Amy Winehouse

The Late Great Amy Winehouse was born 14th September 1983 in London. She joined the Brit School and by 16 her otherworldly soul voice – deep, full and knowing but light and fresh and fragile at the same time – had won her a contract with Simon Fuller’s management company, which led to her being signed by Island Records. In 2003, she released her first album – The jazz-influenced album entitled ‘Frank’,- it garnered much critical acclaim earning an Ivor Novello songwriting award, two Brit nominations and a spot on the shortlist for the Mercury Music Prize. It was also around this time that Amy met Blake Fielder-Civil and began an infamously tempestuous on-off relationship with him, involving drug and drink binges.By 2006, after three years with Blake, rapid weight loss, an ever-expanding beehive hairdo and documented drug and drink problems, Winehouse released Back to Black, her breakthrough album, which made her a huge star across the world, fusing soul, jazz, doo-wop, it went on to win five Grammy awards, including song and record of the year for Rehab.

Even back then, Winehouse’s performances were sometimes shambolic, and she admitted to being ‘a terrible drunk., her personal life Increasingly began to overshadow her career. She also acknowledged struggling with eating disorders and said that she had been diagnosed as manic depressive but refused to take medication. Soon accounts of her erratic behavior, canceled concerts and drink and drug-fueled nights began to appear forcing Winehouse’s managers to go to increasingly desperate lengths to keep the wayward star on the straight and narrow. Sadly she was not able to follow up the success of Back to Black, although Her rendition of The Zutons’ Valerie was a hit for producer Mark Ronson Other recording projects with Ronson, came to nothing. She was often reported to be working on new material, but fans got tired of waiting for the much-promised follow up to Back to Black.

Her increasingly erratic behaviour also led to numerous run-ins with the law, it was also at this time that she broke up with Blake, going out with chef Alex Claire, but got back together with her former lover, whom she married in Miami. Unfortunately this renewed relationship with Blake led to more cancelled tours and hospital visits after overdosing on drugs. A day after being told she had received three MTV Video Music Award nods, the singer was rushed to the University College London Hospital after one such overdose, which was initially dismissed as ‘exhaustion’. This prompted worried relatives to say ‘ they both need to get medical help before one of them, if not both of them, eventually dies.’Fielder-Civil also had many run-ins with the law, and was arrested on numerous occasions. with his excessive drinking and drug use leading to many stays in Hospital for Amy. In June 2008 after one of many hospital stays She left to perform at Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday concert in Hyde Park, and at the Glastonbury festival the next day, where she received a rousing reception. Sadly though most of her performances were increasingly shambolic and she had pulled out of her European tour after she was jeered while appearing drunk on stage at her comeback gig in Serbia.She left the stage frequently, with her band having to improvise in her absence, and was said to have mumbled through parts of her songs.

Her excessive drinking and Drug Abuse were also taking their toll on her health too and in a bid to save her ailing health and desperate addiction problems, Winehouse most recently booked herself into rehab at The Priory in May where it was hoped finally to refocus the young singer. Winehouse, however, checked herself out after just one week. It appears that despite her prodigious talent She never found serenity through her music and her amazing natural talent, and turned to drugs, alchohol instead as a means of escaping her troubles, with tragic consequences. In just 27 years, Amy Winehouse has managed to leave behind her a soul legacy, Sadly, however, the immeasurably gifted singer is unlikely to be remembered for her singing but for her tempestuous relationship, excessive drinking, drug abuse and troubles with the Law.

John Power (The La’s, Cast)

Best known as the frontman of Cast and bassist and backing vocalist for the La’s,English singer, songwriter and rhythm guitarist John Timothy Power was born 14 September 1967 in in Allerton, Liverpool. Power grew up in Allerton, Liverpool near Penny Lane and attended Quarry Bank School.

