VI was to assume the additional title of King of Canada,” and Buchan desired to demonstrate with living example—through Canadians seeing “their King performing royal functions, supported by his Canadian ministers”—the fact of Canada’s status as an independent kingdom.[35] Buchan put great effort into securing a positive response to the invitation sent to King George in May 1937; after more than a year without a reply, in June 1938 Buchan headed to the United Kingdom for a personal holiday, but also to procure a decision on the possible royal tour. From his home near Oxford.

After recovering at Ruthin Castle, Buchan, sailed back to Canada with a secured commitment that the royal couple would tour the country. Buchan retired to Rideau Hall for the duration of the royal tour. The presence of the royal couple in Canada and the United States, was calculated to gain sympathy for Britain in anticipation of hostilities with Nazi Germany. Buchan’s experiences during the First World War made him averse to conflict, he tried to help prevent another war in coordination with United States president Franklin D. Roosevelt and Mackenzie King. Still, Buchan authorised Canada’s declaration of war against Germany in September, with the consent of King George; and, issued orders of deployment for Canadian soldiers, airmen, and seamen as the titular commander-in-chief of the Canadian armed forces.

Sadly On 6 February 1940, he suffered a severe head injury when he fell after suffering a stroke at Rideau Hall. Two surgeries by Doctor Wilder Penfield of the Montreal Neurological Institute were insufficient to save him, and he died on 11 February 1940. After lying in state in the Senate chamber on Parliament Hill, Buchan was given a state funeral at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Ottawa. His ashes were returned to the UK aboard the cruiser HMS Orion for final burial at Elsfield, his estate in Oxfordshire.In his last years, Buchan, amongst other works, wrote an autobiography, Memory Hold-the-Door, as well as works on the history and his views of Canada. He and Baroness Tweedsmuir together established the first proper library at Rideau Hall, and, Buchan founded the Governor General’s Literary Awards, which remain Canada’s premier award for literature.

Nik Turner (Hawkwind)

Hawkwind2Best known as a former member of space rock pioneers Hawkwind, British musician Nik Turner was born 26 August 1940, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England). Turner plays saxophones, lute, sings and is a composer. While with Hawkwind, Turner was known for his experimental free jazz stylisations and outrageous stage presence, often donning full makeup and Ancient Egypt-inspired costumes. Hawkwind are one of the earliest space rock groups. Their lyrics favour urban and science fiction themes. They are considered a key link between thehippie and punk cultures. Hawkwind are primarily known for playing “space-rock”, a hybrid of hard-rock and acid-rock that united the sonic power of the former and the free improvisation of the latter. Formed in November 1969, Hawkwind have gone through many incarnations and styles of music. Dozens of musicians, dancers and writers have worked with the group since their inception.

Hawkwind1The 1970 debut album was entltled Hawkwind. Although it was not a commercial success, it did bring them to the attention of the UK underground scene finding them playing free concerts, benefit gigs, and festivals. Playing free outside the Bath Festival, they encountered another Ladbroke Grove based band, the Pink Fairies, who shared similar interests in music and recreational activities; a friendship developed which led to the two bands becoming running partners and performing as “Pinkwind”. Their use of drugs, however, led to the departure of Harrison, who did not imbibe, to be replaced briefly by Thomas Crimble (about July ’70 – March ’71). Crimble played on a few BBC sessions before leaving to help organise the Glastonbury Free Festival 1971; Lloyd-Langton also quit, after a bad LSD trip at the Isle of Wight Festival led to a nervous breakdown. Their follow up album, 1971’s X In Search of Space, brought greater commercial success, reaching number 18 on the UK album charts, and also saw the band’s image and philosophy take shape, courtesy of graphic artist Barney Bubbles and underground press writerRobert Calvert, as depicted in the accompanying Hawklog booklet which would further be developed into the Space Ritual stage show. Science fiction author Michael Moorcock and dancer Stacia also started contributing to the band. Dik Mik left the band, replaced by sound engineer Del Dettmar, but chose to return for this album giving the band two electronics players. Bass player Dave Anderson, who had been in the German band Amon Düül II, had also joined and played on the album but departed before its release because of personal tensions with some other members of the band.Anderson and Lloyd-Langton then formed the short-lived band Amon Din. Meanwhile, Ollis quit, however.The addition of bassist Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister and drummer Simon King propelled the band to greater heights.

