Rocky Horror Picture Show

The science fiction musical The Rocky Horror Picture Show opened in London On The 14 August 1975 and went on to become the longest-running release in film history. It concerns Brad Majors and Janet Weiss who find themselves lost and with a flat tyre on a cold and rainy late November evening, somewhere near Denton, Ohio. Seeking a telephone, the couple walk to a nearby castle where they discover a group of strange and outlandish people who are holding an Annual Transylvanian Convention. They are soon swept into the world of Dr. Frank N. Furter, a self-proclaimed “sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania” and also meet Riff Raff, his sister Magenta, and a groupie named Columbia.

In his lab, Frank claims to have discovered the “secret to life itself”. His creation, Rocky, is brought to life. The ensuing celebration is soon interrupted by Eddie (an ex-delivery boy, both Frank and Columbia’s ex-lover, as well as partial brain donor to Rocky and proceeds to seduce Columbia but Eddie is killed by Frank. Brad and Janet are shown to separate bedrooms, where each is visited and seduced by Frank, who poses as Brad (when visiting Janet) and then as Janet (when visiting Brad). Janet finds Brad in bed with Frank and discovers Rocky hiding from Riff Raff, who has been tormenting him. While tending to his wounds, Janet becomes intimate with Rocky while Magenta and Columbia are watching.

Frank returns to the lab with Brad and Riff Raff, to look for Rocky and discovers that Brad and Janet’s old high school science teacher, Dr. Everett Scott, has come looking for his nephew, Eddie. Although Frank suspects that Dr. Scott actually investigates UFOs for the government. Upon learning of Brad and Janet’s connection to Dr. Scott, Frank suspects them of working for him. Frank, Dr. Scott, Brad, and Riff Raff then discover Janet and Rocky together. Later on Janet, Brad, Dr. Scott, Rocky, and Columbia all meet in Frank’s lab, where Frank captures them with the Medusa Transducer. Then Riff Raff, Magenta and Frank reveal that they are aliens from the planet Transsexual in the galaxy of Transylvania…

David Crosby

American singer-songwriter and guitarist David VCrosby was born in Los Angeles, California on August 14, 1941. His father Floyd Crosby, was an Academy Award–winning cinematographer and He is also the younger brother of musician Ethan Crosby. Growing up in California, he attended several schools, including the University Elementary School in Los Angeles, the Crane Country Day School in Montecito, and Laguna Blanca School in Santa Barbara. At Crane, he starred in HMS Pinafore and other musicals and He graduated from the Cate School in Carpinteria, completing his secondary studies by correspondence. Crosby briefly studied drama at Santa Barbara City College before dropping out to pursue a career in music. He became a member of the Les Baxter’s Balladeers and With the help of producer Jim Dickson, Crosby recorded his first solo session in 1963.

In 1964 Crosby joined Jim “Roger” McGuinn, Gene Clark, drummer Michael Clarke and bass player Chris Hillman on rhythm guitar to form The Byrds. Jim Dickson (the Byrds’ manager) knew Bob Dylan’s publisher, and the band obtained a demo of Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man” and recorded a version of the song, featuring McGuinn’s 12-string guitar as well as McGuinn, Crosby, and Clark’s vocal harmonizing which became a huge hit in 1967. The Byrds second single was “All I Really Want to Do”. Together with McGuinn and Hillman Crosby became a prolific songwriter. writing the 1966 hit “Eight Miles High” and co-writing “Why” with McGuinn. Crosby persuaded the Byrds to record “Hey Joe” on their 1967 album Fifth Dimension. By Younger Than Yesterday.

Sadly Friction between Crosby and the other Byrds came to a head in mid-1967 after the Monterey Pop Festival, when Crosby’s onstage political diatribes between songs annoyed McGuinn and Hillman. He further annoyed his bandmates when, at the invitation of Stephen Stills, he substituted for an absent Neil Young during Buffalo Springfield’s set. This boiled over during recording of The Notorious Byrd Brothers album and Crosby Left the Byrds. Jefferson Airplane recorded the Crosby penned song “Triad” instead and released it on their album Crown of Creation in 1968. Crosby sang a solo acoustic version on Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s 1971 double live album Four Way Street. The Byrds’ version appeared on the 1988 Never Before release and is now available on The Notorious Byrd Brothers. In 1973, Crosby reunited with the original Byrds for the album Byrds, with Crosby acting as the album’s producer.

