Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

I am Currently reading Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. It concerns a young businessman named Richard Mayhew who finds himself caterpaulted into a bizarre netherworld below London, after helping a seriously injured young orphan girl named Door evade two infamous and seemingly inhuman assassins, named Croup and Vandemar. Richard journeys through the mysterious world of London Below where he encounters the Rat-Speakers, who worship Rats and then travels across the mysterious Night’s Bridge, with his Rat-Speaker friend and guide, Anaesthesia before arriving at the Floating Market, a giant bazaar where people barter for all manner of magical items. He is reunited with Door at the Floating Market, and They are joined by The legendary bodyguard and fighter “Hunter”.

Door, the Marquis, Hunter and Richard then set off on a perilous quest through London Below to find the Angel Islington (who is the protector of London Below) the company also retrieves a unique key from the Black Friars. The two return to Hunter at the Museum. Meanwhile the Marquis seeks out Croup and Vandemar, exchanging a priceless Tang dynasty figurine for information regarding the murder of Door’s family. However Croup and Vandemar betray and kill the Marquis. Upon meeting the Black Friars, Door, Richard and Hunter are faced with three ordeals. They gain the key and return to the Floating Market, where Hammersmith, a blacksmith friend of Door’s secretly forges a copy of the key. Door, Richard and Hunter then meet the mysterious Lamia, one of the vampire-like Velvets who promises to guide them to the angel’s residence but may not be entierly trustworthy.

Then Hunter betrays Door and takes her to Croup and Vandemar, in exchange for the magical spear she needs to hunt and slay the great Beast of London. So Croup, Vandemar and Door travel, toward the great labyrinth through which they need to pass to reach Islington, with Richard, the Marquis, and Hunter not far behind. In the labyrinth they confront the Beast of London and also learn that Islington has an ulterior motive. Then Croup and Vandemar, coerce Door into opening the door to Heaven, and things get very exciting…

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Ray Harryhausen

American-British artist, designer, visual effects creator, writer, and producer “Ray” Harryhausen was born June 29, 1920 in Los Angeles, California. He was greatly inspired After having seen King Kong (1933) on its initial release for the first of many times, and spent his early years experimenting in the production of animated shorts, inspired by science. The scenes utilising stop-motion animation (or model animation), those featuring creatures on the island or Kong, were the work of pioneer model animator Willis O’Brien. His work in King Kong inspired Harryhausen, and a friend arranged a meeting with O’Brien for him. O’Brien critiqued Harryhausen’s early models and urged him to take classes in graphic arts and sculpture to hone his skills. Meanwhile, Harryhausen became friends with an aspiring writer, Ray Bradbury, with similar enthusiasms. Bradbury and Harryhausen joined the Los Angeles-area Science Fiction League formed by Forrest J. Ackerman in 1939, and the three became lifelong friends. Harryhausen secured his first commercial model-animation job, on George Pal’s Puppetoons shorts, based on viewing his first formal demo reel of fighting dinosaurs from a project called Evolution of the World which was never finished.

During World War II, Harryhausen served in the United States Army Special Services Division under Colonel Frank Capra, as a loader, clapper boy, gofer and later camera assistant, whilst working at home animating short films about the use and development of military equipment. During this time he also worked with composer Dimitri Tiomkin and Ted Geisel (“Dr. Seuss”). Following the war he salvaged several rolls of discarded 16 mm surplus film from which he made a series of fairy tale-based shorts, which he called his “Teething-rings”.

One of Harryhausen’s most long-cherished dreams was to make H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds. After World War II, he shot a scene of an alien emerging from a Martian cylinder showing the fearsome being from Mars fatally succumbing to an earthly illness, contracted from the air the natives breathe harmlessly. It was part of an unrealized project to adapt the story using Wells’ original “octopus” concept for the Martians. In 1947 Harryhausen was hired as an assistant animator on what turned out to be his first major film, Mighty Joe Young (1949). O’Brien ended up concentrating on solving the various technical problems of the film, leaving most of the animation to Harryhausen. Their work won O’Brien the Academy Award for Best Special Effects that year.

Ray Harryhausen first film featuring his technical effects was The Beast from 20,000 Fathom based on a story by The writer Ray Bradbury, who was a long-time friend of Harryhausen. This was about a dinosaur drawn to a lone lighthouse by its foghorn. Because the story for Harryhausen’s film featured a similar scene, the film studio bought the rights to Bradbury’s story to avoid any potential legal problems. To film Beast from 20,000 fathoms  Harryhausen used a technique  called “Dynamation” that split the background and foreground of pre-shot live action footage into two separate images into which he would animate a model or models so seemingly integrating the live-action with the models. The background would be used as a miniature rear-screen with his models animated in front of it, re-photographed with an animation-capable camera to combine those two elements together, the foreground element matted out to leave a black space. Then the film was rewound, and everything except the foreground element matted out so that the foreground element would now photograph in the previously blacked out area. This created the effect that the animated model was “sandwiched” in between the two live action elements, right into the final live action scene.

