Written By Vince Mancini

It’s hard to remember now where it was I read that first article on Norwegian black metal back in the ’90s because since then I’ve read and watched everything I could find on the subject. It’s an irresistible story, lurid and somehow equal parts goofy and macabre. Some Norwegian kids got into satanic heavy metal, took it way too far, burnt down ancient churches, put an actual headless suicide corpse on an album cover, and eventually started killing each other. Ahh, the music business!

It’s that story, of Euronymous, the band Mayhem, the record store Hell, Varg Vikernes aka Count Grishnackh, Death, and the whole Norwegian black metal gang, that director Jonas Akerlund (Spun) and his co-writer Dennis Magnusson set out to tell in Lords Of Chaos (adapting from Michael Moynihan and Didrik Søderlind’s book, though they didn’t keep much beyond the title and information from some of the primary source interviews).

The film has apparently been in development for quite some time, and for good reason: the details of this story are unforgettable. It’s hard to hear any of it without wishing it was a movie. At some point in the early ’90s, there was a Norwegian black metal band called “Mayhem.” When its singer, Dead — who used to bury his stage clothes and dig them up before shows so that he could more authentically embody his stage name, and was known to huff a dead bird he kept in a bag — blew his head off with a shotgun one day, his guitarist, Euronymous, took pictures of Dead’s corpse and made it Mayhem’s next album cover. There were other, more lurid rumors as well — about Euronymous eating Dead’s brains, about him making necklaces out of the pieces of Dead’s skull. These were comfortable, middle-class Norwegian kids from stable families who did all this seemingly because they were just really bored. And that’s just the beginning of the story.

The obvious challenge for depicting this kind of material is tone. This story can either be incredibly serious or incredibly goofy — kids who had evil lurking within them all along, or kids who just got way too into a goofy subculture. Akerlund, with Rory Culkin narrating as Euronymous (that’s the Culkin from Waco, not the Culkin from Succession) smartly takes the “Glenn Danzig buying kitty litter” approach to this material.

You can be both disturbed and impressed by the principal characters’ commitment to evil, but that just makes it funnier to see them do the unavoidable normie stuff like buy kitty litter or eat pancakes with mom. One of the underpublicized aspects of this whole story is that most of the Norwegian black metal crew was living with, and largely bankrolled by, their parents, even as they burnt churches, threw raw pig’s heads to their audience (who as depicted in the movie, devoured them), and pledged allegiance to LORD SATAN. Jonas Akerlund, who was the original drummer in the Swedish proto-black metal band Bathory before he became a full-time filmmaker, probably has unique insight into these characters.

Emory Cohen plays the other major player in the story, Varg Vikernes, aka Count Grishnackh. Cohen, who was so perfect as a meathead guido in The Place Beyond The Pines and later as the young version of your grandpa in Brooklyn, is once again completely unrecognizable from previous roles, as the initially pathetic, eventually terrifying Varg Vikernes.

Lords of Chaos‘ take on Vikernes is a novel one, especially as Varg likes to present himself as something of an intellectual anti-Christian Nazi pagan these days. In Akerlund’s telling, Vikernes seems to embody Gore Vidal’s famous take on Teddy Roosevelt: “give a sissy a gun and he will kill everything in sight.”

Varg first arrives as “Christian,” and in mocking Christian’s Scorpions patch, Euronymous seems to create a monster. Akerlund depicts this interaction perfectly, with Culkin’s Euronymous walking up to Cohen’s pear-shaped Christian, poking his Scorpions patch and saying, simply, “Scorpions.” It’s so much worse that he doesn’t need to voice his criticisms to make Christian feel embarrassed for liking them. Christian knows at some level that they’re embarrassing, and making Christian come to this conclusion on his own cuts so much deeper. It’s beautifully done, and says so much about fan culture.

In metal, as in many subcultures, the worst thing one could be was a poseur. It’s a very male post-adolescent thing (and possibly a particularly whitemale post-adolescent thing) to claim a series of increasingly ridiculous affectations as your identity and then deem anyone else who does it inauthentic. Which is even more pronounced when the subculture in question is death metal. Is there any way to authentically worship death without actually blowing your head off like Dead? It’s the obvious, unspoken question hanging over them at all times, driving them to greater and greater extremes to try to prove something that can never be proven.

It’s the inherent contradiction of their ideology and the constant drive to one-up each other as the most authentic that drives the story forward. Just as in all the other versions of this story, it’s fascinating. Akerlund perhaps could’ve done more to contextualize the saga of Norwegian black metal, to get at exactly why we can’t stop talking about it even 20 years later, but he does an excellent job hitting a tone that suits the material. He also doesn’t follow the story all the way through to now either, when Varg has become a free man and apparently a boring YouTuber (which is somehow both disappointing and fitting).

Still, I was happy to devour everything I could find about the story before, and I still am. To not screw up a story we already know is a feat in itself.

