International Hobbit Day

 

September 22 has been designated International Hobbit Day. The purpose of International Hobbit Day is to mark the bithdays of the Hobbits Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. Hobbit day is perhaps the oldest running day celebrated by fans. There is some debate on the date that Hobbit Day should be celebrated on, due to the differences in the Gregorian and Shire calendars and the fact that the novel The Hobbit was actually published on 21 September 1937.

Hobbits, are typically between two and four feet tall and are nothing like your usual ‘hero’, but nonetheless manage to accomplish great feats and amazing acts of courage During the course of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. It is in honour of these creatures and those acts that the day is celebrated with events not unlike the birthday party described in the beginning of “The Fellowship of the Ring”. Tolkien once said that the Shire calendar is ahead by about ten days depending on the month. A suggested alternative date by hardcore fans is September 14th. Although the day was not officially designated until 1978 and has had many names and designations, it has been celebrated since 1973, shortly after J.R.R. Tolkien died on September 2nd of that year.

J.R.R.Tolkien’s exciting epic fantasy novel The Hobbit was published 21 September 1937. The Hobbit is Set in a time “Between the Dawn of Færie and the Dominion of Men”, and follows the sometimes dangerous, but at all times exciting quest of home-loving hobbit Bilbo Baggins who joins the Wizard Gandalf and a company of thirteen dwarves including Nori, Ori, Dori, Bifur, Bombur, Bofur, Fili, Kili and led by Thorin Okenshield on a dangerous journey to the Lonely Mountain, to reclaim the kingdom of Erabor and the many treasures which have been stolen by the dragon Smaug. They first venture to the Elf kingdom of Rivendell, home of Lord Elrond and the Noldor elves, to consult with Lord Elrond, Galadriel and Saruman the wizard. However Thorin Oakenshield and the rest of the dwarves have serious misgivings and do not trust the elves.

Along the way they encounter many hazards including Cave Trolls, Giant Spiders, Hordes of Orcs led by Azog the Defiler, Goblins led by the Goblin King and Imprisonment by the Elves of Mirkwood Forest led by Thranduil, as if that wasn’t enough something decidedly dodgy is also stirring in the supposedly abandoned Fortress of Dol Gulder, to the South-East of Mirkwood where an ancient evil long thought to have perished is once again trying to take over Middle-Earth. Meanwhile Bilbo nearly manages to fall foul of the sinister machinations of a certain ring bearer named Gollum while negotiating the misty Mountains

Eventually The company of Dwarves manage to reach Erabor where they confront the Evil dragon Smaug who is unwilling to share his ill-gotten gains, gets very angry and decides to incinerate Lake Town in retribution. With Smaug otherwise engaged, the Company of Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield reclaim the vast wealth of their homeland. However Having reclaimed their Homeland the Dwarves of Erabor must now face the consequences of having unleashed the terrifying Dragon, Smaug, upon the defenseless men, women and children of Lake-town. What’s more, having seen all the treasure, the King Under the Mountain Thorin Oakenshield succumbs to greed, sacrificing friendship and honour in his search for the legendary Arkenstone. Unable to help Thorin see reason, Bilbo, makes a desperate and dangerous choice, not knowing that even greater perils lie ahead and Soon everyone heads to the mountain of Erebor including the dwarves of the Iron Hills led by General Dain Ironfoot the Woodland elves headed by Thranduil and the humans, who look for guidance to Bard the Bowman following the departure of the Master of Lake town.

Meanwhile An ancient enemy has returned to Middle-earth from the fortress of Dol Guldur, and the Dark Lord Sauron, sends forth legions of Orcs in a stealth attack upon the Lonely Mountain. As darkness converges on their escalating conflict, the races of Dwarves, Elves and Men must decide whether to unite or be destroyed by an ancient evil who has legions of Orcs at his command. Bilbo finds himself fighting for his life and the lives of his friends as five great armies comprised Of Elves, Men of Dale, Dwarfs from the Iron Hills, The Eagles and Hoards of vicious marauding Orcs under the command of Azog the Defiler, go to war and soon Even the wizard Gandalf finds himself powerless to intervene.

