National Mills Weekend

National Mills weekend 2018 takes place on the 12th and 13th May. It is an event in the United Kingdom and occurs annually on the second Weekend in May. The event is coordinated by the Wind and Watermills section of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. It started off as a single day event but in recent years has expanded to Saturday as well as Sunday, and is now promoted as National Mills Weekend.

Wind and watermills provided the only source of power for many different processes – from making flour, paper, cloth to hammering metal and extracting oils Until the advent of the steam engine. Traditionally many preserved wind and watermills are usually closed to the general public National Mills Weekend is a chance for them to open their doors and offer the public an insight into the mills workings and history, to promote and inform the public concerning Britains Milling Heritage and provide people with a fantastic opportunity to visit and explore mills, that produced, or still produce these products, some restored to working order, some derelict, some still working commercially.

Salvador Dali

Spanish Painter Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, Marqués de Dalí de Púbol was born 11 May 1904 in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain. When he was five, Dalí was taken to his brother’s grave and told by his parents that he was his brother’s reincarnation, a concept which he came to believe Images of his long-dead brother appeared in his later works, including Portrait of My Dead Brother (1963). Dalí also had a sister, Anna Maria, who was three years younger. In 1949, she published a book about her brother, Dalí As Seen By His Sister. His childhood friends included future FC Barcelona footballers Sagibarba and Josep Samitier. Dalí attended drawing school. In 1916, he also discovered modern painting on a summer holiday to Cadaqués with the family of Ramon Pichot, a local artist who made regular trips to Paris. The next year, Dalí’s father organized an exhibition of his charcoal drawings in their family home. He had his first public exhibition at the Municipal Theatre in Figueres in 1919, a site he would return to decades later. Sadly In February 1921, when Dalí was 16 years old. Dalí’s mother died of breast cancer. After her death, Dalí’s father married his deceased wife’s sister.

In 1922, Dalí moved into the Residencia de Estudiantes (Students’ Residence) in Madrid and studied at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando where he drew attention as an eccentric and dandy. He had long hair and sideburns, coat, stockings, and knee-breeches in the style of English aesthetes of the late 19th century. At the Residencia, he met Pepín Bello, Luis Buñuel, and Federico García Lorca. However it was his paintings, in which he experimented with Cubism, that earned him the most attention from his fellow students. His only information on Cubist art had come from magazine articles and a catalog given to him by Pichot, since there were no Cubist artists in Madrid at the time. In 1924, the still-unknown Salvador Dalí illustrated a book for the first time. It was a publication of the Catalan poem Les bruixes de Llers (“The Witches of Llers”) by his friend and schoolmate, poet Carles Fages de Climent. Dalí also experimented with Dada, which influenced his work throughout his life.

Dalí was expelled from the Academy in 1926, shortly before his final exams after being accused of causing unrest. His mastery of painting skills at that time was evidenced by his realistic The Basket of Bread. In 1926. he made his first visit to Paris, where he met Pablo Picasso, whom the young Dalí revered. Picasso had already heard favorable reports about Dalí from Joan Miró, a fellow Catalan who introduced him to many Surrealist friends. As he developed his own style over the next few years, Dalí made a number of works heavily influenced by Picasso and Miró. Dalí was influenced by many styles of art, including academically classic and cutting-edge avant-garde. His classical influences included Raphael, Bronzino, Francisco de Zurbarán, Vermeer and Velázquez. He used both classical and modernist techniques. Dalí grew a flamboyant moustache, influenced by 17th-century Spanish master painter Diego Velázquez. The moustache became an iconic trademark of his appearance for the rest of his life. In 1929, Dalí collaborated with surrealist film director Luis Buñuel on the short film Un Chien Andalou (An Andalusian Dog). Dalí also met his lifelong and primary muse, inspiration, and future wife Gala (Elena Ivanovna Diakonova) aRussian immigrant ten years his senior, who at that time was married to surrealist poet Paul Éluard. Dalí also officially joined the Surrealist group in the Montparnasse quarter of Paris.