In most of Harryhausen’s films, model animated characters interact with, and are a part of, the live action world, with the idea that they will cease to call attention to themselves as only “animation.” Most of the effects shots in his earliest films were created via Harryhausen’s careful frame-by-frame control of the lighting of both the set and the projector. This dramatically reduced much of degradation common in the use of back-projection or the creation of dupe negatives via the use of an optical printer. Harryhausen’s use of diffused glass to soften the sharpness of light on the animated elements allowed the matching of the soft background plates far more successfully than Willis O’Brien had achieved in his early films, allowing Harryhausen to match live and miniature elements seamlessly in most of his shots. By developing and executing most of this miniature work himself, Harryhausen saved money, while maintaining full technical control. Harryhausen then began working with color film to make The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, experimenting with color film stocks to overcome the color-balance-shift problems. Ray’s producer/partner Charles H. Schneer coined the word Dynamation as a “merchandising term” (modifying it to “SuperDynaMation” and then “Dynarama”. Harryhausen was always heavily involved in the pre-production conceptualizing of each film’s story, script development, art-direction, design, storyboards, and general tone of the his films, as much as any auteur director would have on any other film, which any “director” of Harryhausen’s films had to understand and agree to work under. Only the complexities of Director’s Guild rules in Hollywood prevented Harryhausen from being credited as the director of his films, resulting in the more modest credits he had in most of his films.

Harryhausen’s often worked with his family His father did the machining of the metal armatures (based on his son’s designs) that were the skeletons for the models and allowed them to keep their position, while his mother assisted with some miniature costumes. After Harryhausen’s father died in 1973, Harryhausen contracted An occasional assistant, George Lofgren, a taxidermist, assisted Harryhausen with the creation of furred creatures. Another associate, Willis Cook, built some of Harryhausen’s miniature sets. Other than that, Harryhausen worked generally alone to produce almost all of the animation for his filmsThe same year that Beast was released, 1953, fledgling film producer Irwin Allen released a live action documentary about life in the oceans titled The Sea Around Us, which won an Oscar for best documentary feature film of that year. Harryhausen then worked on Allen’s sequel. He also met producer Charles H. Schneer, Their first tandem project was It Came from Beneath the Sea (aka Monster from Beneath the Sea, 1955), about a giant octopus attacking San Francisco. followed by Earth vs. the Flying Saucers. In 1954, Irwin Allen began work on a second feature-length documentary film, about animal life on land called The Animal World Needing an opening sequence about dinosaurs, Allen hired premier model animator Willis O’Brien and Harryhausen to animate the dinosaurs, many agreed that the dinosaur sequence of Animal World was the best part of the entire movie. (Animal World is available on the DVD release of O’Brien’s 1957 film The Black Scorpion).

Harryhausen then made 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957), about an American spaceship returning from Venus. The spaceship crashes into the ocean near Italy, which releases an on-board alien egg specimen that washes up on shore. The egg soon hatches a creature that, in Earth’s atmosphere, rapidly grows to gigantic size running amok  and terrifying the citizens of Rome. He refined and improved his animation techniques still further for the Venusian Ymir alien. Harryhausen then developed a technique to maintain proper color balances for his DynaMation process, resulting in The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958) The Three Worlds of Gulliver (1960), Mysterious Island and Jason and the Argonauts (1963). Among the film’s best sequences is an exciting fight between three actors and seven living skeletons, And the confrontation with Talos the bronze giant. Harryhausen next made First Men in the Moon (1964), his only film made in the 2.35:1 widescreen (AKA “CinemaScope”) format, based on the novel by H. G. Wells. Harryhausen was then hired by Hammer Film Productions to animate the dinosaurs for One Million Years B.C. (1966) featuringRaquel Welch in her second film. Harryhausen next went on to make another dinosaur film, The Valley of Gwangi.  This is Set in Mexico, and features cowboys who discover a forbidden valley inhabited by dinosaurs and manage to capture a living Allosaurus and bring him to the nearest Mexican city for exhibition. However the creature, escapes and wreaks havoc on the town. Harryhausen’s next film wasThe Golden Voyage of Sinbad, featuring a sword fight involving a statue of the six-armed goddess Kali this was followed by Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger. Harryhausen and Shneer’s next film was Clash of the Titans featuring stars such as Laurence Olivier Ursula Andress, Burgess Meridith and Harry Hamlin and for which he was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Special Effects. This features Perseus and his efforts to save the beautiful princess Andromeda from being sacrificed to the fearsome Kraken by undertaking a perilous journey to the Isle of the Dead Where he confronts the equally fearsome gorgon Medusa. sadly more sophisticated computer-assisted technology developed by ILM and others began to eclipse Harryhausen’s production techniques, with MGM and other studios refusing to fund his planned sequel, Force of the Trojans, sO Harryhausen and Schneer Retired from filmmaking.

