петак, 30. новембар 2007.

BILLY IDOL - Birthday, 30. november


William Michael Albert Broad, (Billy Idol) was born 30 November 1955, Stanmore, Middlesex, England. While studying English Literature at Sussex University, Broad became involved with the ‘Bromley contingent’ followers of the Sex Pistols.

Inspired by the energy of punk, he formed his own group, Chelsea, in 1976. The original outfit was short-lived and Billy Idol, as he was now known, next founded Generation X.

The group lasted from 1976-81 after which Idol launched his solo career in New York and recorded DON'T STOP, which featured a revival of Tommy James & The Shondells’ UK number 1 "Mony Mony."

Through 1982-83, Idol's career blossomed and his acerbic vocal style and lively stage act brought a string of hits including "Hot In The City," "White Wedding," "Rebel Yell" and "Eyes Without A Face."

With his albums sales increasing each year, Idol actually became an idol and turned an old hit to advantage by taking "Mony Mony" to number 1 in the US in 1987.

Despite his legendary excessive lifestyle, Idol has appeared in several charity shows. In 1988, he took part in Neil Young's Bridge School Benefit concert and the following year guested in the charity performance of the Who's Tommy in London.

After being slated for a part in the Oliver Stone film of the Doors, Idol almost emulated its central character by suffering an early death.

A serious motorcycle crash seriously damaged his leg, but he recovered remarkably speedily. However, he soon found himself back in trouble, this time with the Los Angeles courts when, in 1992, he was put on probation for two years and fined $2,700 for an assault on a ‘fan’.

This all added fuel to the rebel image and, in many respects, he has become more successful than most of the punk founders with whom he rubbed shoulders back in 1977. Idol's brand of heavy/punk was perfectly honed and showcased on CYBERPUNK.




четвртак, 29. новембар 2007.

JOHN MAYALL – Birthday, 29. November

John Mayall,

(born November 29, 1933) is a pioneering English blues singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist.

His musical career spans over fifty years but the most notable episode in it occurred during the late '60s.

He was the founder of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers

and has been influential in the careers of many instrumentalists, including Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Peter Green, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Mick Taylor, Don 'Sugarcane' Harris, Harvey Mandel, Larry Taylor, Aynsley Dunbar, Jon Hiseman, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Andy Fraser, Johnny Almond, Jon Mark, Walter Trout and Coco Montoya.



DENNY DOHERTY (Mamas and Papas) – Birthday, 29. November

Dennis Gerrard Stephen Doherty (Denny Doherty)

je rodjen 29. novembra 1940. godine. Kanadski pevac i kompozitor. Osnivac i clan grupe Mamas and Papas.

Grupa Mamas and Papas je bila veoma popularna sezdesetih godina. Njihovi najveci hitovi su California Dreamin, Monday Monday, Dancing Bear i I Saw Her Again.

Denny Doherty je umro 19. januara 2007. godine, usled komplikacija posle operacije abdominalne aneurizme.

(Denny, mesec dana pre smrti)



уторак, 27. новембар 2007.

JIMI HENDRIX - Birthday, 27. november


James Marshall Hendrix was born 27 November 1942, Seattle, Washington, USA, d. 18 September 1970. More superlatives have been bestowed upon Hendrix than any other rock guitarist.

Unquestionably one of music's most influential figures, he brought an unparalleled vision to the art of playing electric guitar. Self-taught (and with the burden of being left-handed with a right-handed guitar) he spent hours absorbing the recorded legacy of southern-blues practitioners, from Robert Johnson

to B.B. King .

The aspiring musician joined several local R&B bands while still at school, before enlisting as a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne Division. It was during this period that Hendrix met Billy Cox,

a bass player upon whom he would call at several stages in his career. Together they formed the King Kasuals,

an in-service attraction later resurrected when both men returned to civilian life. Hendrix was discharged in July 1962 after breaking his right ankle. He began working with various touring revues backing, among others, The Impressions,

Sam Cooke

and The Valentinos.

He enjoyed lengthier spells with the Isley Brothers,

Little Richard

and King Curtis,

recording with each of these acts, but was unable to adapt to the discipline their performances required. The experience and stagecraft gained during this formative period proved essential to the artist's subsequent development.

