Good Omens/Sir Edward Elgar

Having enjoyed reading the book, I am currently working my way through the Amazon Prime adaptation of the novel Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaimen. It stars David Tennant as the demon Crowley (the serpent who tempted Eve to eat the apple) and Michael Sheen as the angel Aziraphale (the guardian of the Eastern Gate of Eden), who now owns a bookshop in London. They discover From the angel Hastor that the Apocalypse is rapidly approaching and are called upon to prepare for Armageddon and the end of the world.

unfortunately one of the nuns at the Satanic Order of Chattering Nuns named Sister Mary Loquacious manages to lose the Anti-Christ when a young man suddenly arrive with his heavily pregnant wife at the same time as a prominent black American diplomat who is stationed at Tadfield Airbase, Oxfordshire. Eventually his son Warlock, the child whom everyone thinks is the Anti-Christ, turns out perfectly normal while the real Anti-christ, Adam, remains hidden. So Crowley and Azariphale decide to look for him.

They eventually arrive at Tadfield where After meeting a young woman named Anathema Device, Azariphale obtains a rare 17th century book entitled “Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch” (Initially This book did not sell very well due to being incredibly cryptic) and Agnes Nutter only published the book so she could receive a free author’s copy. Like other witches Agnes Nutter was tragically burned at the stake by an angry mob due to the cryptic nature of the book; however because she had the gift of prophecy she had foreseen her own future and prepared an explosive surprise

In the meantime, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse assemble: War (a female war correspondent), Death (a biker), Famine (a dietician and fast-food tycoon), and Pollution (a young man who took over from Pestilence following the discovery of penicillin).

BaCk in Tadfield Adam is unwittingly beginning to use his powers in his sleep and Gradually the world descends into chaos, so Anathema, Newton Pulsifer (one of the two last members of the Witchfinder Army, the other being Sargeant Shadwell. Adam The Antichrist, Aziraphale and Crowley all gather to try and prevent the Horsemen from causing armageddon and stop the impending apocalypse….


Sir Edward Elgar OM GCVO

English composer Sir Edward Elgar 1st Baronet OM, GCVO, was born 2nd June 1857. Many of his works have entered the British and international classical concert repertoire. Among his best-known compositions are orchestral works including the Enigma Variations, the Pomp and Circumstance Marches, concertos for violin and cello, and two symphonies. He also composed choral works, including The Dream of Gerontius, chamber music and songs. He was appointed Master of the King’s Musick in 1924.

Although Elgar is often regarded as a typically English composer, most of his musical influences were not from England but from continental Europe. He felt himself to be an outsider, not only musically, but socially. In musical circles dominated by academics, he was a self-taught composer; in Protestant Britain, his Roman Catholicism was regarded with suspicion in some quarters; and in the class-conscious society of Victorian and Edwardian Britain, he was acutely sensitive about his humble origins even after he achieved recognition. He nevertheless married the daughter of a senior British army officer. She inspired him both musically and socially, but he struggled to achieve success until his forties, when after a series of moderately successful works his Enigma Variations (1899) became immediately popular in Britain and overseas. He followed the Variations with a choral work, The Dream of Gerontius (1900), based on a Roman Catholic text that caused some disquiet in the Anglican establishment in Britain, but it became, and has remained, a core repertory work in Britain and elsewhere. His later full-length religious choral works were well received but have not entered the regular repertory.The first of his Pomp and Circumstance Marches (1901) is well known in the English-speaking world. In his fifties, Elgar composed a symphony and a violin concerto that were immensely successful. His second symphony and his cello concerto did not gain immediate public popularity and took many years to achieve a regular place in the concert repertory of British orchestras.

Elgar’s music came, in his later years, to be seen as appealing chiefly to British audiences. His stock remained low for a generation after his death. It began to revive significantly in the 1960s, helped by new recordings of his works. Some of his works have, in recent years, been taken up again internationally, but the music remains more played in Britain than elsewhere. Elgar has been described as the first composer to take the gramophone seriously. Between 1914 and 1925, he conducted a series of acoustic recordings of his works. The introduction of the microphone in 1925 made far more accurate sound reproduction possible, and Elgar made new recordings of most of his major orchestral works and excerpts from The Dream of Gerontius. These recordings were reissued on LP record in the 1970s and on CD in the 1990s. Elgar sadly passed away on 23rd February 1934

International Sex Workers Day

International Sex Workers Day takes place annually on 2 June. It commemorates the Occupation of Saint-Nizier in Lyon on 2 June 1975 by over 100 prostitutes who were protesting against inhumane working conditions. The women occupied the church for eight days, until police removed them on June 10. Other churches were soon occupied by protestors in Paris, Marseille, Grenoble, Saint-Étienne and Montpellier.

