Gregg Rolie (Journey, Santana)

Famous being a member of both Journey and Santana, the American rock singer-songwriter and keyboard player Gregg Rolie was born June 17 1947. Prior to Santana, Rolie played with a group called William Penn and his Pals while attending Cubberley High School in Palo Alto, California, circa 1965. A year after graduating from high school in 1965, Rolie joined Carlos Santana and others to form the Santana Blues Band, which was later shortened simply to Santana. 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, As a co-founding member of Santana, Rolie was part of the band’s first wave of success, including an appearance at the Woodstock Music and Art Festival in 1969 and central roles in several hit albums.

He is perhaps best known for being their original lead vocalist, with his voice appearing on well-known Santana songs such as “Black Magic Woman” (US #4), “Oye Como Va”, “No One To Depend On” and “Evil Ways”. He also became well known for his skill on the Hammond B3 organ, with solos on many of the aforementioned hits. He has song-writing credits on many tracks from this period. 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”.

However, persistent Musical differences between Carlos Santana and Rolie regarding the musical direction of the band Plus 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 with Rolie leaving in 1971. Growing resentments between Santana and Michael Carabello over lifestyle issues also 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 Rolie joined a new band with ex-Santana guitarist Neal Schon. This became Journey. Starring in a lineup that featured Schon, Aynsley Dunbar, George Tickner, and Ross Valory, he was keyboardist for the band’s first six albums. On Journey and Look into the Future, he was lead vocalist, and on Next he shared those duties with guitarist Neal Schon. After Steve Perry joined the band in 1977, Rolie sang co-lead vocals on several songs on the albums Infinity, Evolution, and Departure.

After leaving Journey in 1980, Rolie released several solo albums, including the eponymous Gregg Rolie in 1985. This album featured the song “I Wanna Go Back,” which later became a hit for Eddie Money, and included contributions from Carlos Santana, Peter Wolf, Neal Schon, and Craig Chaquico. A second solo effort, Gringo, was released in 1987. Rolie formed The Storm in 1991 with Steve Smith (replaced by Ron Wikso after the recording of the first album) and Ross Valory of Journey. Similar to his work with Journey and Steve Perry, Rolie played keyboards and was a co-lead vocalist on several tracks of the band’s first, eponymous, album, which hit #3 on the Billboard albums chart and spawned the Top Ten single “I’ve Got A Lot To Learn About Love.” Despite this success, their second album, recorded in 1993, was shelved, due to the industry’s shifting focus to favor rap and alternative music audiences. It finally saw limited release in 1996, and in 1998, Rolie and other former members of Santana, including Neal Schon, briefly reunited as Abraxas Pool, releasing one album.

When Schon left to lead a re-formed Journey later that year, Rolie and Ron Wikso began work in 1999, on a Gregg Rolie solo CD, titled “Roots”, which eventually led to the forming of the Gregg Rolie Band. Besides Rolie and Wikso, “Roots” featured appearances by Neal Schon, Alphonso Johnson, Dave Amato, Adrian Areas, Michael Carabello. The Gregg Rolie Band saw Kurt Griffey taking over guitar duties and the addition of Wally Minko as a second keyboardist. They recorded a live CD at Sturgis called “Rain Dance”, which was released in 2009. In 2010, Rolie released “Five Days” and subsequently formed a duo with Alan Haynes, which eventually led to the formation of the Gregg Rolie Quartet, with the addition of long time collaborator/drummer, Ron Wikso and bassist Evan “Sticky” Lopez.

In 2012–2014 he toured as a member of Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band performing Santana hits “Black Magic Woman”, “Evil Ways” and “Everybody’s Everything”. The band also included Toto guitarist Steve Lukather, Todd Rundgren, Richard Page, Mark Rivera and Gregg Bissonette. On February 2, 2013 Carlos Santana confirmed that he would reunite his classic lineup, most of whom played Woodstock with him in 1969. Santana said of Rolie, “I’m pretty sure Gregg’s going to do it.” Speaking in 2012 of such a reunion, Rolie told Radio.com “it’s just a matter of putting it together and going and doing it. I would do it. I think it’s a great idea. People would love it. It could be great!” In 2016, as part of Santana’s original line-up they released their fourth album, titled Santana IV.

