Peter Paul Rubens

German born Flemish Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens sadly passed away 30 May 1640 from heart failure, brought on by chronic gout. He was Born 28th June 1577 In Antwerp and received ahumanist education, studying Latin and classical literature. By fourteen he began his artistic apprenticeship with Tobias Verhaeght. Subsequently, he studied under two of the city’s leading painters Adam van Noort and Otto van een.Much of his earliest training involved copying earlier artists’ works, such aswoodcuts by Hans Holbein the Younger and Marcantonio Raimondi’s engravings. Rubens completed his education in 1598, and entered the Guild of S. Luke as an independent master. In 1600, Rubens travelled to Italy, stopping in Venice, where he saw paintings by Titian, Veronese, and Tintoretto, before settling in Mantua at the court of Duke Vincenzo I Gonzaga. The coloring and compositions of Veronese and Tintoretto inspired Rubens and his later, mature style was profoundly influenced by Titian.

With financial support from the Duke, Rubens travelled to Rome by way of Florence in 1601. There, he studied classical Greek and Roman art and copied works of the Italian masters, the Hellenistic sculpture Laocoön and his Sons was especially influential on him, as was the art of Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci and Caravaggio. He later made a copy of that artist’s Entombment of Christ, recommended that his patron, the Duke of Mantua, purchase The Death of the Virgin(Louvre), and was instrumental in the acquisition of The Madonna of the Rosary (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna) for the Dominican church in Antwerp. During this first stay in Rome, Rubens completed his first altarpiece commission, St. Helena with the True Cross for the Roman church of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme.

Rubens travelled to Spain on a diplomatic mission in 1603, delivering gifts from the Gonzagas to the court of Philip III. While there, he studied the extensive collections of Raphael and Titian that had been collected by Philip II. He also painted an equestrian portrait of the Duke of Lerma during his stay (Prado, Madrid) that demonstrates the influence of works like Titian’s Charles V at Mühlberg (1548; Prado, Madrid). This journey marked the first of many during his career that combined art and diplomacy. He returned to Italy in 1604, where he remained for the next four years, first in Mantua and then in Genoa and Rome. In Genoa, Rubens painted numerous portraits, such as the Marchesa Brigida Spinola-Doria (National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.), and the portrait of Maria di Antonio Serra Pallavicini, in a style that influenced later paintings by Anthony van Dyck, Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough. He also began a book illustrating the palaces in the city, which was published in 1622 as Palazzi di Genova. From 1606 to 1608, he was mostly in Rome.

Rubens returned to Antwerp in 1608 and His return coincided with a period of renewed prosperity in the city, he was appointed as court painter by Albert VII, Archduke of Austria and Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia of Spain, sovereigns of the Low Countries. In 1610, Rubens moved into a new house and studio that he designed. Now the Rubenshuis Museum, in the centre of Antwerp, it accommodated his workshop and made the most of his extensive collection of paintings, and his personal art collection and library,. During this time he created altarpieces such as The Raising of the Cross (1610) and The Descent from the Cross (1611–1614) for the Cathedral of Our Lady which were particularly important in establishing Rubens as Flanders’ leading painter . The Raising of the Cross also demonstrates the artist’s synthesis of Tintoretto’s Crucifixion for the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice, Michelangelo’s dynamic figures, and Rubens’s own personal style. The Spanish Habsburg rulers also entrusted Rubens with a number of diplomatic missions, Between 1627 and 1630, Rubens’s diplomatic career was particularly active, and he moved between the courts of Spain and England in an attempt to bring peace between the Spanish Netherlands and the United Provinces. He also made several trips to the northern Netherlands as both an artist and a diplomat. It was during this period that Rubens was twice knighted, first by Philip IV of Spain in 1624, and then by Charles I of England in 1630. He was awarded an honorary Master of Arts degree fromCambridge University in 1629.