One of the early gigs this band played was a benefit for the Greasy Truckers at The Roundhouse on 13 February 1972. A live album of the concert Greasy Truckers Party was released, and after re-recording the vocal, a single “Silver Machine” was also released, reaching number 3 in the UK charts. This generated sufficient funds for the subsequent album Doremi Fasol Latido Space Ritual tour. The show featured dancers Stacia and Miss Renee, mime artist Tony Carrera and a light show by Liquid Len and was recorded on the elaborate package Space Ritual. At the height of their success in 1973, the band released the single “Urban Guerrilla” which coincided with an IRAbombing campaign in London, so the BBC refused to play it and the band’s management reluctantly decided to withdraw it fearing accusations of opportunism, despite the disc having already climbed to number 39 in the UK chart. Dik Mik departed during 1973 and Calvert ended his association with the band to concentrate on solo projects. Dettmar also indicated that he was to leave the band, so Simon House was recruited as keyboardist and violinist playing live shows, a North America tour and recording the 1974 album Hall of the Mountain Grill. Dettmar left after a European tour and emigrated to Canada, whilst Alan Powelldeputised for an incapacitated King on that European tour, but remained giving the band two drummers.At the beginning of 1975, the band recorded the album Warrior on the Edge of Time in collaboration with Michael Moorcock, literature.Swindells left to record a solo album after an offer had been made to him by the record company ATCO.

However, during a North America tour in May, Lemmy was caught in possession of amphetamine crossing the border from the USA into Canada. The border police mistook the powder for cocaine and he was jailed, forcing the band to cancel some shows. Fed up with his erratic behaviour, the band fired the bass player. replacing him with their long-standing friend and former Pink Fairies guitarist Paul Rudolph. Lemmy then teamed up with another Pink Fairies guitarist, Larry Wallis, to formMotörhead, named after the last song he had written for Hawkwind.Robert Calvert made a guest appearance with band for their headline set at the Reading Festival in August 1975, after which he chose to rejoin the band as a full-time vocalist and front man. , Amazing Music is the first album of this era and highlights both Calvert’s well-crafted lyrics written with stage performance in mind and a greater proficiency and scope in the music.] But on the eve of recording the follow-upBack on the Streets single, Turner was sacked for his erratic live playing and Powell was deemed surplus to requirements. After a tour to promote the single and during rehearsals for the next album, Rudolph was also sacked for allegedly trying to steer the band into a musical direction at odds with Calvert and Brock’s vision.Adrian “Ade” Shaw, who as bass player for Magic Muscle had supported Hawkwind on the Space Ritual tour, came in for the 1977 album Quark, Strangeness and Charm.

The band Had moderate commercial success, but Calvert’s mental illness often caused problems. A manic phase saw the band abandon a European tour in France, while a depression phase during a 1978 North American tour convinced Brock to disband the group. In between these two tours, the band had recorded the album PXR5 in January 1978, but its release was delayed until 1979.On 23 December 1977 in Barnstaple, Brock and Calvert had performed a one-off gig with Devon band Ark as the Sonic Assassins, and looking for a new project in 1978, bassist Harvey Bainbridge and drummer Martin Griffin were recruited from this event. Steve Swindells was recruited as keyboard player. The band was named Hawklords, and recording took place on a farm in Devon using a mobile studio, resulting in the album 25 Years On. King had originally been the drummer for the project but quit during recording sessions to return to London, while House, who had temporarily left the band to join a David Bowie tour, elected to remain with Bowie full-time, but nevertheless contributed violin to these sessions. At the end of the band’s UK tour, Calvert, wanting King back in the band, fired Griffin, then promptly resigned himself, choosing to pursue a career in literature.Swindells left to record a solo album