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” featuring Chad Kroeger from the group Nickelback.

In 2007, Carlos 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.

Barry Manilow

American singer-songwriter and producer Barry Manilow was born June 17, 1943. He is best known for such recordings as “Mandy”, “Can’t Smile Without You”, and “Copacabana (At the Copa)”.In 1978, five of his albums were on the best-seller charts simultaneously, a feat equalled only by Herb Alpert, Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen and Johnny Mathis. He has recorded a string of Billboard hit singles and multi-platinum albums that have resulted in his being named Radio & Records’ No. 1 adult contemporary artist and winning three straight American Music Awards for favorite pop/rock male artist.

Between 1974 and 1983 Manilow had three No. 1 singles and 25 that reached the top 40, including Mandy, Copacobana, Can’t Smile without you, Could it be Magic, Weekend in New England, Looks like we made it, trying to get the feeling again, I write the songs, it’s a miracle, and Ready to take a chance again plus many other memorable tunes.

Several well-known entertainers have praised Manilow, including Sinatra, who was quoted in the 1970s saying, “He’s next.” In 1988, Bob Dylan stopped Manilow at a party, hugged him and said, “Don’t stop what you’re doing, man. We’re all inspired by you.” As well as producing and arranging albums for other artists, including Bette Midler andDionne Warwick, Manilow has written songs for musicals, films, and commercials. From February 2005 to Dec. 30, 2009, he was the headliner at the Las Vegas Hilton, performing hundreds of shows before ending his relationship with the hotel. Since March 2010, he has headlined at the Paris hotel in Las Vegas. He has sold more than 80 million records worldwide.

The Blues Brothers

The hilarious American musical comedy The Blues Brothers Brothers starring comedy actors Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi and directed by John Landis premiered in Chicago on 16 June 1980. The Blues Brothers started out as an American blues and soul revivalist band founded in 1978 by as part of a musical sketch on Saturday Night Live. Belushi and Aykroyd fronted the band, in character, respectively, as lead vocalist ‘Joliet’ Jake Blues and harmonica player/vocalist Elwood Blues.

The film follows the exploits of Blues vocalist and petty criminal Jake who is newly released from Joliet Correctional Center and his blood brother Elwood As they try to raise $5000 to save the Roman Catholic orphanage where they were raised. Jake has an epiphany During a sermon by the Reverend Cleophus James at the Triple Rock Baptist Church. However they are chased by Police luckily After a high-speed chase through the Dixie Square Mall they escape. Then they are almost blown up in a rocket launcher attack by a mysterious woman, who later detonates a bomb that demolishes the building.

They decide to reform the Blues Brothers in order to raise enough money to save the orphanage. so Jake and Elwood begin tracking down members of the band. Five of them are playing a Holiday Inn lounge, and quickly agree to rejoin. Another, “Mr. Fabulous”, turns them down as he is the maître d’ at expensive restaurant “Chez Paul”. Then later during the journey they incur the wrath of an “American Socialist White People’s Party”—”the Illinois Nazis”. The manage to locate The last two band members, Matt “Guitar” Murphy and “Blue Lou” Marini in a soul food restaurant. The reunited group manage to obtain instruments and equipment from Ray’s Music Exchange in Calumet City, and Ray, “as usual”, takes an IOU. Then As Jake attempts to book a gig, he is again attacked by the mystery woman. The band stumbles into a gig at Bob’s Country Bunker, a local honky-tonk. They win over the rowdy crowd, and infuriate the country band that was actually booked there, the Good Ole Boys.

Realizing that they need one big show to raise the necessary money, the brothers persuade their old agent to book the Palace Hotel Ballroom, north of Chicago. They then drive the Chicago area promoting the concert, inadvertentlybalerting the police, the Nazis, and the Good Ole Boys of their whereabouts. At the concert The ballroom is packed with blues fans, police officers, and the Good Ole Boys, luckily the Blues Brothers manage to sneak off stage and thanks to A record company executive who offers them a $10,000 cash advance on a recording contract they slip out of the building unnoticed, however they are confronted by the mystery woman: Jake’s vengeful ex-fiancée who almost kills them before they escape.