In the early 1970s, Harryhausen also published a book, Film Fantasy Scrapbook (produced in three editions as his last three films were released) and supervising the restoration and release of his films to video, laserdisc, DVD, and Blu-ray. A second book followed, An Animated Life, written with author and friend Tony Dalton which details his techniques and history. This was then followed in 2005 by The Art of Ray Harryhausen, featuring sketches and drawings for his many projects. In 2008 Harryhausen and Dalton published a history of stop-motion model animation, A Century of Model Animation and to celebrate Harryhausen’s 90th birthday The Ray & Diana Harryhausen Foundation published Ray Harryhausen – A Life in Pictures. In 2011 the last volume, called Ray Harryhausen’s Fantasy Scrapbook, was also published. Harryhausen continued his lifelong friendship with Ray Bradbury until Bradbury’s death in 2012. Another long-time close friend was “Famous Monsters of Filmland” magazine editor, book writer, and sci-fi collector Forrest J Ackerman, another friend was long-time producer, Charles H. Schneer, who lived next door to him in a suburb of London until Schneer moved full-time to the USA. Harryhausen and Terry Moore appeared in small comedic cameo roles in the 1998 remake of Mighty Joe Young, and he has also provided the voice of a polar bear cub in the Will Ferrell film Elf. He also appears as a bar patron in Beverly Hills Cop III, and as a doctor in the John Landis film Spies Like Us. In 2010, Harryhausen had a brief cameo in Burke & Hare, a British film also directed by Landis. In 1986 Harryhausen formed The Ray & Diana Harryhausen Foundation, a registered charity in the UK and US, which preserves all of his collection and promotes the art of stop-motion animation. In 2002, young animators Seamus Walsh and Mark Caballero helped Harryhausen complete The Story of the Tortoise and the Hare. This was the sixth and final installment of the Harryhausen fairy tales. The film was started in 1952 and completed in 2002, 50 years later and went on to win the 2003 Annie award for best short film and gained worldwide attention. Ray Harryhausen was also given a special tribute at The BFI Southbank theater which was attended by all the top visual effects directors and technicians and was hosted by director John Landis. At this event he was presented by Peter Jackson with a special BAFTA award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. In 2009, he released colorized DVD versions of three of his classic black and white Columbia films: 20 Million Miles to Earth, Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, and It Came from Beneath the Sea, and of She (1935), in tribute to its producer Merian C. Cooper.In June 2010, it was announced that the Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation had agreed to deposit the animator’s complete collection of some 50,000 pieces with the National Media Museum in Bradford, England.

Ray Harryhausen sadly died on May 7, 2013 however his influence on today’s film makers is enormous, with luminaries; Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Peter Jackson, George Lucas, John Landis and Nick Park citing Harryhausen as being the man whose work inspired their own creations. ( I used to really enjoy watching his films and then try making my own dinosaurs and monsters out of Plasticine)”. Peter Lord of Aardman animation also said  that Harryhausen was “a one-man industry and a one-man genre”. Shaun of the Dead director Edgar Wright said “I loved every single frame of Ray Harryhausen’s work … He was the man who made me believe in monsters.”  George Lucas also said, “Without Ray Harryhausen, there would likely have been no Star Wars”.Terry Gilliam said, “What we do now digitally with computers, Ray did digitally long before but without computers. Only with his digits.” James Cameron also paid tribute by saying, “I think all of us who are practitioners in the arts of science fiction and fantasy movies now all feel that we’re standing on the shoulders of a giant. If not for Ray’s contribution to the collective dreamscape, we wouldn’t be who we are.”

Ray Harryhausen left his collection, which includes all of his film related artefacts to the Ray & Diana Harryhausen Foundation, set up in 1986 to look after his extensive collection, to protect his name and to further the art of model stop-motion animation. The trustees are his daughter Vanessa Harryhausen, Simon Mackintosh, actress Caroline Munro who appeared in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad and film maker John Walsh who first met with Ray Harryhausen in 1988 as a film student of the London Film School and made a documentary entitled Ray Harryhausen: Movement Into Life narrated by Doctor Who actor Tom Baker (who also appeared in the Golden Voyage of Sinbad. The Foundation’s website charts progress on the restoration of the collection and future plans for Ray’s legacy. In 2016 the foundation launched The Ray Harryhausen Podcast. This included never before heard audio from Ray Harryhausen. Hosted by Collections Manager Connor Heaney and John Walsh. In 2013, the RH foundation and Arrow Films released a feature-length biography of Harryhausen and his films called “Ray Harryhausen – Special Effects Titan” on Blu-Ray. Featuring photos, artifacts, and film clips culled directly Harryhausen’s estate and never before seen by the public. a major exhibition of Ray Harryhausen’s models Entitled “Ray Harryhausen – Mythical Menagerie” the exhibition will open to the public from July 29th at the Science Museum Oklahoma. An exhibition at Tate Britain from the 26th June to the 19th November 2017 also features work from the Harryhausen collection and short film made by John Walsh on the restoration of a painting owned by Harryhausen which influenced his work.