Mayhem, Murder, And Satan: Norwegian Black Metal Finally Hits The Big Screen In ‘Lords Of Chaos’

Written By Tom Bryant Via Louder.com

Ten years ago, one intrepid writer spent the night at Marilyn Manson’s house and lived to tell the tale

It is hardly headline news that Marilyn Manson is a man who knows the value of making an impression. This is never more the case than when he meets the media. I’ve interviewed him in a pitch black hotel room. He sat in the gloom, hunched up on a chaise-longue, wearing brown tinted aviator sunglasses just light enough for him to see me, but dark enough for his eyes to remain invisible. He sipped a tall glass of absinthe – it was lunchtime…

I’ve also interviewed him in a stark white hotel room, in which he sat with an anglepoise lamp behind him which was directed in my eyes. He was a shadow and I was blinded, his voice emerged as a low, long croak from a halo of light while he remained a black centre at its heart. It was a pretty good metaphor. But the best place to interview him is at his house, and it comes with the biggest dose of showmanship yet.

The process starts with a long build-up throughout the day. It features several phone calls to tell you the interview is off. Then several more to tell you that it is back on. It comes with conditions as to what you can and can’t do. Then messages telling you to forget about the conditions. It’s a lot of fun.

This is worth recalling this because, though after all this time, he still knows how to sell himself.

I was in Los Angeles in 2009 when Manson – as absolutely everybody calls him – invited me to his house to talk about his seventh album The High End Of Low. It is one of the most human, vulnerable albums he has ever released and concerned his then recent split with the Hollywood actress Evan Rachel Wood (pictured above, with Manson), It is also little uneven.

It was the first album he had made with his former collaborator and partner in crime Twiggy Ramirez – and the pair’s reconciliation after Twiggy’s 2002 departure from the Manson fold had led to a certain amount of debauchery behind the scenes. Manson was bitter, depressed and lonely after his break-up with Wood, but also back in harness with his buddy. He seemed determined to block out the pain with a party and the subsequent album bounced correspondingly from feelings of “Fuck her, I’m alright on my own and with my buddies” to an infernal brooding.

I had flown to Los Angeles with the much-missed photographer Ashley Maile and we were due to spend an afternoon Chez Manson. Ashley would shoot him, then I’d interview him. Then Ashley and I would go back to the hotel and get pissed.

We got a phone call shortly before we were due to set off that afternoon – Manson is “nocturnal”, we were told. He doesn’t do interviews or shoots in the day.

Then we got another call. “The journalist cannot be present during the photo shoot”. Apparently, a journalist had stitched the singer up once by writing about what he does during a shoot – he likes to station an assistant with a full-length mirror behind the photographer so he can examine the poses he is pulling, which seems reasonable – and his vanity would not accept another dig about his vanity. Fine.

Then came another call. “Manson will direct and light the shoot himself. Tell the photographer just to bring his camera”. Less fine but a compromise was struck. First they’d do the shoot Manson’s way, then they’d do it Ashley’s way and decide what worked best. It was scheduled for 8pm. Then 9pm. Then 10pm. It finally happened at 1am and went like a dream. By 2am, with jetlag pounding, it was my turn.

Manson lived in a rented house then. It was up in the hills, up behind the Hollywood Bowl and deeper into the night. You turned off main roads onto tiny ones; then you turned off the tiny roads onto something like a steep track. It was in Los Angeles, near Hollywood but felt like a dark, country lane. A coyote or mountain lion, or something, howled. Honestly.

I walked up Manson’s garden path – even at the time, the notion of Marilyn Manson having a garden path felt ridiculous – and past the abandoned toilet that rested outside his front door, as if tossed there from a high window. It was hard to get an idea what his house was like in the dark. It seemed foreboding but was, in actual fact, a bungalow. But a big one.

His doors were vast wooden things, a haunted house of horror knocker visible in the darkness. Of course. They were opened by an assistant and, such was the artifice and act at this stage, such was the grand piece of drama that Manson must have known he had constructed for his unwitting interviewer – the dark night, long car ride, the isolation – that I wouldn’t have been surprised if the assistant’s name had turned out to be Igor. “I’m Steven,” he said. Which was disappointing.

Inside, it was dark. From the stereo, came the sound of the album – The High End Of Low – being played at a volume quiet enough to talk over, but loud enough that it could not be ignored. “Do you mind if I leave it on?” came a voice from the candlelit gloom. “Otherwise I can hear the rest of the voices in my head.”

The God Of Fuck himself was dressed in black leather trousers, black t-shirt, black-hooded top, black step-heeled boots and an initially wary mood. He was draped over a sofa in a sunken portion of a large sitting room. There appeared to be fur rugs draped everywhere, though it was hard to see in the gloom.

Hanging on the wall by the door was a prosthetic leg. Above that, on the opposite wall, sat the mounted heads of two baboons, serving as gatekeepers to the living room. In one corner were two antique wheelchairs, their various straps, levers and restraints more ominous when picked out by the flickering candles that made a half-hearted effort to illuminate the place.