They were also protesting about the treatment prostitutes received from French police which Forced them into greater secrecy, which allowed increased violence against them. In April, 1975, the Lyon prostitutes organized, and their leader, known as ‘Ulla’ appeared on television with their demands. Following the murders of three women, and the government’s continuing indifference toward their plight, they went on strike and occupied the church. They demanded the end of fines, police harassment, and the release from jail of ten of them who had been imprisoned a few days earlier for soliciting.

The striking workers sang political chants and demanded decent working conditions and an end to stigma, becoming headline news nationally, and reports in the international press. Some local people supported their strike, bringing them clothes and food, while political, union and feminists organizations also announced their support. The parish priest refused to call police to remove the women, but the French government ordered the police to forcibly clear the church. The Minister of the Interior, Michel Poniatowski, claimed the women had been manipulated into the occupation by pimps, and the Womens Rights Minister, Françoise Giroud, refused to meet with the women, claiming she was not competent in the matter. This event was a flash point which launched an international movement for sex worker’s rights

Bo Diddley

Often referred to as “The Originator” because of his key role in the transition from the blues to rock & roll, The late great Ellas Otha Bates A.K.A American Rhythm & Blues Legend Bo Diddley sadly died 2 June 2008. He was born 30 December, 1928 in McComb, Mississippi and lived in Mississippi Until 1934, when he and his family moved to Chicago. whilst In Chicago, he became an active member of his local Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he studied the trombone and the violin, becoming proficient enough on the latter for the musical director to invite him to join the orchestra, with which he performed until the age of 18. He was more impressed, however, by the pulsating, rhythmic music he heard at a local Pentecostal Church, as well as an interest in the guitar.

Inspired by a concert where he saw John Lee Hooker perform he played music on street corners with friends, including Jerome Green in a band called The Hipsters (later The Langley Avenue Jive Cats). During the summer of 1943–44, he played for tips at the Maxwell Street market in a band with Earl Hooker, and By 1951 he was playing on the street with backing from Roosevelt Jackson (on washtub bass) and Jody Williams (whom he had taught to play the guitar). Williams later played lead guitar on “Who Do You Love?” (1956). In 1951 he landed a regular spot at the 708 Club on Chicago’s South Side, with a repertoire influenced by Louis Jordan, John Lee Hooker, and Muddy Waters, and later adopted the stage name “Bo Diddley”.

In 1954, he teamed up with harmonica player Billy Boy Arnold, drummer Clifton James, and bass player Roosevelt Jackson, and recorded demos of “I’m A Man” and “Bo Diddley”. They re-recorded the songs at Chess Studios with a backing ensemble comprising Otis Spann (piano), Lester Davenport (harmonica), Frank Kirkland (drums), and Jerome Green (maracas). The record was released in March 1955, and the A-side, “Bo Diddley”, became a #1 R&B hit. He enjoyed continuing success during the 1950’s and 60’s recording many hit records, including “Pretty Thing” (1956), “Say Man” (1959), and “You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover” (1962). He released a string of albums Including Bo Diddley Is a Gunslinger and Have Guitar, Will Travel, bolstered by his self-invented legend. Between 1958 and 1963, Checker Records released 11 full-length albums by Bo Diddley.

Over the decades, Bo Diddley’s venues ranged from intimate clubs to stadiums. On March 25, 1972, he played with The Grateful Dead at the Academy of Music in New York City. The Grateful Dead released part of this concert as Volume 30 of the band’s Dick’s Picks concert album series. Also in the early 1970s, the soundtrack for the ground-breaking animated film Fritz The Cat contained his song “Bo Diddley”, in which a crow idly finger-pops along to the track. He was responsible for introducing a more insistent, driving rhythm and hard-edged guitar sound to a wide-ranging catalog of songs, and was also known for his technical innovations, including his trademark rectangular guitar.

