James Watt

Scottish inventor, mechanical engineer, and chemist James Watt FRS FRSE Sadly died 25 August 1819 at his home “Heathfield” in Handsworth, Staffordshire (now part of Birmingham) at the age of 83. He was born 30 January 1736 (19 January 1736 OS in Greenock, Renfrewshire. His father was a shipwright, ship owner and contractor, and served as the town’s chief baillie,while his mother, Agnes Muirhead, came from a well educated distinguished family. Watt’s grandfather, Thomas Watt, was a mathematics teacher and baillie to the Baron of Cartsburn. Watt did not attend school regularly; initially he was mostly schooled at home by his mother but later he attended Greenock Grammar School. He exhibited great manual dexterity, engineering skills and an aptitude for mathematics, but is said to have suffered prolonged bouts of ill-health as a child.

When he was eighteen, his mother died and his father’s health began to fail. Watt travelled to London to study instrument-making for a year, then returned to Scotland, settling in Glasgow intent on setting up his own instrument-making business. He made and repaired brass reflecting quadrants, parallel rulers, scales, parts for telescopes, and barometers, among other things. However Because he had not served at least seven years as an apprentice, the Glasgow Guild of Hammermen (which had jurisdiction over any artisans using hammers) blocked his application, despite there being no other mathematical instrument makers in Scotland.

However the arrival of astronomical instruments, bequeathed by Alexander Macfarlane to the University of Glasgow which required expert handling, Allowed Watt to bypass this stalemate. These instruments were eventually installed in the Macfarlane Observatory. He was offered the opportunity to set up a small workshop within the university by two of the professors, the physicist and chemist Joseph Black and Adam Smith. At first he worked on maintaining and repairing scientific instruments used in the university, helping with demonstrations, and expanding the production of quadrants. In 1759 he formed a partnership with John Craig, an architect and businessman, to manufacture and sell a line of products including musical instruments and toys. This partnership lasted for the next six years, and employed up to sixteen workers.

While working as an instrument maker at the University of Glasgow, Watt became interested in the technology of steam engines After noticing the steam from a boiling kettle forced the lid to move. His friend, John Robison, then suggested steam could be used as a source of motive power. He realized that contemporary steam engine designs wasted a great deal of energy by repeatedly cooling and reheating the cylinder. Watt introduced a design enhancement, the separate condenser, which avoided this waste of energy and radically improved the power, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of steam engines. Eventually he adapted his engine to produce rotary motion, greatly broadening its use beyond pumping water. Watt dramatically improved on the efficiency of Thomas Newcomen’s 1712 Newcomen steam engine with his Watt steam engine in 1781, which was fundamental to the changes brought by the Industrial Revolution in both his native Great Britain and the rest of the world.

The design of the Newcomen engine, in use for almost 50 years for pumping water from mines, had hardly changed from its first implementation. Watt began to experiment with steam, though he had never seen an operating steam engine. He tried constructing a model. He realised the importance of latent heat—the thermal energy released or absorbed during a constant-temperature process—in understanding the engine, which, unknown to Watt, his friend Joseph Black had previously discovered some years before. In 1763, Watt was asked to repair a model Newcomen engine belonging to the university. Even after repair, the engine barely worked. After much experimentation, Watt demonstrated that about three-quarters of the thermal energy of the steam was being wasted heating the engine cylinder on every cycle.

Watt decided to condense the steam in a separate chamber apart from the piston, and to maintain the temperature of the cylinder at the same temperature as the injected steam by surrounding it with a “steam jacket.Thus very little energy was absorbed by the cylinder on each cycle, making more available to perform useful work. Sadly Watt had financial difficulties constructing a full scale engine to demonstrate his findings. Luckily backing came from John Roebuck, the founder of the celebrated Carron Iron Works near Falkirk, with whom he now formed a partnership. Roebuck lived at Kinneil House in Bo’ness, during which time Watt worked at perfecting his steam engine, however the Piston and cylinder could not be manufactured with sufficient precision. Watt also worked first as a surveyor, then as a civil engineer for eight years to finance his work. Sadly

Sadly Roebuck went bankrupt, however salvation came in the form of Matthew Boulton, who owned the Soho Manufactory works near Birmingham, and acquired his patent rights. Through Boulton, Watt finally had access to some of the best iron workers in the world. The difficulty of the manufacture of a large cylinder with a tightly fitting piston was solved by John Wilkinson, who had developed precision boring techniques for cannon making at Bersham, near Wrexham, North Wales. Watt and Boulton formed a hugely successful partnership (Boulton and Watt) which lasted for the next twenty-five years.In 1776, the first engines were installed and working in commercial enterprises. These first engines were used to power pumps and produced only reciprocating motion to move the pump rods at the bottom of the shaft. The design was commercially successful, and for the next five years Watt installed more engines, mostly in Cornwall for pumping water out of mines. These early engines were not manufactured by Boulton and Watt, but were made by others according to drawings made by Watt, who served in the role of consulting engineer. The field of application for the invention was greatly widened when Boulton urged Watt to convert the reciprocating motion of the piston to produce rotational power for grinding, weaving and milling. Although a crank seemed the obvious solution to the conversion Watt and Boulton were stymied by a patent for this, whose holder, James Pickard, and associates proposed to cross-license the external condenser. Watt adamantly opposed this and they circumvented the patent by their sun and planet gear in 1781.

