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.

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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.

Peter Paul Rubens

Rubens

German born Flemish Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens was Born 28th June 1577. He was a prolific artist and was a proponent of extravagant Baroque style that emphasised movement, colour, and sensuality, he was known for his Counter Reformation altarpieces, portraits, landscapes, and history paintingso mythological and allegorial sujects.In addition to running a studio in Antwerp that produced paintings popular with nobility and art collectors throughout Europe, Rubens was a classically educated humanist scholar and diplomat who was knighted by both Philip IV, King of Spain, and Charles I, King of England. Religion figured prominently in much of his work and Rubens later became one of the leading voices of the Catholic Counter-Reformation style of painting .In Antwerp, Rubens studied Latin and classical literature. By fourteen he began his artistic apprenticeship with Tobias Verhaeght. Subsequently, he studied under two of the city’s leading painters, Adam van Noort and Otto van een. his earliest training involved copying woodcuts by Hans Holbein the Younger and Marcantonio Raimondi’s engravings. Rubens completed his education in 1598, and entered the Guild of St. Luke as an independent master. In 1600, Rubens travelled to Venice, Italy, where he saw paintings by Titian, Veronese, and Tintoretto, before settling in Mantua at the court of Duke Vincenzo I Gonzaga. The style of Veronese and Tintoretto had an immediate effect on Rubens’s painting, and his later, mature style was profoundly influenced by Titian.

With financial support from the Duke, Rubens travelled to Rome via Florence in 1601. There, he studied classical Greek and Roman art and copied works of the Italian masters, the Hellenistic sculpture Laocoön and his Sons was especially influential on him, as was the art of Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci and Caravaggio. He later made a copy of Caravaggio’s Entombment of Christ. He recommended that his patron, the Duke of Mantua, purchase The Death of the Virgin and was instrumental in the acquisition of The Madonna of the Rosary for the Dominican church in Antwerp. Whilst invRome, Rubens completed his first altarpiece commission, St. Helena with the True Cross for the Roman church of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme. Rubens travelled to Spain on a diplomatic mission in 1603, delivering gifts from the Gonzagas to the court of Philip III. In Spain he studied the extensive collections of Raphael and Titian that had been collected by Philip II. He also painted an equestrian portrait of the Duke of Lerma during his stay . He returned to Italy in 1604, and stayed for the next four years, first in Mantua and then in Genoa and Rome. In Genoa, Rubens painted numerous portraits, such as the Marchesa Brigida Spinola-Doria and the portrait of Maria di Antonio Serra Pallavicini. He also began a book illustrating the palaces in the city, which was published in 1622 as Palazzi di Genova.

Rubens returned to Antwerp in 1608 during a period of renewed prosperity in the city, he was appointed as court painter by Albert VII, Archduke of Austria and Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia of Spain, sovereigns of the Low Countries. In 1610, Rubens moved into a new house and studio that he designed. Now the Rubenshuis Museum, in the centre of Antwerp, it accommodated his workshop and made the most of his extensive collection of paintings, and his personal art collection and library,. During this time he created.Altarpieces such as The Raising of the Cross (1610) and The Descent from the Cross (1611–1614) for the Cathedral of Our Lady which were particularly important in establishing Rubens as Flanders’ leading painter . The Raising of the Cross also demonstrates the artist’s synthesis of Tintoretto’s Crucifixion for the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice, Michelangelo’s dynamic figures, and Rubens’s own personal style. The Spanish Habsburg rulers also entrusted Rubens with a number of diplomatic missions, Between 1627 and 1630, Rubens’s diplomatic career was particularly active, and he moved between the courts of Spain and England in an attempt to bring peace between the Spanish Netherlands and the United Provinces. He also made several trips to the northern Netherlands as both an artist and a diplomat. It was during this period that Rubens was twice knighted, first by Philip IV of Spain in 1624, and then by Charles I of England in 1630. He was awarded an honorary Master of Arts degree fromCambridge University in 1629.