In the United States Hobbit Day has gained some measure of legal dignity due to the elected officials who support the day and the goals of the American Tolkien Society. The Day has also attracted Bipartisan Support from places as the U.S. County Courthouse, to the White House, to the U.S. Capitol. Fans celebrate by anything from going barefoot all day and having seven meals, to Literary discussions and readings, Lord Of The Rings Movie Marathons, and throwing parties in honour of the ‘Long Awaited Party’ at the start of the Fellowship Of The Ring with events such as feasts, games, costumes and fireworks. An animated version of The Hobbit has also been made and Director Peter Jackson also turned The Hobbit into an exciting film trilogy, starring Martin Freeman as Bilbo, Sir Ian Mckellen as Gandalf, Sylvester McCoy as Radagast, Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield, Hugo Weaving as Elrond, Cate Blanchett as Galadriel and Barry Humphies as The Goblin King. They have managed to expand the story by including some of the related material in the appendices of The Lord of the Rings and Unfinished Tales, in order to tell more of the tale of Bilbo Baggins, the Dwarves of Erebor, the rise of the Necromancer and the Battle of Dol Guldur.

Doug Wimbish (Living Colour)

Doug Wimbish, the American singer-songwriter and bass player with the bands Living Colour and Tackhead, was born 22 September 1956. Living Colour were formed in New York in 1984 by English-born guitarist Vernon Reid. Their music is a creative fusion influenced by free jazz, funk, hip hop,hard rock, and heavy metal. Their lyrics range from the personal to the political, in some of the latter cases attacking Eurocentrism and racism in America. Living Colour rose to fame with their debut album Vivid in 1988. Although the band scored a number of hits, including “Love rears it’s ugly head” they are best remembered for their signature song “Cult of Personality”, which won a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1990. They were also named Best New Artist at the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards.

Living Colour can trace their roots back to The Black Rock Coalition, a non-profit organization co-founded by singer Vernon Reid for black musicians interested in playing rock music. Reid was well known on the downtown New York jazz scenes because of his tenure in Ronald Shannon Jackson’s Decoding Society. Reid assembled a number of bands under the name Living Colour from 1984 to 1986. Early band members included bassists Alex Mosely, Jerome Harris and Carl James, drummers Greg Carter, Pheeroan Aklaff and J.T. Lewis, keyboardist Geri Allen, and vocalists D.K. Dyson and Mark Ledford, with Reid occasionally singing lead vocals himself. The band’s sound was vastly different from the songs that showed up later on their major label recordings. Material from this period included instrumental jazz/funk workouts, politically pointed punk rock burners, experimental excursions via Reid’s guitar synth, and an early version of the song “Funny Vibe”, which was reworked for their debut album Vivid.

In 1992, Skillings left the band due to creative differences and was replaced by Doug Wimbish. This new line up released their third full-length album, Stain, in February 1993. The album reached No. 26 in the U.S., a further drop since their debut. Despite retaining their strong fan base, Living Colour disbanded in January 1995, after failing to settle on a common musical goal during sessions for their fourth studio album. Four of these tracks were included on the compilation Pride. Following the breakup, individual band members released a variety of solo efforts.

Living Colour reformed on December 21, 2000, at CBGB as a gig billed “Head>>Fake w/ special guests”. Head>>Fake was the current drum and bass project headed by Calhoun and Wimbish. Glover was on the bill to sing a few songs and Reid came on after three songs. The reunion was followed by the release of the band’s fourth studio album, Collideøscope, in 2003, their first album not to chart in the United States, although it was critically praised. In 2005, Sony Records released Live From CBGB, a live album recorded on December 19, 1989, as well as another best of compilation, Everything Is Possible: The Very Best of Living Colour, with songs from Vivid to Collideøscope. In August 2006, Glover took on the role of Judas Iscariot in a national tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, touring with JCS veteran Ted Neeley. Doug Pinnick, vocalist and bassist of King’s X, filled in for Glover on lead vocals. Glover’s tour of the musical ran through June 2008, and he then rejoined the band. In 2006, Skillings joined the band for the first time in fourteen years when they played at a private party which drummer Jack DeJohnette threw for his wife Lydia. Wimbish was unable to come back from his base in London to play for the event, so Skillings agreed to take over for the special private event.

