Ralph Waldo Emerson

American essayist, lecturer, and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson sadly died 27 April 1882. He was born May 25, 1802 and his formal schooling began at the Boston Latin School in 1812 when he was nine. In October 1817, Emerson went to Harvard College and was appointed freshman messenger for the president.Midway through his junior year, Emerson began keeping a list of books he had read and started a journal in a series of notebooks that would be called “Wide World”. He took outside jobs to cover his school expenses. By his senior year, Emerson decided to go by his middle name, Waldo. Emerson served as Class Poet And graduated on August 29, 1821, when he was 18. In 1826, Emerson went to seek out warmer climates, travelling to Charleston, South Carolina and St. Augustine, Florida, where he met Prince Achille Murat. Murat, the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, and they became extremely good friends and engaged in enlightening discussions on religion, society, philosophy, and government, and Emerson considered Murat an important figure in his intellectual education.

Emerson met his first wife, Ellen Louisa Tucker, in Concord, New Hampshire on Christmas Day, 1827, sadly Ellen died at the age of 20 on February 8, 1831, After his wife’s death, he began to disagree with the church’s methods, His disagreements with church officials over the administration of the Communion service and misgivings about public prayer eventually led to his resignation in 1832. Emerson toured Europe in 1833 and later wrote of his travels in English Traits (1856). Leaving on Christmas Day, 1832, sailing first to Malta, spending time in Italy, visiting Rome, Florence and Venice, before sailing north to England, Emerson met William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Thomas Carlyle. He returned to the United States on October 9, 1833, and lived with his mother in Newton, Massachusetts, until October, 1834, when he moved to Concord, Massachusetts, to live with his step-grandfather Dr. Ezra Ripley. Seeing the budding Lyceum movement, Emerson saw a possible career as a lecturer. On November 5, 1833, he made the first of what would eventually be some 1,500 lectures, discussing The Uses of Natural History in Boston. This was an expanded account of his experience in Paris.

Emerson formulated the philosophy of Transcendentalism in his 1836 essay Nature. His first two collections of essays – Essays: First Series and Essays: Second Series include Self-Reliance, The Over-Soul, Circles, The Poet andExperience. In May 1843 Emerson purchased a 90-acre (360,000 m2) farm in Harvard, Massachusetts, for what would become Fruitlands, a community based on Utopian ideals inspired in part by Transcendentalism. The farm would run based on a communal effort, using no animals for labor; its participants would eat no meat and use no wool or leather. In 1844, Emerson published his second collection of essays, entitled “Essays: Second Series.” This collection included “The Poet,” “Experience,” “Gifts,” and another essay entitled “Nature,” Emerson made a living as a popular lecturer And by the 1850s he was giving as many as 80 per year.Emerson was also introduced to Indian philosophy when reading the works of French philosopher Victor Cousin. He also read the Bhagavad Gita and Henry Thomas Colebrooke’s Essays on the Vedas, which influenced much of his writing. From 1847 to 1848, he toured England, Scotland, and Ireland.He also visited Paris between the February Revolution and the bloodyJune Days. On May 21 he stood on the Champ de Mars in the midst of mass celebrations for concord, peace and labor and this trip influenced Emerson’s later work. His 1856 book English Traits is based largely on observations recorded in his travel journals and notebooks. Emerson later came to see the American Civil War as a ‘revolution’ that shared common ground with the European revolutions of 1848. In February 1852 Emerson, James Freeman Clarke and William Henry Channing edited an edition of the works and letters of Margaret Fuller, and In 1855 he published an innovative poetry collection called Leaves of Grass.

Emerson—earned the nicknamed the Concord Sage— and became the leading voice of intellectual culture in the United States because of his ability to influence and inspire others, his work not only influenced his contemporaries, such as Walt Whitman and Henry David Thoreau, but would continue to influence thinkers and writers worldwide to the present. Notable thinkers who recognize Emerson’s influence include Nietzsche and William James. Walt Whitman, and Henry David Thoreau. Several of Emerson’s poems were included in Bloom’s The Best Poems of the English Language and Self-Reliance, Circles, Experience, and Conduct of Life” are considered his best essays. Emerson was staunchly anti-slavery and from 1837 give a number of lectures during the pre-Civil War years and in 1844. He gave a number of speeches and lectures, and welcomed John Brown to his home during Brown’s visits to Concord. Emerson believed in immediate emancipation of the slaves. In 1860, Emerson published The Conduct of Life, his seventh collection of essays. In this book, Emerson “grappled with some of the thorniest issues of the moment,” and “his experience in the abolition ranks is a telling influence in his conclusions.