In 1992 The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded Ray Harryhausen a Gordon E.Sawyer Award to acknowledge Harryhausen’s contribution to the film industry and for “technological contributions to the industry. He also made” A long series of appearances at film festivals, colleges, and film seminars around the world soon followed as Harryhausen met many of the millions of people who had grown up enjoying his work.The work of Ray Harryhausen was celebrated in an exhibition at London’s Museum of the Moving Image (MOMI) in 1990. In 2010 A theater at Sony Pictures Digital Productions was named in honor of Harryhausen.The Science Fiction Hall of Fame inducted Harryhausen in 2005,  He also received the annual British Fantasy Society Wagner Award in 2008 for his lifetime contribution to the genre and in 2003, Harryhausen was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Hal Lindes (Dire Straits)

Hal Lindes, The American-English singer-songwriter and former guitarist with Dire Straits , Was Born 30 June 1953. Dire Straits were formed in 1977 by Brothers Mark (lead vocals and lead guitar)and David Knopfler (rhythm guitar and backing vocal), and friends John Illsley (bass guitar and backing vocals, and Pick Withers (drums and percussion), they recorded a five-song demo tape which included their future hit single, “Sultans of Swing”, as well as “Water of Love”, “Down to the Waterline”, “Wild West End” and David Knopfler’s “Sacred Loving”.

The group’s first album, was intitled Dire Straits the album had little promotion when initially released in the United Kingdom However, the album came to the attention of A&R representative Karin Berg, working at Warner Bros. Records in New York City. She felt that it was the kind of music audiences were hungry for, That same year, Dire Straits began a tour as opening band for the Talking Heads after the re-released “Sultans of Swing” which scaled the charts to number four in the United States and number eight in the United Kingdom. The song was one of Dire Straits’ biggest hits and became a fixture in the band’s live performances. “ Recording sessions for the group’s second album, Communiqué, took place in December 1978, Released in June 1979 Communiqué Featured the single “Lady Writer”, the second album continued in a similar vein as the first and displayed the expanding scope of Knopfler’s lyricism on the opening track, “Once Upon a Time in the West”. In 1980, Dire Straits were nominated for two Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for “Sultans Of Swing.

In July 1980 the band started recording tracks for their third album. Making Movies which featured longer songs with more complex arrangements, a style which would continue for the rest of the band’s career. The album featured many of Mark Knopfler’s most personal compositions. The most successful chart single was “Romeo and Juliet” and was released in October 1980. Dire Straits’ fourth studio album Love Over Gold, an album of songs filled with lengthy, experimental passages, was well received when it was released in September 1982, going gold in America and spending four weeks at number one in the United Kingdom, its main chart hit, “Private Investigations”, gave Dire Straits their first top 5 hit single in the United Kingdom, where it reached the number 2 position despite its almost seven-minute length, and became another of the band’s most popular live songs. along with “Industrial Disease”, a song that looks at the decline of the British manufacturing industry in the early 1980s. In 1983, a four-song EP titled ExtendedancEPlay was released while Love Over Gold was still in the album charts. It featured the hit single “Twisting By the Pool”. Dire Straits also embarked on a world tour. wgich resulted in The double album Alchemy Live, a recording of two live concerts of the group at London’s Hammersmith Odeon in July 1983, was released in March 1984.

Dire Straits returned to the recording studios at the end of 1984 to record their biggest selling album to date, Brothers in Arms, which has so far sold over 30 million copies and contains the songs “Money for Nothing”, “Walk of Life”, “So Far Away”, “Your Latest Trick” and “Brothers in Arms”. Released in May 1985, Brothers In Arms entered the UK Albums Chart at number 1 and spent a total of 228 weeks in the charts, It went on to become the best-selling album of 1985 in the UK, “Money for Nothing” was also the first video ever to be played on MTV in Britain and featured guest vocals by Sting, who is credited with co-writing the song with Mark Knopfler, although in fact, it was just the inclusion of the melody line from “Don’t Stand So Close To Me”.Brothers in Arms was among the first albums recorded on digital equipment due to Knopfler pushing for improved sound quality The album’s title track is reported to be the world’s first CD single. The album is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the first compact disc to sell a million copies, and has been credited with helping to popularise the CD forma

