Billy Powell (Lynyrd Skynyrd)

Billy Powell, muscian with Lynyrd Skynyrd was born 3rd June 1952. 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.

During the 1970′s the band experienced 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.

Mickey Finn (T.Rex)

Mickey Finn, the second percussionist with glam rock band T.Rex was born 3rd June 1947. T-Rex were originally Formed in 1967 as Tyrannosaurus Rex, After a solitary performance as a four-piece the group immediately broke up. Bolan retained the services of percussionist Steve Peregrin Took and the duo began performing acoustic material. The combination of Bolan’s acoustic guitar and distinctive vocal style with Took’s bongos and assorted percussion earned them a devoted following in the thriving hippy underground scene which included the late great BBC Radio One Disc jockey John Peel who championed the band early in their recording career. By 1968, Tyrannosaurus Rex had become a modest success on radio and on record, and had released three albums. While Bolan’s early material was rock and roll-influenced pop music, he was also writing dramatic and baroque songs with lush melodies and surreal lyrics filled with Greek and Persian mythology as well as creations of his own. After Bolan replaced Took with percussionist Mickey Finn, they completed A Beard of Stars.

As well as progressively shorter titles, Tyrannosaurus Rex’s albums began to show higher production values, more accessible songwriting and experimentation with electric guitars and a true rock sound. The breakthrough came with “King of the Rumbling Spires” which used a full rock band. The group’s next album, T. Rex, continued the process of simplification by shortening the name, and completed the move to electric guitars.The new sound was more pop-oriented, They released the first single, “Ride a White Swan”, in late 1970 and was followed by a second single, “Hot Love”.Before one performance Mickey Finn’s girlfriend Chelita Secunda add two spots of glitter under Bolan’s eyes before an appearance on Top of the Pops, the ensuing performance would often be viewed as the birth of glam rock. After Bolan’s display, glam rock would gain popularity in the UK and Europe during 1971–72. In September 1971, T. Rex released their second album Electric Warrior which contained one of their best-known song, “Get It On”. and is Often considered to be their best album. it became a top ten hit in the US, where the song was retitled “Bang a Gong (Get It On)” to distinguish it from a 1971 song by the group Chase.

However, the album still recalled Bolan’s acoustic roots with ballads such as “Cosmic Dancer” and the stark “Girl” & brought much commercial success to the group, & the term “T. Rextasy” was coined as a parallel to Beatlemania to describe the group’s popularity. Along with David Bowie’s early hits, “Get It On” was among the few British glam rock songs that were successful in the US. This was followed by more glam rock hits during the 1970′s including “Jeepster”, “20th Century Boy”, “Children of the Revolution”, “Hot Love”, “Telegram Sam”, and “Metal Guru”.On 18 March 1972, T. Rex played two shows at the Empire Pool, Wembley, which were filmed by Ringo Starr and his crew for Apple Films. A large part of the second show was included on Bolan’s own rock film Born to Boogie, while bits and pieces of the first show can be seen throughout the film’s end-credits.

Along with T. Rex and Starr, Born to Boogie also features Elton John, who jammed with the friends to create rocking studio versions of “Children of the Revolution” and “Tutti Frutti”; Elton John had appeared on TV with Bolan before, miming the piano part of “Get it On” on the 1971 Christmas edition of Top of the Pops. T. Rex’s third album The Slider was released in July 1972. The band’s most successful album in the US, The Slider was not as successful as its predecessor in the UK, where it peaked at the fourth spot. During spring/summer 1972, Bolan’s old label Fly released the chart-topping compilation album Bolan Boogie, a collection of singles, B-sides and LP tracks, which affected The Slider’s sales. Two singles from The Slider, “Telegram Sam” and “Metal Guru”, became number one hits in the UK.

The film Born to Boogie premiered at the Oscar One cinema in London, in December 1972. The film received negative reviews from critics, while it was loved by fans.Tanx (1973) would mark the end of the classic T. Rex lineup. An album full of melancholy ballads and rich production, Tanx showcased the T. Rex sound bolstered by extra instrumental embellishments such as Mellotron and saxophone. During the recording T. Rex members began to quit, starting with Bill Legend in November 1973. Legend felt alienated by Bolan’s increasingly egotistical behaviour, which was fed by success, money, cocaine, and brandy. Zinc Alloy and the Hidden Riders of Tomorrow was released on 1 February 1974, and reached number 12 in the UK. The album harkened back to the Tyrannosaurus Rex days with long song-titles and lyrical complexity, Bolan’s Zip Gun (1975) was self-produced by Bolan who, in addition to writing the songs, gave his music a harder, more futuristic sheen. The final song recorded with Visconti, “Till Dawn”, was re-recorded for Bolan’s Zip Gun with Bolan at the controls.

