Stanley Kubrick (PART ONE)

SAmerican film director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer, editor, and photographer Stanley Kubrick was born July 26, 1928 at Lying-In Hospital at 307 Second Avenue in Manhattan, New York City, to a Jewish family. Kubrick began schooling in Public School 3 in the Bronx, and moved to Public School 90 in June 1938. He was interested in literature from a young age, and began reading Greek and Roman myths and the fables of the Grimm brothers which “instilled in him a lifelong affinity with Europe”He spent most Saturdays during the summer watching the New York Yankees. When Kubrick was 12, his father Jack taught him chess. The game remained a lifelong interest of Kubrick’s and he became a member of the United States Chess Federation, explained that chess helped him develop “patience and discipline” in making decisions, At the age of 13, Kubrick’s father bought him a Graflex camera, triggering a fascination with still photography. He befriended a neighbor, Marvin Traub, who shared his passion for photography and had his own darkroom, where the young Kubrick and he would spend many hours perusing photographs and watching the chemicals “magically make images on photographic paper”. They searched for interesting subjects to capture, and spent time in local cinemas studying films. Freelance photographer Weegee (Arthur Fellig) had a considerable influence on Kubrick’s development as a photographer. Kubrick was also interested in jazz, and briefly attempted a career as a drummer.

Between 1941 and 1945 Kubrick attended William Howard Taft High School where he joined the school’s photographic club, which permitted him to photograph the school’s events in their magazine. Kubrick often skipped school to watch double-feature films. While still in high school, Kubrick was chosen as an official school photographer for a year. In the mid-1940s, since he was not able to gain admission to day session classes at colleges, he briefly attended evening classes at the City College of New York Eventually, he sold a photographic series to Look magazine, Which was printed in 1945. Kubrick also supplemented his income by playing chess “for quarters” in Washington Square Park and various Manhattan chess clubs. He graduated in 1945. In 1946, he became an apprentice photographer for Look and later a full-time staff photographer. alongside G. Warren Schloat, Jr., another new photographer. Kubrick became known for his story-telling in photographs. His first, was entitled “A Short Story from a Movie Balcony” and staged a fracas between a man and a woman, during which the man is slapped in the face, caught genuinely by surprise. In another assignment, 18 pictures were taken of various people waiting in a dental office.

In1948, he was sent to Portugal to document a travel piece, and covered the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Sarasota, Florida Kubrick, a boxing enthusiast, eventually began photographing boxing matches for the magazine. His earliest, “Prizefighter”, was published in 1949, and featured Walter Cartier. he also published a photo essay, named “Chicago-City of Extremes” in Look, which displayed his talent early on for creating atmosphere with imagery. including a photograph taken above a congested Chicago street at night. In 1950 the magazine published his photo essay, “Working Debutante – Betsy von Furstenberg”, which featured a Pablo Picasso portrait of Angel F. de Soto in the background. Kubrick was also assigned to photograph numerous musicians, including Frank Sinatra , Erroll Garner, George Lewis, Eddie Condon, Phil Napoleon, Papa Celestin, Alphonse Picou, Muggsy Spanier, Sharkey Bonano, and others.

In 1948 Kubrick married his high-school sweetheart Toba Metz on MaThey lived together in a small apartment at 36 West 16th Street, off 6th Avenue, north of Greenwich Village. Kubrick began frequenting film screenings at the Museum of Modern Art and the cinemas of New York City. He was inspired by the complex, fluid camerawork of the directors Max Ophüls and Elia Kazan. Kubrick became fascinated with the art of filmmaking. He also spent many hours reading books on film theory and writing down notes. Sergei Eisenstein’s theoretical writings had a profound impact on Kubrick, and he took a great number of notes from books in the library of Arthur Rothstein, the photographic technical director of Look magazine. Kubrick shared a love of film with his school friend Alexander Singer, who Intended to direct a film version of Homer’s The Iliad. However Kubrick discovered that it would be prohibitively expensive, although he did manage to produce a few short Documentaries encouraged by Singer. Kubrick also made a short film documentary about boxer Walter Cartier, He rented a camera and produced a 16-minute black-and-white documentary, “Day of the Fight”. He considered asking Montgomery Clift to narrate it, whom he had met during a photographic session for Look, but settled on CBS news veteran Douglas Edwards and a score was added by Singer’s friend Gerald Fried.