Along one passageway was the kitchen and from it came a steady supply of absinthe courtesy of Steven. Along another passageway was Manson’s bedroom – a room that could have doubled as the lair of a serial killer, as I later discovered.

But what was really striking about the house was the mess. I didn’t take any snaps, but believe me, it was a disgrace. A fucking tip. A diabolical chaos of books, wires, CDs, stereo equipment, wires, films, unlit lights and god knows what else. It wasn’t dirty, necessarily, and the only smell was an all pervading reek of the aniseed in the absinthe. But it was a state.

“Is it worse than you expected?” he asked. “Or just confusing? I’m aware of what people might think of the place.”

Of course he was. That’s why it looked like it did. That’s why he invited a journalist up here in the middle of the night. Why else would he allow some snooping writer into his home if not to create an impression? This was the first interview he had done for The High End Of Low and he was using it as a scene-setter for every other journalist to ask him about later down the line. It was an act.

Or was it? I could never really tell. There was every reason to believe that this was actually how he lived too. The place did not look staged, it did not look like it had been artfully arranged to look a mess. It was impossible to tell whether Manson was having me on, or whether he really lived in this nocturnal gloom, a latter Byron-esque character alone in his mess and mayhem, brooding about a lost love, clinging to his absinthe, plotting the next time he and his buddy could hit the town and fuck girls.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Manson talked a lot that night about fucking girls. He seemed in a particularly randy stage of his life. He was 40 then, but he talked about hitting the town with Twiggy. “We’re probably more ridiculous and reckless than we were the last time we were together. Not in a more mature way,” he said.

He was telling me this just as his cat jumped up onto my lap. Manson had slowly warmed to me: what began as wariness had become increasing openness an hour or so into the interview. But when his cat jumped on my lap, he was irritated and oddly jealous.

“She’s the one girl in my life. Although she’s kind of cheating on me now,” he said pushing her off me. “I’ve always talked to Lily as a person. She’s kind of pissed off [today]. I think she’s mad because I’ve ignored her for the last couple of days in the pursuit of other women.”

We chatted on, talking about the album about his relationship with Twiggy – “we’ve now had our non-gay but almost gay boyfriend/girlfriend reunion” – and then about his split with Wood. I asked what it was like being in a relationship with Manson.

“Oh, I’m a fucking handful,” he replied, then said later: “It’s such a big undertaking for me to be me so I understand it’s hard for someone else to be around me. Perhaps the biggest problem in my life, is that everyone assumes I’m so used to being told ‘You’re great’ that a lot of time people go out of their way not to. That can be damaging to your self-esteem.”

He talked about how, towards the end of his relationship with Wood that he became worried that he was losing his identity, that he was no longer an outsider. That fear of losing his identity, he suggested, may have been at the heart of the breakdown of his relationship.

You don’t make it easy on yourself, do you, I said.

“No!” he laughed. “No, I don’t at all. It’s always complicated.”

It was an extraordinarily candid conversation for a world famous rock star to be having with a journalist he barely knew. Increasingly, as we talked in his dark and creepy house, he emerged not as the icon of iconography his act suggested, nor the grand Antichrist Superstar, but someone very human, very humble and strangely insecure.

And then he took me in his bedroom.

Photo Credit: Gary Miller/Film Magic

Marilyn Manson’s bedroom back then was the single most diabolical room I have been into. This was the epicentre of the Manson mess, the ground zero of the anarchy of books, electrical chords, records, pictures, clothes, plastic bags, lamps, fans and who-the-fuck-knows-what-else that cloaked the carpet in chaos.

His bed appeared to be a mattress on the floor and next to it was a small lamp with a pair of remarkably obviously well-worn women’s knickers. Manson, now warm and friendly, pointed to them with a gleeful snicker.

“This room’s a pigsty, Manson,” I told him and he laughed.

“I know, I know,” he replied. “It looks like a serial killer lives here.”

He was right. Hanging from another doorway was a large plastic sheet; the sort in which you might bury a corpse.

“Yes, it is very conspicuously something you wrap bodies in,” he agreed. “When I bring people back here I have to say, ‘Honestly, I’m not going to bury you in the back yard.”

But, he said, oddly not many people have commented on the state of the place. I asked if he’d ever brought girls back here who, once they’d seen his bedroom, made their excuses and left.

“That’s kind of the history of my relationships!” he said with another gleeful chuckle. “No, surprisingly it’s oddly common when I meet someone for them to completely ignore all this. I say, ‘I swear I’m not going to kill you’ and they go, ‘No, no, that’s fine’! Maybe I’m a damage magnet? I attract damaged girls because I’m a damaged person. Those are my people. That’s the gig.”

The plastic sheeting was not the only thing that might worry a potential Manson conquest. Scrawled in a madman’s hand across all of the white walls were the singer’s deepest, darkest thoughts in black letters, sometimes a foot high.

