Freddie Mercury

Widely considered as one of the greatest vocalists in popular music, The late great Freddie Mercury passed away on November 24th 1991. Best known as the lead singer for the rock band Queen. He is remembered for his powerful vocal abilities and charisma as a live performer. Mercury’s songs included elements of rockabilly, heavy metal and disco, and he wrote ten out of the seventeen songs on Queen’s Greatest Hits album, including Seven Seas Of Rhye, Killer Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody, Somebody To Love, Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy, We Are The Champions, Bicycle Race, Don’t Stop Me Now, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, and Play The Game.

born Farrokh Bulsara in Stone Town on the African island of Unguja, Mercury attended St. Peter’s boarding school near Bombay (Mumbai) where he learned to play piano and joined his first band, The Hectics. He completed his education in India at St. Mary’s High School in Mazagon before returning to Zanzibar. Freddie came to England in 1964 and earned a Diploma in Art and Graphic Design at Ealing Art College & later used these skills to design the Queen crest. Freddie Mercury possessed a very distinctive voice. His recorded vocal range spanned nearly four octaves (falsetto included), with his lowest recorded note being the F below the bass clef and his highest recorded note being the D that lies nearly four octaves above. In addition to vocal range, Despite not having any vocal training Mercury often delivered technically difficult songs in a powerful manner and Compared to many rock songwriters, many of Freddie Mercury’s songs were also musically complex. ,Despite the fact that Mercury often wrote very intricate harmonies, he claimed that he could barely read music and wrote most of his songs on the piano, often choosing keys that were technically difficult. Mercury also possessed rudimentary skills on the guitar & wrote many lines and riffs for the instrument, including many of those heard in “Bohemian Rhapsody.” He also wrote “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” on the guitar.

In addition to his work with Queen, Mercury produced two solo albums, Mr. Bad Guy and Barcelona, The former was a pop-oriented album that emphasized disco and dance and was heavily synthesizer-driven in a way that was uncharacteristic of previous Queen albums, While “Barcelona” was recorded with the opera singer Montserrat Caballé, whom Mercury had long admired. Sadly “Mr. Bad Guy” was not considered a commercial success relative to most Queen albums. Although a remix of “Living On My Own”, a single from the album garnered Mercury a posthumous Ivor Novello Award. “Barcelona”, combined elements of popular music and opera. Caballé considered the album to have been one of the great successes of her career and said of Mercury, “He was not only a popular singer, he was a musician, that could sit at the piano and compose. In September of 2006, a compilation album featuring Mercury’s solo work was released in the UK.

Sadly Mercury was diagnosed with HIV in the spring of 1987 but continued to deny that he had the disease. Despite this there were many rumours fueled by Mercury’s increasingly gaunt appearance during the last years of his life, particularly in his last appearance on film, the These Are The Days Of Our Lives promo video, which suggested serious illness. On November 23, he issued a statement confirming that he had been tested HIV positive and had AIDS, but I felt it correct to keep this information private to protect the privacy of those around me, and hoped that people would join in the fight against this terrible disease. A little over 24 hours after issuing the statement, Freddie Mercury died at the age of 45. The official cause of death was bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS. Mercury’s funeral was conducted by a Zoroastrian priest and he was cremated at Kensal Green Cemetery. the whereabouts of his ashes are unknown, although some believe them to have been dispersed into Lake Geneva, or in his family’s possession. The remaining members of Queen founded The Mercury Phoenix Trust, and organised The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert.

Freddie Mercury has consistently ranked in the number one position on a list of the 100 greatest rock vocalists. In a list of the greatest English language singers of the 20th century, compiled by BBC Radio, he was the highest-ranked hard rock vocalist, . He also came in second in MTV’s list of the 22 greatest singers of the past 25 years. In 2006, Time Asia magazine voted Mercury as one of the most influential Asians in the past 60 years. The 1999 Millennium Poll, in which six hundred thousand Britons participated, he was voted into the number 14 and 15 spots as a popular musician and songwriter, respectively. Mercury ranked at No. 58 in the 2002 list of “100 Greatest Britons”, sponsored by the BBC and voted for by the public. Two of Mercury’s songs, “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Are The Champions” have each been claimed, in separate polls, as the world’s favourite song, another poll of six hundred thousand people in sixty-six different countries found “We Are The Champions” to be the world’s most popular tune. This contradicts another major poll by Guinness World, which had previously found “Bohemian Rhapsody” to be the world’s most popular song of the past 50 years. He was also highly thought of by other people too, including Monserrat Caballe, Rock star David Bowie, with whom he recorded the song “Under Pressure”, Comedian Mike Myers, whose movie Wayne’s World introduced “Bohemian Rhapsody” to a new generation of listeners and Annie Lennox, who said of Mercury: “Of all the more theatrical rock performers, Freddie took it further than the rest, he had theatricality, he was larger than life, new, fresh, cool. This is a god that walks as man