In late 1979, Hawkwind reformed with Brock, Bainbridge and King being joined by Huw Lloyd-Langton (who had played on the debut album) and Tim Blake (formerly of Gong), embarking upon a UK tour resulting in the Live Seventy Nine album, quickly followed by the studio album Levitation. However, during the recording of Levitation King quit and Ginger Baker was drafted in for the sessions, but he chose to stay with the band for the tour, and Brock and Bainbridge elected to handle synthesizers and sequencers themselves, with drummer Griffin from the Hawklords rejoining. : Sonic Attack, the electronic Church of Hawkwind andChoose Your Masques. This band headlined the 1981 Glastonbury Festival and made an appearance at the 1982 Donington Monsters of Rock Festival, as well as continuing to play the summer solstice at Stonehenge Free Festival.In the early 1980s, .Nik Turner had returned as a guest for the 1982 Choose Your Masques tour and was invited back permanently. . The Earth Ritual tour was filmed for Hawkwind’s first ever video release, Night of the Hawk. Then a young fan named Alan Davey sent a tape of his playing to Brock and Brock chose to oust Reeves moving Bainbridge from bass to keyboards in order to accommodate Davey. This experimental line-up played at the Stonehenge Free Festival in 1984, which was filmed and release as Stonehenge 84. Subsequent personal and professional tensions between Brock and Turner led to the latter’s expulsion at the beginning of 1985. Clive Deamer, who was deemed “too professional” for the band, was eventually replaced in 1985 by Danny Thompson Jr, a friend of bassist Alan Davey, and remained almost to the end of the decade.

Hawkwind’s most ambitious project, The Chronicle of the Black Sword, was based loosely around the Elric series of books . Moorcock contributed lyrics, but only performed some spoken pieces on some live dates. The tour was recorded and issued as an album Live Chronicles and video The Chronicle of the Black Sword. A headline appearance at the 1986 Reading Festival was followed by a UK tour to promote the Live Chronicles album which was filmed and released as Chaos. In 1988 the band recorded the album The Xenon Codex , but soon after, both Lloyd-Langton and Thompson departed.Drummer Richard Chadwick, who joined in the summer of ’88, was initially invited simply to play with the band, but eventually replaced stand in drummer Mick Kirton to become the band’s drummer to the present day.violinist Simon House was re-instated into the lineup in 1989 and, Hawkwind embarked on their first US visit in 11 years The successfully received full American tour was the first of several over the coming years, in an effort by the band to reintroduce themselves to the American market.Bridget Wishart, , also joined to become the band’s one and only frontwoman. This band produced two albums, 1990s Space Bandits and 1991’s Palace Springs and also filmed a 1-hour appearance for the Bedrock TVseries.1990 saw Hawkwind tour the USA again, ultimately bringing Hawkwind back into recognition across the Atlantic. bassist Davey left, forming his own Middle-Eastern flavoured hard-rock group Bedouin and a Motörhead tribute act named Ace of Spades. And His bass playing role was reluctantly picked up by singer Tree and the band were joined full-time by lead guitarist Jerry Richards for the albums Distant Horizons and In Your Area. Rasta chanter Captain Rizz also joined the band for guest spots during live shows.”Hawkestra”—