The band performed a week-long European Tour starting on December 12, 2006. In May 2007, the band released their first live DVD – On Stage At World Cafe Live. On July 11, 2008, the band performed at the 1980s hard rock-themed Rocklahoma festival at Pryor, Oklahoma. Once again, Skillings performed with them in August 2008 for a Black Rock Coalition Band of Gypsys tribute in Harlem. They performed “Them Changes” and “Power of Soul”.On October 25, 2008, MVD Audio and CBGB Records released CBGB OMFUG MASTERS: August 19, 2005 The Bowery Collection, a soundboard collection of songs from the Save CBGB’s benefit show. On November 25, 2008, Inakustik and MVD released The Paris Concert, a DVD recorded at New Morning, in Paris, France, during their 2007 European Tour. In 2009 Living Colour released their fifth studio album, The Chair in the Doorway Which was the band’s first album to chart since Stain in 1993, and The band also toured. The band’s song “Cult of Personality” was also used as the entrance music for professional wrestler CM Punk And in 2013, Living Colour performed the song live during Punk’s entrance at WrestleMania

Rosamunde Pilcher OBE

British author Rosamunde Pilcher, OBE (née Scott; was born 22 September 1924). She is best known as a writer of romance novels and mainstream women’s fiction. Early in her career she was also published under the pen name Jane Fraser. She retired from writing in 2000. Her son is the writer Robin Pilcher.In 1949, Pilcher’s first book, a romance novel, was published by Mills and Boon, under the pseudonym Jane Fraser. She published a further ten novels under that name. In 1955, she also began writing under her real name with Secret to Tell. By 1965 she had dropped the pseudonym and was signing her own name to all of her novels.

Pilcher began writing as a refuge from her daily life and claims that writing saved her marriage. The real breakthrough in Pilcher’s career came in 1987, when she wrote the family saga, The Shell Seekers. This novel, focuses on Penelope Stern Keeling, an elderly British woman who relives her life in flashbacks, and on her relationship with her adult children. Keeling’s life was not extraordinary, but it spans “a time of huge importance and change in the world.” The novel describes the everyday details of what life during World War II was like for some of those who lived in Britain.

The Shell Seekers went on to sell more than five million copies worldwide and was adapted for the stage by Terence Brady and Charlotte Bingham. In 1996, her novel Coming Home won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award by Romantic Novelists’ Association.Pilcher retired from writing in 2000. Two years later she was created an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).

Her books have made her one of the more successful contemporary female authors and she is especially popular in Germany where The German national TV station ZDF (Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen) has produced more than 100 of her stories for TV starting with “Day of the Storm”. These TV films are some of the most popular programmes on ZDF. Both ZDF programme director Dr. Claus Beling and Rosamunde Pilcher were awarded the British Tourism Award in 2002 for the positive effect the books and the TV versions had on Cornwall and Devon tourism within the UK. Notable film locations include Prideaux Placean Elizabethan Manor with extensive grounds in Padstow. The 9th century stately home in St Germans, Port Eliot, The Duke of Cornwall Hotel a 1863 Victorian Gothic building in Plymouth and much of the coast line of Chapel Port

David Coverdale (Deep Purple, Whitesnake)

English rock singer David ‘Jack’ Coverdale was born 22 September 1951. He is most famous for his work with Whitesnake, the commercially successful hard rock band he founded in 1976.  Before Whitesnake, Coverdale was the lead singer of Deep Purple from late 1973 to March 15, 1976, when he resigned from the band and established his solo career. A collaboration album with Jimmy Page, released in 1993, was also a commercial and critical success.Deep Purple were formed in Hertford in 1968. They are considered to be among the pioneers of heavy metal and modern hard rock, although some band members claimed that their music cannot be categorised as belonging to any one genre. They were once listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as “the globe’s loudest band”, and have sold over 100 million albums worldwide, including 7.5 million certified units in the US. Deep Purple were ranked number 22 on VH1′s Greatest Artists of Hard Rock programme.

The band has gone through many line-up changes and an eight-year hiatus (1976–84). The 1968–76 line-ups are commonly labelled Mark I, II, III and IV. Their second and most commercially successful line-up featured Ian Gillan (vocals), Roger Glover (bass), Jon Lord (keyboards), Ian Paice (drums), and Ritchie Blackmore (guitar). This line-up was active from 1969 to 1973, and was revived from 1984 to 1989, and again in 1993, before the rift between Blackmore and other members became unbridgeable. The current line-up (including guitarist Steve Morse) has been much more stable, although Lord’s retirement from the band in 2002 has left Paice as the only original Deep Purple member still in the band. At the 2011 Classic Rock Awards in London, they received the Innovator Award. As of 2012, Deep Purple have not been nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Whitesnake were founded in 1978 by David Coverdale after his departure from his previous band, Deep Purple. Their early material has been compared by critics to Deep Purple, but by the mid 1980s they had moved to a more commercial hard rock style. Four of the band’s earliest albums reached the top 10 in the UK, with Ready an’ Willing (1980), Come an’ Get It (1981), Saints & Sinners (1982) and Slide It In (1984). The band’s 1987 self-titled album was their most commercially successful worldwide, and contained two of their most recognisable songs, “Here I Go Again” and “Is This Love”. In 1988, Whitesnake was nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Group. In 2005, Whitesnake was named the 85th greatest hard rock band of all time.

