Rudolf Schenker

Guitarist, and founder member of German Rock Group The Scorpions Rudolf Schenker was born 31st August 1948. Formed in 1965 , the Scorpions first had beat influences and Schenker himself did the vocals then things began to come together in 1970 when Schenker’s younger brother Michael and vocalist Klaus Meine joinedthe band. In 1972, the group recorded and released their debut album Lonesome Crow. Sadly Michael Schenker left the band, which led to the breakup of the band In 1973, however In 1974 a new line-up of Scorpions released Fly to the Rainbow. This album proved to be more successful than Lonesome Crow and established the band’s sound. In 1975 the band released In Trance, The album was a huge step forward for Scorpions and established their heavy metal formula and contained songs like “Dark Lady”, “Robot Man”. In 1976, Scorpions released Virgin Killer, which featured rather controversial artwork, that brought the band considerable media exposure but resulted in the album being “pulled” in some countries.

The music itself garnered demographic praise for its music from select critics and fan base. The follow-up album was Taken by Force, They also recorded material during the band’s Japanese tour, and the resultant double live album was called Tokyo Tapes.In 1979 The Scorpions released the album “Love Drive” which some critics consider to be the pinnacle of their career. Containing such fan favourites as “Loving You Sunday Morning”, “Always Somewhere”, “Holiday” and the instrumental “Coast to Coast”. The album’s provocative artwork was also named “Best album sleeve of 1979″ by Playboy magazine but was changed for American release. In 1980 the band released Animal Magnetism, which contained “The Zoo” and “Make It Real”. In 1982 The Scorpions released their next album, Blackout, which became the band’s best selling to date eventually going platinum andspawned three singles “Dynamite”, “Blackout”, and “No One Like You”, but It was not until 1984 and the release of Love at First Sting that the band finally cemented their status as metal musicians. Propelled by the single Rock You Like a Hurricane, Love at First Sting climbed the charts and went double platinum in the USA a few months after its release.

The band toured extensively and recorded their very successful second live album, World Wide Live in 1985. The bands next album Savage Amusement was released in 1988 containing the songs Don’t Stop at the Top and Rhythm of Love, which represented a more polished and mature sound. During the Savage Amusement tour, Scorpions became only the second Western group (not American) to play in the Soviet Union as a result, Scorpions developed an extended Russian fan base and still return to perform.In 1990. Crazy World was released and displayed a less polished sound. The album was propelled in large part by the massive success of the ballad Wind of Change which muses on the socio-political changes that were occurring in Eastern Europe and in other parts of the world at the end of the Cold War. On July 21, 1990 they joined many other guests for Roger Waters’ massive performance of The Wall in Berlin. The Scorpions performed both versions of “In the Flesh” from The Wall.

In 1993, Scorpions released Face the Heat but this did not match the success of “Wind of Change” and was only a moderate success. Their 13th studio album, 1996s Pure Instinct, contained the singles “Wild Child” and the soothing ballad “You and I” which both enjoyed moderate success. 1999 saw the release of Eye II Eye and a significant change in the band’s style, mixing in elements of pop and techno. The following year, Scorpions had an artistic collaboration with the Berlin Philharmonic that resulted in a 10-song album named Moment of Glory. In 2001, Scorpions released Acoustica, which featured acoustic reworkings of the band’s biggest hits, plus new tracks. In 2004, the band released Unbreakable, which was hailed by critics as a long-awaited return to form. The album was the heaviest the band had released since Face the Heat, and cintained tracks such as “New Generation”, “Love ‘em or Leave ‘em” and “Deep and Dark”. Scorpions released their 17th studio album, Sting in the Tail, on March 23, 2010 and announced that it would be their last album and that the tour supporting it will be their final tour. On 6 April 2010, Scorpions were enshrined in Hollywood’s Rock Walk in a handprint ceremony, with the band members placing their hands in a long slab of wet cement, which was placed on the Rock Walk.

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Bob Welch (Fleetwood Mac)

Best known for being a former member with Fleetwood Mac, the American singer and guitarist Bob Welch, was born 31 August 1945. Fleetwood Mac were formed in 1966 in London. Founder Peter Green named the group by combining he surnames of two of his former bandmates (Fleetwood, and John McVie) from John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. Christine Mc vie joined the band in 1970 while married to John McVie, Green asked if drummer Mick Fleetwood could join. The Bluesbreakers now consisted of Green, Fleetwood John McVie and Mayall. Soon after, Green cotacted Fleetwood to form a new band. The pair wanted McVie on bass guitar and even named the band ‘Fleetwood Mac’ as a way to entice him. Peter Green and Mick Fleetwood then teamed up with slide player Jeremy Spencer and bassist Bob Brunning. In 1968 Christine Perfect married John McVie, the bass player with Fleetwood Mac and also Joined Fleetwood Mac in 1970 while still married to McVie.

