Posted in aviation, Science-tech

National Moon Day/Space Exploration Day

National Moon Day and Space Exploration Day both take place on 20 July to commemorate the date of20 July 1969 when the American Astronauts Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, first set foot on the moon. Neil Armstrong stepped outside Six hours after landing and spent two and a half hours outside the spacecraft, followed by Buzz Aldrin they collected 47.5 pounds of lunar material. Their specimens would be placed onto Apollo 11 and brought back to Earth to be analyzed. A third astronaut Pilot, Michael Collins remained in orbit In the command modules, until Armstrong and Aldrin returned. Televisions around the world tuned in to watch the live broadcast of the mission from Earth giving the astronaut a world-wide audience as Armstrong stepped onto the moon’s surface and described the event as “one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Plans for human Moon exploration began during the Eisenhower administration. In a series of mid-1950s articles in Collier’s magazine, Wernher von Braun had popularized the idea of a crewed expedition to establish a lunar base and In 1951, science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke also forecast that man would reach the Moon by 1978. However A successful human Moon landing posed a number of daunting technical challenges including guidance, weight management and atmospheric re-entry without ablative overheating which needed to be overcome first. The Moon landing also required development of the large Saturn V launch vehicle.

The race to the moon started Following the Soviets launch of Sputnik, when US scientist Wernher von Braun promoted a plan for the US Army to establish a military lunar outpost by 1965. Following the early Soviet successes, especially Yuri Gagarin’s flight, US President John F. Kennedy looked for a project that would capture the public imagination. He asked Vice President Lyndon Johnson to make recommendations on a scientific endeavor that would prove US world leadership. NASA’s leader, James E. Webb, knew they would need NASA’s support. The Soviets, at the time, had more powerful rockets than the US, which gave them an advantage in some kinds of space mission. However Advances in US nuclear weapon technology had led to smaller, lighter warheads; the Soviets’ were much heavier, and the powerful R-7 rocket was developed to carry them. More modest missions such as flying around the Moon, or a space lab in lunar orbit (were also proposed by Kennedy to von Braun). US Vice President Johnson had championed the US human spaceflight program ever since Sputnik, sponsoring legislation to create NASA while he was still a senator.

The United States’ Apollo 11 was the first of six crewed mission to land on the Moon between 1969 and 1972. Saturn V achieved a perfect record: zero catastrophic failures or launch vehicle-caused mission failures in thirteen launches. There were also numerous uncrewed landings, with no soft landings happening from 22 August 1976 to 14 December 2013. To date, the United States is the only country to have successfully conducted crewed missions to the Moon, with the last departing the lunar surface in December 1972. All crewed and uncrewed soft landings had taken place on the near side of the Moon, until 3 January 2019 when the Chinese Chang’e 4 spacecraft made the first landing on the far side of the Moon.

Posted in Events

International Chess Day

International Chess Day takes place annually on 20 July. The International Chess Day was launched jointly in 1966 by FIDE and UNESCO to commemorate the founding of The international chess federation, Federation Internationale des Echecs (FIDE), on 20 July 1924 in Paris, France.

Chess is a two-player strategy board game played on a checkered board with 64 squares arranged in an 8×8 grid. The game is played by millions of people worldwide. Chess is believed to be derived from the Indian game chaturanga sometime before the 7th century. Chaturanga is also the likely ancestor of the Eastern strategy games xiangqi, janggi, and shogi. Chess reached Europe by the 9th century, due to the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. The pieces assumed their current powers in Spain in the late 15th century; the modern rules were standardized in the 19th century.

Play involves no hidden information. Each player begins with 16 pieces: one king, one queen, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, and eight pawns. Each piece type moves differently, with the most powerful being the queen and the least powerful the pawn. The objective is to checkmate the opponent’s king so that it cannot escape capture. To achieve this, a player’s pieces are used to attack and capture the opponent’s pieces, while supporting each other. During the game, play typically involves exchanging pieces for the opponent’s similar pieces, and finding and engineering opportunities to trade advantageously or to get a better position. In addition to checkmate, a player wins the game if the opponent resigns, or (in a timed game) runs out of time. There are also several ways that a game can end in a draw.

The first generally recognized World Chess Champion, Wilhelm Steinitz, claimed his title in 1886. Since 1948, the World Championship has been regulated by the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE), the game’s international governing body. FIDE also awards life-time master titles to skilled players, the highest of which is Grandmaster (GM). Many national chess organizations have a title system of their own. FIDE also organizes the Women’s World Championship, the World Junior Championship, the World Senior Championship, the Blitz and Rapid World Championships, and the Chess Olympiad, a popular competition among international teams. FIDE is a member of the International Olympic Committee, which can be considered as a recognition of chess as a sport. Several national sporting bodies (e.g. the Spanish Consejo Superior de Deportes) also recognize chess as a sport. Chess was included in the 2006 and 2010 Asian Games. There is also a Correspondence Chess World Championship and a World Computer Chess Championship. Online chess has opened amateur and professional competition to a wide and varied group of players.

Since the second half of the 20th century, chess engines have been programmed to play with increasing success, to the point where the strongest programs play at a higher level than the best human players. Since the 1990s, computer analysis has contributed significantly to chess theory, particularly in the endgame. The IBM computer Deep Blue was the first machine to overcome a reigning World Chess Champion in a match when it defeated Garry Kasparov in 1997. The rise of strong chess engines runnable on hand-held devices has led to increasing concerns about cheating during tournaments. There are many variants of chess that utilize different rules, pieces, or boards. One of these, Chess960, has gained widespread popularity as well as some FIDE recognition.