Emerson also embraced the idea of war as a means of national rebirth and in 1862 he visited Washington, D.C, and gave a public lecture at the Smithsonian and also met Lincoln at the White House. Lincoln was familiar with Emerson’s work, having previously seen him lecture.Emerson’s misgivings about Lincoln began to soften after this meeting. In 1865, he spoke at a memorial service held for Lincoln in Concord. Emerson also met a number of high-ranking government officials, including Salmon P. Chase, the secretary of the treasury, Edward Bates, the attorney general, Edwin M. Stanton, the secretary of war, Gideon Welles, the secretary of the navy, and William Seward, the secretary of state. On May 6, 1862, Emerson’s protégé Henry David Thoreau died of tuberculosis at the age of 44 and Emerson delivered his eulogy. Another friend, Nathaniel Hawthorne, died in 1864. Emerson served as one of the pallbearers as Hawthorne was buried in Concord. That same year Emerson was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

From 1867, Emerson’s health began declining; he wrote much less in his journals and also started having memory problems then in 1872 Emerson’s Concord home caught fire And theEmersons ended up staying with family at the Old Manse, The fire marked an end to Emerson’s serious lecturing career; from then on, he would lecture only on special occasions and only in front of familiar audiences. While the house was being rebuilt, Emerson took a trip to England, continental Europe, and Egypt with his daughter Ellen, and returned in 1873 on the ship Olympus along with friend Charles Eliot Norton. In late 1874 Emerson published an anthology of poetry called Parnassus. Sadly Emerson ceased his public appearances by 1879 and on April 21, 1882, Emerson Is buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord, Massachusetts.

During his life he led the transcendentalist movement in the 19th century and was a champion of individualism and critic of the pressures of society. He published dozens of essays and gave more than 1,500 public lectures across the United States. Emerson wrote on a number of subjects, such as individuality, freedom, the ability for humankind to realize almost anything, and the relationship between the soul and the surrounding world. His essays greatly influenced many thinkers, writers and poets.

Jenna Coleman (Dr Who, Waterloo Road, Victoria)

English Actress Jenna-Louise Coleman was born 27 April 1986 in Blackpool, Lancashire, the daughter of Karen and Keith Coleman. She has an older brother named Ben. She attended Arnold School, where she was head girl. She has stated that she regrets not having a conventional university experience. While at school, Coleman wbegan her acting career at an early age as a member of a theatre company called In Yer Space, with whom she performed in the play Crystal Clear at the Edinburgh Festival. While auditioning for drama schools in 2005, she was chosen to play Jasmine Thomas in Emmerdale. She received critical acclaim for her performance and was nominated for the Most Popular Newcomer award at the 2006 National Television Awards and the play was also received favourably. In an interview with the Radio Times in 2015 she revealed that her grandmother had named her Jenna after the character of Jenna Wade played by Priscilla Beaulieu Presley in the 80’s hit American drama series Dallas.

Coleman went on to play “hard girl” Lindsay James in the BBC school-based drama series Waterloo Road, Susan Brown in a BBC Four television adaptation of the John Braine novel Room at the Top, Annie Desmond in Julian Fellowes’ four part mini-series Titanic, and Rosie in Stephen Poliakoff’s original drama series Dancing on the Edge. From 2012 to 2015, Coleman portrayed Clara Oswald, companion to the eleventh and twelfth incarnations of the Doctor in the science fiction series Doctor Who. Making her first appearance in the first episode of the seventh series as Oswin Oswald, a guest character who dies at the conclusion of the episode. Coleman subsequently debuted as a series regular in the Christmas special episode “The Snowmen” as Victorian governess and barmaid Clara Oswin Oswald; like Oswin Oswald, she died. At the end of that episode, Coleman is seen playing a third version of the character, a resident of contemporary London named simply Clara Oswald. Beginning in “The Bells of Saint John” she became the Doctor’s regular companion, and accompanied the Twelfth Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi, in the 2013 Christmas special episode “The Time of the Doctor.” Until the Ninth series.