In 1621, the Queen Mother of France, Marie de’ Medici, commissioned Rubens to paint two large allegorical cycles celebrating her life and the life of her late husband, Henry IV, for theLuxembourg Palace in Paris. The Marie de’ Medici cycle (now in the Louvre) was installed in 1625, While Rubens’s international reputation with collectors and nobility abroad continued to grow during this decade, he and his workshop also continued to paint monumental paintings for local patrons in Antwerp. The Assumption of the Virgin Mary (1625–6) for the Cathedral of Antwerp is one prominent example. Rubens’s last decade was spent in and around Antwerp. Major works for foreign patrons still occupied him, such as the ceiling paintings for the Banqueting House at Inigo Jones’s Palace of Whitehall.

In 1630, the 53-year-old painter married 16-year-old Hélène Fourment who inspired the voluptuous figures in many of his paintings from the 1630s, including The Feast of Venus (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna), The Three Graces and The Judgment of Paris (both Prado, Madrid). In the latter painting, which was made for the Spanish court, the artist’s young wife was recognized by viewers in the figure of Venus. In an intimate portrait of her, Hélène Fourment in a Fur Wrap, also known as Het Pelsken Rubens’s wife is even partially modelled after classical sculptures of the Venus Pudica, such as theMedici Venus. In 1635, Rubens bought an estate outside of Antwerp, the Steen, where he spent much of his time. Landscapes, such as his Château de Steen with Hunter (National Gallery, London) and Farmers Returning from the Fields (Pitti Gallery, Florence), reflect the more personal nature of many of his later works. He also drew upon the Netherlandish traditions of Pieter Bruegel the Elder for inspiration in later works like Flemish Kermis (c. 1630; Louvre, Paris).

His extravagant Baroque style emphasised movement, colour, and sensuality, and he was known for his Counter Reformation altarpieces, portraits, landscapes, and history paintingso mythological and allegorial sujects His studio in Antwerp produced paintings popular with nobility and art collectors throughout Europe, Rubens was a classically educated humanist scholar and diplomat who was knighted by both Philip IV, King of Spain, and Charles I, King of England. Religion figured prominently in much of his work and became one of the leading voices of the Catholic Counter-Reformation style of painting.

Peter Paul Rubens

Following his untimely demise Rubens was interred in Saint Jacob’s church, Antwerp. The artist had eight children, three with Isabella and five with Hélène; his youngest child was born eight months after his death. Rubens was a prolific artist. His commissioned works were mostly religious subjects, “history” paintings, which included mythological subjects, and hunt scenes. He painted portraits, especially of friends, and self-portraits, and in later life painted several landscapes. Rubens designed tapestries and prints, as well as his own house. He also oversaw theephemeral decorations of the Joyous Entry into Antwerp by the Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand in 1635. His drawings are mostly extremely forceful but not detailed; he also made great use of oil sketches as preparatory studies. He was one of the last major artists to make consistent use of wooden panels as a support medium, even for very large works, but he used canvas as well, especially when the work needed to be sent a long distance. For altarpieces he sometimes painted on slate to reduce reflection problems. His fondness of painting full-figured women gave rise to the term ‘Rubenesque’ for plus-sized women. Rubens was a great admirer of Leonardo da Vinci’s work. Using an engraving done 50 years after Leonardo started his project on the Battle of Anghiari, Rubens did a masterly drawing of the Battle which is now in the Louvre in Paris.

Tim Burgess (The Charlatans)

English singer-songwriter and record label owner, Tim Burgess was born 30 May 1967 in Salford, and grew up in Moulton, near Northwich, Cheshire. He is best known as the lead singer of the alternative rock band The Charlatans.The band were originally formed in the West Midlands by bassist Martin Blunt, Rob Collins (keyboards), Jon Brookes (drums), Jon Day (Jonathan Baker) (guitar) and singer/guitarist Baz Ketley (who was replaced by Tim Burgess). Although the Charlatans become popularly associated with the Madchester scene, the band’s roots are in the Midlands. Early demos were dominated by Collins’s Hammond organ underpinned by the driving rhythm section of Blunt’s powerful running bass and Brookes’s drumming. With their sound – fusing 1960s soul, R&B and garage rock as featured in Birmingham bands The Spencer Davis Group and early Dexys Midnight Runners.