Their sound drew from a variety of musical influences, including jazz, folk, blues, and came closest to beat music within the context of rock and roll. Despite the prominence of punk rock during the band’s early years, the band’s stripped-down sound contrasted with punk, demonstrating a more “rootsy” influence that emerged out of pub rock. Many of Dire Straits’ compositions were melancholic and they have gone on to became one of the world’s most commercially successful bands, with worldwide album sales of over 120 million. making them One of the world’s best selling music artists, and their fifth album, Brothers in Arms, has won many accolades. In November 2009, Dire Straits were honoured by the new PRS for Music Heritage Award. A special blue plaque was erected at Farrer House, Church Street, Deptford in south London, where the original group, Mark Knopfler, David Knopfler, John Illsley and Pick Withers once shared a council flat and performed their first ever gig in 1977. PRS for Music has set up the Heritage Award to recognise the unusual “performance birthplaces” of famous bands and artists. Dire Straits have also won numerous music awards during their career, including four Grammy Awards, three Brit Awards—winning Best British Group twice, and two MTV Video Music Awards. The band’ most popular songs include “Sultans of Swing”, “Romeo and Juliet”, “Tunnel of Love”, “Private Investigations” .Dire Straits’ career spanned 18 years. Mark Knopfler and John Illsley were the only two original bandmates who remained until Dire Straits disbanded in 1995.

International Asteroid Day

Asteroid Day is an annual global awareness movement held on June 29. The aim of Asteroid Day is to teach people around the world about asteroids and what we can do to protect our planet, our families, communities, and future generations. Asteroid Day is held on the anniversary of the June 30, 1908 Siberian Tunguska event, the largest asteroid impact on Earth in recent history. It was co-founded by filmmaker Grigorij Richters and Dr. Brian May, Queen guitarist and astrophysicist. Over 100 astronauts, scientists, technologists and artists, including Richard Dawkins, Bill Nye, Peter Gabriel, Jim Lovell, Alexei Leonov, Bill Anders, Kip Thorne, Lord Martin Rees, Chris Hadfield, Rusty Schweickart and Brian Cox co-signed the Asteroid Day Declaration. Asteroid Day was officially launched on December 3, 2014.

In February 2014, Brian May, astrophysicist and guitarist for the rock band Queen, Composed the music for the film 51 Degrees North, which tells the story of a fictional asteroid impact on London and the human condition resulting from such an event. After screening the film at the 2014 Starmus Festival, Richters and May co-founded Asteroid Day in October of 2014 which they officially announced during a press conference with Lord Martin Rees, Rusty Schweickart, Ed Lu, Thomas Jones, Ryan Watt and Bill Nye. The event was live streamed from the Science Museum in London, the California Academy of Sciences, New York and São Paulo. The workgroup of Asteroid Day created a signatory called “100X Declaration”, which appeals to all scientists and technologists who are supporting the idea of saving the earth from asteroids. Many astronauts and cosmonauts participated in activities on the day to raise awareness about the threat posed by asteroid impacts. Institutions such as the Natural History Museum in Vienna, the American Natural History Museum, the California Academy of Sciences, the Science Museum in London, the SETI institute,the European Space Agency and the UK Space Agency, among others participated in educational activities, marking the first official Asteroid Day, June 30, 2015. The main three goals are:

1. Employ available technology to detect and track Near-Earth Asteroids that threaten human populations via governments and private and philanthropic organisations.

2. A rapid hundred-fold acceleration of the discovery and tracking of Near-Earth Asteroids to 100,000 per year within the next ten years.

3. Global adoption of Asteroid Day, heightening awareness of the asteroid hazard and our efforts to prevent impacts,

Ian Paice (Deep Purple, Whitesnake)

best known as the drummer of the English rock band Deep Purple, the English musician Ian Paice was born 29 June 1948. Since Jon Lord’s departure in 2002, he is the only continuous member of Deep Purple, and as such is the only member to appear on every album the band has released. Born in Nottingham, Ian Paice got his first drum kit at 15. He began his professional career in the late 50s playing drums in his father’s dance band. The first band he was in was called Georgie & the Rave-Ons, which after being renamed for The Shindigs released their first single featuring 17-year-old Ian Paice and George Adams. In 1966 Paice joined The MI5, which soon changed its name to The Maze and produced a number of singles, recorded mainly in Italy and France. The band featured Rod Evans, who alongside Paice was to form the original line-up of Deep Purple in February 1968. Ian Paice was also heavily involved in doing sessions for various artists from the stable of the famous 60s producer Derek Lawrence.