She also appeared as Lydia Wickham in the BBC drama Death Comes to Pemberley. Coleman portrayed Susan Brown in a BBC Four television adaptation of the John Braine novel Room at the Top in 2012. In 2011, she made her feature film debut in Captain America: The First Avenger. She also landed the part of Annie Desmond in Julian Fellowes’ four part mini-series Titanic, describing her character as a “cheeky little Cockney” and “the Eliza Doolittle of the ship”. Coleman provided the voice for the character Melia in the English dub of the 2011 video game Xenoblade Chronicles. In 2012, Coleman was cast as Rosie in Stephen Poliakoff’s original drama series Dancing on the Edge, which follows the fortunes of a black jazz band in the 1930s. She also starred as Lydia Wickham in the adaptation of Death Comes to Pemberley in 2013

Other notable roles include Queen Victoria in the 2016 eight part ITV drama series Victoria. Which follows the reign of the British monarch and Empress of India, Queen Victoria. ITV has renewed Victoria for a second series.

Russell T. Davies OBE (Dr Who, Cassanova)

Welsh screenwriter and television producer Russell T Davies, OBE was born 27 April 1963 in Swansea, Wales. Davies aspired to work as a comic artist in his adult life, until a careers advisor at Olchfa School suggested that he study English literature; he consequently focused on a career of play- and screen-writing. After he graduated from Oxford University, Davies joined the BBC’s children’s department in 1985 on a part-time basis and worked in varying positions, including writing and producing two series, Dark Season and Century Falls. He left the BBC in the early 1990s to work for Granada Television and later became a freelance writer.

Davies moved into writing adult television dramas in 1994. His early scripts generally explored concepts of religion and sexuality among various backdrops: Revelations was a soap opera about organised religion and featured a lesbian vicar; Springhill was a soap drama about a Catholic family in contemporary Liverpool; The Grand explored society’s opinion of subjects such as prostitution, abortion and homosexuality during the interwar period; and Queer as Folk, his first prolific series, recreated his experiences in the Manchester gay scene. His later series include Bob & Rose, which portrayed a gay man who fell in love with a woman; The Second Coming, which focused on the second coming and deicide of Jesus Christ from a mostly non-religious point of view; Mine All Mine, a comedy about a family who discover they own the entire city of Swansea; and Casanova, an adaptation of the Venetian lover’s complete memoirs starring David Tennant.

He revived and ran Doctor Who after a sixteen-year hiatus, with Christopher Eccleston, and later David Tennant, in the title role. Davies’ tenure as executive producer of the show oversaw a surge in popularity that led to the production of two spin-off series, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures, and the revival of the Saturday prime-time dramas as a profitable venture for production companies. Davies was appointed an OBE in 2008 for services to drama, which coincided with his announcement that he would step down from Doctor Who as the show’s executive producer with his final script, The End of Time (2009–10). Davies moved to Los Angeles, California in 2009, where he oversaw production of Torchwood: Miracle Day and the fifth and final series of The Sarah Jane Adventures. His other writing credits include Queer as Folk, Bob & Rose, The Second Coming,

After his partner developed cancer in late 2011, Davies returned to the UK, and co-created a new drama for CBBC, Wizards vs Aliens. His current projects are Cucumber, a Channel 4 series about middle-aged gay men in the Manchester gay scene; Banana, an E4 series about young LGBT people in the Cucumber universe; and Tofu, an online documentary series available on 4oD discussing issues which have arisen in the sister series, modern sex and sexuality with the cast and public.

The Soddit

I am currently reading The Soddit or Let’s Cash in Again, it’s  An amusing parody of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, written by A.R.R.R. Roberts. This book Follows on from Bored of the Rings and parodies Tolkien’s The Hobbit. The story starts when a peaceful Soddit called Bingo is visited by a hard-of-hearing wizard, named Gandef, and a party of dwarfs who ask Bingo to come with them on a quest to ‘The Only Mountain’ where ‘Smug the Dragon’ lives. After a few drinks, Bingo accepts, not knowing what they were actually searching for. “Gold, boyo gold, la, look you.”

On the way, they have many adventures and close shaves, including their ponies drowning in the river and losing all luggage but one helmet. They also have a nasty run in with some trollps, who plan to eat them, successfully squash four dwarfs but they annoy the wizard Gandef, who temporarily turns them to mounds of sand as opposed to real stone. They travel to the tree village of Riverdale, meeting Ellesquare and the other Tree Elves of the high council. The company then travel the mountain kingdom of Black Maria where Gandef accidentally opens the door after a particularly violent coughing fit. In the mountains, they encounter Gobblins, which are evil turkeys, who capture them, but the dwarves escape. Unfortunately a fifth dwarf dies in friendly fire from Gandef and then Bingo falls down into an abyss. Here he meets a morose philosopher named Sollum whom He challenges to a game of riddles. While with Sollum Bingo finds a magical Thing® Which he uses to escape after Sollum tries to eat him.