There were lyrics, ideas, abuse, drawings, scribbles and, in one case, a direction to his poor assistant to put his books on the wall. There were no shelves. There was a human jawbone, a doll and a gap in which the word ‘vacancy’ was written after, in a rage, Manson had knocked a prized frame containing a Death’s Head Hawkmoth from the wall.

“The first thing I wrote was ‘Now I really ♥ [heart] you’,” he explained, in reference to his former girlfriend Wood. “That was on a day where I thought things were good. Then, suddenly, things went bad. So I tried to correct it to ‘Now I really have to kill you’.”

Beneath that was an A3 scrap of paper on which 14 empty cocaine bags were taped.

“That’s my modern art piece, entitled Week One,” he sniggered. “That was the first week of making the record. Either we had really poor cocaine or we did a lot.”

Then he pointed to some lyrics written at the very top of the wall. “I don’t know how I got up there,” he said. “I don’t really remember.”

Seeing the mess was like being let inside his mind. And while it continued to strike me that all of this could have been staged for my benefit, there was something that rang true about it all. For one thing, he was allowing me to be incredibly nosy. I poked around his past relationships, I asked deeply personal questions, and he continued to give deeply personal answers.

“When I meet people now, especially girls, I like to compare myself to a vintage car,” he told me. “It looks really cool to drive, it’s really interesting, but it will break down a lot. I take a lot of maintenance.”

And it was that that made it all seem genuine. If it was all an act, why reveal so much? “I’m a very open about myself,” he told me before saying that the proof was the fact he had let me in his inner sanctum, his bedroom. “Because you’re sort of the enemy as a journalist.”

We talked for hours, drifting away from the album, from him and his life. We talked about Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol and Barack Obama (all three of whom he liked) and we could have gone on for hours. It was dawn by the time my energy levels had flagged to the extent that I nearly nodded off on Manson’s bed. And god knows I didn’t want to fall asleep there. I had seen the used condoms he had collected under his pillow.

He walked me to the front door, his arm around my shoulder as the sun came up across Los Angeles. And as the light crept in on the place, suddenly Manson’s house didn’t seem quite so strange after all. Despite the mess, the scrawlings on the wall and the baboons’ heads by the door, it all felt quite cosy. He too, had changed. He had gone from being the iconic star to someone who had just wanted a friend for a night – that evening it happened to be me. Who knows who it would be the following night.

Boots, bedsheets and baboon heads: My Night With Marilyn Manson

Written By Hannah Shaw-Williams Via SCREENRANT

Actor and musician Johnny Flynn is set to play David Bowe in Stardust, a biopic directed by  Gabriel Range (I Am Slave) that will also feature Marc Maron (GLOW) and Jena Malone (The Hunger Games). Bowie passed away a little over two years ago at the age of 69, following a battle with cancer.

We first learned that a biopic about Bowie was in the works late in 2018 when Bowie’s son, director Duncan Jones, said that he had been told to take a meeting about the biopic. Jones invited his followers to vote for who should play the role of young Bowie, with options like Gilbert Gottfried and Meryl Streep, explaining that he wanted to give the movie’s producers an answer that was his way of “telling them to shove it where the sun don’t shine.”

Though Jones seemed less than enthused about the biopic, it’s still moving ahead – with neither Gilbert Gottfried nor Meryl Streep in the lead role. Deadline reports that Stardust will be set in 1971 and focus on Bowie’s first visit to America and his subsequent invention of the alternate persona Ziggy Stardust. Maron will play Bowie’s record company publicist, and Malone will play Bowie’s first wife, Angie. The film’s script was written by Christopher Bell (The Last Czars), and filming is slated to begin in June 2019. Film Constellation is handling world sales.

Described in a recent Evening Standard profile as “the UK’s most in-demand actor,” the 35 year-old Flynn’s acting career has so far included a mix of theater and screen work. He played the lead role in psychological thriller Beast, starred in the Netflix comedy series Lovesick, and is currently appearing in a production of Sam Shepherd play True West on London’s West End. He’s also the lead singer of the English folk rock band Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit, so he has the kind of musical background required for the role of Bowie.

Stardust is expected to feature a range of music from the era in which it’s set, “including a small number of Bowie performances,” meaning that Flynn will face a serious challenge in playing one of the most unique and talented musical performers of all time. The pressure to deliver a worthy biopic is naturally going to be high, especially in light of the fact that Bowie’s death is still pretty fresh. Casting will continue over the next few months, so we’ll bring you more details about Stardust as they become available.