The band Debuted on 13 August 1967 at the Windsor Jazz and Blues Festival. Within weeks of this show, John McVie agreed to join the band as permanent bassist.fleetwood Mac’s first album, Fleetwood Mac, was a no-frills blues album and was released on te Blue Horizon label in February 1968. In fact there were no other players on the album (except for the song “Long Grey Mare”, which was recorded with Brunning on bass). The album was successful in the UK, though it did not have any singles on it. The band soon released two singles “Black Magic Woman” (later a big hit for Santana) and “Need Your Love So Bad”.The band’s second album, Mr. Wonderful, was released in August 1968. This was another -blues album, but with a few changes. The album was recorded live in the studio with miked amplifiers and PA system, rather than plugged into the board. This method provided the ideal environment for producing this style of music, and gave it an authentically vintage sound. They also added horns . The Next album was Then Then Play On the American which contained the song “Oh Well”

Sadly Peter Green left and In September 1970, Fleetwood Mac released Kiln House. Kirwan’s songs sounded more “rocky”, while, Spencer’s songs resembled the country-tinged “Sun Sound” of the late 1950s. Christine Sang on Kiln House, drew the album cover and was asked to join the band. They also released a single at that time; “Dragonfly” b/w “The Purple Dancer” . At this time Christine Perfect was also married to bassist John McVie. An album of previously unreleased material from the original Fleetwood Mac called The Original Fleetwood Mac was also released. Then While on tour in 1971, Jeremy Spencer disappeared And joined a religious group, the Children of God. So the band hired Bob Welch as guitarist. In September 1971, the band released Future Games, and the album Bare Trees, which featured Welch’s “Sentimental Lady” and “Spare Me a Little of Your Love”, a bright Christine McVie tune. sadly due to his excessive alcohol intake Danny Kirwan became alienated from Welch and the McVies until Fleetwood eventually sacked Kirwan.

In September 1972, the band added guitarist Bob Weston and vocalist Dave Walker, and also hired Savoy Brown’s road manager, John Courage. Mick, John, Christine, Welch, Weston, and Walker recorded Penguin, which was released in January 1973. After the tour, the band fired Walker The remaining five carried on and recorded Mystery to Me six months later, containing the song “Hypnotized” which became one of the band’s most successful songs to date. However, things were not well within the band. The McVies’ marriage at this time was under a lot of stress, which was aggravated by their constant working with each other, and John McVie’s considerable alcohol abuse. During the tour, Weston had an affair with Fleetwood’s wife, Jenny Boyd Fleetwood, the sister of Pattie Boyd Harrison. Fleetwood soon fired Weston and the tour was cancelled.

Then in one of the most bizarre events in rock history, the band’s manager, Clifford Davis, created a “fake Mac” consisting of Elmer Gantry (vocals, guitar), Kirby Gregory (guitar), Paul Martinez (bass), John Wilkinson (keyboards) and Craig Collinge (drums). Fans were told that Bob Welch and John McVie had quit the group, and that Mick Fleetwood and Christine McVie would be joining later, so Fleetwood Mac’s road manager, John Courage intervened. The subsequent lawsuit concerning the ownership of the name Fleetwood Mac delayed Fleetwood Mac, although the band was obviously named after Fleetwood and McVie they signed contracts forfeiting the rights to the name. The “real” Fleetwood Mac were proved to be Fleetwood, Welch and the McVies, and the band were eventually able to record as Fleetwood Mac again.