More International and National Events happening on 20 July
National Lollipop Day
Ugly Truck Day
World Jump Day

Posted in music

Carlos Santana

Mexican and American musician Carlos Santana was born July 20, 1947 in Autlán de Navarro, Jalisco, Mexico. He learned to play the violin at age five and the guitar at age eight under the tutelage of his father, a mariachi musician. His younger brother, Jorge Santana, would also become a professional guitarist. Young Carlos was heavily influenced by Ritchie Valens at a time when there were very few Latinos in American rock and pop music. The family moved from Autlán de Navarro to Tijuana, the city on Mexico’s border with California, and then San Francisco. Carlos stayed in Tijuana but later joined his family in San Francisco, graduating from James Lick Middle School, and in 1965 from Mission High School. Carlos was accepted at California State University, Northridge, and Humboldt State University, but chose not to attend college

Santana was influenced by popular artists of the 1950s such as B.B. King, T-Bone Walker, and John Lee Hooker. Soon after he began playing guitar, he joined local bands along the “Tijuana Strip” where he was able to begin adding his own unique touch to ’50s Rock ‘n’ Roll. He was also introduced to a variety of new musical influences, including jazz and folk music, and witnessed the growing hippie movement centered in San Francisco in the 1960s. After several years spent working as a dishwasher in a diner and busking for spare change, Santana decided to become a full-time musician. In 1966 he gained prominence due to a series of accidental events, all happening on the same day. Santana was a frequent spectator at Bill Graham’s Fillmore West. During a Sunday matinee show, Paul Butterfield was slated to perform there but was unable to do so as a result of being intoxicated. Graham assembled an impromptu band of musicians he knew primarily through his connections with Butterfield’s band and with the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane, but he had not yet chosen all the guitarists. Santana’s manager, Stan Marcum, immediately suggested to Graham that Santana join the impromptu band and Graham agreed. During the jam session, Santana’s guitar playing and solo gained the notice of both the audience and Graham. During the same year, Santana formed the Santana Blues Band, with fellow street musicians David Brown (bass guitar), Marcus Malone (percussion) and Gregg Rolie (lead vocals, Hammond Organ.

Santana, pioneered a fusion of rock and Latin American music. The band’s sound featured his melodic, blues-based guitar lines set against Latin and African rhythms featuring percussion instruments . With their highly original blend of Latin-infused rock, jazz, blues, salsa and African rhythms, the band (which quickly adopted their frontman’s name, Santana) gained an immediate following on the San Francisco club circuit. The band’s early success, capped off by a memorable performance at Woodstock in 1969, led to him signing a recording contract with Columbia Records, then run by Clive Davis. During the recording of their first album The drummer Bob Livingston was replaced with Mike Shrieve, who had a strong background in both jazz and rock. Percussionist Marcus Malone quit the band due to involuntary manslaughter charges, and the band re-enlisted Michael Carabello. Carabello brought with him percussionist Jose Chepito Areas. Bill Graham, a Latin Music aficionado, had been a fan of the band from its inception, and arranged for them to appear at the Woodstock Music and Art Festival before their debut album was even released. their set became legendary and later the exposure of their eleven-minute instrumental “Soul Sacrifice” in the Woodstock film and soundtrack album vastly increased their popularity and, troduced them to an international audience and garnered critical acclaim. Their first album, Santana, was released in August 1969 and became a huge hit, containing the catchy single “Evil Ways”

Unfortunately The band’s sudden success caused tensions, highlighting the different musical directions in which Rolie and Santana were starting to go. Rolie, along with some of the other band members, wanted to emphasize a basic hard rock sound which had been a key component in establishing the band from the start. Santana, however, was increasingly interested in moving beyond his love of blues and rock and wanted more jazzy, ethereal elements in the music, which were influenced by his fascination with Gábor Szabó, Miles Davis, Pharoah Sanders, and John Coltrane, as well as his growing interest in spirituality. At the same time, Chepito Areas was stricken with a near-fatal brain hemorrhage, however Michael Carabello, felt it was wrong to perform publicly without Areas. Cliques formed, and the band started to disintegrate.

A acclaimed live performance at the Woodstock Festival in August 1969, was followed By the second album, Abraxas, in September 1970 which mixed rock, blues, jazz, salsa and other influences. Abraxas included two of Santana’s most enduring and well-known hits, “Oye Como Va”, and “Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen”. Teenage San Francisco Bay Area guitar prodigy Neal Schon was asked to join the band in 1971, in time to complete the third album, Santana III which contained the hits “Everybody’s Everything” and “No One to Depend On”.

Sadly Tension between members of the band continued, Along with musical differences, drug use became a problem Growing resentments between Santana and Michael Carabello over lifestyle issues resulted in his departure and James Mingo Lewis was hired, David Brown also left due to substance abuse problems.In January 1972, Santana, Schon, Escovedo, and Lewis joined former Band of Gypsys drummer, Buddy Miles, for a concert at Hawaii’s Diamond Head Crater, which was recorded for the album Carlos Santana & Buddy Miles! Live!. Santana’s next album Caravanserai was. Released in 1972, and marked a change in musical direction towards jazz fusion. In 1972, Santana also became interested in the pioneering fusion band The Mahavishnu Orchestra and its guitarist, John McLaughlin. Aware of Santana’s interest in meditation, McLaughlin introduced Santana, and his wife Deborah, to his guru, Sri Chinmoy. Chinmoy accepted them as disciples in 1973. Santana was given the name Devadip, meaning “The lamp, light and eye of God”. Santana and McLaughlin recorded an album together, Love, Devotion, Surrender (1973) with members of Santana and The Mahavishnu Orchestra, along with percussionist Don Alias and organist Larry Young, both of whom had made appearances, along with McLaughlin, on Miles Davis’ classic 1969 album Bitches Brew.