T. Rex’s penultimate album, Futuristic Dragon (1976), featured a schizophrenic production style that veered from wall of sound-style songs to nostalgic nods to the old T. Rex boogie machine. In the summer of 1976, T. Rex released two more singles, “I Love to Boogie” and “Laser Love”, In early 1977 Dandy in the Underworld was released to critical acclaim and the band experienced something of a resurgence.Sadly though, While driving home Jones crashed Bolan’s purple Mini 1275GT into a tree (now the site of Bolan’s Rock Shrine), after failing to negotiate a small humpback bridge in, southwest London. While Jones was severely injured, Bolan was killed in the crash, two weeks before his 30th birthday.

T. Rex have vastly influenced the glam rock, punk rock and Britpop genres. Johnny Marr of The Smiths stated: “The influence of T. Rex is very profound on certain songs of the Smiths like “Panic” and “Shoplifters of the World Unite”. T. Rex are specifically referenced by The Who in the lyrics of their 1981 hit song “You Better You Bet”, by David Bowie in the song “All the Young Dudes” (which he wrote for Mott the Hoople), by B A Robertson in his 1980 hit “Kool In The Kaftan”, and by the Ramones in their song “Do You Remember Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio?” The early acoustic material was influential in helping to bring about progressive rock and 21st century folk music-influenced singers. The lyric “Glimmers like Bolan in the shining sun” is featured in My Chemical Romance’s song “Vampire Money”, a direct reference to Bolan, taken from their most recent studio album Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. Additionally, Oasis “borrowed” the distinct guitar riff from “Get It On” on their single “Cigarettes and Alcohol”.Noel Gallagher, has also cited T. Rex as a strong influence.

Kelly Jones (Stereophonics)

Welsh singer-songwriter, guitarist and director Kelly Jones was born 3 June 1974. He grew up in the village of Cwmaman, near Aberdare, where he became friends with neighbours, Stuart Cable and Richard Jones, with whom he formed, in 1992, one of a string of covers bands. Jones’ talent for writing was apparent in his youth. He studied film at college and considered becoming a scriptwriter – attracting interest from the BBC for his work – before focusing on music. As his band progressed from covers to performing original material, Jones brought his gift for narrative to his lyrics. He also flirted with the idea of career in boxing, and was a successful fighter at junior level. Jones was Influenced by classic rock bands such as Pink Floyd, The Who, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC and Sex Pistols and As a lyricist, Jones is influenced by Neil Young, Bob Catley, Bob Dylan and Otis Redding

He eventually formed the band Stereophonics alongside Stewart Cable and Richard Jones and became the lead singer. The Stereophonics’ debut album, Word Gets Around was released in 1997 , the lyrics written by Jones, feature a strong autobiographical thread including an account of his teenage years working on a market stall on, “More Life in a Tramps Vest”. In 1996, after several years on the south Wales live circuit, Stereophonics were the first band to be signed to Richard Branson’s new Virgin Records label V2. Their debut EP Looks Like Chaplin was not pressed in enough numbers to qualify for the charts, and their next single Local Boy in the Photograph peaked one place shy of the UK Top 50. However, their debut LP Word Gets Around, helped by a busy touring schedule that included a support slot on fellow Welsh band Manic Street Preachers’ 1996–97 tour, made it to number 6 on the UK Albums Chart

In 1998, Stereophonics received a Brit Award for Best New Group a re-issue of Local Boy in the Photograph also made number 14 in the charts and their first album went gold in the UK,the band toured in Europe, Australia and the US, the highlight of which was a concert on 12 June 1998 at Cardiff Castle that was filmed for release. They performed a cover of the Randy Newman song Mama Told Me Not to Come with Tom Jones for his album Reload.

After another tour, they re-entered the studios and recorded Just Enough Education to Perform, containing the single Mr. Writer and Have a Nice Day, and Step on My Old Size Nines. A cover of Rod Stewart’s version of Mike D’Abo’s song Handbags & Gladrags was added to later editions of the album. They also recorded their biggest audience to date when they played to 80,000 in Slane Castle in Ireland and ending with a Christmas show at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, supported by Feeder and Ocean Colour Scene – who they had supported years before. They released their fourth studio album You Gotta Go There to Come Back with songs like Maybe Tomorrow and Madame Helga and a re-worked song that had not been completed in time, Moviestar. They re-issued the album with this track included.