Watt made a number of other improvements and modifications to the steam engine. Such as A double acting engine, in which the steam acted alternately on the two sides of the piston. He also described methods for working the steam “expansively” (i.e., using steam at pressures well above atmospheric). He designed A compound engine, which connected two or more engines, a steam indicator which prevented these primative boilers from exploding and parallel motion which was essential in double-acting engines as it produced the straight line motion required for the cylinder rod and pump, from the connected rocking beam, whose end moves in a circular arc. He also created a throttle valve to control the power of the engine, and a centrifugal governor, all of which made his Steam Engines far more efficient than the Newcomen Engine. In order to minimaze the risk of exploding boilers, Watt restricted his use of high pressure steam and all of his engines used steam at near atmospheric pressure. Watt entered a partnership with Matthew Boulton in 1775. The new firm of Boulton and Watt was eventually highly successful and Watt became a wealthy man.

Watt retired in 1800, the same year that his fundamental patent and partnership with Boulton expired. The famous partnership was transferred to the men’s sons, Matthew Robinson Boulton and James Watt Jr. Watt continued to invent other things before and during his semi-retirement though none was as significant as his steam engine work. He invented and constructed several machines for copying sculptures and medallions. He maintained his interest in civil engineering and was a consultant on several significant projects. He proposed, for example, a method for constructing a flexible pipe to be used for pumping water under the Clyde at Glasgow. He and his second wife travelled to France and Germany, and he purchased an estate in mid-Wales at Doldowlod House, one mile south of Llanwrthwl. In 1816 he took a trip on the paddle-steamer Comet, a product of his inventions, to revisit his home town of Greenock. James Watt’s improvements to the steam engine converted it from a prime mover of marginal efficiency into the mechanical workhorse of the Industrial Revolution. The availability of efficient, reliable motive power made whole new classes of industry economically viable, and altered the economies of continents. This brought about immense social change, attracting millions of rural families to the towns and cities.

Following his death He was buried on 2 September in the graveyard of St Mary’s Church, Handsworth. However he received many honours for his pioneering work during his lifetime. In 1784 he was made a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and was elected as a member of the Batavian Society for Experimental Philosophy, of Rotterdam in 1787. In 1789 he was elected to the elite group, the Smeatonian Society of Civil Engineers. In 1806 he was conferred the honorary Doctor of Laws by the University of Glasgow. The French Academy elected him a Corresponding Member and he was made a Foreign Associate in 1814. The watt is named after James Watt for his contributions to the development of the steam engine, and was adopted by the Second Congress of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1889 and by the 11th General Conference on Weights and Measures in 1960 as the unit of power incorporated in the International System of Units (or “SI”).Boulton and Watt also feature on a Bank of England £50 note. the two industrialists pictured side by side with images of Watt’s steam engine and Boulton’s Soho Manufactory. Quotes attributed to each of the men are inscribed on the note: “I sell here, sir, what all the world desires to have—POWER” (Boulton) and “I can think of nothing else but this machine” (Watt). In 2011 he was one of seven inaugural inductees to the Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame.

Vivian Campbell

Irish musician, Vivian Campbell, was born 25 August 1962. He joined heavy metal band Def Leppard, following the tragic death of guitarist Steve Clark. Def Leppard were Formed in 1977 in Sheffield as part of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement.Def Leppard ’s strongest commercial success came between the early 1980s and the early 1990s. Their 1981 album High ‘n’ Dry was produced byRobert John “Mutt” Lange, who helped them begin to define their style, and the album’s stand out track “Bringin’ On the Heartbreak” became one of the first metal videos played on MTV in 1982. The band’s next studio album Pyromania in 1983, with the singles “Photograph” and Rock of Ages, turned Def Leppard into a household name. In 2004, the album ranked number 384 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

Def Leppard’s fourth album Hysteria, released in 1987, topped the U.S and UK album charts. As of 2009 it has 12x platinum sales in the United States, and has gone on to sell over 20 million copies worldwide. The album spawned six hit singles, including the U.S. Billboard Hot 100number one “Love Bites”, alongside Pour Some Sugar on Me , “Hysteria”,Armaggeddon It , “Animal” and Rocket“. Their next studio album Adrenalize reached number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 and UK Album Chart in 1992, and contained several hits including, “Let’s Get Rocked” and “Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad”. Their 1993 album Retro Active contained the acoustic song “Two Steps Behind”, while their greatest hits album Vault released in 1995 featured track “When Love & Hate Collide”. in 2015 Def Leppard released the live album, Mirrorball and they toured in 2015 alongside Tesla and STYX.

Def Leppards latest self titled album “Def Leppard” was, released In 2015 and is Def Leppard’s first studio album since the album Songs from the Sparkle Lounge which was released in 2008. The album Def Leppard Contains the tracks Let’s Go” ,”Dangerous”,”Man Enough”,”We Belong”, “Invincible”, “Sea of Love”, “Energized”, “All Time High”, “Battle of My Own”,”Broke ‘N’ Brokenhearted”, “Forever Young”, “Last Dance”, “Wings of an Angel”, “Blind Faith” and was released together with a limited edition fan pack containing a magazine, prints, a keyring in addition to the CD Itself. Since 1992, the band have consisted of Rick Savage (bass, backing vocals), Joe Elliott (lead vocals), Rick Allen (drums, backing vocals), Phil Collen (guitar, backing vocals), and Vivian Campbell (guitar, backing vocals). Therefore, this is the band’s longest-standing lineup. As one of the world’s best-selling music artists, Def Leppard have sold more than 100 million albums worldwide,and have two albums with RIAAdiamond certification, Pyromania and Hysteria. They are one of only five rock bands with two original studio albums selling over 10 million copies in the U.S.The band were ranked No. 31 in VH1′s “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock”and ranked No. 70 in “100 Greatest Artists Of All Time”