The film was “remarkably accomplished for a first film”, and was notable for using the reverse tracking shot to film a scene in which the brothers walk towards the camera. Inspired by this early success, Kubrick quit his job at Look and visited professional filmmakers in New York City, to Study the technical aspects of film-making and gained confidence to become a filmmaker. In 1951 He began making Flying Padre, which documents Reverend Fred Stadtmueller, who travels some 4,000 miles to visit his 11 churches. The film was originally going to be called “Sky Pilot”, during the film the priest performs a burial service, confronts a boy bullying a girl, and makes an emergency flight to aid a sick mother and baby into an ambulance. Flying Padre was followed by The Seafarers (1953), Kubrick’s first color film, which was shot for the Seafarers International Union in June 1953. Kubrick also began making his first feature film, Fear and Desire which was filmed in the San Gabriel Mountains in California and concerns a team of soldiers who survive a plane crash and are caught behind enemy lines in a war. During the course of the film, one of the soldiers becomes infatuated with an attractive girl.

He also assisted producer Richard de Rochemont On a five-part television series about Abraham Lincoln shoton location in Hodgenville, Kentucky. Following Fear and Desire, Kubrick began working on ideas for a new boxing film. The subsequent film Originally entitled Kiss Me, Kill Me, and then The Nymph and the Maniac, Killer’s Kiss (1955) is a 67-minute film noir about a young heavyweight boxer’s involvement with a woman being abused by her criminal boss. Kubrick began shooting footage in Times Square, and frequently explored during the filming process, experimenting with cinematography and considering the use of unconventional angles and imagery. Alfred Hitchcock’s Blackmail (1929) directly influenced the film with the painting laughing at a character, Martin Scorsese also cited Kubrick’s innovative shooting angles and atmospheric shots in Killer’s Kiss as an influence on Raging Bull.

While playing chess in Washington Square, Kubrick met producer James B. Harris and the two formed the Harris-Kubrick Pictures Corporation in 1955. They purchased the rights to Lionel White’s novel Clean Break and hired film noir novelist Jim Thompson to write the dialog the subsequent film the Killing, was about a meticulously planned racetrack robbery gone wrong and starred Sterling Hayden, and was Kubrick’s first full-length feature film shot with a professional cast and crew including veteran cinematographer Lucien Ballard, However He clashed with Ballard during the shooting. Despite this The Killing has had a major influence on many directors, including Quentin Tarantino.

Kubrick’s next film Paths of Glory, was set during World War I, and is based on Humphrey Cobb’s 1935 antiwar novel, which Kubrick had read while waiting in his father’s office. However MGM would not finance another war picture, given their backing of the anti-war film The Red Badge of Courage. Kubrick and Harris persuaded Kirk Douglas to portray Colonel Dax. The film, shot in Munich, concerns a French army unit ordered on an impossible mission, and follows with a war trial of Colonel Dax and his men for misconduct. For the battle scene, Kubrick meticulously lined up six cameras one after the other along the boundary of no-man’s land, with each camera capturing a specific area. Paths of Glory established Kubrick’s reputation With its unsentimental, spare, and unvarnished combat scenes and its raw, black-and-white cinematography. However The film was banned in France until 1974 for its “unflattering” depiction of the French military, and was censored by the Swiss Army until 1970. Marlon Brando then contacted Kubrick, asking him to direct a film adaptation of the Charles Neider western novel, The Authentic Death of Hendry Jones, featuring Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.

Stanley Kubrick and Marlon Brando then Worked on a script begun by Sam Peckinpah for the film One-Eyed Jacks. In 1959, Kubrick received a phone call from Kirk Douglas asking him to direct Spartacus (1960), based on the true life story of Spartacus and the events of the Third Servile War. Kirk Douglas had acquired the rights to the novel by Howard Fast and starred as rebellious slave Spartacus, with Laurence Olivier as his foe, the Roman general and politician Marcus Licinius Crassus. This was Kubrick’s largest film and was at the time the most expensive film ever made in America, and Kubrick became the youngest director in Hollywood history to helm an epic. Kubrick filmed Spartacus using the anamorphic 35mm horizontal Super Technirama process to achieve ultra-high definition, allowing him to film vast panoramic scenes. However Kubrick and Douglas fell out, despite this The film established Kubrick as a major director, receiving six Academy Award nominations and winning four.

Kubrick’s first attempt at black comedy, was an adaptation of the controversial novel Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, the story of a middle-aged college professor becoming infatuated with a 12-year-old girl. starring Peter Sellers, James Mason, Shelley Winters, and Sue Lyon. Lolita was shot over 88 days at Elstree Studios, During which Kubrick often clashed with Shelley Winters. Due to its of its provocative story, Lolita was Kubrick’s first film to generate controversy and he was forced to remove much of the erotic element of the relationship between Mason’s Humbert and Lyon’s Lolita.