In 1968 After leaving the Byrds Crosby met  Stephen Stills at a party at the home of Cass Elliot (of the Mamas and the Papas) in California, they were joined by Graham Nash, from the Hollies and Crosby Stills and Nash Played at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in August 1969 and released Their first album, Crosby, Stills & Nash Which featured the songs”Guinnevere”, “Almost Cut My Hair”, “Long Time Gone”, and “Delta”. Crosby also co-wrote “Wooden Ships” with Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane and Stephen Stills. In 1969, Neil Young joined the group and they recorded the album Déjà Vu, featuring the songs “Almost Cut My Hair” and “Déjà Vu”. Tragically Crosby’s longtime girlfriend Christine Hinton was killed in a car accident only days after Hinton, Crosby, and Debbie Donovan moved from Los Angeles to the Bay Area. Crosby was devastated, and he began abusing drugs Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young then released double live album Four Way Street, before having a break to focuson their respective solo careers.In 1969, Crosby appeared with CSNY at the Altamont Free Concert, and also performed at Monterey Pop and Woodstock. In 1970 he joined Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh and Mickey Hart from Grateful Dead, billed as “David and the Dorks”. In 1971, Crosby also released his first solo album, If I Could Only Remember My Name, featuring contributions by Nash, Young, Joni Mitchell, and members of Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, and Santana.CSNY reunited in 1973 at the Winterland in San Francisco and embarked on a stadium tour in 1974. CSNY then recorded the Crosby song, “Little Blind Fish” And a greatest hits compilation entitled So Far was also released during 1974. During 1976, Crosby & Nash and Stills & Young worked seperately to produce a CSNY album but this ended bitterly after Stills and Young deleted Crosby and Nash’s vocals from their album Long May You Run. Following this CSNY did not perform together again as a foursome until Live Aid in Philadelphia in 1985.

As a duo, Crosby & Nash (C&N) have released four studio albums and two live albums, including Another Stoney Evening, which features the duo in a 1971 acoustic performance with no supporting band. Some Crosby songs recorded by C&N in the 1970s include “Where Will I Be?”, “Carry Me”, “Bittersweet”, “Low Down Payment”, “Homeward Through the Haze”, “Time After Time”, “Dancer” and “Foolish Man”. During the mid-1970s, Crosby and Nash enjoyed lucrative careers as session musicians, with both performers (as a duo and individually) contributing harmonies and background vocals to albums by Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne (whom Crosby had initially championed as an emerging performer), Dave Mason, Rick Roberts, James Taylor (most notably “Lighthouse” and “Mexico”), Art Garfunkel, J.D. Souther, Carole King, Elton John, and Gary Wright. Crosby sang backup vocals on several Paul Kantner and Grace Slick albums from 1971 through 1974 and the Hot Tuna album Burgers in 1972. He also participated in composer Ned Lagin’s proto-ambient project Seastones along with members of the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Starship.

During the late 1980s to the early 1990s Crosby occasionally worked with Phil Collins  singing backup On “That’s Just the Way It Is” and “Another Day in Paradise”, and,Collins sang backup on Crosby’s 1993 song, “Hero”, from his album Thousand Roads, . In 1992, Crosby sang backup on the album Rites of Passage with the Indigo Girls on tracks 2 and 12. In 1999, he appeared on Return of the Grievous Angel: A Tribute to Gram Parsons, singing a duet of the title track with Lucinda Williams. Crosby Stills and Nash also performed occasionally during1980s and 1990s (mainly at the annual Bridge School Benefit organized by Young’s wife Pegi). Without Young, however, Crosby, Stills & Nash toured in 1977 and 1982 after releasing the albums CSN and Daylight Again and toured from the 1980’s. Up to the present day. TCrosby, Stills and Nash also released the albums American Dream (1988, with Young), Live It Up (1990), After The Storm (1994), and Looking Forward (1999, with Young). Crosby & Nash also released the self-titled album Crosby & Nash in 2004. Full-scale CSNY tours took place in 2000, 2002, and 2006. Crosby, Stills, and Nash appeared together on a 2008 episode of The Colbert Report, and “Neil Young” joined them during the musical performance at the end of the episode. However, eventually, it became clear that it was only Stephen Colbert impersonating Young as the group sang “Teach Your Children”. In 1996, Crosby formed CPR or Crosby, Pevar & Raymond with session guitarist Jeff Pevar, and pianist James Raymond, Crosby’s son. The group released two studio albums and two live albums featuringThe first song that Crosby and Raymond co-wrote, “Morrison” these included “Live at Cuesta College”,”Just Like Gravity”, and “Live at the Wiltern,” recorded at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles, which features Phil Collins and Graham Nash.