However, as Jake and Elwood race back toward the Cook County Assessors office at Chicago City Hall, with the money to save the orphanage, they leave a trail of devastation behind them as they are pursued by dozens of angry state/local police, the Illinois Socialist white Peoples Party and the Good Ole Boys, soon they are being followed by hundreds of police, state troopers, SWAT teams, firefighters, Illinois National Guardsmen, and the Military Police.

Ella Fitzgerald

Often known as the First Lady of Song” “Queen of Jazz” and “Lady Ella,” The American jazz and song vocalist Ella Fitzgerald sadly died 15 June 1996. She
was born April 25 in 1917 in Newport News, Virginia. In her youth Fitzgerald wanted to be a dancer, although she loved listening to jazz recordings by Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby and The Boswell Sisters. She idolized the lead singer Connee Boswell, later saying, “My mother brought home one of her records, and I fell in love with it….I tried so hard to sound just like her. She was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing and intonation, and a “horn-like” improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing and had a vocal range spanning three octaves. Sadly In 1932, her mother tragically died from a heart attack, Following this trauma, Fitzgerald’s grades dropped dramatically and she frequently skipped school and was first taken in by an aunt she also worked as a lookout at a bordello and also with a Mafia-affiliated numbers runner. When the authorities caught up with her, she was first placed in the Colored Orphan Asylum in Riverdale, the Bronx. However, when the orphanage proved too crowded she was moved to the New York Training School for Girls in Hudson, New York, a state reformatory. Eventually she escaped and for a time was homeless

She made her singing debut at 17 at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York. She pulled in a weekly audience at the Apollo and won the opportunity to compete in one of the earliest of its famous “Amateur Nights”. She had originally intended to go on stage and dance but, intimidated by the Edwards Sisters, a local dance duo, she opted to sing instead in the style of Connee Boswell. She sang Boswell’s “Judy” and “The Object of My Affection,” a song recorded by the Boswell Sisters, and won the first prize of US$25.00. In January 1935, Fitzgerald won the chance to perform for a week with the Tiny Bradshaw band at the Harlem Opera House and began singing regularly with Chick Webb’s Orchestra through 1935 at Harlem’s Savoy Ballroom. Fitzgerald recorded several hit songs with them, including “Love and Kisses” and “(If You Can’t Sing It) You’ll Have to Swing It (Mr. Paganini)”. But it was her 1938 version of the nursery rhyme, “A-Tisket, A-Tasket”, a song she co-wrote, that brought her wide public acclaim.In 1942, Fitzgerald left the band to begin a solo career and had several popular hits with such artists as the Ink Spots, Louis Jordan, and the Delta Rhythm Boys.

With the demise of the Swing era and the decline of the great touring big bands, a major change in jazz music occurred. The advent of bebop led to new developments in Fitzgerald’s vocal style, influenced by her work with Dizzy Gillespie’s big band. While singing with Gillespie, Fitzgerald recalled, “I just tried to do with my voice what I heard the horns in the band doing.” Her 1945 scat recording of “Flying Home” was desribed as “one of the most influential vocal jazz records of the decade Where other singers, most notably Louis Armstrong, had tried similar improvisation, no one before Miss Fitzgerald employed the technique with such dazzling inventiveness.” Her bebop recording of “Oh, Lady be Good!” was similarly popular and increased her reputation as one of the leading jazz vocalists.

During her prolific career Ella Fitzgerald won thirteen Grammy awards, including one for Lifetime Achievement in 1967 And and was awarded the National Medal of Arts by Ronald Reagan and the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George H. W. Bush. Other major awards and honors she received during her career were the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Medal of Honor Award, National Medal of Art, first Society of Singers Lifetime Achievement Award, named “Ella” in her honor, Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the George and Ira Gershwin Award for Lifetime Musical Achievement, UCLA Spring Sing.Across town at the University of Southern California, she received the coveted USC “Magnum Opus” Award which hangs in the office of the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation.