However Dalí’s father Don Salvador Dalí y Cusi strongly disapproved of his son’s romance with Gala, and considered Surrealism a bad influence on his morals. This relationship disintegrated totally when Dali exhibited a drawing of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, with a provocative inscription: “Sometimes, I spit for fun on my mother’s portrait”. Outraged, Don Salvador demanded that his son recant publicly. Dalí refused, perhaps out of fear of expulsion from the Surrealist group, and was evicted from his home in 1929. His father disinherited him and forbid him to set foot in Cadaqués again.

The following summer, Dalí and Gala bought a small fisherman’s cabin in a nearby bay at Port Lligat. In 1931, Dalí painted The Persistence of Memory, featuring surrealistic image of soft, melting pocket watches. The general interpretation of the work is that the soft watches are a rejection of the assumption that time is rigid or deterministic. Dalí and Gala married in 1934 in a semi-secret civil ceremony. They later remarried in a Catholic ceremony in 1958. Aside from inspiring many artworks Gala also became Dalí’s business manager, supporting their extravagant lifestyle. She also seemed to tolerate Dalí’s dalliances with younger muses, secure in her own position as his primary relationship. This relationship become the subject of an opera, Jo, Dalí (I, Dalí) by Catalan composer Xavier Benguerel.

In 1934 Dalí was introduced to the United States by art dealer Julien Levy at an exhibition in New York of Dalí’s works, including Persistence of Memory. Dalí and Gala also attended a masquerade party in New York, while dressed as the Lindbergh baby and his kidnapper. The resulting uproar in the press was so great that Dalí apologized. When he returned to Paris, the Surrealists confronted him about his apology for a surrealist act. A majority of Surrealist artists became associated with leftist politics, however Dalí maintained an ambiguous position on the subject of the proper relationship between politics and art. Leading surrealist André Breton accused Dalí of defending the “new” and “irrational” in “the Hitler phenomenon”. Dalí insisted that surrealism could exist in an apolitical context and refused to explicitly denounce fascism. So in 1934, Dalí was formally expelled from the Surrealist group.

In 1936, Dalí took part in the London International Surrealist Exhibition. Delivering His lecture, titled Fantômes paranoiaques authentiques, while wearing a deep-sea diving suit and helmet to illustrate how he was “plunging deeply’ into the human mind.” In 1936, Dalí, was also featured on the cover of Time magazine. At the premiere screening of Joseph Cornell’s film Rose Hobart at Julien Levy’s gallery in New York City, Dalí became famous for another incident. Levy’s program of short surrealist films was timed to take place at the same time as the first surrealism exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, featuring Dalí’s work. Dalí was in the audience at the screening, but halfway through the film, he knocked over the projector in a rage Claiming that Cornell had stolen his ideas.

Dalí’s main patron was Edward James Who had purchased many of Dali’s works and collaborated on two of the most enduring icons of the Surrealist movement: the Lobster Telephone and the Mae West Lips Sofa. In 1938, Dalí met Sigmund Freud thanks to Stefan Zweig. Dalí started to sketch Freud’s portrait. Salvador Dalí was also invited by Gabrielle Coco Chanel to her house “La Pausa” in Roquebrune on the French Riviera. There he painted numerous paintings which were exhibited at Julien Levy Gallery in New York. “La Pausa” was also partially replicated at the Dallas Museum of Art. Dalí also unveiled Rainy Taxi, a three-dimensional artwork, consisting of an actual automobile with two mannequin occupants. This was displayed at the Galerie Beaux-Arts in Paris at the Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme, organised by André Breton and Paul Éluard and designed by artist Marcel Duchamp.