In 2006, Crosby collaborated with David Gilmour on the album “On an Island” along with Nash.  Crosby and Nash also performed live with Gilmour  at the Royal Albert Hall in London in 2006 and toured the United States,(featured on the 2007 DVD Remember That Night.)In January 2014, Crosby released his first solo album in 20 years, Croz, collaborating with his son James Raymond (of CPR). In 2016 Crosby released his fifth studio album Lighthouse featuring the song “Things We Do For Love” and embarked on an 18-date tour. Raymond has continued to perform with Crosby as part of the touring bands for C&N and CSN, as well as on solo Crosby projects, including 2014’s Croz and the subsequent tour, for which he served as musical director. Jeff Pevar has toured with many artists over his productive career, including CSN, Ray Charles, Joe Cocker, Marc Cohn, Phil Lesh & Friends, Jazz Is Dead, Rickie Lee Jones, Jefferson Starship and Bette Midler. Pevar has a solo record, From the Core, features the vocalist from Yes, Jon Anderson.

Crosby has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice: once for his work in the Byrds and once for his work with CSN. Five albums he contributed to are included in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, three with the Byrds and two with CSN(Y). He has been depicted as emblematic of the 1960s’ counterculture. He wrote or co-wrote “Lady Friend”, “Why”, and “Eight Miles High” with the Byrds and “Guinnevere”, “Wooden Ships”, “Shadow Captain”, and “In My Dreams” with Crosby, Stills & Nash. He wrote “Almost Cut My Hair” and the title track “Déjà Vu” for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s 1970 album. He is known for his use of alternate guitar tunings and jazz influences.

 

Berthold Brecht

Influential German poet, playwright, and theatre director Bertolt Brecht sadly died on 14 August 1956 of a heart attack at the age of 58. He was born 10 February 1898 in in Augsburg, Bavaria. Berthold’s mother taught Brecht the Bible and the “dangers of the self denying woman” which both influenced his later writing.  When he was 16, the First World War broke out. Initially enthusiastic, Brecht soon changed his mind on seeing his classmates “swallowed by the army”. So Brecht registered for an additional medical course at Munich University instead, and studied drama. From July 1916, Brecht’s newspaper articles began appearing under the new name “Bert Brecht” (his first theatre criticism for the Augsburger Volkswille appeared in October 1919). Some time in either 1920 or 1921, Brecht took a small part in the political cabaret of the Munich comedian Karl Valentin whom he compared to Charlie Chaplin.

Brecht’s first full-length play, Baal was written 1918 and Brecht completed his second play, Drums in the Night in February 1919. Brecht made equally significant contributions to dramaturgy and theatrical production, by touring with the Berliner Ensemble – the post-war theatre company operated by Brecht. He was also awarded the prestigious Kleist Prize (intended for unestablished writers and probably Germany’s most significant literary award for his first three plays (Baal, Drums in the Night, and In the Jungle. In 1923, Brecht wrote a scenario for what was to become a short slapstick film, Mysteries of a Barbershop, directed by Erich Engel and starring Karl Valentin, which it is now considered one of the most important films in German film history. In May 1923, Brecht’s In the Jungle premiered in Munich, also directed by Engel. Opening night proved to be a “scandal”—a phenomenon that would characterize many of his later productions during the Weimar Republic—in which Nazis blew whistles and threw stink bombs at the actors on the stage. In 1924 Brecht worked with the novelist and playwright Lion Feuchtwanger on an adaptation of Christopher Marlowe’s Edward II that proved to be a milestone in Brecht’s early theatrical and dramaturgical development.That September, a job as assistant dramaturg at Max Reinhardt’s Deutsches Theater—at the time one of the leading three or four theatres in the world—brought him to Berlin. In his role as dramaturg, Brecht had much to stimulate him but little work of his own.[26] Reinhardt staged Shaw’s Saint Joan, Goldoni’s Servant of Two Masters and Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author in his group of Berlin theatres. A new version of Brecht’s third play, now entitled Jungle: Decline of a Family,also opened at the Deutsches Theater in October 1924.