In 1986 John Power met Mike Badger of Liverpool band The La’s, at a course for unemployed musicians. The La’s had previously struggled to find a permanent bass player since their formation, So they recruited then 18-yeaer-old John Power to play Bass For them . Whilst still quite inexperienced on bass guitar, Power was mentored by Lee Mavers (a former bass player himself) and the core trio of Mavers, Badger and Power rehearsed and performed extensively until December 1986 when Badger left the band. The La’s fanbase grew rapidly after the arrival of Power and the group recorded some of the demos which helped them gain a record deal the following year. For the remainder of the La’s’ history, the band’s line-up would change frequently with a constant duo of Lee Mavers (guitar, vocals) and John Power (bass, backing vocals) and various other guitarists and drummers. Power played on the band’s early singles “Way Out” (1987) and “There She Goes” (1988) and was part of the recording of the band’s debut album “The La’s” released in 1990. Whilst in the La’s, John Power Wrote two songs “Alright” and “Follow Me Down” which were performed live by the band during 1991 Following increased tension between Power and Lee Mavers, John Power left the La’s in December 1991

After leaving the La’s in 1991 john Power formed english rock band Cast in 1992 as a singer and guitarist ,alongside Peter Wilkinson (backing vocals, bass), and drummers, Liam “Skin” Tyson (guitar) and Keith O’Neill (drums) who joined Cast in 1993. After Emerging from the Britpop movement of the mid-1990s, Cast signed to Polydor Records and their debut album All Change (1995) became the highest selling debut album for the label. Further commercial success continued with the albums Mother Nature Calls (1997) and Magic Hour (1999), however a departure in sound on the band’s fourth album Beetroot (2001) was met by a poor critical and commercial reaction and contributed to the band’s split two weeks after its release.

After four albums and a string of hit singles, Cast split in 2002. Following the dissolution of Cast, Power embarked on a solo career. Following the split, Power released the John Leckie produced solo album, Happening for Love in June 2003. In 2005, he briefly reunited with the La’s, It was then announced in 2005, that the La’s make a series of festival appearances in the UK, Ireland and Japan. Following the La’s reformation, Power went on to release 2 further solo albums, more in the acoustic folk vein.

Cast re-formed in November 2010 and released their fifth album Troubled Times in November 2011. Bassist Peter Wilkinson confirmed his departure from the band in March 2015, after abruptly leaving a previous tour in December 2014. He was replaced on that tour and in the band by Power’s frequent collaborator Jay Lewis, who would also feature on their sixth album Kicking Up the Dust, which was released In 2017. Noel Gallagher of Oasis described watching the band live as being like a “religious experience” and they were labelled “The Who of the 90’s”.  It has been suggested that the name “Cast” was taken from the final word on The La’s eponymous album (the song “Looking Glass” ends with the repeated line “The change is cast”); John Power has since confirmed this to be true, despite previously playing the link down to coincidence.

Power released the solo albums Willow She Weeps in October 2006 and Stormbreaker in January 2008. From 2006 to 2009, Power performed live with the John Power Band featuring backing musicians Jay Lewis (bass, slide guitar) and Steve Pilgrim (drums). Oli Hughes replaced Pilgrim as drummer after he left to play with Paul Weller. After undertaking a solo “Cast Acoustic Show” tour in June 2010, Cast announced they would reform to work on new material and tour in November/December 2010. Cast released the album Troubled Times in March 2012, followed by Kicking Up the Dust in April 2017. In 2015 John performed a solo acoustic tour in North West England alongside Jay Lewis.

Geraldine Brooks

Pulitzer prize winning Australian American journalist and novelist Geraldine Brooks AO was born 14 September 1955. Geraldine Brooks grew up in its inner-west suburb of Ashfield. Her father, Lawrie Brooks, was an American big-band singer who was stranded in Adelaide on a tour of Australia when his manager absconded with the band’s pay; he decided to remain in Australia, and became a newspaper sub-editor; her mother Gloria, from Boorowa, was a public relations officer with radio station 2GB in Sydney. Her older sister is the writer Darleen Bungey. She attended Bethlehem College, a secondary school for girls, and the University of Sydney. Following graduation, she was a rookie reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald and, after winning a Greg Shackleton Memorial Scholarship, moved to the United States, completing a master’s degree at New York City’s Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 1983. The following year, in the Southern France artisan village of Tourrettes-sur-Loup, she married American journalist Tony Horwitz and converted to Judaism.