In 2002, the band was chosen as a support act for Counting Crows and toured on various UK dates with the band. Subsequently, Jones would join the band on stage and perform Mr. Jones and Hanginaround alongside Adam Duritz In 2003, whilst on tour in Germany, drummer Stuart Cable – who by this time had his own television chat show on BBC Wales – was sacked from the band by Jones, citing problems over “commitment”. Cable was replaced temporarily on the remainder of the tour by Black Crowes drummer Steve Gorman. Luckily Kelly Jones and Cable patched-up their differences a year after they split, being in regular contact for the 5 years prior to Cable’s death, and even performing on stage with bass player Richard Jones, at a long serving Stereophonics crew member and mutual friend’s wedding Both Cable and Jones were due to meet for a drink on the day of Cable’s death, which was also the day after Stereophonics played their highly anticipated Cardiff Stadium gig.

Stereophonics’ fifth studio album Language. Sex. Violence. Other? (LSVO) was released in March 2005. This marked their first recording with new drummer, Javier Weyler the band’s former studio engineer, whom they had made permanent in the band after asking him to fill in on the drums for some early LSVO recordings. The band had their first number 1 hit in the UK singles chart with the album’s first release, the upbeat Dakota, in which Kelly spent much of the video driving in dark sunglasses. The second single from the album, Superman peaked at number 13 in the UK charts. After this release came Devil, which was promoted by a controversial video, reaching number 11 in the charts.

In January 2005, Kelly Jones performed a solo set at the Tsunami Relief Cardiff charity concert at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, the biggest live music charity concert since 1985’s Live Aid, which also featured artists such as Eric Clapton. On 2 July 2005, the group took a break from their sold out world tour and appeared at the Live 8 concert, in Hyde Park, London, performing to 240,000 people – their biggest audience yet. Stereophonics sixth studio album Pull The Pin was released on 15 October 2007. Pull The Pin is an album that returns to the band’s classic rock roots evident in the first album and the influence of 1970s rock can be heard in numerous tracks.

Franz Kafka

German novellist and short story writer Franz Kafka sadly died 3 June 1924. He was born 3 July 1883 into a middle-class, German-speaking Jewish family in Prague, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He trained as a lawyer and, after completing his legal education, obtained employment with an insurance company. He began to write short stories in his spare time. For the rest of his life, he complained about the little time he had to devote to what he came to regard as his calling and regretted having to devote so much attention to his Brotberuf (“day job”, literally “bread job”). Kafka preferred to communicate by letter and wrote hundreds of letters to family and close female friends, including his father, his fiancée Felice Bauer, and his youngest sister Ottla. He had a complicated and troubled relationship with his father that had a major effect on his writing. He also suffered conflict over being Jewish, feeling that it had little to do with him, although critics argue that it influenced his writing.

Only a few of Kafka’s works were published during his lifetime: the story collections betrachtung (Contemplation and Ein Landarzt (A Country Doctor), and individual stories (such as “Die Verwandlung”) in literary magazines. He prepared the story collection Ein Hungerkünstler (A Hunger Artist) for print, but it was not published until after his death. Kafka’s unfinished works, including his novels Der Process, Das Schloss and Amerika (also known as Der Verschollene, The Man Who Disappeared), were published posthumously, mostly by his friend Max Brod, who ignored Kafka’s wish to have the manuscripts destroyed. Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre are among the writers influenced by Kafka’s work; the term Kafkaesque has entered the English language to describe surreal situations like those in his writing. Kafka sadly passed away on 3 June 1924 but his literature had a big impact on literature and film making.

Metamorphosis concerns Gregor Samsa, a traveling salesman, who wakes up to find himself transformed into a giant insect (the most common translation of the German description ungeheuer Ungeziefer, literally “monstrous vermin”). Gregor’s mother becomes concerned when Gregor fails to go to work. His sister, Grete, to whom he is very close, begs him to open the door But he discovers that he can’t get out of bed. Then his office manager, the chief clerk, has shown up to check on him. Unaware of Gregor’s predicament The clerk warns him of the consequences of missing work. Nobody understands a word Gregor says and they conclude that he is seriously ill. Finally, Gregor manages to unlock and open the door with his mouth. He apologizes to the office manager for the delay. Horrified by Gregor’s appearance, his mother faints, and the manager bolts out of the apartment. Gregor tries to catch up with him, but his father drives him back into the bedroom with a shoe and a rolled magazine. Gregor injures himself squeezing back through the doorway, then exhausted, falls asleep.