After reuniting with the party, the dwarfs are chased by non-sentient wolves, and hide in a tree until the pack gives up. Gandef plans to take them to a mill, which is “famous” but instead they go and stay with the fearsome and slightly eccentric, Biorn the bear-man, who is reputed to change from man to bear at night and who thinks Gandef is actually the Wizard Raddledghastly. After leaving Biorn They then enter the sinister “enchanted” forest of Mykyurwood where they encounter many perils Including bitter, political spiders in the forest who want to eat them. So Bingo uses the Thing® once again to escape, but this has unforeseen consequences. Then, they find a brewery, where they encounter morbidly obese drunken Dwarfs who are incessantly singing dispite being tone-deaf. From here they journey to Lakeside, where they go off to the Only Mountain, where Bingo meets the the not-so-fearsome dragon Smug who then travels to Lakeside with honourable intentions but causes panic instead.

Then suddenly twenty thousand gobblins, led by the Great Gobblin, arrive and attack, demanding the Thing®. However the six remaining dwarves led by Token, five hundred men led by Bart, five hundred elves led by Ellesquare and Bingo led by himself, fight back. Then Bingo tricks the Gobblins by giving them the Barking Stone, which they believe is the Thing@ and they use it. However this has hilarious consequences for the Gobblins.

Samuel Morse

Samuel Morse The American contributor to the invention of a single-wire telegraph system and co-inventor of Morse code, was born 27th April in 1791 in Charlestown Massachusetts he attended the Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, after which he went on to Yale College where he studied religious philosophy, mathematics and science of horses. While at Yale, he also attended lectures on electricity from Benjamin Silliman and Jeremiah Day, and In 1810, he graduated from Yale with Phi Beta Kappa honours.

Samuel Morse was also an accomplished painter and whilst at Yale He supported himself financially by painting. He expressed some of his beliefs in his painting “Landing of the Pilgrims”, through the depiction of simple clothing as well as the people’s austere facial features. His image captured the psychology of the Federalists; Calvinists from England brought to North America ideas of religion and government, thus linking the two countries. This work also attracted the attention of the notable artist Washington Allston. Later Morse accompanied Allstone on a three-year painting study in England, where he worked to perfect his painting techniques under Allston’s watchful eye. By the end of 1811, he gained admittance to the Royal Academy. He liked the Neo-classical art of the Renaissance particularly the works of Michelangelo and Raphael. After observing and practicing life drawing and absorbing its anatomical demands, the young artist produced his masterpiece, the Dying Hercules. Morse eventually left England on August 21, 1815, to return to the United States and begin his full-time career as a painter.

Between 1815–1825 Morse painted America’s culture and life, including the Federalist former President John Adams, hoping to become part of grander projects as the The Federalists and Anti-Federalists clashed over Dartmouth College. Morse painted portraits of Francis Brown — the college’s president — and Judge Woodward, who was involved in bringing the Dartmouth case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Morse moved to New Haven and was commissioned to paint the Hall of Congress and a portrait of the Marquis de Lafayette, who was a leading French supporter of the American Revolution. From 1830 to 1832, Morse traveled and studied in Europe to improve his painting skills, visiting Italy, Switzerland and France, Some of Morse’s paintings and sculptures are on display at his Locust Grove estate in Poughkeepsie, New York. During his time in Paris, he developed a friendship with the writer James Fennimore Cooper, and On a subsequent visit he also met Louis Daguerre and became interested in the latter’s daguerreotype — the first practical means of photography. In 1825, the city of New York Morse was commissioned to paint a portrait of Gilbert du Motier, marquis de Lafayette, in Washington.