Fay Weldon CBE FRSL

English author, essayist and playwrigh Fay Weldon CBE FRSL was born 22 September 1931 in Birmingham, England, to a literary family, with both her maternal grandfather, Edgar Jepson (1863–1938), and her mother Margaret writing novels (the latter under the nom de plume Pearl Bellairs. Weldon spent her early years in Auckland, New Zealand, where her father worked as a doctor. At the age of 14, after her parents’ divorced, she returned to England with her mother and her sister Jane and never saw her father again. While in England she attended South Hampstead High School.She studied psychology and economics at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, but returned to London after giving birth to a son.

Soon afterwards she married her first husband, Ronald Bateman, who was a headmaster 25 years her senior and not the natural father of her child, and moved to Acton, London. She left him after two years, and the marriage ended. In order to support herself and her son, and provide for his education, Weldon started working in the advertising industry. As Head ofcopywriting at one point she was responsible for publicising (but not originating) the phrase “Go to work on an egg”. She once coined the slogan “Vodka gets you drunker quicker”. She said in a Guardian interview “It just seemed … to be obvious that people who wanted to get drunk fast, needed to know this.” Her bosses disagreed and suppressed it. In 1960 she met Ron Weldon, a jazz musician and antiques dealer. They married and had three sons, the first of whom was born in 1963. It was during her second pregnancy that Weldon began writing for radio and television. A few years later, in 1967, she published her first novel, The Fat Woman’s Joke. For the next 30 years she built a very successful career, publishing over twenty novels, collections of short stories, films for television, newspaper and magazine articles and becoming a well-known face and voice on theBBC.

In 1971 Weldon wrote the first episode of the landmark television series Upstairs, Downstairs, for which she won a Writers Guild award for Best British TV Series Script. In 1980 Weldon wrote the screenplay for director/producer John Goldschmidt’s television movie Life for Christine, which told the true story of a 15-year-old girl’s life imprisonment. The film was shown in prime-time on the ITVNetwork by Granada Television. She also wrote the screenplay for the 1980 BBC miniseries adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, starring Elizabeth Garvie and David Rintoul. In 1989, she contributed to the book for the Petula Clark West End musical Someone Like You. In 1998 She caused controversy, when in an interview for the Radio Times, Weldon claimed that rape “isn’t the worst thing that can happen to a woman if you’re safe, alive and unmarked after the event.”and was roundly condemned by feminists for this assertion.

During her marriage to Ron Weldon, the couple visited therapists regularly. They divorced in 1994, after he left her for his astrological therapist who had told him that the couple’s astrological signs were incompatible. She subsequently married Nick Fox, a poet who is also her manager, with whom she currently lives in Dorset. In 1996, she was a member of the jury at the 46th Berlin International Film Festival . She was also chair of judges for the 1983 Booker Prize. The judging for that prize produced a draw between J. M. Coetzee’s Life & Times of Michael K and Salman Rushdie’s Shame, leaving Weldon to choose between the two. According to Stephen Moss in The Guardian, “Her arm was bent and she chose Rushdie” only to change her mind as the result was being phoned through. In 2000 Weldon became a member of the Church of England and was confirmed in St Paul’s Cathedral, which was perhaps appropriate because she states that she likes to think that she was “converted by St Paul”.

In 2001 Weldon’s novel The Bulgari Connection became notorious for its product placement, naming the jewelers name not only in the title but another 33 times, while 12 times at least was appointed in the £18,000 contract. In 2006 Weldon was appointed Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University in West London: “A great writer needs a certain personality and a natural talent for language, but there is a great deal that can be taught – how to put words together quickly and efficiently to make a point, how to be graceful and eloquent, how to convey emotion, how to build up tension, and how to create alternative worlds.”In 2012 Weldon was appointed Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University where she shares an office with Professor Maggie Gee. Weldon serves together with Daniel Pipes as the most notable foreign members of the board of the Danish Press Freedom Society (Trykkefrihedsselskabet).