Although the name The Charlatans was already being used when the original members of the band were still located in the West Midlands, many sources state that they formed in Northwich, Cheshire.[4] This is because the band relocated to the home town of new lead singer Tim Burgess (who was born in Salford, but lived in Northwich from an early age) before the 1990 release of The Charlatans’ debut single “Indian Rope”, on the band’s own Dead Dead Good Records label. Thus based on the definition of hometown used by Guinness World Records the band was formed in Northwich, and consequently Northwich is recorded as their home town in such publications as British Hit Singles & Albums – although the founding members are actually from Walsall.

The debut single “Indian Rope” proved to be an indie hit and the group soon found a major label in Beggars Banquet offshoot Situation Two in time for the release of the singles “The Only One I Know”, “Then” and their debut album Some Friendly. The Charlatans were forced to add UK to their name for an American tour due to competing claims by a 1960s rock band also known as The Charlatans. Baker left the band after 1991’s “Over Rising” single to be replaced by Mark Collins (no relation to Rob). The band brought in producer Flood for their second album Between 10th and 11th (named after the address of the New York Marquee, the site of the group’s first US concert). Released in early 1992, contained the single
“Weirdo”.

The band suffered a major setback later that year, when Rob Collins was charged with armed robbery after a friend had robbed an off licence while he was waiting in the car outside. Collins claimed to have no knowledge of the robbery until he heard a gunshot inside the shop and his friend exited, although he later admitted that he should not have picked up his friend after he had realised what he had done. In court he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of “assisting an offender after an offence” and served four months in prison. Their third album Up To Our Hips was released in1994. In 1995 they released their self-titled fourth album containing the song “Just When You’re Thinkin’ Things Over”.

Sadly in 1996 Keyboard player Rob Collins was tragically killed in a car crash during the recording of the band’s fifth album Tellin’ Stories. The Charlatans decided to continue, drafting in the Primal Scream and former Felt keyboardist Martin Duffy until a permanent replacement for Collins could be found, for The Charlatans’ support slot at Oasis’ Knebworth concerts in mid-1996. Tellin’ Stories was released in 1997, featuring singles “One to Another”, “North Country Boy” and “How High”.The Charlatans then released of the career-spanning compilation Melting Pot, the B-sides collection Songs From The Other Side and the DVD Just Lookin’ 1990–1997. The next album Us And Us Only featured new keyboard player Tony Rogers and had a slightly country sound, heavily influenced by Burgess’s love of Bob Dylan. The soul influenced album “Wonderland” was released in 2001, followed by the album Up At The Lake in 2004.

The band released their ninth full-length album “Simpatico” in 2006, featuring a reggae and dub tinged sound and containing the songs “NYC (There’s No Need to Stop)” and “Blackened Blue Eyes”. Their follow-up to Simpatico was the career-spanning singles compilation entitled Forever: The Singles which was released on CD and DVD in 2006 preceded by the re-recorded song (remixed by Youth) “You’re So Pretty We’re So Pretty”. The band also played a number of high-profile supporting gigs in mid-2007, including for The Who and The Rolling Stones at venues including Wembley Stadium and Twickenham Stadium in London, as well as the Bingley Music Live event, Nass Festival 2007 and at Delamere Forest in Cheshire. In 2007The band contributed the song “Blank Heart, Blank Mind” to a Love Music, Hate Racism compilation CD And released the new singles “You Cross My Path” and “Oh! Vanity” through XFM and released their tenth album You Cross My Path IN 2008 and Their eleventh studio album, Who We Touch, was released 2010 which was also the twentieth anniversary of the band’s debut album Some Friendly, which they played live at Primavera Sound Festival 2010