Diego Rivera

Controversial Mexican painter Diego Rivera sadly passed away on 24th November 1957. Born Diego María de la Concepción Juan Nepomuceno Estanislao de la Rivera y Barrientos Acosta y Rodríguez on December 8, 1886 in Guanajuato, Mexico. He was a prominent Mexican painter who became an active communist, and His large frescoes helped establish the Mexican Mural Movement in Mexican art. He arrived in Europe in 1907, and studied in Madrid, Spain, and from there went to Paris to live and work in Montparnasse where cubism in paintings by such eminent painters as Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque was becoming popular, & Rivera embraced this new school of art,later, inspired by Cézanne’s paintings, Rivera shifted toward Post-Impressionism with simple forms and large patches of vivid colors. His paintings began to attract attention, and he was able to display them at several exhibitions.In 1920, Rivera traveled through Italy studying its art, including Renaissance frescoes. He returned to Mexico in 1921 to become involved in the government sponsored Mexican mural program planned by Vasconcelos and painted his first significant mural Creation in the Bolívar Auditorium of the National Preparatory School in Mexico City.

In the autumn of 1922, Rivera participated in the founding of the Revolutionary Union of Technical Workers, Painters and Sculptors, and also joined the Mexican Communist Party . His murals, subsequently painted in fresco only, dealt with Mexican society and reflected the country’s 1910 Revolution. Rivera developed his own native style based on large, simplified figures and bold colors with an Aztec influence clearly present in murals at the Secretariat of Public Education in Mexico City.In the autumn of 1927, Rivera arrived in Moscow,to take part in the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the October Revolution & painted a mural for the Red Army Club in Moscow, but in 1928 he was expelled and returned to Mexico where he was expelled from the Mexican Communist Party too. Between 1922 and 1953, Rivera painted murals in Mexico City, Chapingo, Cuernavaca, San Francisco, Detroit, and New York City. In 1931, a retrospective exhibition of his works was also held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.Some of Rivera’s most famous murals are featured at the National School of Agriculture at Chapingo near Texcoco, in the Cortés Palace in Cuernavaca, and the National Palace in Mexico City. In 1930, Rivera accepted an invitation from architect Timothy L. Pflueger to paint for him in San Francisco. After arriving in November Rivera painted a mural for the City Club of the San Francisco Stock Exchange and a fresco for the California School of Fine Art, later relocated to what is now the Diego Rivera Gallery at the San Francisco Art Institute.

In November 1931, Rivera had a retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Between 1932 and 1933, he completed a famous series of fresco panels entitled Detroit Industry on the walls of an inner court at the Detroit Institute of Arts. ”Rivera’s radical political beliefs, attacks on the church and clergy made him a controversial figure even in communist circles. His mural Man at the Crossroads, for the Rockefeller Center in New York City, was removed after a furor erupted in the press over a portrait of Vladimir Lenin it contained. As a result of the negative publicity, a further commission to paint a mural for an exhibition at the Chicago World’s Fair was canceled. In December 1933, Rivera returned to Mexico, & repainted Man at the Crossroads in the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. In 1940, Rivera returned for the last time to the US to paint a ten-panel mural for the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco & The mural and its archives reside at City College of San Francisco. In addition to controversial political views Diego Rivera was an atheist who considered religions to be a form of collective neurosis and some of his work caused controversy particularly his mural Dreams of a Sunday in the Alameda depicted Ignacio Ramírez holding a sign which read, “God does not exist”. This painting was not shown for 9 years – until Rivera agreed to remove the inscription. He stated: “To affirm ‘God does not exist’, I do not have to hide behind Don Ignacio Ramírez .” Sadly Rivera eventually passed away on November 24 in 1957.

John Squire (Stone Roses, Seahorses)

John Squire, Guitarist with seminal British Alternative Rock bands The Sone Roses was born November 24th 1962. He lived round the corner from Ian Brown, and after attending Heyes Lane Junior School, he passed the eleven plus exam and went on to attend Altrincham Grammar School for Boys. He excelled at art as a child. He formed a close friendship with Ian Brown during their last two years atschool after Ian helped him out in a fight with a school bully. The two also then bonded over a shared love for punk rock, particularly The Clash. John Squire and Ian Brown moved on to South Trafford College after passing O-Levels. However Ian did not last long before getting expelled and John dropped out shortly after in order to start a band. Although Squire had a couple of guitar lessons, he was largely self-taught.