In 1973, After having obtained legal rights to the band’s name, Santana, formed a new version of the band with Armando Peraza and Chepito Areas on percussion, Doug Rauch on bass, Michael Shrieve on drums, and Tom Coster and Richard Kermode on keyboards and recruited jazz vocalist Leon Thomas for a tour in Japan in 1973, which was recorded for the live, sprawling, high-energy triple vinyl LP fusion album Lotus. In 1973 The group recorded Welcome which further reflected Santana’s interests in jazz fusion and his increasing commitment to the spiritual life of Sri Chinmoy. A collaboration with John Coltrane’s widow, Alice Coltrane, Illuminations (1974), followed. Featuring avant-garde esoteric free jazz, Eastern Indian and classical influences with other ex-Miles Davis sidemen Jack DeJohnette and Dave Holland. This was followed by the album Borboletta, which was released in 1974. In 1976 Santana, along with Tom Coster, producer David Rubinson, and Chancler, formed yet another version of Santana, adding vocalist Greg Walker. The 1976 Santana released the “album Amigos, which featured the songs “Dance, Sister, Dance” and “Let It Shine”, and had a strong funk and Latin sound.

Santana also covered 1960s Zombies hit, “She’s Not There”, on the 1977 double album Moonflower. Santana also pursued a solo career with The albums Oneness: Silver Dreams – Golden Reality, in 1979 and The Swing of Delight in 1980, which featured some of his musical heroes: Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter and Tony Williams from Miles Davis’ legendary 1960s quintet. Santana released the single Winning” in 1981 (from Zebop) and “Hold On” (a remake of Canadian artist Ian Thomas’ song. 1983 album Havana Moon revisited Santana’s early musical experiences in Tijuana with Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love” and the title cut, Chuck Berry’s “Havana Moon”. The album’s guests included Booker T. Jones, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Willie Nelson and even Santana’s father’s mariachi orchestra. Santana again paid tribute to his early rock roots by doing the film score to La Bamba, which was based on the tragically short life of rock and roll legend Ritchie Valens starring Lou Diamond Phillips. The next album Beyond Appearances was released in 1985 and Santana also appeared at the Live Aid concert and regained a great deal of respect in both jazz and rock circles, with Prince and guitarist Kirk Hammett of Metallica citing him as an influence.

Carlos Santana has also made many guest appearances with other musicians such as jazz fusion group Weather Report, jazz pianist McCoy Tyner, Blues legend John Lee Hooker, Frank Franklin, Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid, and West African singer Salif Keita. He and Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead later recorded and performed with Nigerian drummer Babatunde Olatunji. In 1988 Santana organized a reunion with past members from the Santana band for a series of concert dates. d a 20-year retrospective of the band’s accomplishments was releasedwith Viva Santana! double CD compilation. T Santana also formed an all-instrumental group featuring jazz legend Wayne Shorter on tenor and soprano saxophone. The group also included Patrice Rushen on keyboards, Alphonso Johnson on bass, Armando Peraza and Chepito Areas on percussion, and Leon “Ndugu” Chancler on drums.

In 1991 Santana made a guest appearance on Ottmar Liebert’s album, Solo Para Ti on the songs “Reaching out 2 U” and on a cover of his own song, “Samba Pa Ti”. In 1990Santana released a new album Spirits Dancing in the Flesh. This was followed by Milagro in 1992, a live album Sacred Fire in 1993 and Brothers (a collaboration with his brother Jorge and nephew Carlos Hernandez) in 1994. In 1999 he recorded the star-studded album . Supernatural, which included collaborations with Everlast, Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty, Eric Clapton, Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean, Cee Lo Green, Maná, Dave Matthews, K. C. Porter, J. B. Eckl, and others. Featuring the songs “Smooth”, a dynamic cha-cha stop-start number co-written and sung by Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty and, “Maria Maria.

In 1998 Carlos Santana, alongside the classic Santana lineup of their first two albums, was inducted as an individual, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He performed “Black Magic Woman” with the writer of the song, Fleetwood Mac’s founder Peter Green. Green was inducted the same night. In 2000, Supernatural won nine Grammy Awards (eight for Santana personally), including Album of the Year, Record of the Year for “Smooth”, and Song of the Year for Thomas and Itaal Shur. Later at the Latin Grammy Awards he won three awards including Record of the Year. In 2002, Santana released Shaman, featuring guest artists including Citizen Cope, P.O.D. and Seal and featuring the songs . “The Game of Love” featuring Michelle Branch and “Why Don’t You & I” written by and featuring Chad Kroeger from the group Nickelback.

In 2005, Herbie Hancock collaborated with Santana on the album “Possibilities ” featuring Carlos Santana and Angélique Kidjo on “Safiatou”. Also, in 2005, fellow Latin star Shakira invited Santana to play the soft rock guitar ballad “Illegal” on her second English-language studio album Oral Fixation Vol. 2. Santana’s 2005 album “All That I Am” featured collaborations with other artists including Michelle Branch and The Wreckers, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, Kirk Hammett from Metallica, hip-hop artist/songwriter/producer will.i.am and guitarist/songwriter/ producer George Pajon, hip-hop/reggae star Sean Paul and R&B singer Joss Stone. In 2007, Santana appeared, along with Sheila E. and José Feliciano, on Gloria Estefan’s album 90 Millas, on the single “No Llores”. He also teamed again with Chad Kroeger for the hit single “Into the Night”. He also played guitar in Eros Ramazzotti’s hit “Fuoco nel fuoco” from the album e².Carlos Santana performed at the 2009 American Idol Finale with the top 13 finalists, in 2009, Carlos Santana appeared at the Athens Olympic Stadium in Athens with his 10-member all-star band as part of his “Supernatural Santana – A Trip through the Hits”.