Later in his career He appeared as an opening act for The Clash in their 1979 US tour; in Legends of Guitar (filmed live in Spain, 1991) with B.B. King, Les Paul, Albert Collins, George Benson, among others, and joined The Rolling Stones as a guest on their 1994 concert broadcast of Voodoo Lounge, performing “Who Do You Love?” with the band. Following his death He was posthumously awarded a Doctor of Fine Arts degree by the University of Florida for his influence on American popular music and in its “People in America” radio series about influential people in American history. He was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation and a Grammy Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. He was a one of a kind musician and Bo Diddley’s influence was so widespread that it is hard to imagine what rock and roll would have sounded like without him. He influenced a host of other artists including Buddy Holly, Jimi Hendrix, The Velvet Underground, The Who, The Clash, The Yardbirds, Eric Clapton and was also a big influence on The Rolling Stones, he is also sometimes referred to as the rock that the roll was built on.

Junior Braithwaite (Bob Marley and the Wailers)

Reggae musician Franklin Delano Alexander Braithwaite, better known as Junior Braithwaite was tragically murdered on 2 June 1999. He was born 4 April 1949 in Kingston, Jamaica and was the youngest member of the vocal group, The Wailing Wailers which Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh started in 1963, after ska music became popular in Jamaica. Soon after Beverly Kelso and Cherry Smith also joined the group as backing vocalists. By the early 1970s, Marley and Bunny Wailer had learned to play some instruments and brothers Aston “Family Man” Barrett (bass) and Carlton Barrett (drums), had joined the band. After Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh left the band in 1974, Marley began touring with new band members. His new backing band included the Barrett brothers, Junior Marvin and Al Anderson on lead guitar, Tyrone Downie and Earl “Wya” Lindo on keyboards, and Alvin “Seeco” Patterson on percussion. The “I Threes”, consisting of Judy Mowatt, Marcia Griffiths, and Marley’s wife, Rita, provided backing vocals.

The lineup was known variously as the Teenagers, the Wailing Rudeboys, the Wailing Wailers and finally the Wailers. The original lineup featured Junior Braithwaite on vocals, Bob Marley on guitar, Peter Tosh on keyboard, Neville Livingston (a.k.a. Bunny Wailer) on drums, and Cherry Smith and Beverley Kelso on backing vocals. By 1966 Braithwaite, Kelso and Smith had left the band, which then consisted of the trio Livingston, Marley and Tosh. Some of the Wailers’ most notable songs were recorded with Lee “Scratch” Perry and his studio band the Upsetters. In 1964, the Wailers topped the Jamaican charts with Simmer Down. The Wailers also worked with renowned reggae producer Leslie Kong, who used his studio musicians called Beverley’s All-Stars (Jackie Jackson, Paul Douglas, Gladstone Anderson, Winston Wright, Rad Bryan, Hux Brown) to record the songs that would be released as an album entitled “The Best of The Wailers”.

Braithwaite was with The Wailers for eight months and sang lead on such songs as “Habits”, “Straight and Narrow Way”, “Don’t Ever Leave Me”, and “It Hurts To Be Alone”. He had the best voice in The Wailers, according to Studio One’s Coxsone Dodd, who discovered the band’s talent. Bob Marley later commented: “Junior used to sing high. It’s just nowadays that I’m beginning to realize that he sounded like one of the Jackson Five. When he left we had to look for a sound that Bunny, Peter and me could manage.”Braithwaite left the band in 1964 and moved to the United States with hopes of pursuing a medical career, living in Chicago and southern Wisconsin for the next 20 years. He returned to Jamaica in 1984 to work with Bunny Wailer on a Wailers’ reunion project. However following his murder in the home of a fellow musician in Kingston and the assassination of Peter Tosh in September 1987, plans for world tours with a reunited Wailers never materialized.

Tony Hadley (Spandau Ballet)

Tony Hadley, the former lead singer of Spandau Ballet, was born 2 June 1960 in the Hampstead area of Inner London. He has a sister, Lee, and a brother, Steve. His father, Patrick Hadley, worked as an electrical engineer for the Daily Mail, and his mother, Josephine, worked for the local health authority.Hadley attended Dame Alice Owen’s Grammar School in England.