Fleetwood Mac, released the album Heroes Are Hard to Find in September 1974 and added a second keyboardist Doug Graves for the subsequent tour. Then Bob Welch left and while looking of a replacement Mick Fleetwood heard the song Frozen Love by Buckingham Nicks and liked it and later met guitarist Lindsay Buckingham at Sound City and asked him to join Fleetwood Mac and he agreed on condition that his musical partner and girlfriend, Stephanie “Stevie” Nicks, also join, Fleetwood agreed. Then In 1975, Fleetwood Mac released the album Fleetwood Mac. Containing the songs “Over My Head” and “Say You Love Me”, and Stevie Nicks’ “Rhiannon” and “Landslide” . Sadly by this point John and Christine McVie’s marriage, and Buckingham and Nicks’ long term romantic relationship both broke up and Fleetwood was in the midst of divorce proceedings from his wife, Jenny. This combined with the immense pressure to record another successful album led to creative and personal tensions, fuelled by high consumption of drugs and alcohol.In 1977 Fleetwood Mac released the classic album Rumours. Which despite the emotional turmoil the band were going through, won Grammy Award for Album of the Year for 1977. Hit singles included Buckingham’s “Go Your Own Way”, Nicks’s U.S. No.1 “Dreams” and Christine McVie’s “Don’t Stop” and “You Make Loving Fun”. Buckingham’s “Second Hand News”, Nicks’ “Gold Dust Woman” and “The Chain”.

Fleetwood Mac’s next album was the ambitions and experimental 20-track double album, Tusk, which contained “Tusk”,”Think About Me” and Stevie Nicks’ 6½ minute opus “Sara” . The band embarked on an 18-month tour to support and promote Tusk. including the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, France, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom and even shared the bill with reggae superstar Bob Marley. It was on this world tour that the band recorded music for the Fleetwood Mac Live Album(1980). The next album, 1982′s Mirage, following 1981 solo turns by Nicks (Bella Donna) and Buckingham (Law and Order), was more conventional and included The songs “Hold Me”,”Love In Store”,”Gypsy”, and Lindsey Buckingham’s “Oh Diane”, “Eyes Of The World” and “Can’t Go Back”. Following Mirage, Stevie Nicks released two solo albums (1983′s The Wild Heart and 1985′s Rock a Little), Lindsey Buckingham released Go Insane in 1984, and Christine McVie released her solo album featuring the songs “Got A Hold On Me” and “Love Will Show us how”.

Sadly there were further personal traumas Mick Fleetwood was declared Bankrupt and Nicks was admitted to the Betty Ford Clinic for addiction problems, and John McVie had suffered an addiction-related seizure—all attributed to their excessive lifestyles. It was even rumoured that Fleetwood Mac had finally broken up. However Fleetwood Mac recorded one more album for the time being, Tango in the Night, in 1987. Which become their best-selling release since Rumours and contained the songs “Little Lies”, “Everywhere”,Seven Wonders”,”Big Love”. Family Man”and “Isn’t It Midnight”. Lindsey Buckingham left and Following his departure, Fleetwood Mac added two new guitarists to the band, Billy Burnette and Rick Vito. Burnette had already worked with Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham and, Fleetwood and Christine McVie played on his Try Me album in 1985. Rick Vito, was a Peter Green admirer, Who had previously played with Bonnie Raitt, John Mayall, and John McVie. In 1988 Fleetwood Mac released a Greatest Hits album featuring singles from the 1975–88 era, plus two new compositions: “No Questions Asked” and “As Long as You Follow” And was dedicated to Buckingham by the band, with whom they had now reconciled. Following the Greatest Hits collection, Fleetwood Mac recorded the album Behind the Mask, which included the songs “Save Me”. The subsequent “Behind the Mask” tour saw the band play sold out shows at London’s Wembley Stadium, and Los Angeles.

In 1991, both Nicks and Rick Vito left Fleetwood Mac and in 1992 Fleetwood arranged a 4-disc box set spanning highlights from the band’s 25 year history, titled 25 Years – The Chain. Plus new songs, “Paper Doll”,”Heart of Stone” and “Love Shines” and “Make Me a Mask”. Mick Fleetwood also released a deluxe hardcover companion book to coincide with the release of the box set, titled My 25 Years in Fleetwood Mac, which featured many rare photographs and notes (written by Fleetwood himself) detailing the band’s 25 year history. The Buckingham/Nicks/McVie/ McVie/ Fleetwood line-up also reunited at the request of U.S. President Bill Clinton for his first Inaugural Ball in 1993. Clinton had made Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop” his campaign theme song. Inspired by the new interest in the band, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, and Christine McVie recorded another album as Fleetwood Mac, with Billy Burnette on lead guitar, however he was replaced by singer/guitarist Bekka Bramlett and Traffic’s Dave Mason, who had worked with Bekka’s parentsDelaney & Bonnie twenty five years earlier.