In the early 1980s Squire and Brown founded The Patrol that eventually became The Stone Roses, with Squire as lead guitarist from 1984 to 1996 .The partnership between Squire and Brown formed the heart of the band’s lyrical and musical output. Formed in Manchester in 1983 The Stone Roses were one of the pioneering groups of the Madchester movement that was active during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The band’s most successful lineup consists of vocalist Ian Brown, guitarist John Squire, bassist Gary “Mani” Mounfield, and drummer Alan “Reni” Wren. The band released their debut album, The Stone Roses, in 1989. The album was a breakthrough success for the band & quickly achieved the status of a classic in the UK, and topped NME’s list of the Greatest British Albums of All Time. Squire co-wrote all of the tracks with Brown. The cover art was painted by Squire, it is a Jackson Pollock influenced piece containing references to the May 1968 riots in Paris. By the mid-1990s the Roses were being hailed as pioneers of the Britpop movement.

THE STONE ROSES http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dJEvF7dPMNM

After releasing a much hailed debut album the Stone Roses decided to capitalise on their success by signing to a major label, however their current record label Silvertone would not let them out of their contract,which led to an acrimonious and lengthy legal dispute. they eventually signed a multi-million pound deal with Geffen in 1991, and released their second album Second Coming in 1994 which was mainly written by Squire. He has credits on all but one of the tracks, most of which credit him alone. The album’s featured a heavier blues-rock sound, similar to Led Zeppelin and The Allman Brothers Band. The album was met with mixed reaction from fans, and shortly after band infighting and rumoured cocaine abuse led to his departure from the band on 1 April 1996 and and after several lineup changes throughout the supporting tour, The group disbanded Reni going first, followed by Squire.

Picking three unknowns, Squire formed a new band, The Seahorses, in 1996. The band’s only album Do it Yourself was released in 1997. The Seahorses disbanded due to creative differences in 1999. Following the demise of The Seahorses, Squire continued work with drummer Mark Heaney and ex-Verve bassist Simon Jonesalong with new vocalist Duncan Baxter as John Squire’s Skunkworks, but left prior to the band releasing material as The Shining. Squire released his first solo album, Time Changes Everything in 2002. A concept album followed in 2004 entitled Marshall’s House. Squire has also said that he has recorded a third album, however he has decided not to release it as he felt that promoting and touring the album would take the fun out of the music, and turn it into a job rather than a hobby. This is the second time that Squire has recorded an album and opted to keep it unreleased, as he did the same in 1999 as a part of the Seahorses, when they recorded an album, set to be named “Minus Blue” or “Motorcade”, but decided to break up rather than release the album.

Then in 2011 Following much intensified media speculation rumours and denial, the band’s four original members – John Squire, Ian Brown, bassist Gary ‘Mani’ Mounfield and drummer Alan ‘Reni’ Wren, called a press conference to announce that the band had reunited and would perform a reunion tour of the world in 2012, including three homecoming shows at Heaton Park in Manchester. These concerts became the fastest selling rock concerts in UK history. After 150,000 tickets for the first two dates sold out just 14 minutes after going on sale. As a result A further date was added and the remaining 75,000 tickets sold out soon afterwards. The band, have also said that it was their intention was to ‘uplift’ the national mood in hard times and that today’s music was ‘boring’ and ‘corporate’. There are also persistent rumours that they are recording a third album, and according to Chris Coghill, the writer of the new film which is set during the Stone Roses 1990 Spike Island show, the band “have at least three or four new tracks recorded.

Besides music, Squire is also a well-known, published artist. His artwork has adorned the singles, album covers and promotional posters for his and the Stone Roses’ music. In the 1980s, Squire’s artistic style was heavily influenced by the action paintingtechnique of Jackson Pollock. In recent years, Squire has shown a broader use of media and has incorporated newer influences to his work. One such item — a surfboard covered with Beach Boys song titles, which was for the War Child charity to auction — featured on the cover for Travis’s 1997 single release “U16 Girls” and their debut album Good Feeling. In 2004, Squire held two well-received art exhibitions in London and Manchester.Over the past few years Squire has worked full time on his artwork which he has exhibited at The Smithfield Gallery (July 2007) and The Dazed Gallery, London (September – October 2007).At the Smithfield Gallery opening, Squire told a reporter from the Manchester Evening News that he was giving up music for good. He explained that “I’m enjoying this far too much to go back to music.” When asked about a Stone Roses reunion, he said it was “highly unlikely”. In January 2009, Squire launched a new exhibition of his art entitled Heavy Metal Semantics, in London, and announced further exhibitions in Oldham, Austria, and Tokyo later in the year. He also had an exhibition in Edinburgh in August 2010 and Brussels in early 2011.