At the 1939 New York World’s Fair, Dalí debuted his Dream of Venus surrealist pavilion, located in the Amusements Area of the exposition. It featured bizarre sculptures, statues, and live nude models in “costumes” made of fresh seafood, an event photographed by Horst P. Horst, George Platt Lynes and Murray Korman. In 1939, André Breton coined the derogatory nickname “Avida Dollars”, an anagram for “Salvador Dalí”, a phonetic rendering of the French phrase avide à dollars, meaning “eager for dollars” as a derisive reference to the increasing commercialization of Dalí’s work, and the perception that Dalí sought self-aggrandizement through fame and fortune. The Surrealists, many of whom were closely connected to the French Communist Party at the time, expelled him from their movement

In 1940, Dalí and Gala retreated to the United States, where they lived for eight years splitting their time between New York and Monterey, California. Dalí’s arrival in New York was one of the catalysts in the development of that city as a world art center in the post-War years. During World War II Dalí designed jewelry, clothes, furniture, stage sets for plays and ballet, and retail store display windows. In 1939, while working on a window display for Bonwit Teller, he became so enraged by unauthorized changes to his work that he shoved a decorative bathtub through a plate glass window. Dali spent the winter of 1940-41 in at Hampton Manor, the residence of bra designer and patron of the arts Caresse Crosby, near Bowling Green in Caroline County, Virginia. In 1941, Dalí drafted a film scenario for Jean Gabin called Moontide. In 1942, he published his autobiography, The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí. He wrote catalogs for his exhibitions, such as that at the Knoedler Gallery in New York in 1943. He also wrote a novel, published in 1944, about a fashion salon for automobiles. This resulted in a drawing by Edwin Cox in The Miami Herald, depicting Dalí dressing an automobile in an evening gown.

In The Secret Life, Dalí suggested that he had split with Luis Buñuel because the latter was a Communist and an atheist. Buñuel was fired (or resigned) from his position at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), and went back to Hollywood where he worked in the dubbing department of Warner Brothers from 1942 to 1946. In his 1982 autobiography Mon Dernier soupir (My Last Sigh, 1983), Buñuel wrote that, over the years, he had rejected Dalí’s attempts at reconciliation. An Italian friar, Gabriele Maria Berardi, claimed to have performed an exorcism on Dalí while he was in France in 1947.

In 1948 Dalí and Gala moved back into their house in Port Lligat, on the coast near Cadaqués. And spent most of his time there painting, taking time off and spending winters with his wife in Paris and New York. His acceptance and implicit embrace of Franco’s dictatorship were strongly disapproved of by other Spanish artists and intellectuals who remained in exile. In 1959, André Breton organized an exhibit called Homage to Surrealism, celebrating the fortieth anniversary of Surrealism, which contained works by Dalí, Joan Miró, Enrique Tábara, and Eugenio Granell.

Dalí experimented with many unusual or novel media and processes Such as bulletist artwork, optical illusions, negative space, visual puns, pointillism, , enlarged half-tone dot grids (a technique which Roy Lichtenstein would later use), stereoscopic images, holography and trompe l’œil visual effects. Dalí also developed a keen interest in natural science and mathematics and painted many of his subjects as composed of rhinoceros horn shapes. According to Dalí, the rhinoceros horn signifies divine geometry because it grows in a logarithmic spiral. He linked the rhinoceros to themes of chastity and to the Virgin Mary. Dalí was also fascinated by DNA and the tesseract (a 4-dimensional cube); an unfolding of a hypercube is featured in the painting Crucifixion (Corpus Hypercubus).

Dalí also had a glass floor installed in a room near his studio in Lligat. He made extensive use of it to study foreshortening, both from above and from below, incorporating dramatic perspectives of figures and objects into his paintings. In many of his paintings, Dalí used anamorphosis, a form of eccentric and exaggerated perspective which distorts objects beyond recognition; however, when seen from a particular skewed viewpoint, a legible depiction emerges. He used the power of this technique to conceal “secret” or “forbidden” images in plain sight.

Following World War II Dalí became interested in optical effects, science, and religion. He became an increasingly devout Catholic, while at the same time being inspired by the shock of Hiroshima and the dawning of the “atomic age”. Therefore, Dalí labeled this period “Nuclear Mysticism” and painted The Madonna of Port Lligat (first version, La Gare de Perpignan, The Hallucinogenic Toreador, and Corpus Hypercubus, which combine Christian iconography with images of material disintegration inspired by nuclear physics.