Stardust Biopic Casts Johnny Flynn as Young David Bowie

Die New Yorker Death Metal Pioniere SUFFOCATION und das diabolische Death/Black Kommando BELPHEGOR haben sich für eine Co-Headline-Tour zusammengeschlossen, die im April 2019 über Europa hereinbrechen wird. Als Special Guest hat die Combo die Niederländer von GOD DETHRONED dabei und die Support Acts NORDJEVEL und DARKRISE. Die Tour startet am 4. April in Ludwigsburg und weitere Daten/Städte werden in Kürze bekannt gegeben.
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Europe Under Black Death Metal Fire Tour
04.04.              D         Ludwigsburg – Rockfabrik
05.04.              D         Essen – Turock
06.04.              DK       Aarhus – Royale Metalfest *
07.04.              D         Hamburg – Kulturpalast
09.04.              D         Osnabrück – Bastard Club
10.04.              NL        Rotterdam – Baroeg
11.04.              NL        Alkmaar – Victorie
13.04.              NL        Enschede – Metropool
15.04.              UK       London – The Underworld Camden
16.04.              LUX      Esch-Sur-Alzette – Kulturfabrik ***
17.04.              CH       Genf – L’Usine
18.04.              CH       Luzern – Schüür
19.04.              D         Mannheim – MS Connexion
20.04.              D         Zwickau – Seilerstrasse
21.04.              CZ        Brno – Melodka
23.04.              RO       Bucharest – Quantic Club
24.04.              RO       Cluj Napoca – Form Space
25.04.              CZ        Ostrava – Barrack Club
26.04.              HU       Budapest – Dürer Kert **
28.04.              AT       Graz – Xplosiv
30.04.              IT         Ciampino (Rm) – Orion Club
01.05.              IT         Paderno Dugnano (Mi) – Slaughter Club
* – ohne BELPHEGOR
** – ohne GOD DETHRONED 
*** – ohne NORDJEVEL
Für weitere Infos zu beiden Bands besucht ihre Websites:
www.suffocationofficial.com | www.facebook.com/suffocation
www.belphegor.at | www.facebook.com/belphegor

BELPHEGOR & SUFFOCATION verkünden “Europe Under Black Death Metal Fire”-Tour

1956, Elvis Presley’s single, ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ was released by RCA Records, who had just purchased Presley’s contract from Sun Records for $35,000. The song sold 300,000 copies in its first week and would eventually sell over a million, becoming Elvis’ first Gold record. 

1962, The Beatles appeared at Aintree Institute in Aintree, Liverpool. The group had played here many times before but this was their last performance at the venue. Brian Epstein became infuriated when the promoter paid The Beatles’ fee (£15 pounds) with handfuls of loose change. Epstein took this as an insult to the group, and made sure that The Beatles never played for that promoter (Brian Kelly) again. 

1970, John Lennon wrote, recorded and mixed his new single ‘Instant Karma!’  all in one day. It ranks as one of the fastest-released songs in pop music history, recorded at London’s Abbey Road Studios and arriving in stores only ten days later. 

1971, David Bowie arrived in the US for the first time; he couldn’t play live because of work permit restrictions, but attracted publicity when he wore a dress at a promotion event.

1972, American gospel singer Mahalia Jackson died in Chicago of heart failure and diabetes complications aged 60. Known as the “Queen of Gospel Music” she recorded over 30 albums and became one of the most influential gospel singers in the world and was heralded internationally as a singer and civil rights activist. 

1973, ‘Superstition’ the lead single from  Stevie Wonder’s Talking Book album became his second No.1 single in the US, 10 years after his first No.1 hit. Jeff Beck created the original drum beat while in the studio with Wonder. After writing the song, Wonder offered it to Beck to record, but at the insistence of Berry Gordy, Wonder himself recorded it first. Beck was instead offered ‘Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers’, which he recorded on his Blow by Blow album in 1975. 

1977, The Clash signed to CBS Records in the UK for £100,000. 

1979, Ian Dury And The Blockheads were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick’, their only UK chart topper. 

1984, Madonna made her first appearance in the UK when she appeared on C4 TV music program The Tube performing ‘Holiday’. The show was broadcast live from the Hacienda Club in Manchester.

1990, Kylie Minogue had her third UK No.1 single with ‘Tears On My Pillow’, the song was originally a US hit for Little Anthony and The Imperials in 1958.

1996, Babylon Zoo started a five-week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Spaceman’, the fastest selling single by a debut artist in the UK, (420,000 copies in 6 days). The song was used for a Levi Jeans TV commercial. The single also went to Number 1 in twenty-three other countries. 

1998, James Brown was charged with possession of marijuana and unlawful use of a firearm after police were called to his South Carolina home. Brown later clamed the drugs were used to help his ‘eyesight.’

2004, R&B singer Faith Evans and her husband were charged with possession of cocaine and marijuana after being arrested in Atlanta, Georgia. Police pulled them over for a suspected licence plate offence. 

2006, American singer, songwriter, and record producer Gene McFadden, best known as half of the Philly soul team McFadden & Whitehead, died of cancer at the age of 56. The duo who were discovered by Otis Redding, who acted as their manager had the 1979 hit ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now’, which sold more than 8 million copies and was nominated for a Grammy Award. 