Bob Burns (Lynyrd Skynyrd)

Bob Burns, American drummer and songwriter with Lynyrd Skynyrd was born 24 November 1950. Lynyrd Skynyrd were known for popularizing the Southern hard rock genre during the 1970s Lynyrd Skynyrd were Originally formed In the summer of 1964, when teenage friends Ronnie Van Zant, Allen Collins, and Gary Rossington formed the band “The Noble Five” in Jacksonville, Florida. The band changed in 1965 to “My Backyard”, when Larry Junstrom and Bob Burns joined. In 1968, the group won a local Battle of the Bands contest and the opening slot on several Southeast shows for the California-based psychedelic rock band Strawberry Alarm Clock. the group eventually settled on the name “Leonard Skinner”, a mocking tribute to a physical-education teacher at Robert E. Lee High School, Leonard Skinner, who was notorious for strictly enforcing the school’s policy against boys having long hair.

In 1972 the band was discovered at one of their shows at a club in Atlanta, GA and changed the spelling of the band name to “Lynyrd Skynyrd”. Their fan base continued to grow rapidly throughout 1973, largely due to their opening slot on The Who’s Quadrophenia tour in the United States. Their 1974 follow-up, Second Helping, was the band’s breakthrough hit, and featured their most popular single, “Sweet Home Alabama” helping them rise to worldwide recognition. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s third album, Nuthin’ Fancy, was released in 1975 and the fourth album Gimme Back My Bullets was released in January 1976, but did not achieve the same success as the previous two albums.

Steve Gaines joined the band in June 1976 and the newly-reconstituted band recorded the double-live album One More From the Road at the Fox Theatre (Atlanta, Georgia) in Atlanta, and performed at the Knebworth festival, which also featured The Rolling Stones. The next album 1977′s Street Survivors turned out to be a showcase for guitarist/vocalist Steve Gaines and included the iconic rock anthem “Free Bird”. Sadly though, On October 20, 1977, just three days after the release of Street Survivors, and at the peak of their success, three members (Including Gaines) all died in an airplane crash, Following the crash and the ensuing press, Street Survivors became the band’s second platinum album and reached No. 5 on the U.S. album chart. The single “What’s Your Name” reached No. 13 in January 1978. Surviving members re-formed in 1987 for a reunion tour with lead singer Ronnie Van Zant’s younger brother Johnny as frontman. A version of the band continues to tour and record, with only Gary Rossington of its original members remaining as of 2012. Lynyrd Skynyrd was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 13, 2003. Sadly though Bob Burns died recently in 2015.

Clem Burke (Blondie, The Ramones)

Clem Burke, American drummer (Blondie, Ramones, The Adult Net, and The Romantics) was born 24 November 1955. Blondie were founded by singer Deborah Harry and guitarist Chris Stein, and were pioneers in the early American New Wave and punk scenes of the mid-1970s. Their first two albums contained strong elements of these genres, and although successful in the United Kingdom and Australia, Blondie was regarded as an underground band in the United States until the release of Parallel Lines in 1978. Over the next three years, the band achieved several hit singles including “Call Me“, “Atomic” and Heart of Glass and became noted for its eclectic mix of musical styles incorporating elements of disco, pop, rap, and reggae, while retaining a basic style as a New Wave band.

Sadly though Blondie broke up after the release of their sixth studio album The Hunter in 1982. Clem subsequently joined The Adult Net and after that The Romantics. Burke also joined The Ramones in 1987 after Richie Ramone Departed from the band. Meanwhile Deborah Harry continued to pursue a solo career with varied results after taking a few years off to care for partner Chris Stein, who was diagnosed with pemphigus, a rare autoimmune disease of the skin. Blondie reformed in 1997, achieving renewed success and a number one single in the United Kingdom with “Maria” in 1999. During the following years The group toured and performed throughout the world, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. Blondie have sold 40 million records worldwide and are still active today. Their ninth studio album, Panic of Girls, was released in 2011. They have also played at Glastonbury Festival’s Sunday afternoon slot.