Prior to joining Def Leppard in April 1992 Campbell had also been a member of English hard rock band Whitesnake. Whitesnake were formed in 1978 by David Coverdale, after his departure from his previous band Deep Purple. Their early material has been compared by critics to the blues rock of Deep Purple, but they slowly began moving toward a more commercially accessible rock style.[2] By the turn of the decade, the band’s commercial fortunes changed and they released a string of UK top 10 albums, Ready an’ Willing (1980), Come an’ Get It (1981), Saints & Sinners (1982) and Slide It In (1984), the last of which was their first to chart in the US and is certified 2x platinum.

The band’s 1987 self-titled album was their most commercially successful worldwide, and contained two major US hits, “Here I Go Again” and “Is This Love”, reaching number one and two on the Billboard Hot 100. The album went 8 times platinum in the US, and the band’s success saw them nominated for the 1988 Brit Award for Best British Group. Slip of the Tongue (1989), was also a success, reaching the top 10 in the UK and the US, and received a platinum US certification. The band split up shortly after this release, but had a reunion in 1994, and released a one-off studio album, Restless Heart (1997). Whitesnake officially reformed in 2002 and have been touring together since, releasing three albums, Good to Be Bad (2008), Forevermore (2011) and The Purple Album (2015). In 2005, Whitesnake were named the 85th greatest hard rock band of all time by VH1.[1]

Campbell has also been a member of Dio, alongside Ronnie James Dio, Vinny Appice, and former Rainbow bassist Jimmy Bain. Dio’s debut album Holy Diver Included the songs, “Don’t Talk To Strangers”, “Holy Diver” and “Rainbow in the Dark” which became Dio’s biggest hit. A concert video, called In Concert, from this tour was also released. The band also played at The Monsters Of Rock festival in 1983. Dio returned to the studio to write and record the follow-up to Holy Diver. This album was called The Last in Line and charted at #23 in the US. “The Last in Line”, “We Rock” and “Mystery” all became radio hits. A concert video from this tour called A Special From The Spectrum was also released.

The following album Sacred Heart  featured the hits “Rock N Roll Children” and “Hungry For Heaven”, the second of which was also included on the soundtrack to the film Vision Quest. Also around this time the band recorded the song “Hide In The Rainbow” for the Iron Eagle soundtrack, the last song Campbell would record with Dio. A live EP Intermission was also released. Craig Goldy played on the disc’s only studio song “Time to Burn” and over-dubbed the rhythm parts on the live tracks. Campbell and the band parted company in 1986 and he was then recruited by lead singer David Coverdale to replace Ex-Thin Lizzy and Tygers of Pan Tang guitarist John Sykes in the new, glammed-up Whitesnake which Coverdale had put together to conquer MTV and American audiences; other members included Adrian Vandenberg, formerly of Teaser and Vandenberg, Tommy Aldridge of Ozzy Osbourne and Black Oak Arkansas fame, and Rudy Sarzo, who had become hugely successful playing with Ozzy Osbourne and Quiet Riot. Campbell then left Whitesnake after the band’s 1987-1988 world tour before joining Def Leppard in 1992 with whom he has been ever since.

Elvis Costello

English musician, singer-songwriter, and record producer. Elvis Costello (Declan Patrick MacManus) was born 25 August 1954. Costello worked at a number of office jobs to support himself, including Elizabeth Arden – which was immortalized in the song lyrics of “I’m Not Angry” as the “vanity factory” – where he worked as a data entry clerk. He also worked for a short period as a computer operator at the Midland Bank computer centre in Bootle. He continued to write songs and began looking for a solo recording contract.

He began his career as part of London’s pub rock scene in the early 1970s and was signed to independent label Stiff Records on the basis of a demo tape. His manager at Stiff, Jake Riviera, suggested a name change, combining Elvis Presley’s first name and Costello, his father’s stage name. Costello’s first single “Less Than Zero” and his critically acclaimed début album, My Aim Is True were both released in 1977. The backing for Costello’s debut album was provided by American West Coast band Clover, a country outfit living in England whose members would later go on to join Huey Lewis and the News and the Doobie Brothers.

Costello released his first major hit single, “Watching the Detectives”, which was recorded with Steve Nieve and the pair of Steve Goulding (drums) and Andrew Bodnar (bass), both members of Graham Parker’s backing band the Rumour. Added to the U.S. version of My Aim Is True, the song contained scathing verses about the vicarious enjoyment of TV violence over a reggae beat. Later in 1977, Costello then formed his own permanent backing band, the Attractions, consisting of Steve Nieve (piano), Bruce Thomas (bass guitar), and Pete Thomas (drums; unrelated to Bruce Thomas). In 1977 Costello and the Attractions, were due to play “Less Than Zero” on Saturday Night Live; but played “Radio Radio” instead, in protest of Radio Commercialization and which NBC and Lorne Michaels had forbidden them to play. Costello was subsequently banned from the show (although the ban was lifted in 1989

Following a tour with other Stiff artists – captured on the Live Stiffs Live album, which includes Costello’s version of the Burt Bacharach/Hal David standard “I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself” – the band recorded their second album This Year’s Model in 1978. Some of the more popular tracks include the British hit “(I Don’t Want to Go to) Chelsea” and “Pump It Up.” This Years Modelwas ranked number 11 by Rolling Stone on its list of the best albums from 1967–1987.