A reunion event featuring appearances from past and present members intended to coincide with the band’s 30th anniversary and the release of the career spanning Epocheclipse – 30 Year Anthology set took place 21 October 2000 at the Brixton Academy with about 20 members taking part in a 3+ hour set which was filmed and recorded. Guests included Samantha Fox who sang “Master of the Universe.” ]The Hawkestra had set a template for Brock to assemble a core band of Tree, Brock, Richards, Davey, Chadwick and for the use of former members as guests on live shows and studio recordings. The 2000 Christmas Astoria show was recorded with contributions from House, Blake, Rizz, Moorcock, Jez Huggett and Keith Kniveton and released as Yule Ritual the following year. In 2001, Davey agreed to rejoin the band permanently, but only after the departure of Tree and Richards.Meanwhile, Turner organised further Hawkestra gigs resulting in the formation of xhawkwind.com, a band consisting mainly of ex-Hawkwind members and playing old Hawkwind songs. An appearance at Guilfest in 2002 led to confusion as to whether this actually was Hawkwind, sufficiently irking Brock into taking legal action to prohibit Turner from trading under the name Hawkwind. Turner lost the case and the band now performs as Space Ritual.I

In 2005 the long anticipated new album Take Me to Your Leader was released. Recorded by the core band of Brock/Davey/Chadwick, contributors included new keyboardist Jason Stuart, Arthur Brown, tabloid writer and TV personality Matthew Wright, 1970s New Wave singer Lene Lovich, Simon House and Jez Huggett. This was followed in 2006 by the CD/DVD Take Me to Your Future.Late June 2007 saw the official departure of Alan Davey, who left to perform and record with two new bands: Gunslinger and Thunor. He was replaced by “Mr Dibs”, a long-standing member of the road crew. The band performed at their annual Hawkfest festival and headlined the US festival Nearfest and played gigs in PA and NY. At the end of 2007, Tim Blake once again joined the band filling the lead role playing keyboards and theremin. The band played 5 Christmas dates, the London show being released as an audio CD and video DVD under the title Knights of Space. Sadly On 8 September 2008 keyboard player Jason Stuart died due to a brain haemorrhage. In October 2008, Niall Hone joined Hawkwind for their Winter 2008 tour playing guitar, along with returning synth/theremin player Tim Blake. In this period, Hone also occasionally played bass guitar alongside Mr Dibs and used laptops for live electronic improvisation.In 2009, the band began occasionally featuring Jon Sevink, from The Levellers as guest violinist at some shows. Later that year, Hawkwind embarked on a winter tour to celebrate the band’s 40th anniversary, including two gigs on 28 and 29 August marking the anniversary of their first live performances.

In 2010, Hawkwind held their annual Hawkfest at the site of the original Isle Of Wight Festival, marking the 40th anniversary of their appearance there.On 21 June 2010, Hawkwind released a studio album entitled Blood of the Earth. Since early 2011 Hone has primarily played bass onstage, while Mr. Dibs has moved to a more traditional lead singer role, supplemented with occasional cello work. April 2012 saw the release of a new album, Onward, on the Plastichead’s Eastworld Records imprint. Keyboardist Dead Fred rejoined Hawkwind for the 2012 tour in support of Onward and has continued to perform with the band on subsequent tours.In November 2012, a power trio subset (Brock, Chadwick and Hone) of the current touring line-up released an album under the name “Hawkwind Light Orchestra,” titled Stellar Variations, on the Esoteric Recordings sub-label of Cherry Red Records.At the end of March 2013, Hawkwind held a two-day festival, “Hawkeaster”, at Seaton Town Hall in Devon. The band chose the Town Hall in an effort to save the venue from closure. Hawkeaster 2013 included the first two Hawkwind performances of The Warrior 2013 Tour, in which the band perform their 1975 album Warrior On The Edge Of Time in its entirety to celebrate the album’s 40th anniversary re-release.

Frederick Forsyth CBE

imageEnglish author and occasional political commentator Frederick Forsyth, CBE was born 25 August 1938. He is best known for thrillers such as The Day of the Jackal, The Odessa File, The Fourth Protocol, The Dogs of War, The Devil’s Alternative, The Fist of God, Icon, The Veteran, Avenger, The Afghan and The Cobra. The son of a furrier, Forsyth was born in Ashford, Kent. He was educated at Tonbridge School and later attended the University of Granada in Spain. Before becoming a journalist, he joined the RAF and was a jet fighter pilot. He joined Reuters in 1961 and later the BBC in 1965, where he served as an assistant diplomatic correspondent. In a BBC Documentary on the Nigerian Civil War, forsyth reported on his early activities as a journalist. His early career was spent covering French affairs and the attempted assassination of Charles De Gaulle. He had never been to what he termed “black Africa” until reporting on the Nigerian Civil War between Biafra and Nigeria as a BBC correspondent.