By March 1994, Billy Burnette, himself a good friend and co-songwriter with Delaney Bramlett, returned and the band, minus Christine McVie, toured in 1994, performing classic Fleetwood Mac songs from the initial 1967–1974 era On 10 October 1995, Fleetwood Mac released Time. Then Bramlett and Burnette left and formed a country music duo, Bekka & Billy. In May 1996, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks made an appearance at a private party in Louisville,Kentucky prior to the Kentucky Derby. Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham composed the duet, “Twisted” for the film “Twister” with Mick Fleetwood on drums. This eventually led to a full Rumours line-up reunion when the band officially reformed in March 1997. The regrouped Mac performed a live concert which was recorded as a live album, they also released the 20th anniversary of their Rumours album. In 1998, Fleetwood Mac (Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer and Danny Kirwan) were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and performed at the Grammy Awards program that year. They were also the recipients of the “Outstanding Contribution to Music” award at the BRIT Awards(British Phonographic Industry Awards)

In 2003 Fleetwood Mac released the album, Say You Will, containing “Peacekeeper” and “Say You Will” this was followed by a WorldTour. In 2009 Fleetwood Mac embarked on a ‘greatest hits’ show entitled Unleashed and Stevie Nicks wrote a song to raise funds for the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac was re-released on an extended two-disc format and a new one-hour documentary, Fleetwood Mac: Don’t Stop, was shown. An episode of Glee entitled “Rumours” also featured six songs from the band’s 1977 album Rumours and sparked renewed interest in the band. Stevie Nicks’ also released a new solo album In Your Dreams. Fleetwood Mac reunited in 2013 without the late Bob Brunning, Bob Weston or Bob Welch, and performed two new songs. (“Sad Angel” and “Without You”), The band also released their first new studio material in 10 years, Extended Play, on 2013. In 2013 John McVie was diagnosed with cancer, and they cancelled their New Zealand and Australian performances.” However In 2014 Christine McVie rejoined Fleetwood Mac and they embarked on a 33 Date North American Tour called on with the Show.

Van Morrison OBE

Northern Irish singer-songwriter and musician Van Morrison, OBE (born George Ivan Morrison; was born 31 August 1945. His live performances at their best are described as transcendental, while some of his recordings, such as the studio albums Astral Weeksand Moondance and the live album It’s Too Late to Stop Now, are critically acclaimed and appear at the top of many greatest album lists. He is known as “Van the Man” to his fans, And started his professional career when, as a teenager in the late 1950s, he played a variety of instruments including guitar, harmonica, keyboards and saxophone for various Irish showbands covering the popular hits of the day. He rose to prominence in the mid-1960s as the lead singer of the Northern Irish R&B band Them, with whom he recorded the garage band classic “Gloria”. His solo career began under the pop-hit oriented guidance of Bert Berns with the release of the hit single “Brown Eyed Girl” in 1967. After Berns’ death, Warner Bros. Records bought out his contract and allowed him three sessions to record Astral Weeks in 1968.

Even though this album would gradually garner high praise, it was initially poorly received; however, the next one, Moondance, established Morrison as a major artist, and throughout the 1970s he built on his reputation with a series of critically acclaimed albums and live performances. Morrison continues to record and tour, producing albums and live performances that sell well and are generally warmly received, sometimes collaborating with other artists, such as Georgie Fame and The Chieftains. In 2008 he performed Astral Weeks live for the first time since 1968. Much of Morrison’s music is structured around the conventions of soul music and R&B, such as the popular singles “Brown Eyed Girl”, “Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven When You Smile)”, “Domino” and “Wild Night”.

An equal part of his catalogue consists of lengthy, loosely connected, spiritually inspired musical journeys that show the influence of Celtic tradition, jazz, and stream-of-consciousness narrative, such as Astral Weeks and lesser-known works such as Veedon Fleece and Common One. The two strains together are sometimes referred to as “Celtic Soul”. Morrison has received considerable acclaim, including six Grammy Awards, the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, being inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and appearing on several “Greatest Artists” lists.