Sadly in 2010, drummer Jon Brookes collapsed during a performance in Philadelphia and Brookes was diagnosed with a brain tumour and was flown back to the UK for an operation and course of radiation and chemotherapy treatment. The Verve’s Peter Salisbury acted as a stand-in drummer for the remainder of the Charlatans UK dates. Brookes returned to the stage for the band’s Christmas and New Year Eve’s gigs in 2010. In 2011 Universal Music re-released a deluxe edition of the band’s 1999 album Us & Us Only, featuring a collection of bonus tracks including B-sides, live recordings, radio sessions and rare remixes. Tim Burgess and Mark Collins also played an acoustic tour of the UK, to coincide with which they released an EP Warm Sounds, which featured six stripped-down and reworked versions of Charlatans tracks including “North Country Boy”, “The Only One I Know” and “Smash The System”. The Charlatans also performed Tellin’ Stories in its entirety at London’s HMV Hammersmith Apollo, O2 Apollo Manchester and Glasgow’s Barrowland Ballroom in June 2012. In May 2013 the Mountain Picnic Blues DVD was released, a documentary about their Tellin’ Stories album from its creation in 1997 to the 15th anniversary of the album. Sadly in August 2013 the band’s drummer Jon Brookes succumbed to brain cancer at the age of 44, having undergone several operations and treatment for the condition. The band paid tribute to him in a special event, with Pete Salisbury playing in his place and bands such as Beady Eye, The Vaccines and Manic Street Preachers also joining the bill. Proceeds from the night went to The Brain Tumour Charity, of which The Charlatans are now patrons; the charity have set up The Jon Brookes Fund as a lasting tribute to the drummer.

The Charlatans released their twelfth studio album Modern Nature in 2015 Featuring eleven new tracks including “Talking In Tones” It features contributions from the band’s temporary drummers Peter Salisbury (of The Verve), Stephen Morris (of New Order) and Gabriel Gurnsey (of Factory Floor), producer Dave Tollan, backing singers Melanie Marshall and Sandra Marvin, strings by Sean O’Hagan and brass courtesy of Jim Paterson from Dexys Midnight Runners. The group’s thirteenth album, Different Days, was released on 26 May 2017.

Tom Morrello (Rage against the machine)

American musician, singer, songwriter, actor and political activist. Thomas Baptiste Morello was born May 30, 1964. in Harlem, New York, and raised in Libertyville, Illinois, Morello became interested in music and politics while in high school. He attended Harvard University and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Studies. Morello’s paternal great-uncle, Jomo Kenyatta, was the first elected president in Kenyan history. His parents met in August 1963 while attending a pro-democracy protest in Nairobi, Kenya. His father, Ngethe Njoroge was a Kenyan participant in the Mau Mau Uprising and served as Kenya’s first ambassador to the United Nations.

Mary returned to the United States with Njoroge in November and married in New York City. However When Morello was 16 months old, his Father Ngethe Njoroge returned to his native Kenya and denied his paternity of his son. Morello was raised by his mother in Libertyville, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. There, he attended Libertyville High School, where his mother was a U.S. history teacher. She was the homeroom teacher for Tom’s classmate and fellow guitarist Adam Jones, of the band Tool, while teaching at Libertyville. Morello sang in the school choir and portrayed Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

At age 13, Morello joined his first band; a Led Zeppelin cover band as the lead singer. At this same age, Morello purchased his first guitar. Around 1984, Morello first started studying the guitar seriously. He had formed a band in the same year called the Electric Sheep which featured future Tool guitarist Adam Jones on bass. The band wrote original material that included politically charged lyrics. None of the songs composed by the Sheep contained solos; soloing was a skill that Morello began learning in college. He has said that he was profoundly influenced by Run-D.M.C, and Jam Master Jay in particular. This influence can be heard in songs like “Bulls on Parade” where his guitar solos mimic a DJ scratching. Additionally, the Bomb Squad and Public Enemy has had a large impact on his musical style.

At the time, Morello’s musical tastes lay in the direction of hard rock and heavy metal, particularly Kiss and Iron Maiden. As he stated in Flight 666, he is a huge fan of Piece of Mind, Alice Cooper, Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath. He cited Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath as one of his biggest influences as a riff writer. Morello developed his own unique sound through the electric guitar. Later, his musical style and politics were greatly influenced by punk rock bands like The Clash, The Sex Pistols, and Devo, and artists such as Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan.