In 1925, he completed his collection of poems, Devotions for the Home. In 1925 in Mannheim the artistic exhibition Neue Sachlichkeit (“New Objectivity”) had given its name to the new post-Expressionist movement in the German arts. Brecht also began to develop his Man Equals Man project, which was to become the first product of “the ‘Brecht collective’—that shifting group of friends and collaborators on whom he henceforward depended.This collaborative approach to artistic production, together with aspects of Brecht’s writing and style of theatrical production, mark Brecht’s work from this period as part of the Neue Sachlichkeit movement (New Matter-of-Factness)which stressed the collective and downplayed of the individual. In 1925, Brecht also saw two films that had a significant influence on him: Chaplin’s The Gold Rush and Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin.In 1926 a series of short stories was published under Brecht’s name, and also produced the play Man Equals Man. In 1927 Brecht became part of the “dramaturgical collective” of Erwin Piscator’s first company, which was designed to tackle the problem of finding new plays for its “epic, political, confrontational, documentary theatre”, this influenced Brecht’s ideas about staging and design, and alerted him to the radical potentials offered to the “epic” playwright by the development of stage technology. Brecht was struggling at the time with the question of how to dramatize the complex economic relationships of modern capitalism. 1927 also saw the first collaboration between Brecht and the young composer Kurt Weill.They produced The Little Mahagonny for a music festival in July, as what Weill called a “stylistic exercise” in preparation for the large-scale piece. Together they began to develop Brecht’s Mahagonny project, and In 1930 Brecht formed a writing collective which became prolific and very influential.

Brecht’s first great play, Saint Joan of the Stockyards, attempted to portray the drama in financial transactions. The collective also adapted John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera, with Brecht’s lyrics set to music by Kurt Weill. Retitled The Threepenny Opera (Die Dreigroschenoper) it was the biggest hit in Berlin of the 1920s and a renewing influence on the musical worldwide. One of its most famous lines underscored the hypocrisy of conventional morality working in conjunction with the established order, in the face of working-class hunger and deprivation.The success of The Threepenny Opera was followed by the quickly thrown together Happy End and Brecht used elements of Happy End in Saint Joan of the Stockyards,Happy End’s score by Weill produced many Brecht/Weill hits like “Der Bilbao-Song” and “Surabaya-Jonny”.The masterpiece of the Brecht/Weill collaborations, Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny), caused an uproar when it premiered in 1930 in Leipzig, with Nazis in the audience protesting. The Mahagonny opera would premier later in Berlin in 1931 as a triumphant sensation. Brecht spent the early 1930′s in Berlin working with his “collective” on the Lehrstücke. These were a group of plays driven by morals, music and Brecht’s budding epic theatre and were often aimed at educating workers on Socialist issues. These included The Measures Taken (Die Massnahme), Kuhle Wampe (1932), which is notable for its subversive humour, outstanding cinematography and still provides a vivid insight into Berlin during the last years of the Weimar Republic Brecht was also influenced by The so-called “Westend Berlin Scene”.

In 1933 Brecht left Germany Fearing persecution from the Nazis. After brief spells in Prague, Zurich and Paris he and Weigel moved to Denmark, where they settled in a house in Svendborg on the island of Funen. Brecht also travelled to Copenhagen, Paris, Moscow, New York and London . in April 1939, he moved to Stockholm, Sweden, where he remained for a year. During the war years, Brecht became a prominent writer of the Exilliteratur. He expressed his opposition to the National Socialist and Fascist movements in his most famous plays: Life of Galileo, Mother Courage and Her Children, The Good Person of Szechwan, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Fear and Misery of the Third Reich, and many others. Brecht also wrote the screenplay for the Fritz Lang-directed film Hangmen Also Die! which was loosely based on the 1942 assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, the Nazi Reich Protector of German-occupied Prague, number-two man in the SS, and a chief architect of the Holocaust, who was known as “The Hangman of Prague. he then wrote The Visions of Simone Machard, Schweik in the Second World War and an adaptation of Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi. Hanns Eisler was nominated for an Academy Award for his musical score.

Brecht and Weigel also protested on the roof of the Berliner Ensemble during the International Workers’ Day demonstrations in 1954 and In the years of the Cold War and “Red Scare”, Brecht was blacklisted by movie studio bosses and interrogated by the House Un-American Activities Committee, Along with about 41 other Hollywood writers, directors, actors and producers. In 1947 Brecht testified that he had never been a member of the Communist Party Brecht’s decision to appear before the committee led to criticism, including accusations of betrayal. The day after his testimony, on 31 October, Brecht returned to Europe. In Chur in Switzerland, Brecht staged an adaptation of Sophocles’ Antigone, based on a translation by Hölderlin. It was published under the title Antigonemodell 1948, accompanied by an essay on the importance of creating a “non-Aristotelian” form of theatre.An offer for his own theatre and theatre company (the Berliner Ensemble) encouraged Brecht to return to Berlin in 1949.Though he was never a member of the Communist Party, Brecht had been deeply schooled in Marxism by the dissident communist Karl Korsch and Brecht received the Stalin Peace Prize in 1954.At first Brecht supported the measures taken by the East German government against the Uprising of 1953 in East Germany, which included the use of Soviet military force. Brecht’s subsequent commentary on those events, however, offered a different assessment— especially in one of the poems in the Elegies, “Die Lösung” (The Solution). Although Brecht wrote very few plays in his final years in East Berlin, Some of his most famous poems, including the “Buckow Elegies”, were written at this time. He is buried in the Dorotheenstädtischer cemetery on Chausseestraße in the Mitte neighbourhood of Berlin.