His third album, Armed Forces, was released in 1979, featuring the song “Oliver’s Army”. American editions included a 45rpm EP recorded live at the Hollywood High School Gymnasium in Hollywood in 1978. Both the album and the single “Oliver’s Army” went to No. 2 in the UK, and the opening track “Accidents Will Happen” gained wide television exposure thanks to its innovative animated music video, directed by Annabel Jankel and Rocky Morton. Costello also found time in 1979 to produce the debut album for the 2 Tone ska revival band the Specials and worked as a backing vocalist on ‘This Is Your Life’, an album by New Wave band Twist. All three albums appeared later on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. In 1979 Costello caused offence in 1979, when during a drunken argument with Stephen Stills and Bonnie Bramlett in a Columbus, Ohio, Holiday Inn bar, the singer referred to James Brown as a “jive-ass nigger”, then upped the ante by pronouncing Ray Charles a “blind, ignorant nigger”. Costello later apologised at a New York City press conference a few days later, claiming that he had been drunk and had been attempting to be obnoxious in order to bring the conversation to a swift conclusion, not anticipating that Bramlett would bring his comments to the press.

Costello is also an avid country music fan and has cited George Jones as his favourite country singer. In 1977, he appeared on Jones’ duet album My Very Special Guests, contributing “Stranger in the House”, which they later performed together on an HBO special dedicated to Jones. In 1980 Costello released The soul-infused Get Happy!! Album, this was the first of Costello’s many musical experiments and marked a distinct change in mood from the angry, frustrated tone of his first three albums to a more upbeat, happy manner. The single, “I Can’t Stand Up for Falling Down” was an old Sam and Dave song (though Costello increased the tempo considerably). He also appeared at the Heatwave festival in August near Toronto.In 1981, Costello released the album Trust amidst growing tensions within the Attractions, particularly between Bruce and Pete Thomas. In the U.S., Costello released the singles “Watch Your Step”,”Clubland” and “From a Whisper to a Scream” (a duet with Glenn Tilbrook of Squeeze). Costello also co-produced Squeeze’s popular 1981 album East Side Story (with Roger Bechirian) and also performed backing vocals on the group’s hit single “Tempted”.

Elvis Costello then released the album Almost Blue, containing country music cover songs written by the likes of Hank Williams (“Why Don’t You Love Me (Like You Used to Do?)”), Merle Haggard (“Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down”) and Gram Parsons (“How Much I Lied”) & George Jones’ “Good Year for the Roses” (written by Jerry Chesnut). Costello’s next album Imperial Bedroom (1982) had a much darker sound And featured Costello’s song “Almost Blue”, inspired by the music of jazz singer and trumpeter Chet Baker, who would later perform and record a version of the song (Chet Baker in Tokyo).

In 1983, he released the album Punch the Clock, featuring female backing vocal duo (Afrodiziak) and a four-piece horn section (the TKO Horns), alongside the Attractions. Clive Langer (who co-produced with Alan Winstanley), provided Costello with a melody which eventually became “Shipbuilding”, which featured a trumpet solo by Chet Baker and was originally released by former Soft Machine founder Robert Wyatt. In 1983 Costello also released “Pills and Soap”, Under the pseudonym The Imposter, which was an attack on the changes in British society brought on by Thatcherism, released to coincide with the run-up to the 1983 U.K. general election. Punch the Clock also generated an international hit in the single “Everyday I Write the Book”, aided by a music video featuring lookalikes of the Prince Charles and Princess Diana undergoing domestic strife in a suburban home. Costello also provided vocals on a version of the Madness song “Tomorrow’s Just Another Day” released as a B-side on the single of the same name.

Sadly Tensions between Costello and bassist Bruce Thomas became intollerable and Costello announced his retirement and the break-up of the group shortly before they recorded Goodbye Cruel World (1984). Costello released two compilations, Elvis Costello: The Man in the UK, Europe and Australia, and The Best of Elvis Costello & The Attractions in the U.S. In 1985, he appeared in the Live Aid benefit concert in England, singing the Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love” as a solo artist. In 1985 Costello teamed up with friend T-Bone Burnett for the single “The People’s Limousine” under the moniker of The Coward Brothers and also produced Rum Sodomy & the Lash for the Irish punk/folk band the Pogues. Growing antipathy between Costello and Bruce Thomas contributed to the Attractions’ first split in 1986 while Costello was finishing the accoustic guitar driven album King of America. It was billed as performed by “The Costello Show featuring the Attractions and Confederates” in the UK and Europe and “The Costello Show featuring Elvis Costello” in North America. He also legally changed his name back to Declan MacManus, adding Aloysius as an extra middle name.