Morello developed leftist political leanings early, and has described himself as having been “the only anarchist in a conservative high school”, and has since identified as a nonsectarian socialist. In the 1980 mock elections at Libertyville, he campaigned for a fictitious anarchist “candidate” named Hubie Maxwell, who came in fourth place in the election. He also wrote a piece headlined “South Africa: Racist Fascism That We Support” for the school alternative newspaper The Student Pulse. Morello graduated from high school with honors in June 1982 and enrolled at Harvard University as a political science student that autumn. Morello graduated in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Studies. He moved to Los Angeles, where he supported himself, first by working as an exotic male stripper. He went by the moniker of Tom “Meat Swinger” Morello.Adam Jones, his high school classmate, moved to Los Angeles as well; Morello introduced Jones and Maynard James Keenan to Danny Carey, who would come to form the band Tool. From 1987 to 1988, Morello worked in the office of California Democratic Senator Alan Cranston

After his previous band Lock Up disbanded in 1991, Morello met Zack de la Rocha, and the two founded Rage Against the Machine together. He also drafted drummer Brad Wilk, who he knew from his band Lock Up, where Wilk unsuccessfully auditioned for a drumming spot. Zack then convinced his childhood friend Tim Commerford to play bass. in 1992 Rage Against he Machine released their self titled debut album. In 2000 in Los Angeles during the Democratic National Convention, Rage Against the Machine performed outside the Staples Center to a crowd numbering in the thousands while the Convention took place inside. The Los Angeles Police Department subsequently turned off the power and ordered the audience to disperse. In late 2000, after Commerford’s stunt at the VMA’s, the disgruntled de la Rocha quit the band. Rage Against the Machine performed their last concert at the Grand Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles. Although Rage Against the Machine disbanded in October 2000 after de la Rocha departed amid disputes over the direction of the band, their fourth studio album, Renegades, became a collection of cover songs from artists such as Bob Dylan, MC5, Bruce Springsteen and Cypress Hill. Their last album, titled Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium was releasd in 2003 it featured, an edited recording of the band’s final two concerts on September 12 and 13, 2000 at the Grand Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles and DVD release of the last show plus a previously unreleased music video for “Bombtrack”.

After disbanding, Morello, Wilk and Commerford went on to form Audioslave with then-former Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell and released three albums as well as a DVD from the band’s concert in Cuba. After de la Rocha left Rage Against the Machine, the remaining bandmates began collaborating with former Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell at the suggestion of producer Rick Rubin. The band released their eponymous debut album on November 19, 2002. It was a critical and commercial success, attaining triple-platinum status. The band released their second album, Out of Exile, in 2005. they also released a DVD documenting their trip as the first American rock band to play a free show in Cuba. The band’s third album, Revelations, was released in the fall of 2006. As of February 15, 2007, Audioslave have broken up as a result of frontman Cornell’s departure due to “irresolvable personality conflicts”.

The band reunited with Zack de la Rocha and resumed their previous band, Rage Against the Machine. On April 29, 2007, Rage Against the Machine reunited at the Coachella Music Festival and played seven more shows in the United States in 2007 (including their first non-festival concert in seven years at the Alpine Valley Music Theater in East Troy, Wisconsin), and in January 2008, they played their first shows outside the US since re-forming as part of the Big Day Out Festival in Australia and New Zealand. In August 2008 they headlined nights at the Reading and Leeds festivals. The have also headlined Lollapalooza in Chicago. In 2008 the band also played shows in Denver, Colorado and Minneapolis, Minnesota to coincide with the Democratic National Convention and Republican National Convention, respectively. In July 2011, Rage Against the Machine played at L.A. Rising, a concert formed by the band in Los Angeles, Alongside Muse and Rise Against.