2009, Road Chef, the Watford Gap UK Motorway services operator, paid £1,000 at an auction for a collection of celebrity signatures, which were collected by former employee, Beatrice England. The book included signatures of Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones,  The Eagles and Dusty Springfield. The Blue Boar services as it was once known received so many famous guests in its 50-year history that Jimi Hendrix mistook it for a London nightclub as it was mentioned so often by his contemporaries. 

2014, American folk singer and activist Pete Seegar died at the age of 94. He had a string of hit records during the early 1950s as a member of the Weavers, most notably their recording of Lead Belly’s ‘Goodnight, Irene’, which topped the charts for 13 weeks in 1950. Members of the Weavers were blacklisted during the McCarthy Era. In the 1960s, he re-emerged on the public scene as a prominent singer of protest music in support of international disarmament, civil rights, counterculture and environmental causes.

2015, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne were given a song writing credit on Sam Smith’s hit ‘Stay With Me’, because of the similarities to his 1989 track ‘I Won’t Back Down’. ‘Stay With Me’ had been nominated for three Grammys, including song of the year – which honours the writers of the track. Petty’s publisher had contacted Smiths publisher who made an out of court settlement.

Born On This Day

1918, Born on this day, Elmore James, US blues guitarist, singer, known as the King of the Slide Guitar. James wrote ‘Shake Your Money Maker’, which was covered by Fleetwood Mac in 1968. Influenced Jimi Hendrix, B.B. King and Keith Richards. James died 24th May 1963. 

1919, Born on this day, David Seville, The Chipmunks who had the 1958 US No.1 single ‘The Chipmunk Song’, and the 1959 UK No.11 single ‘Ragtime Cowboy Joe’. Seville died on 16th January 1972. 

1930, Born on this day, Bobby Bland, R&B singer,who had the 1963 US R&B No.1 single ‘That’s The Way Love Is’. Bland was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1981, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997. He died on 23rd June 2013 at his home in Memphis. 

1944, Born on this day, Nick Mason: drums, percussion and tape effects, Pink Floyd. Nick is the only member of the band to play on every album since the band’s formation in 1965. He studied architecture at London’s Regent Street Polytechnic, where he teamed up with fellow students Roger Waters, Rado ‘Bob’ Klose and Richard Wright in 1964 to form Pink Floyd’s predecessor, Sigma 6. Mason is a keen auto racing enthusiast and has taken part in many racing events such as the French 24 Heures du Mans race in Le Mans.

1944, Born on this day, Kevin Coyne, singer, songwriter, film-maker, and a writer of lyrics, stories and poems. In the mid-1970s, prior to the formation of The Police, Coyne’s band included guitarist Andy Summers. Coyne died on 2nd December 2004.

1946, Born on this day, Nedra Talley American singer with the all girl group The Ronettes who had five US chart toppers including ‘Be My Baby’, ‘Baby, I Love You’, ‘(The Best Part Of) Breakin’ Up’, and ‘Walking in the Rain.’

1948, Born on this day, Kim Gardner from English group Ashton Gardner & Dyke who had the 1971 UK No.3 single ‘The Resurrection Shuffle’. Gardner died on 24/10/01,

1951, Born on this day, Brian Downey, Irish drummer and founding member of Thin Lizzy, who had the 1973 UK No.6 single ‘Whisky In The Jar’ and hits with ‘Jailbreak’ and ‘The Boys Are Back in Town’.

1951, Born on this day, Seth Justman, keyboards, vocals with American rock band The J Geils Band, who had the 1982 US No.1 & UK No.3 single ‘Centerfold’ which was taken from their US No.1 1981 album Freeze Frame. 

1957, Born on this day, Janick Robert Gers English guitarist with English heavy metal band Iron Maiden, who had the 1982 UK No.1 album The Number Of The Beast, and the 1991 UK No.1 single ‘Bring Your Daughter …To The Slaughter’. Iron Maiden have sold over 100 million copies of their albums worldwide.

1961, Born on this day, Gillian Gilbert, keyboards with The Inadequates, and New Order who had the 1983 UK No.9 single ‘Blue Monday’, Also a member of The Other Two who had the 1991 UK hit single ‘Tasty Fish’.

1961, Born on this day, Martin Deguille, singer with British group Sigue Sigue Sputnik who had the 1986 UK No.3 single ‘Love Missile F1-11’. 

1961, Born on this day, Margo Timmins singer with Canadian alternative country/blues/folk rock band, Cowboy Junkies. 

1964, Born on this day, Migi Drummond from English pop group Curiosity Killed The Cat who had the 1989 UK No.14 single ‘Name And Number’ and the UK No.1 album Keep Your Distance. 

1968, Born on this day, Adrian Thawes, (Tricky), musician and actor who had the 1996 UK No.10 single ‘Milk’. His 1995 debut album Maxinquaye was nominated for the Mercury Prize and voted Album of the Year by NME Magazine. 