In 2007, Santana opened a chain of Mexican restaurants called “Maria Maria” with Chef Roberto Santibañez. They are located in Tempe, Arizona; Mill Valley (now closed), Walnut Creek, Danville and San Diego; Austin, Texas; and Boca Raton, Florida. In 2012, Santana released an album Shape Shifter consisting of mostly instrumental tracks. In 2014, Santana released his first ever Spanish language album Corazón and On September 12, 2015 Carlos Santana appeared as a member of Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh’s band Phil Lesh & Friends at the third annual Lockn’ Music Festival. In 2003, Santana was named fifteenth on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”.In 2005, Santana was honored as a BMI Icon at the 12th annual BMI Latin Awards. Santana was the first songwriter designated a BMI Icon at the company’s Latin Awards. In 2003 Rolling Stone magazine listed Santana at number 20 on their list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. He has won 10 Grammy Awards and three Latin Grammy Awards.

Posted in Science-tech

Guglielmo Marconi

Often referred to as the father of long distance radio transmission, the Italian physicist and inventor, of the radio, wireless telegraphy and wireless signal system. Nobel Prize laureate Guglielmo Marconi, sadly passed away 20th July 1937. Born 25 April in 1874. He is often credited as the inventor of radio, and indeed he shared the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics with Karl Ferdinand Braun “in recognition of their contributions to the development of wireless telegraphy”. Much of Marconi’s work in radio transmission was built upon previous experimentation and the development of ideas by others such as Hertz, Maxwell, Faraday, Popov, Lodge, Fessenden, Stone, Bose, and Tesla.

As an entrepreneur, businessman, and founder of the The Wireless Telegraph & Signal Company in 1897, Marconi succeeded in making a commercial success of radio by innovating and building on the work of previous experimenters and physicists. In 1924, he was ennobled as Marchese Marconi.TitanicMarconi’s development of the Radio Telegraph System has also helped save many lives too. One such device was aboard the RMS Titanic, and The two radio operators aboard the Titanic—Jack Phillips and Harold Bride— who were employed by the Marconi International Marine Communication Company, were able to send distress sgnals Following the collision with the ice berg.As a result survivors were rescued by the RMS Carpathia of the Cunard Line. Also employed by the Marconi Company was David Sarnoff, the only person to receive the names of survivors immediately after the disaster via wireless technology. Wireless communications were reportedly maintained for 72 hours between the Carpathia and Sarnoff, but Sarnoff’s involvement has been questioned by some modern historians. When the Carpathia docked in New York, Marconi went aboard with a reporter from The New York Times to talk with Bride, the surviving operator. On 18 June 1912, Marconi gave evidence to the Court of Inquiry into the loss of the Titanic regarding the marine telegraphy’s functions and the procedures for emergencies at sea. Britain’s postmaster-general summed up, referring to the Titanic disaster, “Those who have been saved, have been saved through one man, Mr. Marconi…and his marvelous invention.”

During his lifetime Marconi received many honours and awards for his invention. In 1909, Marconi shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with Karl Braun for his contributions to radio communications. In 1918, he was awarded the Franklin Institute’s Franklin Medal. In 1924, he was made a marquess by King Victor Emmanuel III., thus becoming Marchese Marconi. The Radio Hall of Fame (Museum of Broadcast Communications, Chicago) inducted Marconi soon after the inception of its awards. He was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2009. The Dutch radio academy bestows the Marconi Awards annually for outstanding radio programmes, presenters and stations; the National Association of Broadcasters (US) bestows the annual NAB Marconi Radio Awards also for outstanding radio programs and stations. Marconi was also inducted into the National Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1977 and A commemorative British two pound coin was released in 2001 celebrating the 100th anniversary of Marconi’s first wireless communication as well as A commemorative silver 5 EURO coin whch was issued by Italy in 2009 honouring the centennial of Marconi’s Nobel Prize. A funerary monument to the effigy of Marconi can also be seen in the Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence but his remains are in Sasso, near Bologna.

Marconi’s early experiments in wireless telegraphy were also the subject of two IEEE Milestones; one in Switzerland in 2003 and in Italy in 2011. The premier collection of Marconi artifacts was held by The General Electric Company, p.l.c. (GEC) of the United Kingdom which later renamed to Marconi plc and Marconi Corporation plc. In December 2004 the extensive Marconi Collection, held at the former Marconi Research Centre at Great Baddow, Chelmsford, Essex UK was gifted to the Nation by the Company via the University of Oxford. This consisted of the BAFTA award-winning MarconiCalling website, some 250+ physical artifacts and the massive ephemera collection of papers, books, patents and many other items. The artifacts are now held by The Museum of the History of Science and the ephemera Archives by the nearby Bodleian Library. The latest release, following three years work at the Bodleian, is the Online Catalogue to the Marconi Archives, released in November 2008.

Ira Gershwin’s lyrics to “They All Laughed” include the line, “They told Marconi wireless was a phony.” The band Tesla references him in “Edison’s Medicine” lyrics: They’ll sell you on Marconi, familiar, but a phony.” The band Jefferson Starship references him in their song We Built This City. The lyrics say: “Marconi plays the mamba, listen to the radio”. The 1955 play Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee includes a reference to Marconi in scene 1. The 1979 play ‘The Man From Mukinupin’ by Dorothy Hewett makes several references to Marconi by the character The Flasher, who imagines he is communicating with Marconi through a box of matches. “Marconi the great one, speak to me!”, “Marconi, Marconi, must I kill?” and “Marconi says I must not frighten the ladies…” The Bermuda rig, developed in the 17th century by Bermudians, became ubiquitous on sailboats around the world in the 20th century. The tall masts and triangular fore-and-aft sails reminded some people of Marconi’s wireless towers, hence the rig became known also as the Marconi rig. A sculpture devoted to Marconi also resides in Washington, D.C.