Kubrick’s next film was another satirical black comedy “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” (1964). During the 1950’s Kubrick had became preoccupied with the the Cold War fearing that New York City might be a likely target for the Russians. He studied over 40 military and political research books on the subject. Kubrick Bought the rights to the novel Red Alert, and collaborated with its author, Peter George. Doctor Strangelove was originally written as a serious political thriller, but Kubrick decided that a “serious treatment” of the subject would not be believable and thought the salient points were rather absurd. So Kubrick decided to make the film as “an outrageous black comedy” and reworked the script as a black-comedy, loaded with sexual innuendo. Peter Sellars ended up playing three different roles in the film. Critics were divided some calling it a “Sick, juvenile” satire. However It was voted the 39th-greatest American film and third-greatest comedy film of all time by the American Film Institute.

STANLEY KUBRICK – PART TWO

imageKubrick read Arthur C. Clarke’s science fiction novel Childhood’s End, about a superior race of alien beings who assist mankind in eliminating their old selves. after meeting Clarke in New York City in April 1964, Kubrick suggested he make the 1948 short story The Sentinel, about a tetrahedron which is found on the Moon which alerts aliens of mankind. So Clarke began writing the novel 2001: A Space Odyssey, with a screenplay written by Kubrick and Clarke. The film’s theme, the birthing of one intelligence by another, is developed in two parallel intersecting stories One depicts transitions between various stages of man, from ape to “star child”, as man is reborn into a new existence the other concerns an enigmatic alien intelligence who built a series of eons-old black monoliths as signposts. The enemy is a supercomputer known as HAL who runs the spaceship. Filming commenced in 1965, with the excavation of the monolith on the moon, footage was also shot in Namib Desert in early 1967. Kubrick also observed the spacecraft in the Ranger 9 mission for accuracy. 2001: A Space Odyssey was described as a Cinematic spectacle, giving the viewer a “dazzling mix of imagination and science” through ground-breaking effects, which earned Kubrick his only personal Oscar, an Academy Award for Visual Effects. At the time it had mixed reviews but Today, it is widely considered to be one of the greatest and most influential films ever made, and is a staple on All Time Top 10 lists. Inspiring Directors including Steven Spielberg who referred to it as “the big bang of his film making generation”.

clockwork-orangeAfter completing 2001: A Space Odyssey, Kubrick decided to film Anthony Burgess’ controversial novel A Clockwork Orange, which he had read while filming Doctor Strangelove, although he had Initially rejected it on the grounds that the slang Nadsat, was too difficult to comprehend. A Clockwork Orange is an exploration of violence and experimental rehabilitation by law enforcement authorities, based around a young thug Alex (portrayed by Malcolm McDowell) and his gang who go round committing vicious crimes and sadistic violence. The film heavily features “pop erotica” which gives it a “slightly futuristic” look. Because of its depiction of teenage violence, A Clockwork Orange became one of the most controversial films of the decade, and stirred up a debate about the glorification of violence in cinema and it received an X-rated certificate upon release, though many critics saw much of the violence depicted in the film as satirical. However Kubrick pulled the film from release in the United Kingdom after receiving death threats following a series of copycat crimes based on the film. Consequently it was not re-released in the UK until 2000. Although John Trevelyan, the censor of the film, thought that it presented an “intellectual argument rather than a sadistic spectacle” in its depiction of violence. A Clockwork Orange received four Academy Award nominations, for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Editing, and was named by the New York Film Critics Circle as the Best Film of 1971. Although William Friedkin won Best Director for The French Connection in 1971 he thought Stanley Kubrick was the best American film-maker period”.

Stanley Kubrick’s next film Barry Lyndon (1975) was an adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray’s The Luck of Barry Lyndon (also known as Barry Lyndon), a picaresque novel about the adventures of an 18th-century Irish rogue and social climber. The film was shot on location. in Ardmore, County Waterford, Ireland, however After Kubrick received death threats from the IRA in 1974 he fled Ireland with his family on a ferry from Dún Laoghaire and filming resumed in England. Barry Lyndon solidified Kubrick’s reputation for being a perfectionist and paying scrupulous attention to detail. The cinematography and lighting techniques that Kubrick and cinematographer John Alcott used in Barry Lyndon were highly innovative, interior scenes were shot with a specially adapted high-speed f/0.7 Zeiss camera lens originally developed for NASA to be used in satellite photography this allowed many scenes to be lit only with candlelight, creating two-dimensional, diffused-light images reminiscent of 18th-century paintings which were also meticulously replicated from works of the great masters for the film. Many of the fight scenes were shot with a hand-held camera to produce a “sense of documentary realism and immediacy”. Barry Lyndon was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won four, including Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, and Best Musical Score. Barry Lyndon is now considered to be one of his best, particularly among filmmakers and critics. Numerous polls, such as The Village Voice (1999), Sight & Sound (2002), and Time (2005), have rated it as one of the greatest films ever made also it has as 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 52 reviews.