In 1986, he performed at Self Aid, a benefit concert held in Dublin that focused on the chronic unemployment. In 1986 Costello returned to the studio with the Attractions and recorded Blood and Chocolate, which was lauded for a post-punk fervour not heard since 1978’s This Year’s Model and featured the song “I Want You.” On this album, Costello adopted the alias Napoleon Dynamite, Which had previously been used in 1982, when the B-side single “Imperial Bedroom” was credited to Napoleon Dynamite & the Royal Guard. He also embarked on a vaudeville-style tour to support Blood and Chocolate. Following the tour Costello left the Attractions, due to continuing tensions between Costello and Bruce Thomas. In 1987 Costello released compilation album, Out of Our Idiot, consisting of B-sides, side projects, and unreleased songs from recording sessions from 1980 to 1987 this was followed In 1989 By the album Spike, featuring the song “Veronica”, which won the MTV Award for Best Male Video, At the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards, and was one of several songs Costello co-wrote with Paul McCartney.

In 1991, Costello released Mighty Like a Rose, which featured the single “The Other Side of Summer”. He also co-composed and co-produced, the title and incidental music for the mini-series G.B.H. by Alan Bleasdale with Richard Harvey. This won a BAFTA, for Best Music for a Television series. Costello released a classical album “The Juliet Letters” in collaboration with the Brodsky Quartet. He also wrote tunes for Wendy James 1993 solo album Now Ain’t the Time for Your Tears. In 1994 Costello reunited with the Attractions and returned to rock and roll releasing the album Brutal Youth. In 1995, Costello released Kojak Variety, an album of cover songs recorded five years earlier, followed in 1996 with an album of songs originally written for other artists, All This Useless Beauty.

In 1996, Costello played a series of intimate club dates, backed only by Steve Nieve on the piano, in support of All This Useless Beauty. An ensuing summer and fall tour with the Attractions proved to be the death knell for the band. With relations between Costello and bassist Bruce Thomas at a breaking point, Costello announced that the current tour would be the Attractions’ last. Costello continued to work frequently with Attractions Steve Nieve and Pete Thomas, both became members of Costello’s new back-up band, The Imposters. In 1997 Costello released a greatest hits album titled Extreme Honey (1997). It contained an original track titled “The Bridge I Burned”, featuring Costello’s son, Matt, on bass. Costello also served as artistic chair for the 1995 Meltdown Festival, which gave him the opportunity to explore his increasingly eclectic musical interests. His involvement in the festival yielded a one-off live EP with jazz guitarist Bill Frisell, which featured both cover material and a few of his own songs.

In 1998, Costello released a collaboration with Burt Bacharach calledPainted From Memory, which included the song God Give Me Strength” for the movie Grace of My Heart. The album featured songs inspired by the dissolution of his marriage to Cait O’Riordan. Costello and Bacharach performed several concerts with a full orchestral backing, and also recorded an updated version of Bacharach’s “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” for the soundtrack to Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. He also wrote “I Throw My Toys Around” for The Rugrats Movie and performed it with No Doubt andcollaborated with Paddy Moloney of The Chieftains on the. Soundtrack for The Long Journey Home” which won a Grammy in 1999. In 1999, Costello contributed a cover version of “She”, originally released in 1974 by Charles Aznavour and Herbert Kretzmer, for the soundtrack of the film Notting Hill, Costello was invited on the 25th anniversary show of Saturday Night Live, and he interrupted the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage”, and sang “Radio Radio” instead. In 2000, Costello appeared at the Town Hall, New York, in Steve Nieve’s opera Welcome to the Voice, alongside Ron Sexsmith and John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants.

During 2001, Costello was artist-in-residence at UCLA and wrote the music for a new ballet. He produced and appeared on an album of pop songs for the classical singer Anne Sofie von Otter. He released the album When I Was Cruel in 2002 and also appeared as himself in the “How I Spent My Strummer Vacation” episode of The Simpsons. In 2003, Costello, along with Bruce Springsteen, Steve Van Zandt, and Dave Grohl, performed a version of the Clash’s “London Calling” at the 45th Grammy Awards ceremony, in honour of Clash frontman Joe Strummer. Elvis Costello & the Attractions were also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and also got engaged to Canadian jazz singer and pianist Diana Krall, whom he had seen in concert and then met backstage at the Sydney Opera House in Australia. In 2003 he released North, an album of piano-based ballads concerning the breakdown of his former marriage, and his falling in love with Krall and appeared in the television series Frasier as a folk singer in the Cafe Nervosa, He also filled in for David Letterman on the Late Show with David Letterman. His song “Scarlet Tide” (co-written by Costello and T-Bone Burnett was used in the film Cold Mountain) and nominated for a 2004 Academy Award; he performed it at the awards ceremony with Alison Krauss, who sang the song on the official soundtrack. Costello co-wrote many songs on Krall’s 2004 CD, The Girl in the Other Room,