After Deep Purple split, Ian Paice went on to form a new supergroup, Paice Ashton Lord in 1976. The band, comprising also singer/pianist Tony Ashton, organist Jon Lord, guitarist/vocalist Bernie Marsden and bassist Paul Martinez recorded one album, Malice in Wonderland and they played only five live shows. It was put on hold in 1977, halfway through recording the group’s second album. They subsequently broke up. In August 1979, Ian Paice was asked by David Coverdale to join Whitesnake on the Japanese Tour for the Lovehunter album. He stayed with the band for almost three years. He appeared on the Whitesnake albums Ready an’ Willing (1980), Live…in the Heart of the City (1980), Come an’ Get It (1981) and Saints & Sinners (1982). This incarnation of Whitesnake also featured Jon Lord which meant three members of the Mark III line-up of Deep Purple were in Whitesnake. Following musical differences with David Coverdale, Ian Paice left Whitesnake in January 1982.

In November 1982 Ian Paice joined Gary Moore for an album date (“Corridors of Power”). It turned out so nicely that Moore’s manager came up with the idea of Moore and Paice putting a band together under Moore’s name, so that his management would take the business side of the project with Paice having a sizeable interest in the band. The collaboration turned out to be a successful one and produced a couple of albums and extensive tours. Ian Paice left Moore’s band in April 1984 to rejoin Deep Purple, and he remains in Deep Purple to the present day. In 1973 Ian Paice was among English rock musicians invited by Eddie Harris, an American jazz player, to take part in the saxophonist’s London sessions at Morgan Studios. Paice played on two songs: “He’s Island Man” and “I’ve Tried Everything” along Jeff Beck, Steve Winwood and Rick Grech. The album called E.H. in the U.K. – The Eddie Harris London Sessions, produced by Geoffrey Haslam, was released the next year thru Atlantic Records.

In 1983 Ian Paice took part in one of the first tribute recordings by symphonic orchestra paid to a rock band. Arrested – The Music of Police was a joint venture by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Don Airey and assembled rock musicians (other artists involved included Neil Murray, Graham Bonnet, Chris Thompson, Gary Moore, Roy Wood, Keth Airey and Raff Ravenscroft to name a few). The sessions took place mainly in London, primarily at Abbey Road, but also in Los Angeles. In July 1989 Ian Paice took part in George Harrison’s recording session at Friar Park, which resulted in three songs “Cheer Down”, “Cockamamie Business” and “Poor Little Girl”, which also featured Jeff Lynne, Jim Horn and Richard Tandy among others. The songs were recorded for the compilation album Best of Dark Horse 1976-1989, released in October the same year. The purpose of this album was to close Harrison’s contractual obligations to Warner Brothers. “Cheer Down” was also released on the Lethal Weapon 2 (1989) soundtrack album.

In March 1999 Ian Paice joined Paul McCartney at Abbey Road Studios for the recording of Run Devil Run, released in October that year. The line-up also featured Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour and The Pirates’ Mick Green. Paice also joined the album’s line-up at three one-off performances in September and December 1999, including a show at the famous Cavern Club. In 2001 Ian Paice guested Jim Capaldi’s album Living on the Outside. He plays on a 1960s style rock and roll song “Anna Julia” and guitar-driven “We’re Not Alone”. “Anna Julia”, which was also released as a single and turned out a considerable hit, also features George Harrison and Paul Weller. Ian Paice has worked on numerous occasions with former Spencer Davis Group drummer, Pete York. In December 2001 the two played a low key club tour of Germany, playing two drums on one stage, supported by Colin Hodgkinson (bass) and Miller Anderson (guitar, vocals). Apart from the regular setlist consisting of songs from York’s and Paice’s back catalogue, the shows featured impromptu drumming demonstrations and Q’s & A’s sessions.

Ian Paice often joins on stage Italian guitarist Tolo Marton, with whom he has performed on many occasions over the last decade. Marton’s live album Dal Vero (2002) features Ian Paice on Jimi Hendrix classics “Stone Free” and “Hey Joe”. Since 2005 he has also been involved in Moonstone Project led by Italian guitarist Matteo Filippini. The band performs on a regular basis mainly in Italy. They have also released two studio albums on both of which Ian Paice has guested. Time to Take a Stand (2006) featured two songs that featured both Ian Paice and Glenn Hughes, performing together for the first time since 1976. Ian Paice’s admirers includes Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith. On 21 June 2004 Smith and Paice joined forces at the launch of the London Drum Company. The next year they also played together at the Modern Drummer Festival at New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