Stanley Kubrick’s next film The Shining, released in 1980, was adapted from The Shining by bestselling horror writer Stephen King. The film stars Jack Nicholson as a writer who takes a job as a winter caretaker of a large and isolated Overlook hotel in the Rocky Mountains with his wife, played by Shelley Duvall, and their young son, who displays paranormal abilities. However the hotels isolation gradually sends Jack mad and there are supernatural horrors lurking in the hotel. The aerial shots of the Overlook Hotel were shot at Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood in Oregon, while the interiors of the hotel were shot at Elstree Studios in England. Kubrick gave his actors freedom to improvise, including the scene when Nicholson says ‘Here’s Johnny!’ The filming schedule was incredibly grueling with Kubrick, ever the perfectionist, insisting on up to 70 or 80 retakes of the same scene. Kubrick also intentionally argued with and isolated Duvall to produce extreme stress, she was also forced to perform the baseball bat scene 127 times”. The bar scene with the ghostly bartender was shot 36 times, while the kitchen scene between the characters of Danny (Danny Lloyd) and Halloran (Scatman Crothers) ran to 148 takes. The film was released in 1980, after which Kubrick ordered the deletion of a final scene, in which the hotel manager Ullman (Barry Nelson) visits Wendy (Shelley Duvall) in hospital. Despite being a commercial success The critical response to The Shining was mixed, King himself detested the film and disliked Kubrick. Although The Shining is now considered to be a horror classic, and the American Film Institute has ranked it as the 27th greatest thriller film of all time.

Roger Taylor (Queen)

Best known as the Drummer with Rock Band Queen Roger Taylor, was born 26th July 1949. Queen can trace their beginnings back to when Guitarist Brian May formed the band Smile with Tim Staffell as the lead singer and drummer Roger Taylor. Staffell departed in 1970 leaving the band with a catalogue of nine songs. Smile reunited on 22 December 1992. Taylor’s band The Cross were headliners, and he brought May and Staffell on to play “Earth” and “Carpenter”. Following Staffell’s departure in 1970. Freddie Mercury joined the band shortly after and changed the name of the band to “Queen” alongside, Brian May (guitar, vocals), John Deacon (bass guitar, guitars), who was recruited prior to recording their eponymous debut album, and Roger Taylor (drums, vocals). Queen’s earliest works were influenced by progressive rock, but the band gradually ventured into more conventional and radio-friendly works, incorporating more diverse and innovative styles in their music. Before joining Queen, Brian May and Roger Taylor had been playing together in a band named Smile with bassist Tim Staffell. Freddie Mercury (then known as Farrokh/Freddie Bulsara) was a fan of Smile, and encouraged them to experiment with more elaborate stage and recording techniques

Queen enjoyed success in the UK with their debut and its follow-up, Queen II (1974), but it was the release of Sheer Heart Attack (1974) and A Night at the Opera (1975) that gained the band international success. The latter featured “Bohemian Rhapsody”, which stayed at number one in the UK Singles Chart for nine weeks; it charted at number one in several other territories, and gave the band their first top ten hit on the US Billboard Hot 100. Their 1977 album, News of the World, contained two of rock’s most recognisable anthems, “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions”. By the early 1980s, Queen were one of the biggest stadium rock bands in the world, and their performance at 1985′s Live Aid is regarded as one of the greatest in rock history.

Some of Queen’s best known songs include of “Who Wants to Live Forever”, “I Want It All” ,Flash’s Theme”, “Some Day One Day”, “She Makes Me (Stormtrooper in Stilettoes)”, “’39”, “Good Company”, “Long Away”, “All Dead, All Dead”, “Sleeping on the Sidewalk”, “Leaving Home Ain’t Easy”,” Sail Away Sweet sister, “We Will Rock You”, “Tie Your Mother Down”, “I Want It All”, “Fat Bottomed Girls”, “Who Wants To Live Forever, “The Show Must Go On”, “Hammer to Fall”, “Flash”, “Now I’m Here”, “Brighton Rock”, “The Prophet’s Song”, “Las Palabras de Amor”, “No-One But You” and “Save Me”.

After the Live Aid concert, in 1985 Queen released “One Vision”. For their 1989 release album, The Miracle, the band had decided that all of the tracks would be credited to the entire band, no matter who had been the main writer. Brian May composed the songs “I Want It All” and “Scandal” (based on his personal problems with the British press). On Queen’s next album Innuendo May did some of the arrangement for the heavy solo, then he added vocal harmonies to “I’m Going Slightly Mad” and composed the solo of “These Are the Days of Our Lives”, a song for which the four of them decided the keyboard parts together. He changed the tempo and key of Mercury’s song “The Hitman”

Sadly In 1991, Freddie Mercury died of bronchopneumonia, a complication of AIDS, and Deacon retired in 1997. Since then, May and Taylor have infrequently performed together, including a collaboration with Paul Rodgers under the name Queen + Paul Rodgers which ended in May 2009.The band have released a total of 18 number one albums, 18 number one singles, and 10 number one DVDs. Two songs that May had composed for his first solo album, “Headlong” and “I Can’t Live With You”, eventually ended up on Queen albums. His other composition was “The Show Must Go On”, a group effort in which he was the coordinator and primary composer, but in which they all had input, Deacon and Taylor with the famous chord sequence. In recent years, he has supervised the remastering of Queen albums and various DVD and greatest hits releases.