He was there for the first six months of 1967, but few expected the war to last very long considering the poor weaponry and preparation of the Biafrans when compared to the British-armed Nigerians. After his six months were over, however, Forsyth – eager to carry on reporting – approached the BBC to ask if he could have more time there. He noted their response:”I was told quite bluntly, then, ‘it is not our policy to cover this war.’ This was a period when the Vietnam War was front-page headlines almost every day, regarded broadly as an American cock-up, and this particularly British cock-up in Nigeria was not going to be covered. I smelt news management. I don’t like news management. So I made a private vow to myself: ‘you may, gentlemen, not be covering it, but I’m going to cover it.’ So I quit and flew out there, and stayed there for most of the next two years.”He thus returned to Biafra as a freelance reporter, writing his first book The Biafra Story, in 1969.

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Forsyth decided to write a novel using similar research techniques to those used in journalism. His first full length novel, The Day of the Jackal, was published in 1971. It became an international bestseller and gained its author the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Novel. In this book, the Organisation Armée Secrète (a real-life terrorist group) hires an assassin to kill then-French President Charles de Gaulle. It was made into a film of the same name.In Forsyth’s second full-length novel, The Odessa File (1972), a reporter attempts to track down an ex-Nazi SS officer in modern Germany. The reporter discovers him via the diary of a Jewish Holocaust survivor who committed suicide earlier, but he is being shielded by an organization that protects ex-Nazis, called ODESSA. This book was later made into a movie with the same name, starring Jon Voight, but there were substantial alterations.

In The Dogs of War (1974) a British mining executive hires a group of mercenaries to overthrow the government of an African country so that he can install a puppet regime that will allow him cheap access to a colossal platinum-ore reserve. This book was also adapted to film, in 1981, starring Christopher Walken and Tom Berenger.The Shepherd was an illustrated novella published in 1975. It tells of a nightmare journey by an RAF pilot while flying home for Christmas in the late 1950s. His attempts to find a rational explanation for his eventual rescue prove as troublesome as his experience.Following this came The Devil’s Alternative in 1979, which was set in 1982. In this book, the Soviet Union faces a disastrous grain harvest. The US is ready to help for some political and military concessions. A Politburo faction fight ensues. War is proposed as solution. Ukrainian freedom fighters complicate the situation later. In the end, a Swedish oil tanker built in Japan, a Russian airliner hijacked to West Berlin and various governments find themselves involved.In 1982, No Comebacks, a collection of ten short stories, was published. Some of these stories had been written earlier. Many were set in the Republic of Ireland where Forsyth was living at the time. One of them, There Are No Snakes in Ireland, won him a second Edgar Allan Poe Award, this time for best short story.

The Fourth Protocol was published in 1984 and involves renegade elements within the Soviet Union attempting to plant a nuclear bomb near an American airbase in the UK, intending to influence the upcoming British elections and lead to the election of an anti-NATO, anti-American, anti-nuclear, pro-soviet Labour government. The Fourth Protocol was later filmed, starring Pierce Brosnan and Michael Caine, in 1987. Almost all of the political content was removed from the film.Forsyth’s tenth book came in 1989 with The Negotiator, in which the American President’s son is kidnapped and one man’s job is to negotiate his release.Two years later, in 1991, The Deceiver was published. It includes four short stories reviewing the career of British secret agent Sam McCready. At the start of the novel, the Permanent Under-Secretary of State (PUSS) of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office requires the Chief of the SIS to push Sam into early retirement. The four stories are presented to a grievance committee in an attempt to allow Sam to stay on active duty with the SIS.In 1994, Forsyth published The Fist of God, a novel which concerns the first Gulf War. Next, in 1996, he published Icon, about the rise of fascists to power in post-Soviet Russia.