In 1621, the Queen Mother of France, Marie de’ Medici, commissioned Rubens to paint two large allegorical cycles celebrating her life and the life of her late husband, Henry IV, for the Luxembourg Palace in Paris. The Marie de’ Medici cycle was installed in 1625 Rubens’s reputation with collectors and nobility grew during this decade, and his workshop continued to paint monumental paintings for local patrons in Antwerp. Such as The Assumption of the Virgin Mary for the Cathedral of Antwerp. Rubens’s last decade was spent in and around Antwerp. He continued to paint Major works for foreign patrons stsuch as the ceiling paintings for the Banqueting House at Inigo Jones’s Palace of Whitehall. In 1630, he married 16-year-old Hélène Fourment who inspired the voluptuous figures in many of his paintings from the 1630s, including The Feast of Venus, The Three Graces and The Judgment of Paris . In an intimate portrait of her, Hélène Fourment in a Fur Wrap, also known as Het Pelsken Rubens’s wife is even partially modelled after classical sculptures of the Venus Pudica, such as theMedici Venus. In 1635, Rubens bought an estate outside of Antwerp, the Steen, where he spent much of his time. Landscapes, such as his Château de Steen with Hunter and Farmers Returning from the Fields, reflect the more personal nature of many of his later works. He also drew upon Pieter Bruegel the Elder for inspiration in later works like Flemish Kermis.

Sadly Rubens died 30 May 1640 from heart failure, brought on by his chronic gout. He was interred in Saint Jacob’s church, Antwerp. The artist had eight children, three with Isabella and five with Hélène; his youngest child was born eight months after his death. Rubens was a prolific artist. His commissioned works were mostly religious subjects, “history” paintings, which included mythological subjects, and hunt scenes. He painted portraits, especially of friends, and self-portraits, and in later life painted several landscapes. Rubens designed tapestries and prints, as well as his own house. He also oversaw the ephemeral decorations of the Joyous Entry into Antwerp by the Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand in 1635. His drawings are mostly extremely forceful but not detailed; he also made great use of oil sketches as preparatory studies. He was one of the last major artists to make consistent use of wooden panels as a support medium, even for very large works, but he used canvas as well, especially when the work needed to be sent a long distance. For altarpieces he sometimes painted on slate to reduce reflection problems. His fondness of painting full-figured women gave rise to the terms ‘Rubensian’ or ‘Rubenesque’ for plus-sized women.Rubens was a great admirer of Leonardo da Vinci’s work. Using an engraving done 50 years after Leonardo started his project on the Battle of Anghiari, Rubens did a masterly drawing of the Battle which is now in the Louvre in Paris.

Charlie Clouser

American singer-songwriter, composer, and record producer Charlie Clouser was born 28th June 1963. He is an American keyboardist, composer, record producer, and remixer and was a member of the industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails from 1994–2000, and is a composer for film and television. Clouser was nominated for two Grammy Awards for Best Metal Performance in 1997.Clouser plays keyboard, synthesizer, theremin, and drums. He also does music programming, engineering, and mixing. He was a member of the band Nine Inch Nails (1994–2000). Before he was in Nine Inch Nails, he was in the alternative band Burning Retna with former L.A. Guns guitarist Mick Cripps and fellow Nothing Records employee Sean Beavan. Clouser also was a member of the band 9 Ways to Sunday, which released a self-titled album in 1990.

Clouser has remixed artists such as Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Rammstein and Meat Beat Manifesto.In 2004, Clouser produced the Helmet album Size Matters. Consisting mainly of collaborations between Clouser and Page Hamilton, it was intended to be a Hamilton solo album. The first release from the collaboration, known as Throwing Punches, appeared on a soundtrack in 2003 for the film Underworld, and was credited as a Hamilton track. Clouser created one of FirstCom music’s master series discs, only sold for commercial use, in the late 1990s.Two songs programmed by Clouser were nominated for Grammy Awards in 1997: White Zombie’s “I’m Your Boogie Man” and Rob Zombie and Alice Cooper’s “Hands of Death (Burn Baby Burn),” the latter of which Clouser also co-wrote and mixed.

He alsoworked with Trent Reznor on the soundtrack of Natural Born Killers, helping record and produce a new version of “Something I Can Never Have,” the original version of which appeared on Nine Inch Nails’ Pretty Hate Machine album. Clouser’s remix of Zombie’s “Dragula” can be found on The Matrix soundtrack. Another Zombie track remixed by Clouser, “Reload”, appears on The Matrix Reloaded soundtrack. He produced the unfinished Hamilton project Gandhi.Closer provided the live synth for Alec Empire’s “Intelligence And Sacrifice” tour in 2001. He appears in the Moog documentary about electronic-music pioneer Robert Moog and composed the song “I Am a Spaceman” for the original soundtrack of that movie.Clouser has also worked as a film and television composer, scoring the Saw series of films, as well as Death Sentence (2007), Resident Evil: Extinction (2007), Dead Silence (2007), and Deepwater (2005).He composed the ending theme “Hello Zepp” for Saw. On television, he was the composer for the TV series Las Vegas (NBC), Fastlane (Fox), and NUMB3RS (CBS) as well as American Horror Story.