By 1965 Hendrix was living in New York. In October he joined struggling soul singer Curtis Knight,

signing a punitive contract with the latter's manager, Ed Chaplin. This ill-advised decision would return to haunt the guitarist. In June the following year Hendrix, now calling himself Jimmy James, formed a group initially dubbed the Rainflowers, then Jimmy James And The Blue Flames.

The quartet, which also featured future Spirit member Randy California, was appearing at the Cafe Wha? in Greenwich Village when Chas Chandler

was advised to see them. The Animals' bassist immediately recognized the guitarist's extraordinary talent and persuaded him to come to London in search of a more receptive audience. Hendrix arrived in England in September 1966. Chandler became his co-manager, in partnership with Mike Jeffries (aka Jeffreys), and immediately began auditions for a suitable backing group. Noel Redding

(b. 25 December 1945, Folkestone, Kent, England) was selected on bass, having recently failed to join the New Animals, while John 'Mitch' Mitchell

(b. 9 July 1947, Ealing, Middlesex, England), a veteran of the Riot Squad and Georgie Fame's Blue Flames, became the trio's drummer. The new group, dubbed the Jimi Hendrix Experience,

made its debut the following month at Evereux in France. On returning to England they began a string of club engagements which attracted pop's aristocracy, including Pete Townshend and Eric Clapton. In December the trio released their first single, the understated, resonant "Hey Joe." Its UK Top 10 placing encouraged a truly dynamic follow-up in "Purple Haze."

The latter was memorable for Hendrix's guitar pyrotechnics and a lyric that incorporated the artist's classic line: ‘Scuse me while I kiss the sky’. On tour his trademark Fender Stratocaster

and Marshall Amplifier were punished night after night, as the group enhanced its reputation with exceptional live appearances. Here Hendrix drew on black culture and his own heritage to produce a startling visual and aural bombardment.

Framed by a halo of long, wiry hair, his slight figure was clad in a bright, rainbow-mocking costume. Although never a demonstrative vocalist, his delivery was curiously effective. Hendrix's playing technique, meanwhile, though still drawing its roots from the blues, encompassed an emotional range far greater than any contemporary guitarist.

Rapier-like runs vied with measured solos, matching energy with ingenuity, while a plethora of technical possibilities — distortion, feedback and even sheer volume — brought texture to his overall approach. This assault was enhanced by a flamboyant stage persona in which Hendrix used the guitar as a physical appendage. He played his instrument behind his back, between his legs or, in simulated sexual ecstasy, on the floor.

Such practices brought criticism from radical quarters, who claimed the artist had become an 'Uncle Tom', employing tricks to carry favour with a white audience — accusations which denied a similar showmanship from generations of black performers, from Charley Patton to T-Bone Walker. Redding's clean, uncluttered bass lines provided the backbone to Hendrix's improvisations, while Mitchell's drumming, as instinctive as his leader's guitar work, was a perfect foil.

Their concessions to the pop world now receding, the Experience completed an astonishing debut album

which ranged from the apocalyptic vision of "I Don't Live Today" to the blues of "Red House" and the funk of "Fire" and "Foxy Lady." Hendrix returned to America in June 1967 to appear, sensationally, at the Monterey Pop Festival.

During one number (Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone") he paused to inform the crowd that he was retuning his guitar, later in the same song admitting he had forgotten the words. Such unparalleled confidence only endeared him to the crowd. His performance was a musical and visual feast,

topped off by a sequence which saw him playing the guitar with his teeth, and then burning the instrument with lighter fuel. He was now fêted in his homeland, and following an ill-advised tour supporting the Monkees, the Experience enjoyed reverential audiences on the country's nascent concert circuit. AXIS: BOLD AS LOVE

revealed a new lyrical capability, notably in the title track and the jazz-influenced "Up From The Skies." "Little Wing," a delicate love song bathed in unhurried guitar splashes, offered a gentle perspective, closer to that of the artist's shy, offstage demeanour. Released in December 1967, the collection completed a triumphant year, artistically and commercially, but within months the fragile peace began to collapse.