In mid-2011 Paice took part in the all-star recording of William Shatner’s Seeking Major Tom, the actor’s fourth album, a collection of space-themed cover songs. Paice plays on a rendition of Deep Purple’s “Space Truckin’” alongside Johnny Winter. The album also features former Deep Purple guitar player, Ritchie Blackmore. On 19 June 1992 Ian Paice was among guest musicians performing at the Leukaemia Research charity concert in Oxford. The concert featured members of Bad Company and Procol Harum as well as Gary Moore and Tony Ashton. On 20 October 1992 in New York, Ian Paice played at the John Bonham Tribute alongside Jason Bonham, Tommy Aldridge, Denny Carmassi, and Frankie Banali among others. Paice performed “The Rover” off the Led Zeppelin album Physical Graffiti. Ian Paice joined Tony Ashton at two performances at the Hell Blues Festival on 10 and 11 September 1999 in Norway. The band also featured Paul Martinez on bass who had played alongside Ashton and Paice in Paice Ashton Lord in 1976/1977. The group was, however, billed as Tony Ashton & Legendary Friends. Ian Paice entertained more than 1000 people at a special charity concert in Reading. This highly successful event, which raised over £7000, was organised by Chris Wright, MD of DrumWright. The show was organised in aid of Tong-Len, which supports primary education for highly deprived children in Northern India. In 2006 Ian Paice joined Don Airey, Thomas Blug and Thijs van Leer at impromptu performances held during the ProLight+Sound fair in Frankfurt, Germany. The show included songs from the highly acclaimed Billy Cobham album Spectrum as well as songs by Deep Purple and Focus.

Since 2006 Paice is also involved in The Sunflower Jam, a London-based charity founded by his wife Jacky Paice and also involving actor Jeremy Irons. Paice is usually featured as a member of the SunflowerJam house band. He has performed there with likes of Robert Plant, Brian May, John Paul Jones, Gary Moore and Bruce Dickinson. In2007 Ian Paice held a drum clinic organised by the University of Glamorgan. The show was organised in partnership with ATRiuM the University’s Cardiff School of Creative & Cultural Industries. Commenting after the show Paice said: “ATRiuM will be a great place for young musicians to learn their craft, not to mention all the other things they’ve got going on there. This drum clinic of mine will hopefully demonstrate that drummers are also musicians, despite the jokes!”. In 2008 Paice took part in the ChildLine Rocks charity concert in London, where he played with former Deep Purple bassist Glenn Hughes for the first time since 1976 and also participated in “Rock Legends Adventure” concert in Cologne, Germany. He joined an all-stars line-up featuring Pete York, Leland Sklar, Steve Lukather, Bobby Kimball and John Miles among others. Paice played on 10 of 32 songs performed that night, including The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me”, The Beatles’ “I Saw Her Standing There” and “Come Together”, Allman Brothers Band’s “One Way Out”, Steve Wonder’s “Superstition” and Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water”.Ian Paice also appeared at the Pearl Day (Pearl drums event) at the East Midlands Conference Centre in Nottingham, UK. Apart from Paice, guests included Jerry Brown, Mark Brzezecki, Jimmy Degrasso, Darrin Mooney, and Dan Foord.

In 2009 Ian Paice joined Neil Murray, Doogie White, Jonathan Noyce, Clive Bunker and Phil Hilborne at a “Night with Jethro Tull and Deep Purple” concert in Turin, Italy. In 2010 Ian Paice, Jon Lord and Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson joined leading actors (Gillian Anderson, Julie Christie, Sinéad Cusack, Emilia Fox, Derek Jacobi, Zoe Wanamaker, James Wilby, among others) to support Survival International at the Apollo Theatre in London for fundraising event “We are One – a celebration of tribal peoples”, created by actor Mark Rylance. In 2012 Ian Paice performed at the Buddy Rich 25th Anniversary Memorial Concert at the London Palladium. He was joined on stage by the Buddy Rich Orchestra and Bruce Dickinson. Paice also appeared at the Sunflower Jam charity concert at the Royal Albert Hall, performing alongside guitarist Brian May of Queen, bassist John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin, and vocalists Bruce Dickinson and Alice Cooper.

Michael Bond (Paddington Bear)

Most famous for writing the “Paddington Bear” stories, the English author Michael Bond CBE sadly died 27 June 2017. Thomas Michael Bond, CBE was born 13 January 1926 In Newbury and raised in Reading, Berkshire, where his visits to Reading Station to watch the Cornish Riviera Express go steaming through started a love of trains. He was educated at Presentation College, in Reading, Berkshire. He left education aged fourteen, despite his parents’ wishes for him to go to university.

During World War II he worked in a solicitor’s office for a year and then as an engineer’s assistant for the BBC. In February 1943, Michael Bond survived an air raid in Reading. The building in which he was working collapsed under him, killing 41 people and injuring many more.  Shortly afterwards he volunteered for aircrew service in the Royal Air Force as a 17-year-old but he was discharged after suffering from acute air sickness. He then served in the Middlesex Regiment of the British Army until 1947.