Posted in music

Simple Minds

Mick MacNeil, Scottish keyboard player and composer with Simple Minds was born 20 July 1958. Simple minds achieved worldwide popularity from the mid-1980s to the 1990s and are best known for the songs “Don’t You (Forget About me)”, from the soundtrack o theJohn Hughes film The BreakfastClub, “Alive and Kicking” and”Belfast Child”. The band has sold more than 60 million albums since 1979. In 1982 the band’s single “Promised You a Miracle” and the album New God Dream were released, containing the songs “Promised You a Miracle”, “Colours Fly, “Somene Somewhere in Summertime”, “Glittering Prize and Catherine Wheel” In February 1984, Sparkle in the Rain, was released containg Waterfront, “Speed Your Love to Me” and “Up on the Catwalk”.However Despite the band’s new-found popularity in the UK and Europe, they remained unknown in the U.S. until the film The Breakfast Club, where Simple Minds were offered the song ‘Don’t You (Forget About me) whoch broke them into the US market almost overnight,

In 1988 Simple Minds signed up for Mandela Day, a concert held at Wembley Stadium, London, UK, as an expression of solidarity with the then-imprisoned Nelson Mandela. Bands involved were asked to produce a song especially for the event – Simple Minds was the only act which actually produced one. This was “Mandela Day”, which the band played live on the day (alongside cover versions of “Sun City” with Little Steven and a cover version of Peter Gabriel’s “Biko” on which Gabriel himself took on lead vocals). “Mandela Day” was released on the Ballad Of The Streets EP, Another EP track, “Belfast Child”, was a rewrite of the Celtic folk song “She Moved Through the Fair” (with new lyrics written about the ongoing war in Northern Ireland) and was also an expression of Simple Mind’s support for the campaign for the release of Beirut-held hostage Brian Keenan.

Simple Minds’ next album, Street Fighting Years maintained the band’s growing sense of scale but moved away from the American soul and gospel influences of Once Upon a Time in favour of rock oriented acoustic and folk music-related ingredients. The lyrics were also more directly political covering topics including the Poll Tax, the Soweto townships, the Berlin Wall and the stationing of nuclear submarines on the Scottish coast. Simple Minds then recorded Once Upon a Time which included : “Alive & Kicking”, “Sanctify Yourself”, “Ghostdancing” and “All the Things She Said”. In 1991, Simple Minds returned with , Real Life which included the songs ”See the Lights” They then released the compilation album Glittering Prize in 1992. Simple Minds released the album Good News from the Next World including the songs “She’s a River” and “Hypnotised”.

In 1997 Kerr and Burchill played live as part of the Proms tour and played orchestral versions of “Alive And Kicking”, “Belfast Child” and “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” backed by a full orchestra then began working on a brand new Simple Minds album called Cry. Then A 2-CD compilation, The Best of Simple Minds, was released soon afterwards to continue to build commercial momentum.In 2003 Seen The Lights – A Visual History, the first-ever Simple Minds commercial (double) DVD, was releasd, featuring over four hours and twenty minutes of archive footage plus the majority of the band’s promotional videos. Then In 2004, Simple Minds released a five-CD compilation entitled Silver Box which. comprised previously unreleased demos, radio & TV sessions and various live recordings from 1979 to 1995, and included the long-delayed Our Secrets Are the Same In 2005, Simple Minds released their fourteenth studio album, Black & White 050505, and 2007 saw the band’s 30th anniversary, and a brief tour of Australia & New Zealand as guests of INXS.Simple Minds played the 90th birthday tribute to Nelson Mandela on 27 June 2008 in London’s Hyde Park. The band then undertook a short tour throughout the UK to celebrate their 30th anniversary. Simple Minds latest album ” Big Music” was released 2014.

Posted in music

Paul Cook (Sex Pistols)

Paul Cook, English drummer (Sex Pistols, The Professionals, Chiefs of Relief, and Man Raze) was born 20 July 1966. The Sex Pistols formed in London in 1975 and were responsible for initiating the punk movement in the United Kingdom and inspiring many later punk and alternative rock musicians. Although their initial career lasted just two-and-a-half years and produced only four singles and one studio album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols, they are regarded as one of the most influential acts in the history of popular music. The Sex Pistols evolved from The Strand, a London band formed in 1972 with working-class teenagers Steve Jones on vocals, Paul Cook on drums, and Wally Nightingale on guitar. According to a later account by Jones, both he and Cook played on instruments they had stolen. vocalist Johnny Rotten joined soon after In August 1975, when he was spotted wearing a Pink Floyd T-shirt with the words I Hate handwritten above the band’s name and holes scratched through the eyes.The line-up was completed by guitarist Steve Jones, drummer Paul Cook and bassist Glen Matlock. Matlock was replaced by Sid Vicious in early 1977.