Mark Stoermer (The Killers)

Mark Stoemer, the bass player with The Killers was born 28 June 1977. The killers were formed in 2001, by Brandon Flowers (lead vocals, keyboards) and Dave Keuning (guitar, backing vocals). Mark Stoermer (bass, backing vocals) and Ronnie Vannucci Jr. (drums, percussion) completed the current line-up of the band in 2002.

The Killers trace their beginings to 2001, when Flowers was fired by his first band, a Las Vegas synthpop trio known as Blush Response After attending an Oasis concert at the Hard Rock Hotel during The Tour of Brotherly Love, Flowers realized his calling was to be in a rock band and began searching for like-minded musicians. He eventually came across an ad posted in a Las Vegas newspaper by Dave Keuning, a 25-year-old guitarist who had moved to Vegas from Iowa a year earlier. When the pair met they bonded over similar musical influences and immediately began writing songs together in Keuning’s apartment. In November 2001, they headed to Kill The Messenger Studio in Henderson, Nevada along with recently recruited drummer Matt Norcross to begin recording a demo; they recorded two tracks: “Mr. Brightside”, which was the first song Flowers and Keuning wrote together, and “Desperate”. A month later they recorded two more, “Under the Gun” and “Replaceable”, with Keuning’s roommate Dell Neal on bass.

Keuning and Flowers played their first live show together at an open mic night at the Cafe Espresso Roma in Las Vegas in January 2002; the pair, joined by Neal and Norcross, began playing venues around the city where they would also hand out free copies of their demo. The Killers brought a unique style to the small Vegas music scene which was predominately filled with punk, nu metal, and rap bands; one local reviewer stated, “The Killers, thankfully, don’t come across like any other band in town” and described their sound as a mix between the “pop styles of British music and the lo-fi fuzz of modern indie rock. However, The Killers, whose early live sound was also described as erratic, had, by the summer of 2002, fired drummer Matt Norcross and replaced him briefly with Brian Havens, who also was eventually fired. Bassist Dell Neal later left the band due to personal reasons.

Ronnie Vannucci Jr. joined The Killers shortly before Neal’s departure. Vannucci was well-known on the Las Vegas music scene, having played in numerous bands since a young age. It was while he was drumming for other bands including Daphne Major and Romance Fantasy in 2002 that he had met The Killers. Ronnie’s first show with the band was on August 30, 2002, at a club called The Junkyard. Playing bass for The Killers that night was Mark Stoermer, who was at this point the lead guitarist for local progressive rock band The Negative Ponies. The band were keen on Stoermer joining them on a permanent basis with full commitment, but he was reluctant to leave The Negative Ponies. However Stoermer eventually accepted the invitation to join the Killers.

The four of them would get together in Vannucci’s garage to work on song ideas. They would also sneak into the band room at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (where Vannucci was studying classical percussion) at night to practice. It was during this period that the band wrote much of their debut album Hot Fuss including hit singles “Somebody Told Me” and “Smile Like You Mean It”. The band continued playing at small venues around their hometown, often playing Sunday nights at a transvestite bar named Sasha’s (later renamed Tramps).

Braden Merrick, brothers dicvoereed their demo on a website dedicated to unsigned bands in the Las Vegas area; after attending a live show he offered to help the band find a record deal and eventually became their manager. He took the band to the San Francisco area, to Berkeley, California, to record demos with former Green Day manager Jeff Saltzman, they then sent the demo tapes out to major record labels in the US. The band was invited to perform at a number of showcases but were ultimately not signed, the band however did catch the eye of Alex Gilbert,[15] who was an A&R rep from the United Kingdom. Gilbert took a demo with him back to the UK and showed it to his friend Ben Durling, who worked at the newly formed Independent label Lizard King Records in London. Despite not yet meeting the band in person, Lizard King were quick to offer the band a deal based on the strength of the five song demo. The Killers signed with the British label in July 2003.

On August 19, 2003, the song “Mr. Brightside” premiered on DJ Zane Lowe’s BBC Radio 1 show in the UK The Killers travelled to London the following month to spend a week playing at influential live music venues across the city. On September 29, 2003, the song “Mr. Brightside” was released in the UK on a limited number of CDs and vinyl records, critical reviews of both the song and the shows were positive, NME magazine noted the band’s retro sound. Then the US began showing strong interest in the band and they were invited to play at the ASCAP CMJ Music Marathon in New York City. They eventually signed with the record company Island Def Jam

The band finished recording Hot Fuss in November 2003 with Jeff Saltzman, they decided to keep many of the previously recorded demos as they felt they had a spontaneity that re-recordings would not have. Shortly afterwards they returned to London having been invited to support British Sea Power on their UK tour, the band also worked with Alan Moulder at Eden Studios and Townhouse Studios mixing tracks for their upcoming album. They continued playing support slots during the first half of 2004 most notably touring both the US & UK with Stellastarr and opening for Morrissey on two separate occasions. The band filmed their first music video for the Spring 2004 release of “Somebody Told Me” which was to be the band’s debut single in the US and second single in the UK. The band’s first headline tour started in the UK in May 2004. During the spring and summer of 2004, the group played well-received sets at festivals across Europe and North America which helped add to their growing fanbase. The Killers released their debut album Hot Fuss on June 7, 2004 in the United Kingdom on Lizard King Records and a week later in the United States on Island Records.