As of 2016, Morello is a member of the supergroup Prophets of Rage. Morello was also a touring musician with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. He also created an acoustic solo side project called The Nightwatchman which is described as a political folk alter ego and gives nim an outlet to express his political views while playing music. He has performed at open mic nights with friends for some time. Morello is also the co-founder (along with Serj Tankian) of the non-profit political activist organization Axis of Justice, which airs a monthly program on Pacifica Radio station KPFK (90.7 FM) in Los Angeles.

Wilbur Wright

American Aviation Pioneer and eldest of The Wright brothers, Wilbur Wright sadly passed away 30 May 1948. Born April 16, in 1867. Wilbur, together with his younger brother Orville. is credited with inventing and building the world’s first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight, on December 17, 1903 at Kitty Hawk in North Carolina. The Wright Brothers spent a great deal of time observing birds in flight. They noticed that birds soared into the wind and that the air flowing over the curved surface of their wings created lift. Birds change the shape of their wings to turn and manoeuvre. They believed that they could use this technique to obtain roll control by warping, or changing the shape, of a portion of the wing. as a resultThe Wright Brothers designed their first aircraft: a small, biplane glider flown as a kite to test their solution for controlling the craft by wing warping. Wing warping is a method of arching the wingtips slightly to control the aircraft’s rolling motion and balance. Over the next three years, Wilbur and his brother Orville would design a series of gliders which would be flown in both unmanned (as kites) and piloted flights.

They read about the works of Cayley, and Langley, and the hang-gliding flights of Otto Lilienthal. They corresponded with Octave Chanute concerning some of their ideas. They recognized that control of the flying aircraft would be the most crucial and hardest problem to solve. Following a successful glider test, the Wrights built and tested a full-size glider. They selected Kitty Hawk, North Carolina as their test site because of its wind, sand, hilly terrain and remote location. In 1900, the Wrights successfully tested their new 50-pound biplane glider with its 17-foot wingspan and wing-warping mechanism at Kitty Hawk, in both unmanned and piloted flights. In fact, it was the first piloted glider. Based upon the results, the Wright Brothers planned to refine the controls and landing gear, and build a bigger glider. So in 1901, at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, the Wright Brothers flew the largest glider ever flown, with a 22-foot wingspan, a weight of nearly 100 pounds and skids for landing.

However, many problems occurred: the wings did not have enough lifting power; forward elevator was not effective in controlling the pitch; and the wing-warping mechanism occasionally caused the airplane to spin out of control. In their disappointment, they predicted that man will probably not fly in their lifetime. In spite of the problems with their last attempts at flight, the Wrights reviewed their test results and determined that the calculations they had used were not reliable. They decided to build a wind tunnel to test a variety of wing shapes and their effect on lift. Based upon these tests, the inventors had a greater understanding of how an airfoil (wing) works and could calculate with greater accuracy how well a particular wing design would fly. They planned to design a new glider with a 32-foot wingspan and a tail to help stabilize it.

During 1902, the brothers flew numerous test glides using their new glider. Their studies showed that a movable tail would help balance the craft and the Wright Brothers connected a movable tail to the wing-warping wires to coordinate turns. With successful glides to verify their wind tunnel tests, the inventors planned to build a powered aircraft. After months of studying how propellers work the Wright Brothers designed a motor and a new aircraft sturdy enough to accommodate the motor’s weight and vibrations. The craft weighed 700 pounds and came to be known as the Flyer. The brothers built a movable track to help launch the Flyer. This downhill track would help the aircraft gain enough airspeed to fly. After two attempts to fly this machine, one of which resulted in a minor crash, Orville Wright took the Flyer for a 12-second, sustained flight on December 17, 1903. This was the first successful, powered, piloted flight in history.

Boris Pasternak

Russian poet and novelist Boris Leonidovich Pasternak sadly passed away 30 May 1960 due to the effects of lung cancer. Born 10 February 1890. Pasternak aspired to be a musician. Inspired by Scriabin, Pasternak studied at the Moscow Conservatory. In 1910 he abruptly left for the German University of Marburg, where he studied under Neo-Kantian philosophers Hermann Cohen and Nicolai Hartmann. Although Professor Cohen encouraged him to remain in Germany and to pursue a Philosophy doctorate, Pasternak decided against it. and returned to Moscow upon the outbreak of World War I. His first poetry anthology was published later that year.