Roger Dean

Known primarily for the dreamy, other-worldly fantasy scenes created for various bands including Yes, Asia and Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe, the English fantasy artist, designer, and publisher William Roger Dean was born on 31 August 1944 in Ashford, Kent. His mother studied dress design at Canterbury School of Art before her marriage and his father was an engineer in the British Army. He has three siblings, brother Martyn and sisters Penny and Philippa. Much of Dean’s childhood was spent in Greece, Cyprus, and, from age 12 to 15, Hong Kong, so his father could carry out army duties. Dean was very keen on natural history as a child, and Chinese landscape art and feng shui became particular influences on him during his time in Hong Kong. He has cited landscape, “and the pathways through it”, as his greatest influence and source of inspiration for his exotic, fantasy landscapes.

In 1959, the family returned to England, Dean attended Ashford Grammar School followed by his entry in 1961 to Canterbury School of Art studying silversmithing and furniture design and graduated with a National Diploma in Design. He also began studying industrial design. As the school was trying to become accredited in the subject, Dean bypassed its foundation level course but disliked the way the subject was taught and questioned the teachers as to why people had to live in “boxes” and their response in that “form follows function”. in 1965 Dean enrolled at the Royal College of Art in London. to study furniture design and became a student of Professor David Pye. Among his research was the “psychology of architecture” and what made people feel comfortable in buildings.He did a thesis about “producing a sense of tranquillity in domestic architecture”. He graduated from the college in 1968 with a masters with first degree honours, and won a silver medal for “work of special distinction”. He was inspired Rick Griffin’s artwork for Aoxomoxoa (1969) by The Grateful Dead as his “first big visual shock” and bought the album prior to owning a record player.

Yes -Fly From Here

Among Dean’s first successes was his sea urchin chair which compresses and fully adapts to the shape and size of the user. This was inspired by research at the Royal College is a predecessor to the bean bag. Dean was one of the few students picked from the Royal College to design and make objects in famed designer Cherrill Scheer’s factory. The chair remains one of Cherrill’s favourite pieces. It is now a part of the permanent collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum. In 1968, during his third year at the Royal College, Dean helped design a contemporary landscape seating area at the upstairs disco at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in Soho. This led to the design of his first album cover, The Gun (1968) by rock band The Gun for which owner Ronnie Scott asked him to adapt a demonic-themed design that Dean originally made in his sketchbook for his thesis, for the album’s cover. He then decided to start producing album cover art design. He first began producing covers for various jazz artists for Vertigo Records. Dean also wanted to publish a book on architecture.

In 1970 Dean designed the logo to the independent label Fly Records and also worked on artwork for Marc Bolan. This involved typesetting the liner notes and lyrics by hand with the assistance of a graphic designer. Following this Dean also began handwriting the text for further Bolan singles. Dean also completed a design for Clear Blue Sky (1970) by Clear Blue Sky, involving a painting without typesetting.Following this Dean produced more handwriting, logo, and graphic work for rock bands. He also held a small exhibition of his work in Florence. Dean did the artwork for the cover of Osibisa (1971) by Afro-pop band Osibisa which Dean described as “credible African fairytale imagery” and features “flying elephants”. This was turned into a popular poster by the Big ‘O’ poster company.

Dean sent a portfolio to numerous executives including Phil Carson, the European General Manager of Atlantic Records who decided to use Dean’s artwork for rock acts like, Led Zeppelin and Yes, and hired Dean for the cover of Yes’s fourth album, Fragile. This features a planet which is breaking up, so the inhabitants build a space ark to find another planet to live on while towing the remains of the planet with them”. In 1972, he designed the band’s logo which he came up with during a journey on the Brighton Belle train. Yes guitarist Steve Howe stated, “There is a pretty tight bond between our sound and Roger’s art”. Dean also contributed to Martyn Dean’s stage set designs for the band. During his work for Yessongs (1973), Dean and his printers Tinsley Robor secured a patent for “a way of going from gatefold to any number of pages, folded out of one piece of card” For Yes’s album Relayer (1974), he painted the sleeve in pencil and coloured it with dirty water. Characteristic landscapes show graceful stone arches or floating islands, while many paintings portray organic-seeming habitats, with ornate calligraphic work, logos and titles to go with his paintings.

Dean had an idea for Living in the Third Millennium, a television show about the designs of the future. In 1981, Dean and his brother Martyn had their collaborative design, the Tectonic House, a futuristic and economic home built to last, displayed at the annual International Ideal Home Exhibition in Birmingham. The idea spawned from two ideas: Dean’s earlier designs for a bed and bedroom intended for the safety of children, and Martyn’s “retreat pod” from 1970 that was featured in the Stanley Kubrick film A Clockwork Orange. Dean also collaborated with comic artist Michael Kaluta for the video game The Black Onyx by Henk Rogers for which they produced an estimated 4,000 drawings including ideas for animation, story, music, and motion capture.