In 1960, Dalí began work on his Theatre and Museum in his home town of Figueres and continued to indulge in publicity stunts and self-consciously outrageous behavior. To promote his 1962 book The World of Salvador Dalí, he appeared in a Manhattan bookstore on a bed, wired up to a machine that traced his brain waves and blood pressure. In 1968, Dalí filmed a humorous television advertisement for Lanvin (fr) chocolates. In 1969, he designed the Chupa Chups logo, in addition to facilitating the design of the advertising campaign for the 1969 Eurovision Song Contest and creating a large on-stage metal sculpture that stood at the Teatro Real in Madrid. In 1968, Dalí bought a castle in Púbol for Gala; and starting in 1971 she would retreat there alone for weeks at a time. By Dalí’s own admission, he had agreed not to go there without written permission from his wife. His fears of abandonment and estrangement from his longtime artistic muse contributed to depression and failing health. In 1980 at age 76, Dalí’s health took a catastrophic turn. His right hand trembled terribly, with Parkinson-like symptoms. His near-senile wife allegedly had been dosing him with a dangerous cocktail of unprescribed medicine that damaged his nervous system, thus causing an untimely end to his artistic capacity.

In 1982, King Juan Carlos bestowed on Dalí the title of Marqués de Dalí de Púbol. The title was in first instance hereditary, but on request of Dalí changed to life only in 1983. Gala died on 10 June 1982, at the age of 87. After Gala’s death, Dalí lost much of his will to live. He deliberately dehydrated himself, possibly as a suicide attempt, with claims stating he had tried to put himself into a state of suspended animation as he had read that some microorganisms could do. He moved from Figueres to the castle in Púbol, which was the site of her death and her grave. In May 1983, Dalí revealed what would be his last painting, The Swallow’s Tail, a work heavily influenced by the mathematical catastrophe theory of René Thom.

In 1984, a fire broke out in his bedroom and Dalí was rescued by friend and collaborator Robert Descharnes and returned to Figueres, where a group of his friends, patrons, and fellow artists accommodated him at the Theatre-Museum. In November 1988, Dalí entered the hospital with heart failure; a pacemaker had been implanted previously. On December 5, 1988, he was visited by King Juan Carlos, who confessed that he had always been a serious devotee of Dalí. Dalí gave the king a drawing (Head of Europa, which would turn out to be Dalí’s final drawing) after the king visited him on his deathbed. On the morning of 23 January 1989, while his favorite record of Tristan and Isolde played, Dalí died of heart failure at Figueres at the age of 84. He is buried in the crypt below the stage of his Theatre and Museum in Figueres, just across the street from the church of Sant Pere, where he had his baptism, first communion, and funeral, and near to the house where he was born. The Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation currently serves as his official estate. The US copyright representative for the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation is the Artists Rights Society.

H.R.Giger

Swiss surrealist painter, sculptor and set designer Hans Rudolf “Ruedi” Giger sadly passed away 12 May 2014. He was born 5 February 1940 in Chur, capital city of Graubünden, the largest and easternmost Swiss canton. His father, a chemist, viewed art as a “breadless profession” and strongly encouraged him to enter pharmaceutics, Giger recalls. Yet he moved in 1962 to Zürich, where he studied Architecture and industrial design at the School of Applied Arts until 1970. Giger Started with small ink drawings before progressing to oil paintings. For most of his career, Giger has worked predominantly in airbrush, creating monochromatic canvasses depicting surreal, nightmarish dreamscapes.

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Gradually he abandoned large airbrush works and worked with pastels, markers or ink. His most distinctive stylistic innovation is that of a representation of human bodies and machines in a cold, interconnected relationship, he described as “biomechanical”. His paintings often display fetishistic sexual imagery His main influences were painters Ernst Fuchs, Salvador Dalí and the American horror fiction writer H.P. Lovecraft, particularly his first compendium of images Necronomicon, he was also a personal friend of Timothy Leary. Giger suffered from night terrors and his paintings are all to some extent inspired by his experiences with that particular sleep disorder. He studied interior and industrial design at the School of Commercial Art in Zurich (from 1962 to 1965) and made his first paintings as a means of art therapy.