During the late 1970’s Hadley joined New Romantic band Spandau Ballet as lead singer. Spandau Ballet originally consisted of Gary Kemp and Steve Norman on guitar, later saxophone and percussion. They were joined by fellow student John Keeble and the three met regularly at lunchtimes to practise. Keeble was followed by bass player Michael Ellison. Tony Hadley, then joined as lead singer, Richard Miller replaced Michael Ellison on bass, before Kemp’s younger brother, Martin joined the band a couple of years later. The band was originally called ‘The Makers’ in the early years, but changed their name after a friend of the band, saw the name ‘Spandau Ballet’ scrawled on the wall of a nightclub lavatory during a visit to Berlin. Spandau Ballet, began performing with this name and generating a positive buzz around London. Their music prior to then was in the style of the early Rolling Stones or The Kinks, but became more electronic as they began to hang out in clubs such as Billy’s and Blitz, where they would listen to bands like Kraftwerk and Telex. The Blitz was regarded as the New Romanticism.

They released the first single “To Cut a Long Story Short”, just ten days after the band emerged from the studio in order to meet the huge demand created by the buzz they had established, “To Cut a Long Story Short” was an instant British top 5 hit in 1980. This was followed by hits with “The Freeze”, “Musclebound” and the well-received and Gold-certified album Journeys to Glory in 1981. The album had all the hallmarks of what would become known as the New Romantic sound and the sound of the early eighties.The follow-up album, Diamond, was released in 1982 and was certified Gold by the BPI and featured the funk-flavoured single “Chant Number 1″. The second single from Diamond was “Paint Me Down”, the third was, “She Loved Like Diamond”, Trevor Horn remixed the track “Instinction”, which was released as the fourth single from the album.

With a slicker, more pop sound, the band released their third album True in March 1983. The album topped the charts all around the world, and launched several international hit singles, such as Gold and the title track which reached number 1 in several countries.The follow-up album, Parade, was released in June 1984 and the album’s opening song was, “Only When You Leave”. At the end of 1984, the band performed on the Band Aid charity single and in 1985 they performed at Wembley Stadium as part of Live Aid. During this same year, Spandau Ballet achieved platinum status with the compilation, The Singles Collection, containing songs like Lifeline and Communication, which kept the focus on the band between two studio albums and celebrated their five years of success.

The band split acrimoniously in 1990, and Martin Kemp went on to land an acting role in the UK soap opera EastEnders, while Tony Hadley tried to establish a solo career. Gary Kemp did a little more acting, appearing in a supporting role in the Whitney Houston hit The Bodyguard, and in 1995 he released his only solo album, Little Bruises. Both Kemp brothers also appeared in the film “The Krays”.In early 2009, there was much speculation that the band was set to perform later that year. Although the band did not initially comment on these reports, the official Spandau Ballet website encouraged fans to sign up “for an exciting announcement. The band eventually confirmed the rumours at a press conference. to announce their comeback tour. The band began a world tour in October 2009, starting with eight dates across Ireland and the UK, the first of which was in Dublin on 13 October 2009. They gave their “first public performance and interview anywhere in the world for 19 years” on Jonathan Ross’s BBC television show Friday Night with Jonathan Ross on 24 April 2009. The group released both their new album Once More, which featured two new songs plus reworked versions of their previous material, and the single of the same name on 19 October 2009.Virgin Media awarded Spandau Ballet as the Best Comeback of 2009 in their Virgin Media Awards.

Charlie Watts (Rolling Stones)

Charlie Watts, English musician with the The Rolling Stones was born 2nd June 1941. As a child, Watts lived in Wembley, at 23 Pilgrims Way. Watts’ childhood friend Dave Green lived next door and went on to become a jazz bass player. Green recalls that as boys, “we discovered 78rpm records. Charlie had more records than I did… We used to go to Charlie’s bedroom and just get these records out.” Watts’ earliest records were jazz recordings; he remembers owning 78 RPM records of Jelly Roll Morton, and Charlie Parker. Green recalls that Watts also “had the one with Monk and the Johnny Dodge Trio. Charlie was ahead of me in listening and acquisitions.” When Watts and Green were both about thirteen, Watts became interested in drumming. Green and Watts began playing in a jazz band in Middlesex at a venue called the Jo Jones All Stars. Watts initially found his transition to rhythm and blues puzzling. Watts’ parents gave him his first drum kit in 1955; he was interested in jazz, and would practice drumming along with jazz records he collected. After completing secondary school, he enrolled at Harrow Art School (now the University of Westminster), which he attended until 1960.