In 2004, May and Taylor announced that they would reunite and return to touring in 2005, with Paul Rodgers (founder and former lead singer of Free and Bad Company). Brian May’s website also stated that Rodgers would be “featured with” Queen as Queen + Paul Rodgers, not replacing the late Freddie Mercury. The retired John Deacon would not be participating.Between 2005 and 2006 Queen and Paul Rodgers embarked on a world tour, the first leg being Europe and the second, Japan and the US in 2006. On 25 May 2006, Queen received the inaugural VH1 Rock Honors at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, and May and Taylor were joined on stage with the Foo Fighters to perform a selection of Queen songs. On 15 August 2006, May confirmed through his website and fan club that Queen + Paul Rodgers would begin producing their first studio album beginning in October, to be recorded at a “secret location”. The album, titled The Cosmos Rocks, was released in Europe on 12 September 2008 and in the United States on 28 October 2008. Following the album the band again toured through Europe and parts of the US, opening on Kharkiv’s freedom square in front of 350,000 Ukrainian fans. The show in Ukraine was later released on DVD. Queen and Paul Rodgers officially split up on 12 May 2009. Rodgers does not rule out the possibility of working together again.

Soon after performing with American Idol finalists Kris Allen and Adam Lambert during the programme’s season finale in 2009, May and Taylor contemplated Queen’s future following the amicable split with frontman Paul Rodgers. Two years later, at the 2011 MTV Europe Music Awards, Queen was presented that year’s Global Icon Award, accepted by May. As part of the broadcast, Queen performed a short set with Lambert, receiving an overwhelmingly welcoming response. In 2012 they announced a short summer tour of Europe including three dates at the Hammersmith Apollo in London, as well as shows in Ukraine, Russia and Poland. As with the partnership with Paul Rodgers, John Deacon did not participate. They performed together in 2013 at the iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on 20 September. May, Taylor and Lambert toured North America on Good Morning America. Due to ticket demand, more dates were soon added including shows in Australia and New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, UK, Europe and South America at the Rock in Rio Festival. In 2016, the group toured Europe and Asia on the Queen + Adam Lambert 2016 Summer Festival Tour and also closed the Isle of Wight Festival. they performed “Who Wants to Live Forever” as a tribute to the victims of the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. On 12 September they performed at the Park Hayarkon in Tel-Aviv, Israel in front of 58,000 people. Queen received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Phonographic Industry in 1990, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.

Mick Jagger (Rolling Stones)

Mick Jagger, English singer with Rock band The Rolling Stones was born Born 26th July 1943. Formed in London in 1962 The Rolling Stones have become one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. The group’s earliest line-up consisted of Brian Jones (guitar, harmonica), Ian Stewart (piano), Mick Jagger (lead vocals, harmonica), Keith Richards (guitar, vocals), Bill Wyman (bassist) and Charlie Watts (drummer). As of 1993, Jagger, Richards and Watts are the only remaining original members, completing the official line-up with Ronnie Wood (guitarist). In studio and live performances, Darryl Jones (bassist) and Chuck Leavell (keyboardist) also serve as a regular contributors. In the early 1950s, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger were childhood friends and classmates The Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records Jagger carried evealed a mutual interest,leading to the formation of a band with Dick Taylor (later of Pretty Things). Richards, Taylor, and Jagger found Brian Jones as he sat in playing slide guitar with Alexis Korner’s R&B band, Blues Incorporated,which also had two other future members of the Rolling Stones: Ian Stewart and Charlie Watts.

On 12 July 1962 the band played their first gig at the Marquee Club billed as “The Rollin’ Stones”.The line-up was Jagger, Richards and Jones, along with Stewart on piano, and Taylor on bass. Bassist Bill Wyman joined in December 1962 and drummer Charlie Watts the following January 1963 to form the band’s long-standing rhythm section. Due to Decca Records’ regret at not signing The Beatles, the Rolling Stones were promoted as the opposites of The Beatles by having the band pose unsmiling on the cover of the first UK album, and by planting provocative headlines in the press such as “Would you let your daughter marry a Rolling Stone? Their first single, was a cover of Chuck Berry’s “Come On” and their second sigle, was the Lennon–McCartney-penned number “I Wanna Be Your Man”; it reached No.12 in the UK charts. Their third single, Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away”, was released in February 1964.Many songs on the band’s first album The Rolling Stones, were primarily covers, the only exeption being the Jagger/Richards original – “Tell Me (You’re Coming Back)”. The band’s second UK LP – The Rolling Stones No. 2, charted at number 1 as an album, and the US version, released in February as The Rolling Stones, Now!, reached number 5, The first Jagger/Richards song to reach number 1 on the UK singles charts was “The Last Time”, Their first international number-1 hit was “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and Their second international number-1 single, “Get Off of My Cloud” was released in the autumn of 1965. The third album “Aftermath” was released in 1966, and was the first Rolling Stones album to be composed entirely of Jagger/Richards songs, and Jones’ contributions expanded To the Middle Eastern-influenced “Paint It Black”, the ballad “Lady Jane” and “Under My Thumb”. Aftermath was also notable for the almost 12-minute long “Goin’ Home”, the first extended jam on a top-selling rock & roll album.