During World War I, Pasternak taught and worked at a chemical factory in Vsevolodovo-Vilve near Perm, which undoubtedly provided him with material for Dr. Zhivago. Unlike the rest of his family and many of his closest friends, Pasternak chose not to leave Russia after the October Revolution of 1917. remained in Moscow throughout the Civil War (1918–1920), making no attempt to escape abroad or to the White-occupied south, as a number of other Russian writers did at the time. No doubt, like Yuri Zhivago, he was momentarily impressed by the “splendid surgery” of the Bolshevik seizure of power in October 1917. However he soon began to harbor profound doubts about the claims and credentials of the regime, not to mention its style of rule. The terrible shortages of food and fuel, and the depredations of the Red Terror, made life very precarious in those years, particularly for the “bourgeois” intelligentsia. Published in 1921, Pasternak’s My Sister, Life revolutionised Russian poetry and made Pasternak the model for younger poets, and decisively changed the poetry of Osip Mandelshtam, Marina Tsvetayeva and others. By 1927, Pasternak’s close friends Vladimir Mayakovsky and Nikolai Aseyev were advocating the complete subordination of the Arts to the needs of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.So he broke off relations, with both of them. By 1932, Pasternak had altered his style to make it acceptable to the Soviet public and printed the new collection of poems aptly titled The Second Birth, He simplified his style and language even further for his next collection of verse, Early Trains (1943). This prompted his former admirer, Vladimir Nabokov, to mock Pasternak as a “weeping Bolshevik”. After Joseph Stalin was acclaimed as leader of the CPSU in 1929, Pasternak became further disillusioned with the Party’s tightening censorship of literature.

Still unwilling to conform, Pasternak remained a close friend of Anna Akhmatova and Osip Mandelstam, who recited his searing indictment of Stalin, the Stalin Epigram, to Pasternak soon after its composition in late April 1934. After listening, Pasternak told Mandelstam, “I didn’t hear this, you didn’t recite it to me, because, you know, very strange and terrible things are happening now: they’ve begun to pick people up. Mandelstam was arrested shortly afterwards. Pasternak was deeply upset by this, apart from being concerned for his friend he was also worried that he might be blamed for fingering Mandelstam to the secret police. Pasternak became frantic, pacing around his apartment repeating over and over that he must write to Stalin to explain that injustices were being committed in the name of the Leader. Pasternak later did write and send just such a letter. Although Pasternak was never arrested by the Soviet secret police during the Great Purge, which took place in the Soviet Union in the late 1930s, he lost many friends, among them were peasants, Red Army leadership, Old Bolsheviks and unaffiliated persons. Appalled by the events taking place in the Soviet Union during the Great Purge, Pasternak appealed directly to Stalin. He wrote about his family’s strong Tolstoyan convictions. Pasternak was certain that he would be instantly arrested, but he was not. Stalin is said to have crossed Pasternak’s name off an execution list during the Great Purge.

After the outbreak of war between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, Pasternak was elated. With the end of the war in 1945, there was a great expectation that the Soviet people would not only see the end of the devastation of Nazism, but also the end of Stalin’s Purges. However, sealed trains began carrying large numbers of prisoners to the Soviet Gulags. Some were Nazi collaborators but most were ordinary Soviet officers and men. Pasternak watched as ex-POWs were directly transferred from Nazi to Soviet concentration camps. White emigres who had returned due to pledges of amnesty were also sent directly to the Gulag, as were Jews from the Anti-Fascist Committee and other organizations. Many thousands of innocents were incarcerated as part the Leningrad Affair and the Doctor’s Plot, while whole ethnic groups were deported to Siberia. :O