She began working As a foreign correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, where she covered crises in Africa, the Balkans, and the Middle East, with the stories from the Persian Gulf which she and her husband reported in 1990, receiving the Overseas Press Club’s Hal Boyle Award for “Best Newspaper or Wire Service Reporting from Abroad”. In 2006, she was awarded a fellowship at Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

Brooks wrote her first book Nine Parts of Desire in 1994. It was based on her experiences among Muslim women in the Middle East, was an international bestseller, translated into 17 languages. Foreign Correspondence (1997), which won the Nita Kibble Literary Award for women’s writing, was a memoir and travel adventure about a childhood enriched by penpals from around the world, and her adult quest to find them. Her first novel, Year of Wonders, was published in 2001, and became an international bestseller. It is Set in 1666, and depicts a young woman’s battle to save fellow villagers as well as her own soul when the bubonic plague suddenly strikes her small Derbyshire village of Eyam.

Her next novel, March (2005), was inspired by her fondness for Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, which her mother had given her. To connect that memorable reading experience to her new status in 2002 as an American citizen, she researched the Civil War historical setting of Little Women and decided to create a chronicle of wartime service for the “absent father” of the March girls. Some aspects of this chronicle were informed by the life and philosophical writings of the Alcott family patriarch, Amos Bronson Alcott, whom she profiled under the title “Orpheus at the Plow”, in the 10 January 2005 issue of The New Yorker, a month before March was published. The parallel novel received a mixed reaction from critics, but was nonetheless selected in December 2005 selection by the Washington Post as one of the five best fiction works published that year, and in April 2006, it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Although she was only eligible for the prize by virtue of her American citizenship, she was also the first Australian to win the prize.

Brooks published her next novel, People of the Book in 2008. This featured the fictionalized history and events surrounding a sacred Jewish text called the Sarajevo Haggadah and it’s amazing journey from the Middle East to Moorish Spain, through Jewish settlements in Prague and Renaissance Venice, to Nazi Germany before being rescued and ending up in a New York Library. This novel was inspired by her reporting (for The New Yorker) of human interest stories emerging in the aftermath of the 1991–95 breakup of Yugoslavia. The novel won both the Australian Book of the Year Award and the Australian Literary Fiction Award in 2008.

In 2011 Brooks published the novel Caleb’s Crossing. This is inspired by the life of Caleb Cheeshahteaumauk, a Wampanoag convert to Christianity who was the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College, an achievement of the seventeenth century. In 2011 at the invitation of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Brooks delivered the prestigious Boyer Lectures. These have been published as “The Idea of Home”,and reveal her passionate humanist values. In 2015 Geraldine Books published the historical novel The Secret Chord, which is based on the life of the biblical King David in the period of the Second Iron Age.

Steve Gaines/Ed King (Lynyrd Skynyrd

Steve Gaines, American singer-songwriter and guitarist with Lynyrd Skynyrd was born 14 September 1949 in addition Ed King, American guitarist and songwriter (Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hunger, and Strawberry Alarm Clock was also born 14 September 1949. Best known for popularizing the Southern hard rock genre during the 1970s Lynyrd Skynyrd were Originally formed In the summer of 1964, when teenage friends Ronnie Van Zant, Allen Collins, and Gary Rossington formed the band “The Noble Five” in Jacksonville, Florida. The band changed in 1965 to “My Backyard”, when Larry Junstrom and Bob Burns joined. In 1968, the group won a local Battle of the Bands contest and the opening slot on several Southeast shows for the California-based psychedelic rock band Strawberry Alarm Clock. The group eventually settled on the name “Leonard Skinner”, a mocking tribute to a physical-education teacher at Robert E. Lee High School, Leonard Skinner, who was notorious for strictly enforcing the school’s policy against boys having long hair. Throughout the early 1970′s the band underwent many line-up changes and in 1972 the band was discovered at one of their shows at a club in Atlanta, GA.

They soon changed the spelling of their name to “Lynyrd Skynyrd”and their fan base continued to grow rapidly throughout 1973, largely due to their opening slot on The Who’s Quadrophenia tour in the United States. Their 1974 follow-up, Second Helping, was the band’s breakthrough hit, and featured their most popular single, “Sweet Home Alabama” helping them rise to worldwide recognition. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s third album, Nuthin’ Fancy, was released in 1975 and the fourth album Gimme Back My Bullets was released in January 1976, but did not achieve the same success as the previous two albums. Steve Gaines joined the band in June 1976 and the newly-reconstituted band recorded the double-live album One More From the Road at the Fox Theatre (Atlanta, Georgia) in Atlanta, and performed at the Knebworth festival, which also featured The Rolling Stones. The next album 1977′s Street Survivors turned out to be a showcase for guitarist/vocalist Steve Gaines and included the iconic rock anthem “Free Bird”.