Unfortunately whilst Morse was painting, he received a letter from his father that read one line, “Your dear wife is convalescent”. Morse immediately left Washington for his home at New Haven, leaving the portrait of Lafayette unfinished. By the time he arrived, his wife had already been buried. Heartbroken in the knowledge that for days he was unaware of his wife’s failing health and her lonely death, he moved on from painting to pursue a means of rapid long distance communication. On the sea voyage home in 1832, Morse encountered Charles Thomas Jackson of Boston, a man who was well schooled in electromagnetism. Witnessing various experiments with Jackson’s electromagnet, Morse developed the concept of a single-wire telegraph. However Morse encountered the problem of getting a telegraphic signal to carry over more than a few hundred yards of wire. His breakthrough came from the insights of Professor Leonard Gale, With Gale’s help, Morse introduced extra circuits or relays at frequent intervals and was soon able to send a message a distance of ten miles (16 km) of wire. Morse and Gale were soon joined by a young enthusiastic man, Alfred Vail, who had excellent skills, insights and money. At the Speedwell Ironworks in Morristown, New Jersey, Morse and Vail made the first public demonstration of the electric telegraph on January 11, 1838. and Today The original Morse telegraph, submitted with his patent application, is part of the collections of the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution

Morse sadly passed away on 2 April 1872 aged 80, and is buried in the Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. However his legacy lives on. His valuable contributions to science and technology has enabled people to communicate long-distance and saved many lives.  Even today Morse code is still the primary language of telegraphy and is still the standard for rhythmic transmission of data.

Kate Pierson (B-52s)

Kate Pierson, the American singer-songwriter and bass player withThe B-52’s and NiNa, Was born 27 April 1948. The B-52s were formed in Athens, Georgia in 1976. The original line-up consisted of Fred Schneider(vocals, percussion, keyboards), Kate Pierson (organ, bass, vocals), Cindy Wilson(vocals, bongos, tambourine, guitar), Ricky Wilson (guitars), and Keith Strickland(drums, guitars, synthesizers, various instruments) and cowbell player, poet and vocalist Fred Schneider played an impromptu musical jam session after sharing a tropical Flaming Volcano drink at a local Athens Chinese restaurant. Other ideas they had to name their band were the “Tina-Trons” and “Felini’s Children”. When they first jammed, Strickland played guitar and Wilson played congas. They later played their first concert (with Wilson playing guitar) in 1977 at a Valentine’s Day party for their friends.

The band’s name comes from a particular beehive hairdo resembling the nose cone of the aircraft of the same name. Keith Strickland suggested the name after a dream he had had one night, of a band performing in a hotel lounge. In the dream he heard someone whisper in his ear that the name of the band was “the B-52s.” The band’s quirky take on the new wave sound of their era was a combination of dance and surf music set apart from their contemporaries by the unusual guitar tunings used by Ricky Wilson and thrift-store chic. Their first single, “Rock Lobster”, recorded in 1978, was an underground success, which led to the B-52’s performing at CBGB and Max’s Kansas City in New York City. A rerecorded version of Rock Lobster was released as a single. In the UK and Germany it was backed with Running Around (Instrumental), which appeared on their second album Wild Planet. The buzz created by the record in the UK meant their first show in London at the Electric Ballroom, London, was packed in anticipation, with many UK pop stars such as Sandie Shaw, Green Gartside from Scritti Politti, Joe Jackson, and others in attendance. In Canada, released on the Warner Bros. label, the single went from cult hit to bona fide smash, eventually going on to reach the No. 1 position in the RPM-compiled national chart on May 24, 1980.

In 1979 The B-52’s signed contracts with Warner Bros. Records for North America, South America, Australia, and New Zealand; and with Island Records for the UK, Europe, and Asia. Chris Blackwell, founder of Island, produced their debut studio album. Recorded at Blackwell’s Compass Point Studios in The Bahamas, and released on July 6, 1979, The B-52’s contained re-recorded versions of “Rock Lobster” and “52 Girls”, six originals recorded solely for the album, and a remake of the Petula Clark single “Downtown”. According to the band interview on the DVD With the Wild Crowd! Live in Athens, GA, the band was surprised by Blackwell’s recording methods; he wanted to keep the sound as close as possible to their actual live sound so used almost no overdubs or additional effects. The album was a major success for the band, especially in Australia where it reached number three on the charts alongside its three singles “Planet Claire”, “Rock Lobster”, and “Dance This Mess Around”. In the United States, the single “Rock Lobster” reached the Billboard Hot 100 chart, while the album itself was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.