Pasternak’s translation of the first part of Faust caused contorversy and he was accused of distorting Goethe’s “progressive,” meanings to support “the reactionary theory of ‘pure art’”, as well as introducing aesthetic and individualist values. When Stalin died of a stroke on 5 March 1953, there were waves of panic, confusion, and public displays of grief Across the nation. Pasternak wrote, “Men who are not free… always idealize their bondage. For so long we were ruled over by a madman and a murderer, and now by a fool and a pig. The madman had his occasional flights of fancy, he had an intuitive feeling for certain things, despite his wild obscurantism. Now we are ruled over by mediocrities.” During this period, Pasternak delighted in reading a clandestine copy of George Orwell’s Animal Farm in English. In conversation with Ivinskaya, Pasternak explained that the porcine dictator Napoleon, “vividly reminded,” him of Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev.

Pasternak’s next novel Doctor Zhivago was completed in 1956 and imediately caused controvery – The author, like his protagonist Yuri Zhivago, showed more concern for the welfare of individual characters than for the “progress” of society. Censors also regarded some passages as anti-Soviet, especially the novel’s criticisms of Stalinism, Collectivisation, the Great Purge, and the Gulag. As a result Russian people were unwilling to publish it, however Thanks to the efforts of a Communist Italian Journalist and Helped considerably by the Soviet campaign against the novel, Doctor Zhivago became an instant sensation throughout the non-Communist world upon its release in November 1957. Pasternak also received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1958, an event which both humiliated and enraged the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. By the time of his death from lung cancer on 30th May 1960, the campaign against Pasternak had severely damaged the international credibility of the U.S.S.R. He remains a major figure in Russian literature to this day. Furthermore, tactics pioneered by Pasternak were later continued, expanded, and refined by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and other Soviet dissidents.

Topper Headon (The Clash, Mirkwood)

Topper Headon, English drummer and songwriter with British Punk bands the Clash and Mirkwood was born 30 May 1955. He joined the Clash in 1976 alongside Joe Strummer Mick Jones and Paul Simonen as part of the original wave of British punk. Before joining The Clash Strummer also had previous musical experience with The 101ers, Latino Rockabilly War, The Mescaleros and The Pogues. Along with punk, their music incorporated elements of reggae, ska, dub, funk, rap, and rockabilly. The Clash became one of the most prominent of the emerging bands in the UK punk rock scene, their second album, Give ‘Em Enough Rope (1978) reaching number 2 on the UK charts. Soon after, they began achieving success in the US, starting with London Calling (1979), and peaking with 1982′s Combat Rock, reaching number 7 on the US charts and being certified 2x platinum there.

The Clash achieved commercial success in the United Kingdom with the release of their debut album, The Clash, in 1977. Their third album, London Calling, released in the UK in December 1979, earned them popularity in the United States when it was released there the following month. It was declared the best album of the 1980s a decade later by Rolling Stone magazine. In 1982 they reached new heights of success with the release of Combat Rock, which spawned the US top 10 hit “Rock the Casbah”, helping the album to achieve a 2× Platinum certification there. The Clash’s politicised lyrics, musical experimentation, and rebellious attitude had a far-reaching influence on rock, alternative rock in particular. They became widely referred to as “The Only Band That Matters”, originally a promotional slogan introduced by the group’s record label, CBS. Sadly internal tensions within the band led to Headon leaving the group in 1982, and Jones also departed the following year. The group continued with new members, but finally disbanded in early 1986 shortly after the fnal album, Cut the Crap, was released.

After the Clash split Strummer embarked on his own solo music career and also acted wrote film scores for television and movies, and presented radio program’s and went on to become one of the most iconic figures of the British punk movement. The Clash were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in January 2003. Strummer sadly passed away 22 December 2002 however, Strummer’s friends and family established theStrummerville Foundation in his memory which promotes new music, and each year there are many festivals and both organised and spontaneous ceremonies worldwide to celebrate his memory. In January 2003, the band—including original drummer Terry Chimes—were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked the Clash number 28 on their list of the 100 greatest artists of all time.