In 1985 Dean created cover artwork for some Psygnosis games, including Shadow of the Beast and Obliterator and did the cover art for Tetris Worlds as well as a redesign of the Tetris logo. In 2002 Dean received an honorary doctorate from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and received an honorary fellowship from the Arts University Bournemouth in 2009. In 2004, Dean started his “Homes for Life” architectural idea, designing affordable futuristic homes that can be mass produced in factories and customised to the user’s tastes. The design is curved based and without right angles. In 2013, Dean filed a legal action in U.S. District Court New York claiming that film director James Cameron was inspired by 14 of his original images in the making the 2009 blockbuster film Avatar. Dean sought damages of $50m. The filmmakers admitted in court to being influenced by the artist’s work, and Dean’s case was dismissed in 2014. In 2013, Dean received a Gold Badge of Merit from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors.

A Column of Fire by Ken Follett

Having read both The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, I would like to read The continuing saga of Kingsbridge in Ken Follett’s latest novel A Column of Fire. It begins in turbulent times during Christmas 1558. Elizabeth Tudor has been Crowned Queen of England. However there are many including her estranged sister the alluring, and headstrong Mary Queen of Scots who is currently in Paris with the brutally ambitious French Royal family. They have proclaimed her the rightful ruler of England, and there are many supporters in France who are scheming to get rid of Queen Elizabeth I and much of Europe turns against England.

However Elizabeth is a shrewd, and determined young monarch and To counter any threat she decides to set up a secret network of resourceful spies and courageous agents led by Sir Francis Walsingham, whose job it is to keep her informed concerning any threats to the Monarchy and give an early warning of any assassination plots, rebellions and invasion plans. Walsingham rose from relative obscurity become an important figure in Elizabethan England, overseeing foreign, domestic and religious policy. He served as English ambassador to France in the early 1570s and witnessed the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre. As principal secretary, he supported exploration, colonization, the use of England’s maritime strength and the plantation of Ireland. He worked to bring Scotland and England together and encouraged a foreign policy which bolstered the role of England as a maritime, Protestant power with intercontinental trading ties. He also oversaw operations that penetrated Spanish military preparation and gathered intelligence from across Europe.

Meanwhile young Ned Willard returns home to Kingsbridge to find that Kingsbridge has also changed. The ancient stones of Kingsbridge Cathedral now look down on a city torn by religious hatred. Then Ned is given an opportunity to serve his Queen when he asked to join Elizabeth’s network of spies and agents. However this position comes at a price and Ned soon finds himself at odds with the girl he longs to marry, Margery Fitzgerald who is actually marrying someone else And the love between Ned and Margery seems doomed.

Gradually extremism sparks violence from Edinburgh to Geneva as Europe is enveloped in turmoil when high principles clash bloodily with friendship, loyalty and love, and Ned finds himself involved in a battle for tolerance and compromise against tyrants intent on imposing their ideas on everyone else no matter the cost.

International Day of the Disappeared

The International Day of the Disappeared, occurs annually on August 30. The purpose of the International Day of the Disappeared is to draw attention to the fate of individuals imprisoned at places unknown to their relatives and/or legal representatives and often in poor conditions. The impulse for the day came from the Latin American Federation of Associations for Relatives of Detained-Disappeared (Federación Latinoamericana de Asociaciones de Familiares de Detenidos-Desaparecidos, or FEDEFAM), a non-governmental organization founded in 1981 in Costa Rica as an association of local and regional groups actively working against secret imprisonment, forced disappearances and abduction in a number of Latin-American countries.

Work on secret imprisonment is an important part of the activities for a number of international bodies and organizations in the fields of human rights activism and humanitarian aid, including for example Amnesty International (AI), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The International Day of the Disappeared is an opportunity to highlight these institutions’ work, increase public awareness, and to call for donations and volunteers. The ICRC has additional privileges due to its special status as a non-governmental sovereign entity and its strict policy of neutrality. In some cases, the ICRC is the only institution granted access to specific groups of prisoners, thereby enabling a minimum level of contact and inspection of their treatment. For affected families, messages transmitted by the ICRC are often the only hint about the fate of these prisoners.