In 1997, Newport News, Virginia created a music festival with Christopher Newport University to honor Ella Fitzgerald in her birth city. The Ella Fitzgerald Music Festival is designed to teach the region’s youth of the musical legacy of Fitzgerald and jazz. Past performers at the week-long festival include: Diana Krall, Arturo Sandoval, Jean Carne, Phil Woods, Aretha Franklin, Freda Payne, Cassandra Wilson, Ethel Ennis, David Sanborn, Jane Monheit, Dianne Reeves, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ramsey Lewis, Patti Austin, and Ann Hampton Callaway.

Ella Fitzgerald leaves an enduring legacy and Ann Hampton Callaway, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and Patti Austin have all recorded albums in tribute to Fitzgerald. Callaway’s album To Ella with Love features fourteen jazz standards made popular by Fitzgerald, and the album also features the trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. Bridgewater’s album Dear Ella featured many musicians that were closely associated with Fitzgerald during her career, including the pianist Lou Levy, the trumpeter Benny Powell, and Fitzgerald’s second husband, double bassist Ray Brown. Bridgewater’s following album, Live at Yoshi’s, was recorded live on April 25, 1998, on what would have been Fitzgerald’s 81st birthday. There is also a bronze sculpture of Fitzgerald in Yonkers,created by American artist Vinnie Bagwell, the city in which she grew up and there s also a bust of Fitzgerald on the campus of Chapman College in Orange, California.

Alan White (Yes)

Alan White the drummer and songwriter with the bands Yes, Plastic Ono Band, White, and Circa, was born 14 June 1949. Yes were Formed in 1968 by Jon Anderson and Bill Bruford and went on to achieve worldwide success with their progressive music, mystical lyrics, elaborate album art, live stage sets and symphonic style of rock music. They are regarded as one of the pioneers of the progressive genre. They were Formed in 1968 by Jon Anderson and Bill Bruford and released two albums together but began to enjoy success after the release of The Yes Album and Fragile,which featured new arrivals Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman. They achieved further success with the albums Close to the Edge and Tales from Topographic Oceans. Wakeman was replaced by Patrick Moraz, who played on Relayer (1974).White released his only solo album, Ramshackled, in 1975. White only performed drums on the album and wrote none of the songs.

Wakeman returned to Yes on the albums Going for the One (1977) and Tormato (1978). However Anderson and Wakeman left the group in 1980 due to musical differences amongst the band and both went on to pursue solo careers. Their replacements, Trevor Horn and Steve Downes, featured on Drama (1980) and its supporting tour before disbanding in 1981. Howe and Downes went to form Asia.

Yes reformed in 1982 after Squire and White were joined by the returning Jon Anderson and Tony Kaye, with the addition of guitarist Trevor Rabin. They adopted a pop rock sound and released the number one single “Owner of a Lonely Heart” and 90125 (1983), their best-selling album to date, followed by Big Generator (1987). Anderson left and co-formed the side project Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe with the named members in 1989. Following a legal battle amongst both Yes groups, they formed an eight-man band to perform on Union (1991) and its supporting tour. Rabin and Kaye featured on Talk (1994) before leaving, while Wakeman and Howe returned with Keys to Ascension (1996) and Keys to Ascension 2 (1997). Wakeman was then replaced by Igor Khoroshev, who was featured on Open Your Eyes (1997) and The Ladder (1999) along with guitarist Billy Sherwood. The release of Magnification (2001) marked the first album since 1970 to feature an orchestra. Squire also joined the short-lived supergroup XYZ, (ex-Yes, Zeppelin) which featured Squire, Yes’ Alan White, and Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page.

In 2002, Wakeman returned for the band’s 35th anniversary tour. The band ceased to tour in 2004, partly due to health concerns regarding Anderson and Wakeman. Following a hiatus, Yes restarted in 2008 with keyboardist Oliver Wakeman and singer Benoît David. After the release of Fly from Here (2011), which saw Downes returning on keyboards, David was replaced by Jon Davison, lead singer of progressive rock band Glass Hammer, on vocals. Sadly though Chris Squire, died 27 June 2013 at the age of 67, following his battle with Acute Erythroid Leukemia, with which he was diagnosed in 2015. He had been a member of the band’s current line-up alongside singer Jon Davison, guitarist Steve Howe, drummer Alan White, and keyboardist Geoff Downes.