Under the management of impresario Malcolm McLaren, the band provoked controversies that captivated Britain. Their behaviour, as much as their music, brought them national attention and their concerts repeatedly faced difficulties with organizers and authorities, and public appearances often ended in mayhem. Their 1977 single “God Save the Queen”, attacking Britons’ social conformity and deference to the Crown, precipitated the “last and greatest outbreak of pop-based moral pandemonium”.Since the spring of 1977, the three senior Sex Pistols had also been returning to the studio periodically with Chris Thomas to lay down the tracks for the band’s debut album. Initially to be called God Save Sex Pistols, it became known during the summer as Never Mind the Bollocks. In January 1978, after a turbulent tour of the United States, Rotten left the band and announced its break-up. Over the next several months, the three other band members recorded songs for McLaren’s film version of the Sex Pistols’ story, The Great Rofck ‘n’ Roll Swindle. Vicious died of a heroin overdose in February 1979. In 1996, Rotten, Jones, Cook and Matlock reunited for the Filthy Lucre Tour; since 2002, they have staged further reunion shows and tours. The Sex PISTOLS toured On 24 February 2006,

Posted in music

AC⚡️DC

Dave Evans, Australian singer (AC/DC and Rabbit was born 20 July 1953. AC/DC were formed in 1973 by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young, who have remained the sole constant members. Commonly classified as hard rock, they are considered pioneers of heavy metal and are sometimes classified as such, though they themselves have always classified their music as simply “rock and roll”. AC/DC underwent several line-up changes before releasing their first album, High Voltage, on 17 February 1975.Membership subsequently stabilised until bassist Mark Evans was replaced by Cliff Williams in 1977 for the album Powerage. Within months of recording the album Highway to Hell, lead singer and co-songwriter Bon Scott died on 19 February 1980, after a night of heavy alcohol consumption. The group briefly considered disbanding, but Scott’s parents urged them to continue and hire a new vocalist. Ex-Geordie singer Brian Johnson was auditioned and selected to replace Scott.

Later that year, the band released their highest selling album, and ultimately the third highest-selling album by any artist, Back in Black.The band’s next album, For Those About to Rock We Salute You, was their first album to reach number one in the United States. AC/DC declined in popularity soon after drummer Phil Rudd was fired in 1983 and was replaced by future Dio drummer Simon Wright, though the band resurged in the early 1990s with the release of The Razors Edge. Phil Rudd returned in 1994 (after Chris Slade, who was with the band from 1989–1994, was asked to leave in favour of him) and contributed to the band’s 1995 album Ballbreaker

.Since then, the band’s line-up has remained the same. Stiff Upper Lip was released in 2000 and was well received by critics, and the band’s latest studio album, Black Ice, was released on 20 October 2008. It was their biggest hit on the charts since For Those About to Rock, reaching No.1 on all the charts eventually. As of 2010, AC/DC had sold more than 200 million albums worldwide, including 71 million albums in the United States alone. Back in Black has sold an estimated 49 million units worldwide, making it the third highest-selling album by any artist, and the second highest-selling album by any band, behind Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of The Moon and Michael Jackson’s Thriller. The album has sold 22 million units in the U.S. alone, where it is the fifth-highest-selling album of all-time.

AC/DC ranked fourth on VH1′s list of the “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock” and were named the seventh “Greatest Heavy Metal Band of All Time” by MTV. In 2004, AC/DC were ranked number 72 in the Rolling Stone list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”. In 2010, AC/DC were ranked number 23 in the VH1 list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Sadly current singer Brian Johnson has had to give up singing for health reasons or face going deaf and was replaced for some concerts by Guns’n’Roses lead singer W.Axel Rose.

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John Lodge (moody Blues)

John Lodge, English singer-songwriter, bass player, and producer with the Moody Blues was born 20 July 1945. The Moody Blues formed on 4 May 1964, in Erdington, Birmingham, England containing Ray Thomas, John Lodge, Graeme Edge and Michael Pinder The name was a a subtle reference to the Duke Ellington song, “Mood Indigo. They released a single, “Steal Your Heart Away” in 1964 and appeared on the cult UK series “Ready Steady Go!” singing the uptempo “Lose Your Money (But Don’t Lose your Mind)”. But it was their second single, “Go Now” which launched their career & became a hit in the United Kingdom. Their debut album The Magnificent Moodies contained the hit singles “Go Now” and “Bye Bye Bird” together with one side of classic R&B covers. including a cover of “I Don’t Want To Go On Without You”,”From The Bottom of My Heart (I Love You)”, “Everyday”,”This is My House (But Nobody Calls)” and and “Boulevard de la Madeleine”.

The group released the singles “Fly Me High” and “Really Haven’t Got the Time” in 1967 followed by “Love And Beauty” & “Leave This Man Alone”.The Moody Blues were then offered a deal to make a rock and roll version of Antonín Dvořák’s New World Symphony, and although executives were initially skeptical about the hybrid style of the resulting concept album. Days of Future Past which became one of the most successful pop/rock releases of the period, earning a gold record award. It takes place over the course of a single day & drew inspiration from the pioneering use of the classical instrumentation by The Beatles. It includes the songs “Nights in White Satin” & “The Sun Set” “Another Morning”, “Twilight Time”,”Peak Hour” and “Evening (Time To Get Away)”. The 1968 follow-up LP, In Search of the Lost Chord included the songs “Legend of a Mind”,”House of Four Doors”,”Voices in the Sky”, “Ride My See-Saw” and “The Best Way To Travel”.