The track listing differed depending on territory, in the UK and Australia “Glamorous Indie Rock and Roll” replaces “Change Your Mind” as track eight. Extensive touring and the success of the Grammy Award nominated singles “Somebody Told Me”, “All These Things That I’ve Done” and “Mr. Brightside” led to the album becoming a huge commercial success. The Killers were named The World’s Best Selling New Group at the 2005 World Music Awards, and also won the MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist and were also nominated for three Grammy Awards with Hot Fuss being nominated for Best Rock Album, in the UK they picked up an NME Award for Best International Band. The band was recognized by Rolling Stone as the “best-selling new rock band of the past year” in June 2005. Lead singer Brandon Flowers had also gained media attention, being named both Sexiest and Best Dressed Man at the NME Awards, In July 2005, The Killers performed at the Live 8 concert, playing “All These Things That I’ve Done”. Robbie Williams incorporated the song’s refrain “I’ve got soul but I’m not a soldier” into his own performance. Coldplay and U2 followed suit and, at their separate concerts played in Las Vegas, with The Killers in the crowd, incorporated the line into their songs “God Put a Smile Upon Your Face” and “Beautiful Day”, respectively.

The band fired manager Braden Merrick in 2006, Merrick later filed a lawsuit against the band for breach of contract and their new manager and lawyer Robert Reynolds for $16 million each.The band counter sued citing that Merrick’s poor management had cost them millions. The case was settled in 2009. Shortly after finishing touring for Hot Fuss, The Killers headed back into the studio to start recording their highly anticipated second studio album with producers Alan Moulder and Flood, who were working together for the first time in a decade. Sam’s Town was mostly recorded at Studio at the Palms in Las Vegas, with finishing touches added to the album at Criterion Studios, London in June 2006. Upon completion of the album, Flowers claimed he felt the band had made “one of the best albums of the past twenty years” and that he wanted the album to capture “everything important that got me to where I am today”.

The single “When You Were Young” was released in 2006 and it gaimed another two Grammy Award nominations and mostly positive reviews with many bringing attention to the influence of Heartland rock on the song Dustland Fairytale. The Killers’ second album, Sam’s Town, was named after a locals casino in the band’s hometown of Las Vegas. The Killers also recorded a live session at Abbey Road Studios for Live from Abbey Road on November 29, 2006. They performed an almost totally unplugged set, which included stripped back versions of the album’s title track “Sam’s Town”, “When You Were Young” and a rendition of the Dire Straits hit “Romeo and Juliet”. In December 2006 the band released a Christmas charity song, “A Great Big Sled”, which benefited Product Red. This has since become an annual tradition.

In February 2007, The Killers attended the BRIT Awards in the United Kingdom, where they performed “When You Were Young”. The band won two awards — Best International Group & International Album. In the same month the band’s Tim Burton-directed video for the album’s second single “Bones” won Best Video at the NME Awards. The band recorded the video for third single “Read My Mind” in Tokyo, Japan during a break in their Sam’s Town Tour, the single release was accompanied by a remix of the song by the Pet Shop Boys. The Killers also began headlining arenas including Madison Square Garden for the first time, they also headlined a number of major European festivals during 2007 including Glastonbury Festival. The band released a compilation album called Sawdust, containing B-sides, rarities and unreleased material in November 2007 including the song “Tranquilize”, a collaboration with Lou Reed, And a cover of “Shadowplay” by Joy Division which was recorded for the soundtrack to the Anton Corbijn directed biopic Control.

The band enlisted Stuart Price to produce their third studio album, he had previously remixed their songs under his Jacques Lu Cont moniker, the most notable being the remix of “Mr. Brightside”. They first met Price at his London home in 2007 to discuss the possibility of him producing some unreleased tracks for their b-sides album Sawdust, they recorded a demo of “Human” a new song that would become the eventual lead single from Day & Age which was released in October 2008 with Brandon Flowers describing the song as “Johnny Cash meets the Pet Shop Boys”. The song went on to become a huge hit worldwide, the lyric “Are we human, or are we dancer?” created much confusion and debate due to its grammar and ambiguity, with some believing the lyric was “dancers” or “denser” rather than “dancer”, Flowers explained that the line was inspired by a Hunter S. Thompson quote where he stated America was raising “a generation of dancers”.