Giger’s style and thematic execution have been influential. His design for the Alien was inspired by his painting Necronom IV and earned him an Oscar in 1980. His books of paintings, particularly Necronomicon and Necronomicon II (1985) and the frequent appearance of his art in Omni magazine continued his rise to international prominence. Giger is also well known for artwork on several music recording albums.In 1998 Giger acquired the Château St. Germain in Gruyères, Switzerland, and it now houses the H. R. Giger Museum, a permanent repository of his work and was inducted to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2013. During the 1960s and 1970s, Giger directed a number of films, including Swiss Made (1968),Tagtraum (1973), Giger’s Necronomicon (1975) and Giger’s Alien (1979). Giger has created furniture designs, particularly the Harkonnen Capo Chair for a movie of the novel Dune. Many years later, David Lynch directed the film, using only rough concepts by Giger. Giger had wished to work with Lynch. Giger has also applied his biomechanical style to interior design and a “Giger Bar” sprang up in Tokyo, Sadly though Within a few years, the establishment was out of business. However two more Giger Bars were built in Gruyères and Chur, under Giger’s close personal supervision and reflect his original concepts for them accurately.

At The Limelight in Manhattan, Giger’s artwork also decorates the VIP room, the uppermost chapel of the landmarked church, but it was never intended to be a permanent installation and As of 2009 only the two authentic Swiss Giger Bars remain. His art has greatly influenced tattooists and fetishists worldwide. Under a licensing deal Ibanez guitars released an H. R. Giger signature series: the Ibanez ICHRG2, an Ibanez Iceman, features “NY City VI”, the Ibanez RGTHRG1 has “NY City XI” printed on it, the S Series SHRG1Z has a metal-coated engraving of “Biomechanical Matrix” on it, and a 4-string SRX bass, SRXHRG1, has “N.Y. City X” on it.Giger is often referred to in pop culture, especially in science fiction and cyberpunk. William Gibson (who wrote an early script forAlien 3) seems particularly fascinated: a minor character in Virtual Light, Lowell, is described as having New York XXIV tattooed across his back, and in Idoru a secondary character, Yamazaki, describes the buildings of nanotech Japan as Giger-esque. Giger’s artwork continues to inspire film makers and artists alike and his work can be seen at the Château St. Germain in Gruyères, Switzerland, which houses the H. R. Giger Museum, a permanent repository of his work. Giger was also inducted to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2013.

Catherine Tate

English actress, writer and comedienne Catherine Tate was born 12th May in 1968. Tate began her television acting career with roles in serial dramas such as The Bill, and London’s Burning, and started stand-up comedy in 1996, she also appeared in comedy series such as The Harry Hill Show, Barking and That Peter Kay Thing and a role in Men Behaving Badly. She played the part of Kate in the unaired pilot episode of sitcom Not Going Out alongside Lee Mack and Tim Vine. In 1998 she wrote and starred in Barking, a late night sketch show broadcast on Channel 4 and featuring a host of stars such as David Walliams, Peter Kay and Mackenzie Crook. She then became involved with Lee Mack’s Perrier Comedy Award-nominated New Bits show at the Edinburgh Film Festival in 2000. In 2001, she returned to the festival with her own sell-out one-woman show, which was followed by roles in Big Train, Attention Scum and TVGoHome. After being spotted at Edinburgh, she was given the role of Angela in the comedy, Wild West, with Dawn French, who commented “Catherine Tate is far too talented and she must be destroyed.” Tate has also performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and at the National Theatre.She played Smeraldina in a 2000 RSC production of A Servant to Two Masters, and had a role in The Way of the World at the National Theatre. Tate was approached at a post-show party at the Edinburgh Festival by the BBC controller of comedy , who encouraged Tate to develop her character ideas, especially to push the boundaries with teenager Lauren Cooper, after following this advice, Tate found the audience walking out of the show repeating the character’s catchphrase Am I bovvered?