THE BEST OF BLONDIE http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=7ZM6UeOLing

Bev Bevan (Electric Light Orchestra)

English rock musician,Bev Bevan, was born in Sparkhill, Birmingham, England on 24 November 1944. After education at Moseley Grammar School where he gained two O level passes, he worked as a trainee buyer in a city centre department store called The Beehive with school friend Jasper Carrott. His professional music career started with a stint playing druMs with Denny Laine in his group Denny Laine and the Diplomats, then with Carl Wayne & the Vikings, followed by The Move in 1966. The Electric Light Orchestra released their first album in 1971, by which time The Move existed only as a recording outfit. They released their final single, “California Man” in 1972. Bevan has a deep singing voice. While with The Move he lent lead vocals to two tracks: a remake of “Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart” and the country and western spoof, “Ben Crawley Steel Co”. He composed two Move songs: the rock-blues Turkish Tram Conductor Blues from the album Looking On; and the Elvis Presley spoof Don’t Mess Me Up, from the album Message from the Country. The latter song was the B-side of The Move’s single Tonight. He also recorded a solo single in 1976, a cover version of the Sandy Nelson instrumental, “Let There Be Drums”.

ELECTRIC LlGHT ORCHESTRA GRATEST HITS
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tYzbViYoWmM

Bevan played on all but one Electric Light Orchestra and ELO Part II albums (the exception being 2001′s Zoom which marked Lynne’s return to recording under the ELO name, with only Richard Tandy present from previous band line-ups). In 1980 Bevan published a historical memoir of the Electric Light Orchestra. In 1983 he replaced Bill Ward for the Black Sabbath Born Again tour from 1983-1984, and played percussion on The Eternal Idol album in 1987 and became known for his heavy powerhouse drumming during this tour. Bevan also appeared in two music videos (“Trashed” and “Zero the Hero”).

After the death of Carl Wayne in 2004, he formed a new band, Bev Bevan’s Move, with Phil Tree and former ELO Part II colleaguesPhil Bates and Neil Lockwood, to play a set comprising mostly The Move classics on tour. Bates left in July 2007 to re-join ELO Part II, by then renamed to The Orchestra .In the 2010 release from Paul Weller, Wake Up The Nation, Bevan played drums on two songs: “Moonshine” and “Wake Up The Nation”.Bevan currently presents a radio show on BBC Radio West Midlands on Sunday afternoons. He also reviews records for the Midlands’ Sunday Mercury and has a blog on their website. It was announced at the Best of Broad Street Awards on 17 January 2011 that Bevan would be honoured with a star on the Birmingham Walk of Stars.Bevan is also a patron of The Dorridge Music School (Knowle). In 2012, Bevan narrated the audiobook version of Tony Iommi’s biography “Iron Man – My Journey Through Heaven and Hell”.

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

The novel Black Beauty by Anna Sewell was published 24 November 1877. The story is narrated in the first person as an autobiographical memoir told by the titular horse named Black Beauty and describes conditions among London horse-drawn taxicab drivers, including the financial hardship caused to them by high licence fees and low, legally fixed fares. Sewell uses anthropomorphism in Black Beauty. The text advocates fairer treatment of horses in Victorian England. It begins with Black Beauty’s carefree days as a colt on an English farm with his mother, to his difficult life pulling cabs in London, to his happy retirement in the country. Along the way, he meets with many hardships and recounts many tales of cruelty and kindness. Each short chapter recounts an incident in Black Beauty’s life containing a lesson or moral typically related to the kindness, sympathy, and understanding treatment of horses, with Sewell’s detailed observations and extensive descriptions of horse behaviour lending the novel a good deal of verisimilitude

Because The story is narrated from Black Beauty’s perspective readers arguably gained insight into how horses suffered through their use by human beings with restrictive technical objects like the “bearing rein” and “blinkers” as well as procedures like cutting off the tails of the horses. The horses in the text have reactions as well as emotions and characteristics, like love and loyalty, which are similar to those of human beings. For instance, Ginger describes the physical effects of the “bearing rein” to Black Beauty, by stating, “… it is dreadful… your neck aching until you don’t know how to bear it… its hurt my tongue and my jaw and the blood from my tongue covered the froth that kept flying from my lips. A page footnote in some editions says that soon after the book was published, the difference between 6-day taxicab licences (not allowed to trade on Sundays) and 7-day taxicab licences (allowed to trade on Sundays) was abolished and the taxicab licence fee was much reduced. The novel Black Beauty has also been adapted for film and television numerous times.