The next morning, Gregor’s sister comes in, sees that he has not touched the milk which she left and replaces it with rotting food scraps, which Gregor happily eats. This begins a routine in which his sister feeds him and cleans up while he hides under the couch, afraid that his appearance will frighten her. Gregor spends his time listening through the wall to his family members talking about the dire financial situation they find themselves in now and that Gregor can’t provide them any help. Gregor had plans of sending Grete to the conservatory to pursue violin lessons, however his incapability of providing for his family, coupled with his speechlessness proves a bit of an impediment Gregor also learns that his mother wants to visit him, but his sister and father will not let her.

Gregor grows more comfortable with his changed body. He begins climbing the walls and ceiling for amusement. Discovering Gregor’s new pastime, Grete decides to remove some of the furniture to give Gregor more space. She and her mother begin taking furniture away. However Gregor’s mother sees him hanging on the wall and passes out. Grete angrily calls out to Gregor – the first time anyone has spoken directly to him since his transformation. Gregor runs out of the room and into the kitchen. He encounters his father, who has just returned home from work. The father throws apples at Gregor, and one of them sinks into a sensitive spot in his back and Gregor is severely injured.

One evening, the cleaning lady leaves Gregor’s door open while three boarders, whom the family has taken on for additional income, lounge about the living room. Grete has been asked to play the violin for them, and Gregor creeps out of his bedroom to listen however Gregor is seen. As Gregor’s father tries to shove the boarders back into their rooms, the three men leave without paying. Grete, eventually tires of taking care of Gregor and the burden his existence puts on each one in the family, so she tells her parents they must get rid of Gregor…

Kafka is regarded by many critics as one of the most influential authors of the 20th century. Kafka strongly influenced genres such as existentialism. His works, such as “Die Verwandlung” (“The Metamorphosis”), Der Process (The Trial), and Das Schloss (The Castle), are filled with the themes and archetypes of alienation, physical and psychological brutality, parent–child conflict, characters on a terrifying quest, labyrinths of bureaucracy, and mystical transformations.

World Bicycle Day

World Bicycle Day is celebrated  annually on 3 June as an official United Nations day of awareness concerning the multiple societal benefits of using the bicycle for transport and leisure. The main message is to show that the bicycle belongs to and serves all of humanity. (NB This event should not be confused with the Chemist Albert Hofman who ingested LSD to find out what the effects were).

A bicycle, also called a cycle or bike, is a human-powered, pedal-driven, single-track vehicle, having two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the other. bicycles were introduced in the late 19th century in Europe, and by the early 21st century, more than 1 billion have been produced worldwide. These numbers far exceed the number of cars, both in total and ranked by the number of individual models produced. They are the principal means of transportation in many regions. They also provide a popular form of recreation, and have been adapted for use as children’s toys, general fitness, military and police applications, courier services, bicycle racing and bicycle stunts. The basic shape and configuration of a typical upright or “safety bicycle”, has changed little since the first chain-driven model was developed around 1885. But many details have been improved, especially since the advent of modern materials and computer-aided design. These have allowed for a proliferation of specialized designs for many types of cycling.

The bicycle’s invention has had an enormous effect on society, both in terms of culture and of advancing modern industrial methods. Several components that eventually played a key role in the development of the automobile were initially invented for use in the bicycle, including ball bearings, pneumatic tires, chain-driven sprockets and tension-spoked wheels.

The European Cyclists’ Federation Secretary General Bernhard Ensink has stated that, “Cycling is a source for social, economic and environmental benefits – and it is bringing people together and This UN declaration is an acknowledgement of the contribution of cycling to the Sustainable Development Goals”. Leszek Sibilski led a campaign to promote a UN Resolution for World Bicycle Day, eventually gaining the support of Turkmenistan and 56 other countries. The logo for World Bicycle Day was designed by Isaac Feld and the accompanying animation was done by Professor John E. Swanson. It depicts bicyclists of various types riding around the globe. At the bottom of the logo is the hashtag #June3WorldBicycleDay.