The follow-up, Wild Planet, reached number eighteen on the Billboard 200 chart in 1980 and was certified gold. “Private Idaho” became their second Hot 100 entry. On January 26, 1980, The B-52’s performed on Saturday Night Live. They also performed at the Heatwave festival (billed as the “New Wave Woodstock”) in Toronto, Canada in August 1980; and appeared in the Paul Simon film One Trick Pony. Their third release was a remix of tracks from their first two studio albums. Party Mix! took six tracks from the first two LPs and presented them in extended forms. John Lennon cited “Rock Lobster” as an inspiration for his comeback. In 1981 the band collaborated with musician David Byrne to produce a third full-length studio album. Due to alleged conflicts with Byrne over the album’s musical direction recording sessions for the album were aborted, prompting the band to release Mesopotamia (1982) as an extended play (EP), in 1991, Party Mix! and Mesopotamia, the latter of which had been remixed, were combined and released together on a single compact disc. In 1983 the band released their fourth album Whammy!; this album brought the band into synthesizer and drum machine experimentation. The album entered the Billboard 200 chart in 1983, reaching number twenty-nine during the year. “Legal Tender” reached the Billboard Hot 100 chart, as well as the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Singles chart alongside “Whammy Kiss” and “Song for a Future Generation”. After initial pressings of Whammy! were released, copyright issues with Yoko Ono led to the song “Don’t Worry” being removed and replaced on future pressings by “Moon 83″, a remixed version of the track “There’s a Moon in the Sky (Called the Moon)” from their debut album.

After taking a one year absence from their musical careers in 1984 The B-52’s regrouped in 1985 to record Bouncing off the Satellites, their fifth studio record, and in January of that year they performed in Brazil, at Rock in Rio; their largest crowd ever. During the recording, guitarist Wilson had been suffering from AIDS/HIV-related health complications. None of the other band members were aware of his illness. In an interview, fellow band member Kate Pierson stated that Wilson had kept his illness secret from his fellow band members because he “did not want anyone to worry about him or fuss about him.” On October 12, 1985 Wilson died from the illness, at the age of 32. With Cindy Wilson devastated by her brother’s death, and her bandmates too being depressed about Ricky’s passing, the band went into seclusion and did not tour to promote their album nor the group, prompting a hiatus from their musical careers. In 1987 they released a public service announcement in the style of The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover on behalf of AMFAR (The Foundation for AIDS Research).

Following Ricky Wilson’s death in 1985 Strickland switched full-time to guitar. The band subsequently added various musicians for their live shows. This included Sara Lee or Tracy Wormworth on (bass),Zachary Alford or Sterling Campbell on (drums, percussion) and Pat Irwin or Paul Gordon (keyboards & guitars).Rooted in new wave and 1960s rock and roll, the group later covered many genresranging from post-punk to pop rock. The “guy vs. gals” vocals of Schneider, Pierson, and Wilson, sometimes used in call and response style (“Strobe Light,” “Private Idaho”, and “Good Stuff”), are a trademark. Presenting themselves as a positive, fun, enthusiastic, slightly oddball and goofy party band, the B-52’s tell tall tales, glorify wild youth and celebrate sexy romance.

Ace Frehley (Kiss)

Best known as the former lead guitarist and founding member of the rock band Kiss, the American guitarist and songwriter Ace Frehley, (Kiss, Wicked Lester, and Frehley’s Comet) was born 27 April 1951. Kiss were Formed in New York City in January 1973. Kiss became known for their white and black face paint, 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.

However because of creative differences, both Criss and Frehley left the group in 1982 and The band’s commercial fortunes waned considerably by that point. After leaving Kiss in 1982, Frehley embarked on a solo career as Frehley’s Comet. However Frehley’s returned when The original line up of Kiss reunited 1996 and The resulting Kiss Alive/Worldwide/Reunion Tour became the top-grossing act of 1996 and 1997. His second tenure with Kiss lasted until 2002, when he left at the conclusion of what was purported to be the band’s Farewell Tour.

His most recent album Space Invader, was released on August 19, 2014. Guitar World magazine ranked him 14th Greatest Metal Guitarist of All Time. Frehley is also credited as the inventor of many whimsical guitars, some of which includes Gibson Les Paul guitars which emit smoke from the middle humbucker pickup, produce 360 degrees spinning pyrotechnics as well as a custom Les Paul that can emit light depending on the tempo of the song being played. He plays with a unique ‘wailing’ sound that is hailed to have influenced many other guitarists to start learning the proper usage of the vibrato on the guitar.