Tate was given her own programme on BBC Two in 2004, which she co-wrote and starred in with Derren Litten, entitled The Catherine Tate Show, which ran for three series. Two of the show’s well-known characters are teenager Lauren Cooper and Joannie “Nan” Taylor, the cockney grandmother.Tate won a British Comedy Award for Best Comedy Newcomer for her work on the first series of The Catherine Tate Show, and with the first series becoming a success, in March 2005, Tate made a guest appearance during the BBC’s Comic Relief as the character of Lauren from The Catherine Tate Show. In November 2005, Tate appeared in another charity sketch as part of the BBC’s annual Children in Need telethon. The segment was a crossover between EastEnders and The Catherine Tate Show, featuring Eastenders characters Peggy Mitchell, Little Mo Mitchell and Stacey Slater, whilst Tate appeared as Lauren. , she was also a guest star at the 77th Royal Variety Performance and appeared again in the guise of Lauren Cooper. During the sketch, Tate looked up at the Royal Box and asked The Queen, “Is one bovvered? Is one’s face bovvered?”. Tate later won a British Comedy Award for Best British Comedy Actress for her work in the second series of The Catherine Tate Show. At the end of 2005, she appeared in the BBC television adaptation of Bleak House. The third series of The Catherine Tate Show aired in 2006, going on to win the National Television Award for most popular comedy as voted for by the public.

Following the success of The Catherine Tate Show, Tate played Donna Noble in the 2006 Christmas special of Doctor Who and later reprised her role, becoming the Doctor’s companion for the fourth series in 2008 after suddenly appearing in the TARDIS at the end of the episode “Doomsday”. The following episode, the Christmas special entitled “The Runaway Bride”, saw Tate’s character in a major role, and she became the Doctor’s companion until she met the Oood and decided she’d had enough (yeah I felt like that after I saw the Adipose🙄)

and has also appeared in may other programs including three film roles including, Starter for 10, Sixty Six, and Scenes of a Sexual Nature, as well as the films Mrs Ratcliffe’s Revolution, and Love and Other Disasters. she played the lead role and co-starred with Anne Reid In the 2007 television adaptation of the novel, The Bad Mother’s Handbook, and On 16 March 2007, Tate appeared for a second time on Comic Relief as some of her well-known characters from The Catherine Tate Show. She has also acted in sketches with David Tennant, Daniel Craig, Lenny Henry and the then Prime Minister Tony Blair, and also appeared as Joannie “Nan” Taylor in an episode of Deal or No Deal, hosted by Noel Edmonds. In 2011, she began a recurring role as Nellie Bertram on The Office. Tate has won numerous awards for her work on the sketch comedy series The Catherine Tate Show as well as being nominated for an International Emmy Award and seven BAFTA Awards. She is a Patron of the performing arts group Theatretrain.

Billy Duffy (The Cult)

Best known as the guitarist in The Cult. English guitarist and songwriter, Billy Duffy , was born 12 May 1961. he began playing guitar at the age of fourteen and got his start playing in different punk line-ups in the late1970s, but these earlier years were more notable for his introducing Johnny Marr (The Smiths) to the guitar and encouraging Morrissey to make his singing debut with Duffy in The Nosebleeds. When the initial punk rock movement (led by the Sex Pistols) died out, Duffy eventually settled as guitarist for the moodier and more arty Theatre of Hate. He eventually met Ian Astbury (the frontman for gothic rock band Southern Death Cult) who was impressed with Duffy’s playing and abandoned Southern Death Cult to start a new band with him. Together, they exploited the Southern Death Cult’s success by calling themselves Death Cult.

After initial fanfare and a couple of singles, Duffy, following a trip to New York, convinced Astbury to shorten the band’s name to The Cult in 1984. As early as The Cult’s debut single “Spiritwalker”, Duffy began establishing a distinctive sound and helped change the bands sound for the release of the album Love in 1985, which included singles such as “She Sells Sanctuary” and “Rain”.In the late 1980s, the band dropped their post-punk sound in favour of metal-blues with their third album, 1987′s Electric, which contained wonderful songs like “Fire Woman” “Li’l Devil” “Love Removal Machine“& “Wild Flower. credit for this change also goes to producer and AC/DC fan Rick Rubin who gave both Duffy and The Cult a new musical direction and facillitated a polish on this new sound and also produced the record.