In addition to his drum playing, White has played piano and written music for several Yes albums. Sadly Due to various health problems, White missed a tour with Yes in 2016, with Jay Schellen substituting for him. Schellen and White then toured together into 2017. On summer 2017 touring, White was accompanied by Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe), with Schellen returning to the role in early 2018.

Alan White Has also guested with Seattle band MerKaBa on a number of occasions and White and MerKaBa also had links with another band, Treason. In 2003, White joined sessions for a new MerKaBa album, but these evolved into a new band, called White, and an album’s worth of demo recordings under the name Loyal. As well as Alan, the band consisted of Kevin Currie (from MerKaBa; lead vocals), Karl Haug (from Treason); electric & acoustic guitars, lap steel), Steve Boyce (from MerKaBa; bass, guitar, backing vocals) and Ted Stockwell (from Treason and MerKaBa; keys, guitar). Stockwell left the band and, in April 2005, was replaced by Alan’s former colleague in Yes, keyboardist Geoff Downes. A new album, White, was recorded, partly based on the Loyal demos. The album was released in 2006, with a cover by Roger Dean.

The band has played live (with various keyboardists) in the Seattle area. They were due to join the abortive More Drama Tour, scheduled to begin in North America in August 2005, with three acts: White, The Syn, and Steve Howe, with Yes members Chris Squire, Steve Howe and Geoff Downes playing Yes material at the end of the evening (with Currie handling lead vocals). However, the tour was cancelled shortly before it was due to begin. White later joined The Syn touring band for dates in the first half of 2006. Subsequently, White has been working on projects with Billy Sherwood, notably in the initial line-up of Circa, with a third Yes alumnus, Tony Kaye. In 2010, the band White re-emerged after a hiatus with a new line-up of White, Haug and Boyce joined by two musicians from Yes tribute band Parallels, who have previously worked with Alan: vocalist Robyn Dawn and keyboardist Jonathan Sindelman. White also serves as the Grand Marshal at the Issaquah, Washington Salmon Days FestivalOn 28 October 2017, to celebrate his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, White played Roundabout in a halftime performance with the University of Washington Husky Marching Band, also featuring music from Pearl Jam, Journey, and Electric Light Orchestra.

Dom Brown (Duran Duran)

The guitarist and singer-songwriter Dominic “Dom” Brown was born 14 June 1972. He has worked with many popular musicians, including Duran Duran, Elton John, Lionel Richie and Take That. He has also done both studio and live recordings with Justin Timberlake, Liam Gallagher and the Sugababes, along with many others. Dom cites his influences as “Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Nirvana, Rolling Stones, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Police, James Brown, Miles Davis, Jimmy Page, Stevie Wonder, Jeff Beck, Jeff Buckley, Dave Gilmour, Charles Mingus, Charlie Parker, Meters, Eric Clapton, Duran Duran, Otis Redding, Chic, Ben Harper, AC/DC, Robert Johnson, Mick Ronson, Mozart, Frank Zappa, White Stripes, Massive Attack, Soundgarden, Cream, John Mayer, Howlin’ Wolf, Smashing Pumpkins, Ian Hunter, The Stranglers, Marvin Gaye, Steely Dan, Sly Stone, Beck, Fleetwood Mac, Roxy Music, Muddy Waters, Curtis Mayfield and more…”

He began playing guitar at the age of 14, and by 16 had put together the band Nexus, based in Twickenham. He was soon touring with his father, musician Rob Brown. He has performed solo and in his own bands around the world, as well as serving as a sessions and live backup player for numerous other performers. Brown first appeared with Duran Duran in December 2004 as a stand-in for ill guitarist Andy Taylor, and performed in Taylor’s place several more times over the following two years. After Taylor left the band in October 2006, Brown was hired to record guitar parts for their next album, Red Carpet Massacre (2007), and perform on the supporting world tour. He also played with the band at the Concert for Diana and Live Earth London at Wembley Stadium. Brown continues in his role as Duran Duran’s guitarist albeit not as a full member of the band. He co-wrote 13 of the 15 tracks on the band’s 2011 album All You Need Is Now and 4 of the 12 tracks on their 2015 album Paper Gods. Dominic’s solo albums are published by the independent UK record label Remedy Records.