Sadly though, On October 20, 1977, just three days after the release of Street Survivors, and at the peak of their success, three members (Including Gaines) all died in an airplane crash, Following the crash and the ensuing press, Street Survivors became the band’s second platinum album and reached No. 5 on the U.S. album chart. The single “What’s Your Name” reached No. 13 on the single airplay charts in January 1978. Surviving members re-formed in 1987 for a reunion tour with lead singer Ronnie Van Zant’s younger brother Johnny as frontman. A version of the band continues to tour and record, with only Gary Rossington of its original members remaining as of 2012. Lynyrd Skynyrd was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 13, 2003.

Walter Koenig (Star Trek)

Best known for his roles as Pavel Chekov in Star Trek and Alfred Bester in Babylon 5, the American actor, writer, teacher and director Walter Koenig was born September 14, 1936 in Chicago, Illinois. He attended Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa with a pre-med major. He transferred to UCLA and received a BA in psychology. After a professor encouraged Koenig to become an actor, he attended the Neighborhood Playhouse with fellow students Dabney Coleman, Christopher Lloyd, and James Caan.

Koenig played Ensign Pavel Chekov, navigator on the USS Enterprise, in the original Star Trek television series (starting in Season 2) and in several movies featuring the original cast. One of only two actors to audition, he was cast as Chekov almost immediately primarily because of his resemblance to British actor/musician Davy Jones of the Monkees, to attract a younger audience. As the 30-year old’s hair was already receding, costume designers fashioned a Davy Jones-style “moptop” hairpiece for him. In later episodes, his own hair grew out enough to accomplish the look with a comb-over. Gene Roddenberry asked him to “ham up” his Russian accent to add a note of comic relief to the series. Chekov’s accent has been criticized as inauthentic, in particular Koenig’s substituting the “w” sound in place of a “v” sound (e.g., “wodka” for “vodka”). Koenig has said the accent was inspired by his father, who had the same difficulty with the “v” sound. Having been told that Chekov would be a recurring role based on his popularity, Koenig was pleasantly surprised when he immediately became a regular cast member, and most of his fan mail indeed came from children.

When the early Season 2 episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series were shot, George Takei (who played Sulu) was delayed completing the movie The Green Berets, so Chekov is joined at the Enterprise helm by a different character. When Takei returned, the two had to share a dressing room and a single episode script. This reportedly angered Takei to the point where he nearly left the show. But the two actors have since become good friends, and the image of their two characters manning the helm of the Enterprise became iconic. Koenig is also credited for writing the Star Trek: The Animated Series installment “The Infinite Vulcan”, making him the first “original cast” member to write a Star Trek story for television. The character of Pavel Andreievich Chekov never appeared in the animated version of Star Trek due to budget reasons, so Koenig never got to reprise his character on the animated series. Koenig also received Saturn Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor in Film for both Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Koenig reprised his role of Pavel Chekov for the fan webseries Star Trek: New Voyages, To Serve All My Days and the independent Sky Conway/Tim Russ film Star Trek: Of Gods and Men, both in 2006. 

Following Star Trek, Koenig had a starring role as Psi Cop Alfred Bester on the television series Babylon 5 in twelve episodes and, at the end of the third season and a handful of episodes for TV shows: Star Trek: The Animated Series, Land of the Lost, Family and The Powers of Matthew Star. He has also written several books, including Warped Factors: A Neurotic’s Guide to the Universe (an autobiography), Chekov’s Enterprise (a journal kept during the filming of Star Trek: The Motion Picture) and Buck Alice and the Actor-Robot (a science fiction novel), which was re-released in 2006. He created his own comic book series called Raver, which was published by Malibu Comics in the early 1990s, and appeared as a “special guest star” in an issue of the comic book Eternity Smith, which features him prominently on its cover. He also wrote the script for the 2008 science fiction legal thriller InAlienable.