THE CULT SAN DIEGO 2013

In 1988 the two writing partners (with longtime bassist Jamie Stewart) turned to stadium rock and recorded Sonic Temple, which appealed to a larger, mainstream audience, but the public’s attention could not be sustained with their next album, Ceremony, at the dawn of the grunge age. Following the ‘Ceremonial Stomp’ tour of 1992, Astbury pressured Duffy to return to their roots, with The Cult’s The Cult album. This led to Astbury’s departure from Duffy and The Cult in 1995.Duffy reformed The Cult with Astbury in 1999, which led to a new recording contract with Atlantic Records, and the album Beyond Good and Evil was released. Sadly this did not do very well and the band split, reforming again In 2006, to perform a series of worldwide tours. In October 2007, the band released the album Born into This. In July 2009, Astbury announced that The Cult would not record or produce any more studio albums, focusing on LPs and Digital Releases instead for new material, and Their latest album, Choice of Weapon, was released on 22 May 2012.

 

 

Eric Singer (Kiss)

Best known as the Drummer for rock band Kiss, Eric Singer was born May 12, 1958 in Cleveland, Ohio. He grew up in Euclid, Ohio. His father, Johnny Mensinger, was of German descent and was a local big band leader who played around the area as well as on cruise ships from the States to Europe and back. Eric began playing drums from an early age, and was inspired by bands such as Humble Pie, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, The Beatles and Queen and drummers such as John Bonham, Keith Moon, Cozy Powell, Roger Taylor, Bill Ward, and Buddy Rich.

In 1985 he joined Black Sabbath, replacing original drummer Bill Ward, who had left the band after the Live Aid reunion. Singer participated in the recording of the albums Seventh Star and The Eternal Idol and was invited by his Black Sabbath colleague Ray Gillen to join the latter’s new formed band Badlands. Coincidentally American Rock singer Ray” Gillen was also born May 12, 1959 He is a best known for his work with Badlands and Black Sabbath in the mid-1980s and recording most of the vocals on Phenomena’s Dream Runner album. Singer played on Badlands self-titled debut album but left the group in 1989 and joined Paul Stanley as his touring drummer on his solo tour of the United States and Canada. Singer alao toured with Queen guitarist Brian May. He was asked to rejoin Kiss in 2001 after Criss’ departure shortly before the Australian and Japanese leg of Kiss’ Farewell tour.

Singer officially became the drummer for Kiss in 1992 after the death of Eric Carr and debuted in full “Catman” makeup and costume for the first time on the tour, which caused some controversy as the persona had previously been used only by Criss. Singer was replaced again by Criss in 2003 but returned to the band by the end of the year after Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley opted not to renew Criss’ contract Singer, debuted with the band on the album Revenge, on which he was originally slated to fill in on some tracks while Eric Carr recuperated from heart cancer. Singer played on Carnival of Souls: The Final Sessions and toured with Kiss until 1996, when the band reunited with original drummer Peter Criss and guitarist Ace Frehley for the Alive/Worldwide Tour. He also played on the KISS album Sonic Boom, the first studio album to feature the new line-up. It included the track “All for the Glory” (written by Stanley and Simmons) with vocals by Singer.

When not touring with Kiss, Singer performed with Alice Cooper. Singer had been a member of Cooper’s band since the release of the album Brutal Planet in 2000. Singer had already performed with Cooper years earlier, during the tour for the album Hey Stoopid. Singer has been featured on three Alice Cooper albums to date, namely, Brutal Planet, The Eyes of Alice Cooper, and Along Came a Spider. Due to his growing commitments with Kiss as well as with the Eric Singer Project (ESP), he has not played in Alice Cooper’s band since 2008. He has also occasionally performed and recorded with his own band ESP, featuring, among others, his former Kiss bandmate Bruce Kulick and former Mötley Crüe lead singer John Corabi. They have released the albums Lost and Spaced (1998), consisting completely of covers from classic rock songs; the live album Live in Japan (2006); and the DVD Live at the Marquee (2006).