The Stones’ success on the British and American singles charts peaked during 1966 and the single “Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow?” featured brass horns, and had the group satirically dressed in drag, the song was accompanied by one of the first purpose-made promotional film clips (music videos). January 1967 saw the release of “Between the Buttons”, which included the double A-side single “Let’s Spend the Night Together” and “Ruby Tuesday”,December 1967 also saw the release of Their Satanic Majesties Request, which was released shortly after The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and was the first album the Rolling Stones produced on their own. The band spent the first few months of 1968 working on material for their next album. Those sessions resulted in the song “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”, and the subsequent album, Beggars Banquet an eclectic mix of country and blues-inspired tunes,featuring the singles “Street Fighting Man” and “Sympathy for the Devil, and was well received. Sadly though Brian Jones was increasingly troubled and was only sporadically contributing to the band, and left in June 1969. The Stones next album Let It Bleed featured the song “Gimmie Shelter”(which would later be described by journalist Greil Marcus as “the greatest ever rock and roll recording, Other tracks include “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” “Midnight Rambler” and “Love in Vain”. The Stones next album Sticky Fingers, released in March 1971, was the band’s first album on their own label,and featured an elaborate cover design by Andy Warhol, and contains the hits, “Brown Sugar”, and “Wild Horses”.

Following the release of Sticky Fingers, the Rolling Stones moved to the South of France, and Using the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio, they held recording sessions in the basement and The resulting double album, Exile on Main St. was released in May 1972 and is widely accepted as one of the Stones’ best albums. In November 1972, the band began sessions in Kingston, Jamaica, for their follow-up to Exile, Goats Head Soup, which featured the hit “Angie”. For their next album, 1974′s It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll. The band went to Musicland studios in Munich. In 1975 following the departure of Mick Taylor, Ronnie Wood auditioned for the band, and everyone agreed that he was the right choice as he had already recorded and played live with Richards, and had contributed to the recording and writing of the track “It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll”. He joined the Rolling Stones in 1975 for their upcoming Tour of the Americas and officially joined the band the following year, after the Faces dissolved. Although the Rolling Stones remained popular through the first half of the 1970s, music critics had grown increasingly dismissive of the band’s output, and record sales declined. By the late 70s, after punk rock became influential, many criticised the Rolling Stones as decadent, ageing millionaires and their music as stagnant or irrelevant. This changed in 1978, after the band released Some Girls, which included the hit single “Miss You”, the country ballad “Far Away Eyes”, “Beast of Burden”, and “Shattered”. In part as a response to punk, many songs were fast, basic, guitar-driven rock and roll, and the album’s success re-established the Rolling Stones’ immense popularity among young people.Following the success of Some Girls, the band released their next album Emotional Rescue in mid-1980 and also released the album, Tattoo You which featured the single “Start Me Up”, then In mid-1982, to commemorate their 20th anniversary, the Rolling Stones toured Europe. the Rolling Stones released their next album Undercover in late 1983 and Much to the consternation of Richards, Jagger also signed a solo deal with CBS Records, and he spent much of 1984 writing songs for his first solo effort. By 1985, Jagger was spending more time on solo recordings, that much of the material on 1986′s Dirty Work,which contained the song “Harlem Shuffle”, was generated by Keith Richards.