Larry Graham (Sly and the Family Stone)

larry Graham, American singer-songwriter, bass player, and producer (Sly and the Family Stone and Graham Central Station) was born 14 August 1946. Sly & the Family Stone, played a critical role in the development of soul, funk and psychedelia in the 1960s and 1970s, with songs like “Stand“, “I Want To Take You Higher”, “Sing A Simple Song”, “If You Want Me To Stay“, and “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” In 1993, lead singer Sly Stone was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.Funkadelic

Along with James Brown and Parliament-Funkadelic, Sly & the Family Stone were pioneers of late 1960s and early ’70s funk. Their fusion of R&B rhythms, infectious melodies, and psychedelia created a new pop/soul/rock hybrid the impact of which has proven lasting and widespread. Motown producer Norman Whitfield, for example, patterned the label’s forays into harder-driving, socially relevant material (such as The Temptations’ “Runaway Child” and “Ball of Confusion”) based on their sound. The pioneering precedent of Stone’s racial, sexual, and stylistic mix, had a major influence in the 1980s on artists such as Prince and Rick James. Legions of artists from the 1990s forward — including Public Enemy, Fatboy Slim, Beck and many others — mined Stone’s seminal back catalog for hook-laden samples. After a mildly received debut album, A Whole New Thing (1967), Sly & The Family Stone had their first hit single with “Dance to the Music“, which was later included on an album of the same name (1968). Although their third album, Life (also 1968), also suffered from low sales, their fourth album, Stand! (1969), became a runaway success, selling over three million copies and spawning a number one hit single, “Everyday People“. By the summer of 1969, Sly & The Family Stone were one of the biggest names in music, releasing three more top five singles, “Hot Fun in the Summertime” and “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” / “Everybody Is a Star”, before the end of the year, and appearing at Woodstock.

Sadly the band’s new found fame and success caused problems. Relationships within the band deteriorated and there was friction in particular between the Stone brothers & Bass player Larry Graham. After moving to the Los Angeles area in fall 1969, Stone and his bandmates became heavy users of illegal drugs, As the members became increasingly focused on drug use and partying (Stone carried a violin case filled with illegal drugs wherever he went), recording slowed significantly. Between summer 1969 and 1971, the band released only one single, which was one of the first recordings to employ the heavy, funky beats that would feature in the funk music the following decade. It showcased Graham’s innovative percussive playing technique of bass “slapping”. During this time Stone’s behavior became increasingly erratic.

A Greatest Hits album was released in 1970 and in 1971 the band’s fifth album, There’s a Riot Goin’ On, was released. Riot featured a much darker sound as most tracks were recorded with overdubbing as opposed to The Family Stone all playing at the same time as they had done previously. Stone played most of the parts himself and performed more of the lead vocals than usual. It was also the first major label album to feature a drum machine. The band’s cohesion slowly began to erode, and its sales and popularity began to decline as well. Live bookings for Sly & the Family Stone had also steadily dropped since 1970. The final straw came In January 1975, after the band booked itself at Radio City Music Hall. The famed music hall was only one-eighth occupied, and Stone and company had to scrape together money to return home, Following the Radio City engagement, the band split.

In 2007 Stone made a short guest appearance at a show of The New Family Stone band he supports at the House of Blues. On April 1, 2007, Stone appeared with the Family Stone at the Flamingo Las Vegas Showroom, after George Wallace’s standup act. On July 7, 2007 Stone also made a short appearance with the Family Stone at the San Jose, CA Summerfest. On Labor Day, September 7, 2009, Stone emerged at the 20th annual African Festival of the Arts in Chicago, Ill. He performed a 15 minute set during George Clinton’s Performance. He performed his popular hits along with George Clinton’s band. He left immediately after his short performance. On December 6, 2009, Sly signed a new recording contract with the LA based Cleopatra Records and on August 16, 2011, I’m Back! Family & Friends was released, the first Sly Stone album since 1982′s Ain’t But the One Way. The album features re-recorded versions of Sly & the Family Stone’s greatest hits with guest appearances from Jeff Beck, Ray Manzarek, Bootsy Collins, Ann Wilson, Carmine Appice and Johnny Winter, as well as three previously unreleased songs.