Singer has also played in the band Avantasia, replacing drummer Alex Holzwarth after a guest performance in the song “Into the Unknown” from the album The Metal Opera Part II. Two EPs and one full album have been released with Singer’s performance on the drums: Lost in Space Part I, Lost in Space Part II, and The Scarecrow, and on several songs from The Wicked Symphony and Angel of Babylon. In 1987, he served as Gary Moore’s drummer on the Wild Frontier tour. In 1989, he made a brief appearance in the Wes Craven film Shocker, as a member of a fictional rock band. In 2004 Singer was featured on Italian rock singer Chris Catena’s debut album, Freak Out. He recorded drums for two tracks, “Sweet Talker” (a Whitesnake cover) and “The Stronger You Are, The Harder You Fall”.

In October 2012, KISS released their 20th studio album Monster which includes a track called “All for the Love of Rock & Roll” sung by Singer (written by Stanley)In a 2008 interview, Peter Criss stated that he thought Singer was a great drummer, despite being upset about Singer using his image. Singer has also played with Olivia Newton-John in the music video for “Culture Shock”. He has also performed with artists such as Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, Lita Ford, Badlands, and Gary Moore as well as his own band ESP. In 2015 Singer was elected to the jury of watch making’s highest awards, the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG). He is a well known in collectors circles as a collector of eclectic and expensive timepieces. During his career Singer has appeared on over 75 albums and 11 EPs.

Ian Dury

British musician and lead singer of The Blockheads, Ian Dury was born 12th May 1942 and the Blockheads were formed in the early 1970′s fronted by Dury as Ian Dury and the Blockheads. They quickly gained a reputation as one of the top live acts of New Wave music during the 1970′s and built up a dedicated following in the UK and other countries and scored several hit singles, including “What a Waste“, “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick” (which was a UK number one at the beginning of 1979, selling just short of a million copies), “Reasons to be Cheerful, Part 3″ (number three in the UK in 1979), and the rock and roll anthem, “Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll“.

Dury’s lyrics were a distinctive combination of lyrical poetry, word play, observation of British everyday (working-class) life, acute character sketches, and vivid, earthy sexual humour. sound drew from its members’ diverse musical influences, which included jazz, rock and roll, funk, and reggae, and Dury’s love of music hall. The band was formed after Dury began writing songs with pianist and guitarist Chaz Jankel, who took Dury’s lyrics, fashioned a number of songs, and they began recording with members of Radio Caroline’s Loving Awareness Band—drummer Charley Charles, bassist Norman Watt-Roy, keyboard player Mick Gallagher, guitarist John Turnbull and former Kilburns saxophonist Davey Payne. An album was completed, but major record labels passed on the band. However, next door to Dury’s manager’s office was the newly formed Stiff Records, a perfect home for Dury’s maverick style. Their classic single, “Sex & Drugs & Rock and Roll”, marked Dury’s Stiff debut and although it was banned by the BBC it was named Single of the Week by NME on its release. It was soon followed by the debut album New Boots and Panties!!, which was eventually to achieve platinum status.

The band’s second album Do It Yourself was released in June 1979 in a Barney Bubbles-designed sleeve of which there were over a dozen variations, all based on samples from the Crown wallpaper catalogue. Bubbles also designed the Blockhead logo which received international acclaim, during this time The group worked solidly between the release of “Rhythm Stick” and their next single, “Reasons To Be Cheerful”, which returned them to the charts, making the UK Top 10. Sadly The Blockheads disbanded in early 1982 after Dury secured a new recording deal with Polydor Records.

Sadly though In March 1996 Dury was diagnosed with cancer and, after recovering from an operation, he set about writing another album. In early 1998 he reunited with the Blockheads to record the well-received album Mr Love-Pants. In May, Ian Dury and the Blockheads hit the road again, and gigged throughout 1999, culminating in their last performance with Ian Dury on 6 February 2000 at the London Palladium. Ian Dury sadly passed away 27 March 2000, However since then the band have continued to perform as The Blockheads.