The Killers’ third album, Day & Age, was released on November 18, 2008. Brandon Flowers stated that “Day & Age” was “like looking at Sam’s Town from Mars”, the band have called it their “most playful record” with the album making use of saxophones, steel drums, harpsichord & tribal chanting. It also became a huge success and contains the songs “Goodnight, Travel Well” and “A Dustland Fairytale”. The band embarked on the Day & Age World Tour, on every continent except Antarctica and headlined US festivals Lollapalooza and Coachella. In 2009 The Killers recorded their first live DVD, “Live from the Royal Albert Hall”. During 2010 The Killers band members devoted themselves on solo projects. sadly in 2010, Flowers’ mother died after a two-year fight with brain cancer. The Day & Age tour finished in Melbourne as the headline act at the Good Vibrations Festival at Flemington Racecourse.

In 2011 the Killers headlined the new International Lollapalooza Festival in Santiago, Chile and performed at the season closing Top of the Mountain concert in Ischgl, Austria on April 30, 2011. They headlined Hard Rock Calling for the second time in Hyde Park, London on June 24, 2011 and The Killers were also the inaugural headliner of the new Orlando Calling Festival in Orlando, FL on November 12, 2011. Sadly In April 2012, Tommy Marth, who had played saxophone on the band’s Sam’s Town and Day & Age albums, toured with the band during their Day & Age World Tour and can be seen performing with the band on the Live From The Royal Albert Hall DVD, committed suicide at his Las Vegas home. The band released their fourth successful studio album “Battle Born” in 2012, produced by Steve Lillywhite, Damian Taylor, Brendan O’Brien, Stuart Price and Daniel Lanois featuring the single “Runaways”. They also headlined Saturday night at the inaugural Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware. The band’s Battle Born World Tour includedAmerica, Europe, Australia, Russia and China. They also headlined festivals across Europe, Australia, South America & North America. In October 2013 The Killers headlined the inaugural Life Is Beautiful Festival in Las Vegas, concluding their Battle Born World Tour.

In September, 2013, exactly ten years to the day of their first show in London, The Killers released “Shot at the Night” together with their first greatest hits compilation, Direct Hits, featuring songs from all four studio albums, plus the new single “Shot at the Night” and another new song “Just Another Girl”. the band also played a number of festivals in 2014 including the opening night of the new T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas strip on April 6, 2016. the band also celebrated the tenth anniversary of their second album, Sam’s Town, by playing two nights at the Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall, which the album was named after. The Killers also wrote and performed all the instruments (minus the vocals) for the track “Mixed Signals” off Robbie Williams’ latest studio album, The Heavy Entertainment Show. In 2016, The Killers released a Christmas compilation album Don’t Waste Your Wishes with 100% of proceeds donated to the Product Red campaign.

Some of the Killers best known songs are Mr Brightside,smile like you mean it, When You were Young, Bones, Read my Mind and For Reasons Unknown. The name The Killers is derived from a logo on the bass drum of a fictitious band portrayed in the music video for the New Order song “Crystal”. studio albums which the band have released include Hot Fuss (2004), Sam’s Town (2006) and Day & Age (2008)and Battle Born. They have also released one compilation album, Sawdust (2007) and one live album and DVD titled Live from the Royal Albert Hall (2009). The Killers are set to release their fifth album, entitled Wonderful Wonderful, on September 20, 2017. The lead single, “The Man”, was released on June 14, 2017

The Killers have also performed at T in the Park, Lollapalooza, Glastonbury Festival, V Festival and performed a barnstorming set at the 2013 Isle of Wight Festival. Brandon Flowers has also released two solo albums. His second solo album “The Desired Effect” was released in May 2015 and is described as a collection of big bold and brassy Stadium Ready pop/rock anthems. To date, the band has sold over 6 million albums in the United States, over 5 million albums in the United Kingdom, and over 15 million worldwide.Some of their best known songs are Mr Brightside,smile like you mean it, When You were Young, Bones, Read my Mind and For Reasons Unknown. The Killers have also performed at T in the Park, Lollapalooza, Glastonbury Festival, V Festival, the 2013 Isle of Wight Festival and the 2017 Glastonbury Festival. They will also headline the 2017 Australian Football League (AFL)Grand Final entertainment show on September 30, 2017.