The 1969 album On the Threshold of a Dream contained the songs “In The Beginning”, Lovely To See You”,”Never Comes The Day”,”Dear Diary” and “Lazy Day”,”So Deep Within You”,”The Dream” &”Have You Heard”. The band’s music continued to become more complex and symphonic,resulting in 1969′s To Our Children’s Children’s Children which was inspired by the first moon landing.and contained the songs “Higher And Higher” “Floating” and “Eternity Road” “Gypsy”,”Out And In” the two part “Eyes of A Child” and “Candle of Life””Sun is Still Shining”. and “Watching and Waiting”.The Moodies had a somewhat psychedelic style and progressive rock sound, the group next album was A Question of Balance (1970) & contained the songs “Question” and “Melancholy Man”. For their next two albums, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (1971) and “Seventh Sojourn”the band returned to their signature orchestral sound.These contained the songs “Procession”, “Story in Your Eyes” “Our Guessing Game”,”You Can Never Go Home”, “One More Time To Live”, “My Song” and “Nice To Be Here”. The Album “After You Came” (1971) featured “Isn’t Life Strange ?” “I’m Just A Singer (in A Rock ‘n’ Roll Band)”,”Sojourn”,”Lost in A Lost World” “When You’re A Free Man”, “For My Lady”, and “New Horizons”. In late 1972, a re-issue of the five-year-old Nights in White Satin became the Moody Blues’ biggest US hit.The Moodies were also among the pioneers of the idea that a successful rock band could promote itself through their own label, so following the Beatles’ creation of Apple Records, they created Threshold Records. However it proved unsuccessful although They did lay the groundwork for other major acts to set up similar personal labels and distribution deals including The Rolling Stones’ own label and Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song Record label.

In the spring of 1974, after completing a vast world tour that culminated with a tour of Asia, the group took an extended break and released a compilation album This Is The Moody Blues. Justin Hayward and John Lodge then released the album, Blue Jays, and a single, “Blue Guitar”. Mike Pinder released a album The Promise.” Edge produced two albums with guitarist Adrian Gurvitz, Kick Off Your Muddy Boots and Paradise Ballroom; Hayward composed the albums Songwriter, followed by Night Flight, Moving Mountains, Classic Blue, The View From The Hill and Live In San Juan Capistrano; Lodge released Natural Avenue; Pinder produced The Promise; and Thomas produced From Mighty Oaks and Hopes, Wishes and Dreams. In 1977, the group reunited and The album Octave was released in 1978 contining “Steppin’ in a Slide Zone” & “Driftwood”. Around this time Justin Hayward had a solo hit with the song “Forever Autumn” from Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds. The next album ,Long Distance Voyager,was released in 1981 and yielded two hits, “The Voice” &”Gemini Dream”. and the band embraced a more modern, less symphonic approach, while still retaining a lush keyboard-led sound. The next album The Present yeilded the singles “Blue World” and”Sitting at the Wheel”.

In 1986 they released the album The Other Side of Life, containing “Your Wildest Dreams”which garnered a Billboard Video of the Year award,as well as the songs “House of Four Doors”, “Candle of Life” and “One More Time To Live” “Here Comes The Weekend”, “Rock and Roll Over You”, “Love is On The Run (From Me)”, “The Actor”, “Dawning is the Day”, “You Can Never Go Home”& “The Land of Make Believe”. The Moody Blues also performed live at the Birmingham Heart Beat Charity Concert 1986 which raised money for the Birmingham Children’s Hospitals, and also provided backup with the Electric Light Orchestra for George Harrison. The Moodies released Sur La Mer in 1988 containing the single, “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere”. In 1991 they released the album Keys of the Kingdom contained the songs “Say It With Love”, “Never Blame The Rainbows For The Rain”,”Bless the Wings (That Bring You Back)”,”Magic” “Shadows On the Wall” “Lean On Me (Tonight)”and “Say What You Mean.”

The Moody Blues also played at the Montreux Jazz Festival and made a series of recordings of their Night at Red Rocks concert. The next album Strange Times, was released in 1999 with the songs”English Sunset”,”Nothing Changes” and”This is The Moment”. The Moody Blues also appeared in one episode of “The Simpsons” called “Viva Ned Flanders”. In 2000, the band released “Hall of Fame”, a new live concert from Royal Albert Hall. In 2001, an IMAX film was released, entitled Journey into Amazing Caves. In 2006, the first five of the band’s ‘Core Seven’ albums ( Days of Future Passed to Seventh Sojourn) were re-released featuring bonus songs and previously unreleased tracks. Remastered versions of Octave, Long Distance Voyager and The Present also followed. The Moodies also released a compilation of sessions recorded at BBC Studios, rarities & various TV appearances, entitled Live at the BBC: 1967-1970. So far The Moody Blues have sold more than 70 million albums worldwide and have been awarded 14 platinum and gold discs.

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Chester Bennington (Linkin Park)

Best known as the frontman for the rock band Linkin Park. The American musician, singer, songwriter and actor Chester Bennington tragically committed suicide on the July 20, 2017 at his home in Los Angeles, California. Born March 20, 1976 He was also a member of the groups Dead by Sunrise, Bucket of Weenies, Sean Dowdell And His Friends? and Grey Daze. He first began singing with a band called Sean Dowdell and His Friends?. They released an eponymous three-track cassette in 1993. Later, Sean Dowdell and Bennington moved on to form a new band, Grey Daze, a post-grunge band from Phoenix, Arizona. The band recorded three albums; Demo in 1993, Wake/ Me in 1994, and …no sun today in 1997.

Bennington left Grey Daze in 1998, and struggled to find another band becoming increasingly disenchanted until he was almost ready to quit his musical career altogether. However Jeff Blue, the vice president of A&R at Zomba Music in Los Angeles, offered him an audition with the future members of Linkin Park. Bennington quit his day job at a digital services firm and took his family to California, where he had a successful audition with Linkin Park, who were then called Xero. Bennington and Mike Shinoda, the band’s other vocalist, made significant progress together, but failed to find a record deal. After facing numerous rejections, Jeff Blue, now a vice president of A&R at Warner Bros., intervened again to help the band sign with Warner Bros. Records.