Bond began writing in 1945 while stationed with the army in Cairo, and sold his first short story to the magazine London Opinion.  In 1958, after producing a number of plays and short stories and while working as a BBC television cameraman (where he worked on Blue Peter for a time), his first book, A Bear Called Paddington, was published. This was the start of Bond’s series of books recounting the tales of Paddington Bear, a bear from “darkest Peru”, whose Aunt Lucy sends him to the United Kingdom, carrying a jar of marmalade. In the first book the Brown family find the bear at Paddington Station, and adopt him, naming the bear after the railway station. By 1965, Bond was able to give up his BBC job to work full-time as a writer. Paddington’s adventures have sold over 35 million books, have been published in nearly twenty countries, in over forty languages, and have inspired pop bands, race horses, plays, hot air balloons, a movie and television series. Bond stated in 2007 that he did not plan to continue the adventures of Paddington Bear in further volumes, However, in April 2014 a new book Love From Paddington, was published. A film, Paddington (2014), based on the books, was also made, in which Bond had a credited cameo as the Kindly Gentleman.

Bond also wrote another series of children’s books, the adventures of a guinea pig named Olga da Polga, named after the Bond family’s pet, as well as the animated BBC television series The Herbs (1968). Bond also wrote culinary mystery stories for adults, featuring Monsieur Pamplemousse and his faithful bloodhound, Pommes Frites. Bond also wrote a Reflection on the Passing of the Years shortly after his 90th birthday. The piece was read by David Attenborough, who also turned 90 in 2016, at the national service of thanksgiving to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday at St Paul’s Cathedral in June 2016.

More than 35 million Paddington books have sold around the world and the characters have also featured in film and on television. Bond was made a CBE in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours. His first book was published in 1958, and his last in 2015, a span of nearly 60 years. In 1997 Bondwas made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to literature in 1997, and Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours. On 6 July 2007 the University of Reading awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Letters.

 

Clint Boon (Inspiral Carpets)

Famous for being the keyboards player (and sometimes vocalist) with alternative rock band Inspiral Carpets, the English musician and D.J.Clint Boon was born 28th June 1959. The Inspiral Carpets were formed by Graham Lambert and Stephen Holt in 1983. The band is named after a clothing shop on their Oldham estate. Their sound is based around psychedelic keyboards and guitars. They came to prominence, alongside bands like The Stone Roses and Happy Mondays, in the ‘Madchester’ scene of the late 1980s. After a flexi-disc featuring Garage Full Of Flowers given free with Manchester’s Debris magazine in 1987, followed by the Cow cassette, their first release proper, the 1988 Planecrash EP on the Playtime label received much airplay from Radio 1 DJ John Peel, who asked the band to record a session for his show. At the time of their initial success, the band earned some notoriety for their squiggly-eyed cow T-shirts; They reworked their single “Find Out Why” as the theme tune to the 8:15 from Manchester.

As their popularity grew, Playtime’s distributor Red Rhino Records went bust, leading the band to form their own label, Cow Records in March 1989, the labels’ first release being the Trainsurfing EP. After a handful of singles on their own label, the last of which, “Move”, came close to the UK top 40, they signed a deal with Mute Records, and immediately had their first top 40 chart success in the UK with “This Is How It Feels”, which is a song about unemployment and touches on themes of domestic violence. The single reached #14 in the singles chart, and debut album Life reached #2 in the album chart, both in 1990.The following year’s the band released The Beast Inside featuring The songs “Caravan” and “Please be Cruel”. The band gained astrong following in Portugal, Germany, and Argentina, with the band’s 1992 album Revenge of the Goldfish featured the songs She comes in the Fall and Dragging me Down. The next album, Devil Hopping (1994) reached number 10 in the album chart, with “Saturn 5″ and “I Want You” giving them top 20 hits, from that LP. (The latter’s single version featured Mark E. Smith). Next single “Uniform” and sadly in 1995, after the release of a Singles collection, the band were dropped by Mute, and split up soon after.

After the Inspiral Carpets split in 1995, Boon went on to form The Clint Boon Experience releasing two albums under this name – The Compact Guide to Pop Music and Space Travel (1999), and Life in Transition (2000). In this year the band released the single “Do What You Do (Earworm Song)”, which featured Fran Healy, the lead singer of the band Travis. Boon made a cameo appearance on the 2002 film, 24 Hour Party People as a train conductor. He lso worked with Cosgrove Hall providing voice-overs and music for the Engie Benjy cartoon series. Boon has his own record label, ‘Booney Tunes’, signing artists such as Elaine Palmer, and has also been a regular DJ at a number of nightclubs around England, and in Wrexham, North Wales. He rejoined the Inspiral Carpets for two sell-out tours in 2002 and 2003. Boon is still a presenter on Xfm Manchester. He hosts the afternoon show from Monday to Friday between 2pm and 5pm, and often covers Xposure. In 2008 Boon had his portrait painted by Manchester based artist Adam Hayley. The portrait represents many aspects of Boon’s life and incorporates references to his Manchester roots. The portrait was unveiled at Manchester’s Mooch Art Gallery on Oldham Street, in the Northern Quarter.