In 2004, Costello’s had his first full-scale orchestral work, Il Sogno, performed in New York. It was commissioned by Italian dance troupe Aterballeto, and Performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, a recording was also released on CD. In 2004, Costello released the album The Delivery Man. A CD recording of a collaboration with Marian McPartland on her show Piano Jazz was released in 2005 featuring Costello singing six jazz standards and two of his own songs, accompanied by McPartland on piano. Costello’s next album The River in Reverse was a collaboration with New Orleanian, Allen Toussaint and was released in 2004. He also played at Glastonbury Festival. Following Hurricane Katrina, Costello and Allen Toussaint performed in New York at a series of Hurricane Relief benefit concert. In a studio recording of Nieve’s opera Welcome to the Voice (2006, Deutsche Grammophon) Costello portrayed the Chief of Police, with Barbara Bonney, Robert Wyatt, Sting and Amanda Roocroft, appearing at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris in 2008, with Sting, Joe Sumner (Sting’s son) and Sylvia Schwartz. A live recording of a concert with the Metropole Orkest at the North Sea Jazz Festival, entitled My Flame Burns Blue was released in 2006. The soundtrack for House, M.D. featured Costello’s interpretation of “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera. Costello was commissioned to write a chamber opera by the Danish Royal Opera, Copenhagen, on the subject of Hans Christian Andersen’s infatuation with Swedish soprano Jenny Lind. Called The Secret Songs.In a performance in 2007 directed by Kasper Bech Holten at the Opera’s studio theatre (Takelloftet), finished songs were interspersed with pieces from Costello’s 1993 collaborative classical album The Juliet Letters, featuring Danish soprano Sine Bundgaard as Lind. The 2009 album Secret, Profane & Sugarcane includes material from Secret Songs. In 2008, Costello released the album Momofuku

Costello also toured with the Police on the final leg of their 2007/2008 Reunion Tour and played a homecoming gig at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall in 2006. And appeared with The Imposters for the closing gig of the Malta theatre festival in Poznań, Poland. In 2008, Costello (as Declan McManus) was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Music from the University of Liverpool. Between 2008 and 2010, Costello hosted Channel 4/CTV’s series Spectacle in which He talked and performed with various stars, including actress Mary-Louise Parker. Costello was featured on Fall Out Boy’s 2008 album Folie à Deux, on the track “What a Catch, Donnie” and appeared in Stephen Colbert’s television special A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All singing a duet with Colbert. In 2009 Costello released Secret, Profane & Sugarcane, in collaboration with T-Bone Burnett and appeared as himself in the finale of the third season of 30 Rock. He also sang in the episode’s celebrity telethon, Kidney Now! and made a surprise cameo appearance on-stage at the Beacon Theater in New York as part of Spinal Tap’s Unwigged and Unplugged show singing “Gimme Some Money”. in 2010, Elvis Costello appeared as himself in David Simon’s television series, Treme and released the album National Ransom. In 2011, Costello appeared as himself on Sesame Street to perform a song with Elmo and Cookie Monster, titled “Monster Went and Ate My Red 2”, a play on (The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes. In 2012, Costello paid tribute to music legends Chuck Berry and Leonard Cohen who were the recipients of the first annual PEN Awards for songwriting excellence. In 2013 Costello released Wise Up Ghost, a collaboration with the Roots, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from the New England Conservatory. Costello published his memoir, Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink, in 2015

Geoff Downes (Yes, Asia)

Geoff Downes, one of the keyboard players with progressive Rock band Yes ans Asia was born 25 August 1952. Born in Stockport, Downes moved to London to pursue a music career. In 1977, he formed The Buggles with Horn and enjoyed success with their first album The Age of Plastic (1980) which contained the worldwide hit single “Video Killed the Radio Star”. In May 1980, Downes joined Progressive Rock band Yes with along with Trevor Horn. Yes achieved worldwide succes with their progressive music, mystical lyrics, elaborate album art by Roger Dean, live stage sets and symphonic style of rock music. They are regarded as one of the pioneers of the progressive genre. They were Formed in 1968 by Jon Anderson and Bill Bruford and released two albums together but began to enjoy success after the release of The Yes Album and Fragile, which featured new arrivals Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman. They achieved further success with the albums Close to the Edge and Tales from Topographic Oceans.Wakeman was replaced by Patrick Moraz, who played on Relayer (1974). Wakeman returned on Going for the One (1977) and Tormato (1978). Anderson and Wakeman left the group due to musical differences amongst the band in 1980, and both went on to pursue solo careers. Their replacements, Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes, featured on Drama (1980) and its supporting tour before disbanding in 1981.

After Yes disbanded in 1981, Downes helped Trevor Horn to produce a second Buggles album, Adventures in Modern Recording (1981) although he only was involved primarily in sound effects on a few tracks. After Yes’ disbanding, he co-founded Asia with ex-Yes fellow musician Steve Howe. Meanwhile Yes reformed in 1982 after Squire and White were joined by the returning Jon Anderson and T0ny Kaye, with the addition of guitarist Trevor Rabin. They adopted a pop rock sound and released the number one single “Owner of a Lonely Heart” and 90125 (1983), their best-selling album to date, Followed by Big Generator (1987).Geoff Downes left Asia in 1986, rejoined in 1990, and has been a part of the line-up since then. Meanwhile Anderson left Yes and co-formed the side project Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe with the named members in 1989. Following a legal battle amongst both Yes groups, they formed an eight-man band to perform on Union (1991) and its supporting tour. Rabin and Kaye featured on Talk (1994) before leaving, while Wakeman and Howe returned with Keys to Ascension (1996) and Keys to Ascension 2 (1997). Wakeman wasthen replaced by Igor Khoroshev, who was featured on Open Your Eyes (1997) and The Ladder (1999) along with guitarist Billy Sherwood.