1968, Born on this day, Mike Patton, singer and multi-instrumentalist with American rock band Faith No More, who had the 1993 UK No.3 and US No.4 single ‘I’m Easy’. They had the best-selling albums The Real Thing (1989) and Angel Dust (1992).

1972, Born on this day, Mark Owen singer with Take That who had the 1995 UK No.1 single ‘Back For Good’. The group’s 1993 UK No.1 album ‘Everything Changes spent 78 weeks on the UK chart. Had the solo 1996 UK No.3 single ‘Child’. Was the winner of UK TV show Celebrity Big Brother in 2002. Re-formed Take That without Robbie Williams in 2006 for a sold-out European tour. Topped the UK singles and album charts simultaneously for the first time in their career when the single ‘Patience’ and album ‘Beautiful World’ both reached No.1 in Dec 2006.

This Day in Music January 27

1961, Elvis Presley  was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Are You Lonesome Tonight’. The singers sixth UK No.1. The song which was written by Roy Turk and Lou Handman in 1926 first became a hit in 1950 when the Blue Barron Orchestra version reached the top twenty on Billboard’s Pop chart. Elvis recorded the song at the suggestion of his manager Colonel Tom Parker as it was Parker’s wife, Marie Mott’s, favorite song. 

1963, The Beatles played two gigs, the first was at the El Rio Club/Dance Hall in Macclesfield, Cheshire, supported by Wayne Fontana and the Jets. Then The Beatles drove 20 miles to their next gig at King’s Hall, Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire. 

1965, During a Rolling Stones tour of Australia and New Zealand, guitarist Keith Richards had his shirt torn off after 50 fans invaded the stage during the gig at The Town Hall in Brisbane. 

1965, ‘Downtown’ by Petula Clark was at No. 1 on the US singles chart. A young Jimmy Page had played as a session guitarist on the track, giving him his first US No.1 hit, (and a No. 2 hit in the UK). 

1968, Pink Floyd played their first gig without Syd Barrett at Southampton University. They were supported by Tyrannosaurus Rex, (later to be renamed T Rex) featuring Marc Bolan and percussionist Steve Peregrine Took.

1973, Sweet were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Blockbuster’. The glam rockers only UK No.1 of 15 Top 40 hits.

1974, Ringo Starr went to No.1 on the US singles chart with his version of the Johnny Burnette 1960 hit ‘Your Sixteen’, a No.3 hit in the UK. 

1975, The BBC ‘Omnibus’ documentary ‘Cracked Actor’ a film about David Bowie was shown on UK TV. Filmed in 1974 when Bowie was was a cocaine addict, the documentary has become notorious for showing Bowie’s fragile mental state during this period.

1977, Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green was committed to a mental hospital following an incident when he threatened his accountant Clifford Adams with an air rifle when he was trying to deliver a £30,000 ($51,000) royalty cheque to him. 

1980, Prince made his TV debut on the US show American Bandstand. When interviewed after his performance the singer froze and struggled to reply to the questions he was being asked. 

1986, Allen Collins, guitarist from Lynyrd Skynyrd crashed his car, paralysing him from the waist down and killing his girlfriend Debra Jean Watts. Collins had survived a plane crash in 1977 that killed two other band members.

1989, American soul singer Donnie Elbert died of a stroke aged 52. In 1955 he formed a doo-wop group, the Vibraharps making his recording debut on their single ‘Walk Beside Me’ but it wasn’t until the Seventies when he had major success with the solo hit 1972 US No. 22 & UK No.11 single ‘I Can’t Help Myself’, Sugar Pie Honey Bunch’, as well as the hits ‘Where Did Our Love Go?’ and ‘A Little Piece of Leather’. 

1991, Queen had their second UK No.1 with ‘Innuendo’. At 6 minutes 30 seconds, it exceeded their epic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’  by 35 seconds and became the third longest UK No.1 song of all time, behind The Beatles ‘Hey Jude’ and Simple Minds’ ‘Belfast Child’ (subsequently the 9 minutes 38 seconds ‘All Around The World’ by Oasis took over the top slot and demoted Innuendo to fourth place). For ‘Innuendo’s’ flamenco guitar solo, Brian May was joined by Yes guitarist Steve Howe. 

2003, Billy Joel was airlifted to hospital after his car smashed into a tree. The singer lost control of his Mercedes S500 and skidded for 100 yards before crashing. The accident happened in The Hamptons, New York. 

2004, John Lydon was one of ten contestants to take part in the latest I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here UK TV show set in the Australian outback. The former Sex Pistols singer was seen by 11 million viewers on the first night covered in bird seed being pecked by giant ostriches. Lydon who was paid £25,000 ($42,500) to appear in the show, but walked off the jungle set after four days.

2007, The Rolling Stones topped the US music rich list for the second year running after making $150.6m (£76.2m) in 2006. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill were second in the poll with a combined fortune of $132m (£67.2m) and American country band Rascal Flatts appeared third, having earnt $110.5m (£56.2m) in the past year. 