Duran Duran were formed in Birmingham in 1978. They were a successful band of the 1980s and a leading band in the MTV-driven “Second British Invasion” of the US. Since the 1980s, they have placed 14 singles in the Top 10 of the UK Singles Chart and 21 in the Billboard Hot 100, and have sold over 70 million records. While they were generally considered part of the New Romantic scene, along with bands such as Spandau Ballet, when they first emerged, the band later shed this image. The band worked with fashion designers to build a sharp and elegant image. The band has won a number of awards throughout their career: two Brit Awards including the 2004 award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, two Grammy Awards, and an MTV Video Music Award for Lifetime Achievement. They were also awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The band’s controversial videos, which included partial nudity and suggestions of sexuality, became popular in the early 1980s on the then-new music video channel, MTV. Duran Duran were among the first bands to have their videos shot by professional directors with 35 mm film movie cameras, which gave their videos a much more polished look than was standard at the time. In 1984, the band were early innovators with video technology in their live stadium shows.

The group was formed by keyboardist Nick Rhodes and bassist John Taylor, with the later addition of drummer Roger Taylor, and after numerous personnel changes, guitarist Andy Taylor and lead singer Simon Le Bon. These five members featured in their most commercially successful line-up. The group has never disbanded, but after separation of Andy Taylor in 1986, the line-up has changed to include former Missing Persons American guitarist Warren Cuccurullo from 1989 to 2001 and American drummer Sterling Campbell from 1989 to 1991. The reunion of the original five members in the early 2000s created a stir among the band’s fans and music media. Andy Taylor left the band once again in mid-2006, and guitarist Dom Brown has since been working with the band as a session player and touring member. Duran Duran’s latest album Paper Gods was released 2015 and includes the song “Pressure off” featuring Janelle Monae and Nile Rogers.

Jim Lea/Noddy Holder (Slade)

Noddy Holder, singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor with glam rock band Slade was born 15 June 1946, in addition Jim Lea, the singer-songwriter, bass guitarist / keyboard player / violinist / guitarist and producer with Slade was born 14 June 1949. He joined Slade after meeting Fellow members Dave Hill and Don Powell playing in a band called The Vendors, who changed the name Of the band to The N’ Betweens. After Jim Lea auditioned, Drummer Don Powell then spotted Noddy Holder playing with Steve Brett & The Mavericks and he and Hill got Holder to join the N’Betweens. They regrouped as Ambrose Slade, and changed the name to Slade comprising of Noddy Holder, Jim Lea, Dave Hill and Don Powell.

Slade rose to prominence during the glam rock era of the early 1970s with 17 consecutive top 20 hits and six number ones including Come on feel the noise, Goodbye to Jane and Merry Xmas Everybody. The British Hit Singles & Albums names them as the most successful British group of the 1970s based on sales of singles. They were the first act to achieve three singlesenter at number one; all six of the band’s chart-toppers were penned by Noddy Holder and Jim Lea. Total UK sales stand at 6,520,171, and their best selling single, “Merry Xmas Everybody”, has sold in excess of one million copies. Following an unsuccessful move to the United States in 1975, Slade’s popularity waned but was unexpectedly revived in 1980 when they were last minute replacements for Ozzy Osbourne at the Reading Rock Festival. The band later acknowledged this to have been one of the highlights of their career.

The original Slade line up split in 1992 but the band reformed the following year as Slade II. The band has continued, with a number of line-up changes, to the present day. They have now shortened the group name back to Slade. A number of diverse artists have cited Slade as an influence, including grunge icons Nirvana and the Smashing Pumpkins, punk pioneers the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, the Undertones, the Runaways and the Clash, glam followers Kiss, Mötley Crüe, Twisted Sister ,Quiet Riot, Poison and Def Leppard, pop-rock stalwarts the Replacements, Cheap Trick and Oasis. Over the years Slade have become known for Holder’s powerful vocals, guitarist Dave Hill’s equally arresting dress sense and the deliberate misspelling of their song titles. Their song Merry Christmas is also repeated annually during every Christmas Season. Since Slade split Noddy Holder has also acted in a couple of television series such as Max and Paddy’s road to nowhere and adverts like Nobby’s Nuts.