In 1999, Forsyth published The Phantom of Manhattan, a sequel to The Phantom of the Opera. It was intended as a departure from his usual genre; Forsyth’s explanation was that “I had done mercenaries, assassins, Nazis, murderers, terrorists, special forces soldiers, fighter pilots, you name it, and I got to think, could I actually write about the human heart?” However, it did not achieve the same success as his other novels, and he subsequently returned to modern-day thrillers. In 2001, The Veteran, another collection of short stories, was published, followed by Avenger, published in September 2003, about a Canadian billionaire who hires a Vietnam veteran to bring his grandson’s killer to the US. Avenger was released as a film starring Sam Elliot and Timothy Hutton. The Afghan, published in August 2006, is an indirect sequel to The Fist of God. Set in the very near future, the threat of a catastrophic assault on the West, discovered on a senior al-Qaeda member’s computer, compels the leaders of the US and the UK to attempt a desperate gambit — to substitute a seasoned British operative, retired Col. Mike Martin (of The Fist of God), for an Afghan Taliban commander being held prisoner at Guantánamo Bay.The Cobra, published in 2010, features some of the characters previously featured in Avenger, and has as its subject an attempt to destroy the world trade in cocaine.

Gene Simmons (Kiss)

Israeli-born, American rock bassist, singer-songwriter, entrepreneur and actor Gene Simmons was born August 25, 1949. Known by his stage personna “The Demon,” he is the bassist/co-vocalist of Kiss, the American hard rock band he co-founded in the early 1970s. With Kiss, Simmons has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide.Formed in New York City in January 1973. Kiss rose to prominence in the mid to late 1970s on the basis of the members’ white and black face paint and flamboyant stage outfits and elaborate live performances, which featured fire breathing, blood spitting, smoking guitars, shooting rockets, The 1973–’80 original lineup of Paul Stanley (vocals and rhythm guitar), Gene Simmons (vocals and bass guitar), Ace Frehley (lead guitar) and Peter Criss (drums) is the most successful. With their makeup and costumes, they took on the personas of comic book-style characters: Starchild (Stanley), The Demon (Simmons), Spaceman or Space Ace (Frehley) and Catman (Criss) and the performances included levitating drum kits and pyrotechnics.The band explains that the fans were the ones who ultimately chose their makeup designs. Stanley became the “Starchild” because of his tendency to be referred to as the “starry-eyed lover” and “hopeless romantic”. The “Demon” makeup reflected Simmons’ cynicism and dark sense of humor, as well as his affection for comic books. Frehley’s “Spaceman” makeup was a reflection of his fondness for science fiction and supposedly being from another planet. Criss’ “Catman” makeup was in accordance with the belief that he had nine lives because of his rough childhood in Brooklyn.

Because of creative differences, both Criss and Frehley had left the group by 1982. The band’s commercial fortunes had waned considerably by that point.However Buoyed by a wave of Kiss nostalgia in the 1990s, the band announced a reunion of the original lineup in 1996. The resulting Kiss Alive/Worldwide/Reunion Tour was the top-grossing act of 1996 and 1997. Criss and Frehley have since left Kiss again, but the band continues with Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer. Stanley and Simmons have remained the only two constant members.Kiss have also been named in many “Top” lists. They include Number 10 on VH1′s ’100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock’,9th on ‘The Greatest Metal Bands’ list by MTV, number one on Hit Paraders’s “Top 100 Live Bands”, 56th on VH1′s “100 Greatest Artists Of All Time”, and 26th on Gibson’s “50 Greatest American Rock Bands” and Counting the 1978 solo albums, Kiss has been awarded 28 gold albums to date, and have sold more than 40 million albums in the United States, of which 20 million have been certified by the RIAA and their worldwide sales exceeds 100 million albums.