In 2000, Linkin Park released their debut album, Hybrid Theory. Bennington and Shinoda wrote the lyrics to Hybrid Theory based on some early material. Hybrid Theory, became a massive commercial success and was certified Diamond by the RIAA in 2005, making it the best-selling debut album of the decade. Shinoda characterized the lyrics as interpretations of universal feelings, emotions, and experiences, and as “everyday emotions you talk about and think about. Bennington later described the songwriting experience “It’s easy to fall into that thing – ‘poor, poor me’, that’s where songs like ‘Crawling’ come from: I can’t take myself. But that song is about taking responsibility for your actions. I don’t say ‘you’ at any point. It’s about how I’m the reason that I feel this way. There’s something inside me that pulls me down.” Although Bennington served as Linkin Park’s lead vocalist, he occasionally shared the role with Shinoda. Bennington’s “higher-pitched” and “emotional”, vocals contrasted with Shinoda’s hip-hop-style delivery. Both members also wrote lyrics for the band’s songs. Linkin Park’s following studio albums, Meteora (2003), Minutes to Midnight (2007), A Thousand Suns (2010), Living Things (2012), and The Hunting Party (2014), continued the band’s success. Linkin Park’s sound varied from grunge to psychedelic rock, bossa nova and classic rock. The band’s evolution throughout the 1990s and early 2000s involved several tumultuous periods of commercial highs and lows.

In 2005 Bennington formed his own band, Dead by Sunrise, as a side project. The band’s debut album, Out of Ashes, was released on October 13, 2009. Dead by Sunrise performed four songs (“Walking in Circles”, “Let Down”, “Morning After”, and “My Suffering”) at the 13th anniversary party for Club Tattoo in Tempe, Arizona. The song titled “Morning After” was written by Chester Bennington and originally performed on September 12, 2001 at the Live in Berlin concert. Bennington also performed Morning After with his cover band entitled Bucket of Weenies in many shows throughout 2005 and 2006. This was the first time that Bennington had “officially” performed the song under a new name—Dead by Sunrise. In addition, this band has recently started touring with Linkin Park in Europe. Videos have been filmed for “Crawl Back In” (September 8, 2009) and “Let Down” with the songs serving as the album’s first two singles. “Crawl Back In” has reached the 11th spot on the Mainstream Rock chart. In 2009 Dead by Sunrise released the album Out of Ashes”

Stone Temple Pilots were formed in 1986 originally consisting of Scott Weiland (lead vocals), brothers Dean (guitar) and Robert DeLeo (bass, backing vocals), and Eric Kretz (drums). Stone Temple Pilots debut album, Core (1992), was a commercial success, and they went on to become one of the most commercially successful bands of the 1990s. The band released four more studio albums: Purple (1994), Tiny Music… Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop (1996), No. 4 (1999) and Shangri-La Dee Da (2001), before separating in 2002, after which the band members partook in various projects (most notably Velvet Revolver and Army of Anyone). The band eventually reconvened in 2008 for a reunion tour, released a new self-titled album in 2010.

Weiland was fired in 2013 and was replaced by Chester Bennington who first took the stage at KROQ’s Weenie Roast with the band. The setlist included original Stone Temple Pilots songs, as well as their first single with Bennington on vocals called “Out of Time”. Chester officially became the new frontman of Stone Temple Pilots and discussed the possibility of a new album and tour. In 2013, the band released a free download of their first single, “Out of Time” that features Bennington via their official website. The song “Out of Time” is featured on their EP High Rise. Stone Temple Pilots actively toured until Chester Bennington’s departure in 2015. The band’s only material with Bennington was the EP High Rise in 2013 and In 2015 Weiland was found dead on his tour bus before a performance with his band The Wildabouts. In 2016, the band launched an online audition for a new lead vocalist. Bennington stated that while Stone Temple Pilots has this sexier, more classic rock feel to it. Linkin Park is a very modern, very tech-heavy type of band. In 2015 He left Stone Temple Pilots on good terms due to his commitments with Linkin Park in 2015

Bennington has struggled with ill health In 2001 suffered a severe bite from a recluse spider while touring with the OzzFest and was also plagued with poor health during the making of Meteora, struggling to attend some recording sessions. In 2003, he began to suffer from extreme abdominal pain and gastrointestinal issues while filming the music video for “Numb” in Prague. He was forced to return to the United States for surgery, and filmed the remainder of the music video in Los Angeles. He also broke his wrist in 2007 while attempting to jump off a platform during a show in Melbourne at the Rod Laver Arena. Bennington also injured his shoulder during the band’s tour in Asia and was advised by doctors to have immediate surgery, cancelling their final show at Pensacola Beach, Florida. Bennington also injured his ankle in January 2015 during a basketball game. Despite these setbacks Bennington was ranked No. 46 in the Top 100 Heavy Metal Vocalists by Hit Parader.

Posted in books

Widows Revenge by Lynda laPlante

I would like to read Widows Revenge, The sequel to Lynda La Plante’s gripping and exciting thriller Widows. It features Dolly Rawlins and her gangland widows, Linda Pirelli, Bella O’Reilly, and Shirley Miller Who steal money from Criminal Mastermind Harry Rawlins, in order to get revenge on Harry for a previous betrayal. Rawlins had previously stolen it during a heist involving an armed security wagon but is now presumed dead. Dolly Linda Shirley and Bella then escape to Rio de Janeiro, and go their separate ways leaving the bulk of the cash hidden in London.

However Dolly discovers that her husband, isn’t actually as dead as everyone thought . He also knows where the four women are and he intends to recover the money and kill them all for stealing his ill gotten gains. So the four women go on the run. However as they try to keep one step ahead of Harry They soon realize that they can’t keep running forevever. They have to get Harry out of their lives for good. But can they outwit a criminal mastermind who won’t hesitate to kill? Then one of them comes up with a daring plan of her own however, things don’t go quite as planned, they also spot another golden opportunity to make even more money and get revenge on Harry….