In January 1968 the Experience embarked on a gruelling American tour encompassing 54 concerts in 47 days. Hendrix was now tiring of the wild man image which had brought initial attention, but he was perceived as diffident by spectators anticipating gimmickry. An impulsive artist, he was unable to disguise below-par performances, while his relationship with Redding grew increasingly fraught as the bassist rebelled against the set patterns he was expected to play. ELECTRIC LADYLAND,

the last official Experience album, was released in October. This extravagant double set was initially deemed ‘self-indulgent’, but is now recognized as a major work. It revealed the guitarist's desire to expand the increasingly limiting trio format, and contributions from members of Traffic (Chris Wood and Steve Winwood) and Jefferson Airplane (Jack Casady) embellished several selections. The collection featured a succession of virtuoso performances — "Gypsy Eyes," "Crosstown Traffic" — while the astonishing "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)," a posthumous number 1 single, showed how Hendrix had brought rhythm, purpose and mastery to the recently invented wah-wah pedal.

ELECTRIC LADYLAND included two UK hits, "The Burning Of The Midnight Lamp" and "All Along The Watchtower." The latter, an urgent restatement of the Bob Dylan song, was particularly impressive, and received the ultimate accolade when the composer adopted Hendrix's interpretation when performing it live on his 1974 tour. Despite such creativity, the guitarist's private and professional life was becoming problematic. He was arrested in Toronto for possessing heroin, but although the charges were later dismissed, the proceedings clouded much of 1969. Chas Chandler had meanwhile withdrawn from the managerial partnership and although Redding

sought solace with a concurrent group, Fat Mattress,

his differences with Hendrix were now irreconcilable. The Experience played its final concert on June 29, 1969; Jimi subsequently formed Gypsies Sons And Rainbows

with Mitchell, Billy Cox (bass), Larry Lee (rhythm guitar), Juma Sultan and Jerry Velez (both percussion). This short-lived unit closed the Woodstock Festival,

during which Hendrix performed his famed rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner." Perceived by some critics as a political statement, it came as the guitarist was being increasingly subjected to pressures from different causes. In October he formed an all-black group, Band Of Gypsies, with Cox

and drummer Buddy Miles,

intending to accentuate the African-American dimension in his music. The trio made its debut on 31 December 1969, but its potential was marred by Miles'

comparatively flat, pedestrian drumming and unimaginative compositions. Part of the set was issued as BAND OF GYPSIES,

but despite the inclusion of the exceptional "Machine Gun," this inconsistent album was only released to appease former manager Chaplin, who acquired the rights in part-settlement of a miserly early contract. The Band Of Gypsies broke up

after a mere three concerts and initially Hendrix confined his efforts to completing his Electric Ladyland recording studio. He then started work on another double set, the unreleased FIRST RAYS OF THE NEW RISING SUN,

and later resumed performing with Cox and Mitchell. His final concerts were largely frustrating,

as the aims of the artist and the expectations of his audience grew increasingly separate. His final UK appearance, at the Isle Of Wight festival,

encapsulated this dilemma, yet still drew an enthralling performance.

The guitarist returned to London following a short European tour. On 18 September 1970, his girlfriend, Monika Danneman, became alarmed when she was unable to rouse him from sleep. An ambulance was called, but Hendrix was pronounced dead on arrival at a nearby hospital.

The inquest recorded an open verdict, with death caused by suffocation due to inhalation of vomit. Eric Burdon claimed at the time to possess a suicide note, but this has never been confirmed. Two posthumous releases, CRY OF LOVE


mixed portions of the artist's final recordings with masters from earlier sources. These were fitting tributes, but many others were tawdry cash-ins, recorded in dubious circumstances, mispackaged, and mistitled.

This imbalance has been redressed of late with the release of fitting archive recordings, but the Hendrix legacy also rests in his prevailing influence on fellow musicians.

Many guitarists have imitated his technique; few have mastered it, while none at all have matched him as an inspirational player. In November 1993 a tribute album, STONE FREE: TRIBUTE TO JIMI HENDRIX

was released, containing a formidable list of performers including the Pretenders, Eric Clapton, Cure, Jeff Beck, Pat Metheny and Nigel Kennedy — small testament to the huge influence Hendrix has wielded and will continue to wield as rock's most inventive guitarist.