Yes -Fly From Here

Yes released the album Magnification in 2001, this marked the first album since 1970 to feature an orchestra.In 2002, Wakeman returned for the band’s 35th anniversary tour. The band ceased to tour in 2004, partly due to health concerns regarding Anderson and Wakeman. In 2006, Downes reunited the original Asia line-up. Yes resumed recording in 2008 with new keyboardist Oliver Wakeman and singer Benoît David. Following the release of Fly from Here (2011), which saw Geoff Downes rejoining Yes on keyboards, David was replaced by Jon Davison, lead singer of progressive rock band Glass Hammer, on vocals. The current line-up of Yes consists of singer Jon Davison, bassist Chris Squire, guitarist Steve Howe, drummer Alan White, and keyboardist Geoff Downes, and they continue to perform to this day, more than 40 years since their formation. Geoff Downes has also reunited with Horn for special occasions to perform songs from The Buggles. He has released several solo albums and produced for several artists, including Mike Oldfield and the Thompson Twins. Downes entered the Guinness Book of Records for performing with a record 28 keyboards on stage in a single performance.

Gene Simmons (Kiss)

Israeli-born, American rock bassist, singer-songwriter, entrepreneur and actor Gene Simmons was born August 25, 1949. Known by his stage personna “The Demon,” he is the bassist/co-vocalist of Kiss, the American hard rock band he co-founded in the early 1970s. With Kiss, Simmons has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide.Formed in New York City in January 1973. Kiss rose to prominence in the mid to late 1970s on the basis of the members’ white and black face paint and flamboyant stage outfits and elaborate live performances, which featured fire breathing, blood spitting, smoking guitars, shooting rockets, The 1973–’80 original lineup of Paul Stanley (vocals and rhythm guitar), Gene Simmons (vocals and bass guitar), Ace Frehley (lead guitar) and Peter Criss (drums) is the most successful.

Combined With their makeup and costumes, they took on the personas of comic book-style characters: Starchild (Stanley), The Demon (Simmons), Spaceman or Space Ace (Frehley) and Catman (Criss) and the performances included levitating drum kits and pyrotechnics.The band explains that the fans were the ones who ultimately chose their makeup designs. Stanley became the “Starchild” because of his tendency to be referred to as the “starry-eyed lover” and “hopeless romantic”. The “Demon” makeup reflected Simmons’ cynicism and dark sense of humor, as well as his affection for comic books. Frehley’s “Spaceman” makeup was a reflection of his fondness for science fiction and supposedly being from another planet. Criss’ “Catman” makeup was in accordance with the belief that he had nine lives because of his rough childhood in Brooklyn.

Because of creative differences, both Criss and Frehley had left the group by 1982. The band’s commercial fortunes had waned considerably by that point.However Buoyed by a wave of Kiss nostalgia in the 1990s, the band announced a reunion of the original lineup in 1996. The resulting Kiss Alive/Worldwide/Reunion Tour was the top-grossing act of 1996 and 1997. Criss and Frehley have since left Kiss again, but the band continues with Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer. Stanley and Simmons have remained the only two constant members.Kiss have also been named in many “Top” lists. They include Number 10 on VH1′s ’100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock’,9th on ‘The Greatest Metal Bands’ list by MTV, number one on Hit Paraders’s “Top 100 Live Bands”, 56th on VH1′s “100 Greatest Artists Of All Time”, and 26th on Gibson’s “50 Greatest American Rock Bands” and Counting the 1978 solo albums, Kiss has been awarded 28 gold albums to date, and have sold more than 40 million albums in the United States, of which 20 million have been certified by the RIAA and their worldwide sales exceeds 100 million albums.

Frederick Forsyth CBE

English author and political commentator Frederick Forsyth, CBE was born 25 August 1938. He is best known for thrillers such as The Day of the Jackal, The Odessa File, The Fourth Protocol, The Dogs of War, The Devil’s Alternative, The Fist of God, Icon, The Veteran, Avenger, The Afghan and The Cobra. The son of a furrier, Forsyth was born in Ashford, Kent. He was educated at Tonbridge School and later attended the University of Granada in Spain. Before becoming a journalist, he joined the RAF and was a jet fighter pilot. He joined Reuters in 1961 and later the BBC in 1965, where he served as an assistant diplomatic correspondent. In a BBC Documentary on the Nigerian Civil War, forsyth reported on his early activities as a journalist. His early career was spent covering French affairs and the attempted assassination of Charles De Gaulle. He had never been to what he termed “black Africa” until reporting on the Nigerian Civil War between Biafra and Nigeria as a BBC correspondent.

He was there for the first six months of 1967, but few expected the war to last very long considering the poor weaponry and preparation of the Biafrans when compared to the British-armed Nigerians. After his six months were over, however, Forsyth – eager to carry on reporting – approached the BBC to ask if he could have more time there. He noted their response:”I was told quite bluntly, then, ‘it is not our policy to cover this war.’ This was a period when the Vietnam War was front-page headlines almost every day, regarded broadly as an American cock-up, and this particularly British cock-up in Nigeria was not going to be covered. I smelt news management. I don’t like news management. So I made a private vow to myself: ‘you may, gentlemen, not be covering it, but I’m going to cover it.’ So I quit and flew out there, and stayed there for most of the next two years.”He thus returned to Biafra as a freelance reporter, writing his first book The Biafra Story, in 1969.