After leaving school, Watts worked as a graphic designer for an advertising company called Charlie Daniels Studios, and also played drums occasionally with local bands in coffee shops and clubs. In 1961 he met Alexis Korner, who invited him to join his band, Blues Incorporated. At that time Watts was on his way to a sojourn working as a graphic designer in Denmark, but he accepted Korner’s offer when he returned to London in February 1962. Watts played regularly with Blues Incorporated and maintained a job with another advertising firm of Charles, Hobson and Grey. It was in mid-1962 that Watts first met Brian Jones, Ian “Stu” Stewart, Mick Jagger, and Keith Richards, who also frequented the London rhythm and blues clubs, but it was not until January 1963 that Watts finally agreed to join The Rolling Stones.

The Rolling Stone were formed in London in 1962 When Keith Richards and Mick Jagger who were childhood friends and classmates, discovered that they shared a common intereest in the music of Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters. leading to the formation of a band with Dick Taylor (later of Pretty Things). Richards, Taylor, and Jagger found Brian Jones as he sat in playing slide guitar with Alexis Korner’s R&B band, Blues Incorporated, which also had two other future members of the Rolling Stones: Ian Stewart and Charlie Watts. On 12 July 1962 the band played their first gig at the Marquee Club billed as “The Rollin’ Stones”, the line-up was Jagger, Richards and Jones, along with Stewart on piano, and Mick Taylor on bass. Bassist Bill Wyman joined in December 1962 and drummer Charlie Watts the following January 1963 to form the band’s long-standing rhythm section. Their first single, was a cover of Chuck Berry’s “Come On” and their second single, was “I Wanna Be Your Man”, Their third single, Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away”.

The band’s second UK LP – The Rolling Stones No. 2, yielded the singles “The Last Time”, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and “Get Off of My Cloud”. The third album “Aftermath” was released in 1966, contained the singles “Paint It Black”, the ballad “Lady Jane” “Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow?” “Goin’ Home” and “Under My Thumb”. 1967 saw the release of “Between the Buttons”, which included the double A-side single “Let’s Spend the Night Together” and “Ruby Tuesday”, and the release of the Satanic Majesties Request LP. The Rolling Stones next album, Beggars Banquet was an eclectic mix of country and blues-inspired tunes, featuring the singles “Street Fighting Man” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and “Sympathy for the Devil. The Stones next album Let It Bleed featured the song “Gimmie Shelter”, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” “Midnight Rambler” and “Love in Vain”. The next album Sticky Finger was released in 1971, this featured an elaborate cover design by Andy Warhol, and contains the hits, “Brown Sugar”, and “Wild Horses”.

The Stones classic double album, Exile on Main St. was released in May 1972. their follow-up album Goats Head Soup, featured the hit “Angie”. Their next album was 1974′s It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll. The next album the Rolling Stones released was Some Girls, which included the hit single “Miss You”, the country ballad “Far Away Eyes”, “Beast of Burden”, and “Shattered”. The band released their next albums Emotional Rescue and Tattoo You in 1980 which featured the single “Start Me Up”. in 1982 the Rolling Stones toured Europe to commemorate their 20th anniversary and released their next album Undercover in late 1983. In 1986′s the album Dirty Work was released,which contained the song “Harlem Shuffle”. The next album “Steel Wheels” included the singles “Mixed Emotions”, “Rock and a Hard Place”, “Almost Hear You Sigh” and “Continental Drift”. their next studio album 1994′s Voodoo Lounge,went double platinum in the US. and went on to win the 1995 Grammy Award for Best Rock Album.The Rolling Stones ended the 1990s with the album Bridges to Babylon which was released in 1997

To mark their forty years as a band The Rolling Stones released Forty Licks in 2002, a greatest hits double album, and ten years later In 2012 The Rolling Stones released the album Grrrr to celebrate their 50th anniversary. This featured two new tracks and they also made a documentary called Crossfire Hurricane. The Rolling Stones are one of the of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music and In early 1989, the Rolling Stones, including Mick Taylor, Ronnie Wood and Ian Stewart (posthumously), were inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Q magazine also named them one of the “50 Bands To See Before You Die”, and popular consensus has accorded them the title of the “World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band.” Rolling Stone magazine ranked them 4th on their “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” list.