Visiting those detained in relation to conflicts and enabling them to restore and maintain contact with their families, is a very important part of the ICRC’s mandate. But the definition of the Missing or the Disappeared goes far beyond the victims of enforced disappearance. It includes all those whose families have lost contact as the result of conflicts, natural disasters or other tragedies. These missing people may be detained, stranded in foreign countries, hospitalized or dead. Through its tracing services and working with the 189 national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies around the world, the ICRC seeks to obtain information about their fate on behalf of their families. It reminds governments and other groups of their obligations to respect the families’ right to know the fate of their loved ones. It also works with families of the missing to help them address their particular psychological, social legal and financial needs.

Imprisonment under secret or uncertain circumstances is a grave violation of some conceptions of human rights as well as, in the case of an armed conflict, of International Humanitarian Law. The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a Declaration on the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance as resolution 47/133 on December 18, 1992. It is estimated that secret imprisonment is practiced in about 30 countries. The OHCHR Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances has registered about 46,000 cases of people who disappeared under unknown circumstances.

In 2007, hundreds of Philippine relatives and supporters of desaparecidos, mostly activists, missing after being abducted or killed by Philippine security forces protested against the government to mark International Day of the Disappeared. Edita Burgos remembered her missing son, Jonas, a member of the Peasants’ Movement of the Philippines. In 2008 the International Coalition against Enforced Disappearances, which gathers family member organizations and human rights organizations from around the world, joined hands for a global campaign event to promote the ratification of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.

Wes Craven

American film director, writer, producer and actor Wesley Earl Craven sadly died August 30, 2015, from brain cancer, at the age of 76 at his home in Los Angeles. He was born August 2, 1939 in Cleveland, Ohio. Craven earned an undergraduate degree in English and Psychology from Wheaton College in Illinois and a master’s degree in Philosophy and Writing from Johns Hopkins University. Craven also briefly taught English at Westminster College and was a humanities professor at Clarkson College of Technology (later named Clarkson University) in Potsdam, New York. He additionally taught at Madrid-Waddington High School in Madrid, New York. During this time, he purchased a used 16mm film camera and began making short movies. When his friend Tom Chapin informed him of a messenger position at a New York City post-production company run by his brother, future folk-rock star Harry Chapin, Craven moved to Manhattan. His first creative job in the film industry was as a sound editor for Chapin’s firm.

Harry was a fantastic film editor and producer of industrials. He taught me The Chapin Method of editing: ‘Nuts and bolts! Nuts and bolts!” Craven afterward became the firm’s assistant manager, and broke into film editing with You’ve Got to Walk It Like You Talk It or You’ll Lose That Beat. Craven left the academic world for the more lucrative role of pornographic film director. In the documentary Inside Deep Throat, Craven says on camera he made “many hard core X-rated films including Deep Throat most of his early known work involved writing, film editing or both. Craven’s first feature film as director was The Last House on the Left, which was released in 1972.

Craven frequently collaborated with Sean S. Cunningham. In Craven’s debut feature, The Last House on the Left, Cunningham served as producer. Later, in Craven’s best-known film, A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), and launched actor Johnny Depp’s career by casting him in A Nightmare on Elm Street, Depp’s first major film role.Cunningham directed one of the chase scenes, although he was not credited. Their characters, Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees, appeared together in the slasher film Freddy vs. Jason (2003) with Cunningham acting as producer, while screenwriter Victor Miller is credited as “Character Creator”. Later, in The Last House on the Left remake (2009), Cunningham and Craven share production credits. Although known for directing horror/thriller films, he had worked on two other films: Music of the Heart (1999), and as one of the 22 directors responsible for Paris, je t’aime (2006). Craven alao created Coming of Rage, a five-issue comic book series, with 30 Days of Night comic book writer Steve Niles.The series was released in digital form in 2014 by Liquid Comics with a print edition scheduled for an October 2015 debut.

He is best known for creating the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise featuring the Freddy Krueger character, directing the first installment and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, and co-writing A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors with Bruce Wagner. Craven also directed all four films in the Scream series and two films in the Hills Have Eyes series. Some of his other films include The Last House on the Left, The Serpent and the Rainbow, The People Under the Stairs, Vampire in Brooklyn and Red Eye. Following his untimely passing The 10th episode of Scream was dedicated in his memory. He was known for his pioneering work in the genre of horror films, particularly slasher films, where his impact on the genre was considered prolific and influential. Due to the success and cultural impact of his works in the horror film genre Craven has been called the “Master of Horror”.