Forsyth decided to write a novel using similar research techniques to those used in journalism. His first full length novel, The Day of the Jackal, was published in 1971. It became an international bestseller and gained its author the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Novel. In this book, the Organisation Armée Secrète (a real-life terrorist group) hires an assassin to kill then-French President Charles de Gaulle. It was made into a film of the same name.In Forsyth’s second full-length novel, The Odessa File (1972), a reporter attempts to track down an ex-Nazi SS officer in modern Germany. The reporter discovers him via the diary of a Jewish Holocaust survivor who committed suicide earlier, but he is being shielded by an organization that protects ex-Nazis, called ODESSA. This book was later made into a movie with the same name, starring Jon Voight, but there were substantial alterations.

In The Dogs of War (1974) a British mining executive hires a group of mercenaries to overthrow the government of an African country so that he can install a puppet regime that will allow him cheap access to a colossal platinum-ore reserve. This book was also adapted to film, in 1981, starring Christopher Walken and Tom Berenger.The Shepherd was an illustrated novella published in 1975. It tells of a nightmare journey by an RAF pilot while flying home for Christmas in the late 1950s. His attempts to find a rational explanation for his eventual rescue prove as troublesome as his experience.Following this came The Devil’s Alternative in 1979, which was set in 1982. In this book, the Soviet Union faces a disastrous grain harvest. The US is ready to help for some political and military concessions. A Politburo faction fight ensues. War is proposed as solution. Ukrainian freedom fighters complicate the situation later. In the end, a Swedish oil tanker built in Japan, a Russian airliner hijacked to West Berlin and various governments find themselves involved.In 1982, No Comebacks, a collection of ten short stories, was published. Some of these stories had been written earlier. Many were set in the Republic of Ireland where Forsyth was living at the time. One of them, There Are No Snakes in Ireland, won him a second Edgar Allan Poe Award, this time for best short story.

The Fourth Protocol was published in 1984 and involves renegade elements within the Soviet Union attempting to plant a nuclear bomb near an American airbase in the UK, intending to influence the upcoming British elections and lead to the election of an anti-NATO, anti-American, anti-nuclear, pro-soviet Labour government. The Fourth Protocol was later filmed, starring Pierce Brosnan and Michael Caine, in 1987. Almost all of the political content was removed from the film.Forsyth’s tenth book came in 1989 with The Negotiator, in which the American President’s son is kidnapped and one man’s job is to negotiate his release.Two years later, in 1991, The Deceiver was published. It includes four short stories reviewing the career of British secret agent Sam McCready. At the start of the novel, the Permanent Under-Secretary of State (PUSS) of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office requires the Chief of the SIS to push Sam into early retirement. The four stories are presented to a grievance committee in an attempt to allow Sam to stay on active duty with the SIS.In 1994, Forsyth published The Fist of God, a novel which concerns the first Gulf War. Next, in 1996, he published Icon, about the rise of fascists to power in post-Soviet Russia.

In 1999, Forsyth published The Phantom of Manhattan, a sequel to The Phantom of the Opera. It was intended as a departure from his usual genre; Forsyth’s explanation was that “I had done mercenaries, assassins, Nazis, murderers, terrorists, special forces soldiers, fighter pilots, you name it, and I got to think, could I actually write about the human heart?” However, it did not achieve the same success as his other novels, and he subsequently returned to modern-day thrillers. In 2001, The Veteran, another collection of short stories, was published, followed by Avenger, published in September 2003, about a Canadian billionaire who hires a Vietnam veteran to bring his grandson’s killer to the US. Avenger was released as a film starring Sam Elliot and Timothy Hutton. The Afghan, published in August 2006, is an indirect sequel to The Fist of God. Set in the very near future, the threat of a catastrophic assault on the West, discovered on a senior al-Qaeda member’s computer, compels the leaders of the US and the UK to attempt a desperate gambit — to substitute a seasoned British operative, retired Col. Mike Martin (of The Fist of God), for an Afghan Taliban commander being held prisoner at Guantánamo Bay.The Cobra, published in 2010, features some of the characters previously featured in Avenger, and concerns an attempt to destroy the world trade in cocaine.

Loton Park Hill Climb

The National B hillclimb Meeting took place at Loton Park on saturday 25 and Sunday 26 August 2018. taking part this weekend are the 500 Owners Association, Austin Healey Club, Luffield MG Championship, Welsh association of motor Racing, Bert Hadley Memorial championship for pre-war Austin Sevens and the Westfield sports car club.

 

The hillclimb is held in part of the Loton Park deer park in Shropshire, England. Loton Park Speed Hill Climb course is set in the beautiful surroundings of a deer park owned by Sir Michael Leighton, and is situated 9 miles west of Shrewsbury on the B4393 road in the village of Alberbury. The course is 1475 yards (1349 metres) long with an average gradient of 1 in 25 (4%) and the steepest of 1 in 7 (14%) and is rated as one of the country’s most demanding hills by competitors

The track was originally constructed by the members of The Severn Valley Motor Club based in Shrewsbury, in the mid-1950s. The first ever winner was Peter Foulkes in a Cooper Climax. The track was threatened with closure in 1969 and since then events have been organised by the Hagley & District Light Car Club, who obtained the lease on the land from owner Sir Michael Leighton in 1970, in which year the first National A hillclimb was staged. The course is 1475 yards (1349 metres) in length, making it the third longest course used in the British Hill Climb Championship. It contains an unusual downhill section fairly early in its layout. As of June 2009, the hill record of 44.42 seconds stands to Scott Moran, who set the mark in the second run-off of the 13 April 2009 meeting. Martin Groves had previously beaten his own previous record (44.53s) with 44.46s in the first run-off.