In early 1989, the Rolling Stones, including Mick Taylor, Ronnie Wood and Ian Stewart (posthumously), were inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and also went to work on a new album that would be called Steel Wheels which included the singles “Mixed Emotions”, “Rock and a Hard Place”, “Almost Hear You Sigh” and “Continental Drift”. In 1993 the Rolling Stones set about recording their next studio album 1994′s Voodoo Lounge, which great reviews and sales, and went double platinum in the US. and went on to win the 1995 Grammy Award for Best Rock Album. The Rolling Stones ended the 1990s with the album Bridges to Babylon which was released in 1997 to mixed reviews. In 2002, the band released Forty Licks, a greatest hits double album, to mark their forty years as a band, prompting Q magazine to name the Rolling Stones as one of the “50 Bands To See Before You Die”.So far The Rolling Stones have released twenty-two studio albums in the United Kingdom (24 in the United States), eleven live albums (twelve in the US), and numerous compilations.Their album Sticky Fingers began a string of eight consecutive studio albums reaching number one in the United States including the albums Exile on Main Street and Some Girls. Their most recent album of new material, A Bigger Bang, was released in 2005. In 2008, Billboard magazine ranked the Rolling Stones at number ten on “The Billboard Top All-Time Artists”, and as the second most successful group in the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989, the Rock Hall states; “critical acclaim and popular consensus has accorded them the title of the “World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band.” They were ranked number 4 in Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.The band celebrate their 50th anniversary in the summer of 2012, and have released a large hardback book, entitled ’50′, to commemorate the event. A new take on the band’s lip and tongue logo was also released and used during the celebration .A free photographic exhibition displaying images of the band was held at Somerset House between 13 July and 27 August 2012, and they also headlined the 2013 Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm, Pilton.

Aldous Huxley

English writer Aldous Huxley was Born 26 July 1894 in Godalming, Surrey, England, he is Best known for his novels including Brave New World and a wide-ranging output of essays, Huxley also edited the magazine Oxford Poetry, and published short stories, poetry, travel writing, film stories and scripts. He began his learning in his father’s well-equipped botanical laboratory, then continued in a school named Hillside. His teacher was his mother, who supervised him for several years until she became terminally ill. After Hillside, he was educated at Eton College. In 1911, he suffered an illness (keratitis punctata) which “left him practically blind for two to three years”. This disqualified him from service in the First World War. Once his eyesight recovered sufficiently, he was able to study English literature at Balliol College, Oxford. In 1916 he edited Oxford Poetry and later graduated (B.A.) with first class honours. Following his education at Balliol, Huxley earnt a living teaching French at Eton, where Eric Blair (later to become George Orwell) and Stephen Runciman were among his pupils. Huxley also worked at the technologically advanced Brunner and Mond chemical plant in Billingham, Teesside, and the most recent introduction to his famous science fiction novel Brave New World (1932) states that this experience of “an ordered universe in a world of planless incoherence” was one source for the novel

During the First World War, Huxley spent much of his time at Garsington Manor, working as a farm labourer. Here he met several Bloomsbury figures including Bertrand Russell and Clive Bell. Works of this period included important novels on the dehumanising aspects of scientific progress, most famously Brave New World, and on pacifist themes (for example, Eyeless in Gaza). In Brave New World Huxley portrays a society operating on the principles of mass production and Pavlovian conditioning. Huxley was strongly influenced by F. Matthias Alexander and included him as a character in Eyeless in Gaza.Huxley began to write and edit non-fiction works on pacifist issues and was an active member of the Peace Pledge Union.In 1937, Huxley moved to Hollywood & lived in Los Angeles from 1937 until his death. He also moved to Taos, New Mexico for a time, where he wrote Ends and Means. He was also introduced to Vedanta (Upanishad-centered philosophy), meditation, and vegetarianism through the principle of ahimsa. In 1938 Huxley befriended J. Krishnamurti, whose teachings he greatly admired. He also became a Vedantist in the circle of Hindu Swami Prabhavananda, and introduced Christopher Isherwood to this circle. Not long after, Huxley wrote his book on widely held spiritual values and ideas, The Perennial Philosophy, which discussed the teachings of renowned mystics of the world & affirmed a sensibility that insists there are realities beyond the generally accepted “five senses” and that there is genuine meaning for humans beyond both sensual satisfactions and sentimentalities.

Huxley also worked as a scriptwriter. In March 1938, his friend Anita Loos, a novelist and screenwriter, put him in touch with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer who hired Huxley for Madame Curie which was originally to star Greta Garbo and be directed by George Cukor. (The film was eventually completed by MGM in 1943 with a different director and cast.) Huxley received screen credit for Pride and Prejudice (1940) and a number of other films, including Jane Eyre (1944). Huxley was also apprehensive about the future the developed world might make for itself. From these he put forward some warnings in his writings and talks. In a 1958 televised interview Huxley outlined several major concerns: the difficulties and dangers of world overpopulation; the tendency toward distinctly hierarchical social organization; the crucial importance of evaluating the use of technology in mass societies susceptible to wily persuasion; the tendency to promote modern politicians, to a naive public, as well-marketed commodities. He also wrote to George Orwell, author of Nineteen Eighty-Four, congratulating him on “how fine and how profoundly important the book is”.