In 1987, Koenig and his wife directed his original one-act plays The Secret Life of Lily Langtree, Tech Night: Hands on Demo and Encore: Long Distance Lady — all under the umbrella title Public Moments at the Theatre of N.O.T.E. in Los Angeles. In 1997, Koenig starred in Drawing Down the Moon, an independent film about a Wiccan woman who attempts to open a homeless shelter in a small Pennsylvania town. In 2004, Koenig co-starred in Mad Cowgirl, an independent movie about a meat-packing health inspector dying from a brain disorder in which he played televangelist Pastor Dylan, a character described as “a sleazy, slimy, sex-addict”.In 2007, Koenig was asked by the human rights group U.S. Campaign for Burma to help in their grassroots campaign about the humanitarian crisis in Burma. As detailed on his official website, he visited refugee camps along the Burma-Thailand border from July 16 to July 25, 2007 and on September 10, 2012 Koenig received the 2,279th star of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

 

Sir Peter Scott CH CBE DSC and bar MID FRS FZS

British naturalist ornithologist, conservationist, painter, naval officer sportsman. and explorer Sir Peter Scott CH, CBE, DSC and Bar, MID, FRS, FZS was born in London 14th September 1909 , The only child of Antarctic explorer Robert Falcon Scott and sculptor Kathleen Bruce and was only two years old when his father died. Robert Scott, in a last letter to his wife, advised her to “make the boy interested in natural history if you can; it is better than games.” and his godfather was J. M. Barrie, creator of Peter Pan. He was educated at Oundle School and Trinity College, Cambridge, initially reading Natural Sciences but graduating in the History of Art in 1931. Like his mother, he displayed a strong artistic talent and had his first exhibition in London in 1933. His wealthy background allowed him to follow his interests in art, wildlife and many sports, including sailing and ice skating. He represented Great Britain and Northern Ireland at sailing in the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, winning a bronze medal in the O-Jolle class dinghy.

During World War II, Scott served in the Royal Navy, emulating his father. He served first in destroyers in the North Atlantic but later moved to commanding the First (and only) Squadron of Steam Gun Boats against German E-boats in the English Channel. He is also partly credited with designing ‘shadow camouflage’, which disguised the look of ship superstructure. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for bravery. In 1948, he founded the organisation with which he was ever afterwards closely associated, the Severn Wildfowl Trust (now the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust) with its headquarters at Slimbridge in Gloucestershire. In the years that followed, he led ornithological expeditions worldwide, and became a television personality, popularising the study of wildfowl and wetlands. His BBC natural history series, Look, ran from 1955 to 1981 and made him a household name. He wrote and illustrated several books on the subject, including his autobiography, The Eye of the Wind (1961). In the 1950s, he also appeared regularly on BBC radio’s Children’s Hour, in the series, “Nature Parliament”. Scott was also one of the founders of the World Wide Fund for Nature (formerly called the World Wildlife Fund), and designed its panda logo. His pioneering work in conservation also contributed greatly to the shift in policy of the International Whaling Commission and signing of the Antarctic Treaty, the latter inspired by his visit to his father’s base on Ross Island in Antarctica. Scott was a long-time Vice-President of the British Naturalists’ Association, In June 2004, Scott and Sir David Attenborough were jointly profiled in the second of a three part BBC Two series, The Way We Went Wild, about television wildlife presenters and were described as being largely responsible for the way that the British and much of the world views wildlife.Scott’s life was also the subject of a BBC Four documentary called “Peter Scott – A Passion for Nature” produced in 2006

During his life he won many awards, In 1943, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) “for skill and gallantry in action with enemy light forces”, and was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 1942 King’s Birthday Honours. He was promoted to Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1953 Coronation Honours. In the 1987 Queen’s Birthday Honours, he was appointed to the Order of the Companions of Honour (CH) “for services to conservation”. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace in 1973 for his contribution to the conservation of wild animals. He had been a founder of the World Wildlife Fund, a founder of several wetlands bird sanctuaries in Britain, and an influence on international conservation. He received the WWF Gold Medal and the J. Paul Getty Prize for his work. Peter Scott Sadly passed away on 29 August 1989 however he leaves behind an impressive legacy and made a a valuable and enduring contribution to nature and wildlife.