During the 1950s, Huxley’s interest in the field of psychical research grew and his later works are strongly influenced by both mysticism and his experiences with psychedelic drugs, Allegedly English occultist Aleister Crowley introduced Huxley to peyote & psychiatrist Humphry Osmond introduced him to mescaline (the key active ingredient of peyote) & through Dr. Osmond, Huxley also met millionaire Alfred Matthew Hubbard and became a pioneer of self-directed psychedelic drug use “in a search for enlightenment”. His psychedelic drug experiences are described in the essays The Doors of Perception (the title deriving from some lines in the book The Marriage of Heaven and Hell by William Blake). Beginning in 1939 and continuing until his death in 1963, Huxley also had an extensive association with the Vedanta Society of Southern California, founded and headed by Swami Prabhavananda. Together with Gerald Heard, Christopher Isherwood, and other followers he was initiated by the Swami and was taught meditation and spiritual practices. Huxley was also interested in spiritual subjects such as parapsychology and philosophical mysticism and by the end of his life Huxley was widely acknowledged as one of the pre-eminent intellectuals of his time and respected as an important researcher into visual communication and sight-related theories as well as advocating and taking psychedelics. Sadly Huxley passed away aged 69, on 22 November 1963, several hours after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Huxley’s ashes were interred in the family grave at the Watts Cemetery, home of the Watts Mortuary Chapel in Compton, a village near Guildford, Surrey, England. Media coverage of Huxley’s passing was overshadowed by the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, on the same day, as was the death of the British author C. S. Lewis, who also died on 22 November. This coincidence was the inspiration for Peter Kreeft’s book Between Heaven and Hell: A Dialog Somewhere Beyond Death with John F. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis, & Aldous Huxley. Huxley’s literary legacy continues to be represented by the literary agency headed by Georges Borchardt.

Alice in Wonderland

The thirteenth Walt Disney film Alice in Wonderland was released on July 26, 1951. The film features the voices of Kathryn Beaumont (who later voiced Wendy Darling in the 1953 Disney film Peter Pan) as Alice, and Ed Wynn as the Mad Hatter. The theme song, “Alice in Wonderland”, has since become a jazz standard. It begins On the bank of a tranquil river, when a little girl named Alice grows bored and starts daydreaming, that she would prefer to live in a nonsensical dreamland called Wonderland. She then spots a waistcoat-wearing White Rabbit passing by, and pursues him into a rabbit hole and falls into a labyrinth before seeing the rabbit disappear through a tiny door. Through which she is too large to fit. She also notices a bottle marked “Drink Me” and a box of “Eat Me”, “Try Me”, and “Take One” cookies on a nearby table, which all have a bizarre effect on her.

Eventually she finds herself in a bizarre place called Wonderland where she has some very strange adventures and meets some very strange characters including the Dodo, tweedledum & Tweedledee, The White Rabbit, Bill the Lizard, a hookah smoking caterpillar and the Cheshire Cat, who advises her to go and visit The Mad Hatter, March Hare and The Dormouse, who are having a very strange Tea Party. Then she manages to get herself lost in the Tulgy Wood

Alice eventually finds the White Rabbit in his house, but before she can ask what he is late for, she is sent to fetch some gloves after being mistaken for his housemaid. She eats a cookie and grows into a giant again, getting stuck in the rabbit’s house. She tries to pull herself out, but is too big. The White Rabbit, the Dodo, and chimney sweep Bill the Lizard believe Alice to be a monster and plot to burn the house down. Alice escapes by eating a carrot and shrinking down to the size of an insect. She meets and sings with some talking flowers, but they chase her away upon accusing her of being a weed. Alice is then instructed by the hookah-smoking Caterpillar to eat a part of his mushroom grow back to her original size. Alice decides to keep the remaining pieces of the mushroom on hand.

Alice meets the Cheshire Cat who advises her to visit the Mad Hatter, March Hare and the Dormouse. The three are hosting a mad tea party and celebrate Alice’s “unbirthday”, a day where it is not her birthday. The White Rabbit appears, but the Mad Hatter and the March Hare destroy his pocketwatch and throw him out of the party. Fed up with all the wonderlandians’ rudeness and wackiness, Alice abandons her pursuit of the White Rabbit and decides to go home, but gets lost in the Tulgey Wood. The Cheshire Cat appears and leads Alice into a giant hedge maze ruled by the tyrannical Queen of Hearts and her smaller husband, the King of Hearts. The Queen orders the beheading of anyone who enrages her, and invites Alice in a bizarre croquet match using flamingoes and hedgehogs as the equipment.

The Cheshire Cat appears again and tricks the Queen who then accuses Alice of doing it, and Alice is put on trial. Just then, she remembers that she still has the remains of the Caterpillar’s mushroom. She eats it and grows to an enormous height which the King claims is forbidden in court. Alice now feels free to speak her mind and openly insults the Queen. However, she had hastily eaten both sides of the mushroom and shrinks to her normal size. She is forced to flee after the Queen orders her execution pursued by most of Wonderland’s characters.