2008, Alicia Keys was at No.1 on the US album chart with her third album ‘As I Am’. The album sold over 742,000 copies in its first week the largest ever first week sales for any female R&B artist. 

2011, American singer Gladys Horton died aged 66. She was the founder and lead singer of the Motown all-female vocal group The Marvelettes who had the hits ‘Please Mr. Postman’, (when Horton was reportedly just fifteen years old). Horton would later sing lead on Marvelettes’ classics such as ‘Playboy’, ‘Beechwood 4-5789’ and ‘Too Many Fish in the Sea’. 

2016, English singer-songwriter Colin Vearncombe, who with Black had the 1987 UK No.8 single ‘Wonderful Life’, died at the age of 53. Vearncombe was involved in a road traffic accident, on Jan 10th 2016 near Cork Airport in Ireland, and placed in a medically-induced coma after sustaining serious head injuries. He died from his injuries at the intensive care unit of Cork University Hospital at the age of 53. Black sold over two million records worldwide with Comedy (1988) and Black (1991).

Born On This Day

1934, Born on this day, Huey ‘Piano’ Smith, US R&B pianist who had the 1958 US No.9 single ‘Don’t You Just Know It’. Smith also played played on Frankie Ford’s hit ‘Sea Cruise’.

1945, Born on this day, Ashley Hutchings, bassist with UK folk group Fairport Convention who had the 1969 UK No.21 single ‘Si Tu Dois Partir’. 

1948, Born on this day, Corky Laing, drummer with heavy rock group Mountain who had the 1971 album ‘Nantucket Sleighride’. Also worked with Jack Bruce. 

1949, Born on this day, Derek Holt, from British blues rock group Climax Blues Band, who had the 1977 US No.3 & 1976 UK No.10 single ‘Couldn’t Get It Right’.

1951, Born on this day, David Briggs, from Australian group, Little River Band who scored the 1978 US No.3 single ‘Reminiscing’ plus 12 other US Top 40 singles selling more than 30 million records. 

1953, Born on this day, Lucinda Williams, rock, folk, blues and country music singer and songwriter who wrote ‘Passionate Kisses’ the Grammy winning song made famous by the 1993 single version by Mary Chapin Carpenter.

1957, Born on this day, Eddie Van Halen, Dutch guitarist with Van Halen who had the 1984 US No.1 & UK No. 7 single ‘Jump’. His guitar solo in the track ‘Eruption’ was voted No.2 on Guitar World magazine’s readers poll of the 100 Greatest Guitar Solos. Halen also played the guitar solo on Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat It’. 

1957, Born on this day, Norman Hassan, percussion with UB40 who had the 1983 UK No.1 & 1988 US No.1 single ‘Red Red Wine’ and over 30 other Top 40 hit singles. 

1958, Born on this day, Anita Baker, US soul singer who had the 1986 UK No.13 single ‘Sweet Love’ and the 1998 US No.1 album ‘Giving You The Best That I Got’.

1963, Born on this day, Andrew Ridgeley, singer and one half of Wham! with George Michael, who had the 1984 UK & US No.1 single ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go Go’ plus 10 other UK Top 20 hit singles. Ridgeley became a prominent environmentalist in the cause of British surfing beaches and riverways, working with the UK charity, Surfers Against Sewage. He lives with his girlfriend Keren Woodward of the pop group Bananarama. 

1963, Born on this day, Jazzie B, British DJ, music producer, and entrepreneur and founding member of British group Soul II Soul who had the 1989 UK No.1 single ‘Back To Life’. 

1964, Born on this day, Susannah Melvoin, American vocalist, songwriter. Worked with Prince, Roger Waters, Eric Clapton and Mike Oldfield. As a songwriter, has co-written songs performed by Madonna, Eric Clapton and Prince.

This Day in Music January 26

1953, Eddie Fisher was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Outside Is Heaven’. The American singer and entertainer divorced his first wife, Debbie Reynolds to marry his best friend’s widow, Elizabeth Taylor, which gave him too much unwelcome publicity at the time. Eddie is father of actress Carrie Fisher who died in 2016. 

1958, Elvis Presley  was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Jailhouse Rock’. It became the first ever single to enter the chart at No.1 and was Presley’s second UK No.1. It went on to sell over 4 million copies in the US.

1958, The Quarry Men performed at The Cavern Clubin Liverpool, (this was the bands only performance at the club). It was three years later when they appeared again at the Cavern but under their new name as The Beatles.

1962, Brian Epstein signed a management deal with The Beatles. Epstein was to receive 25 per cent of the bands gross earnings, the normal management deal was 10 per cent. 

1963, American lyricist Otto Harbach died aged 90 in New York City. He co-wrote, ‘Smoke Gets In Your Eyes’, US & UK No.1 for The Platters in 1958. 

1967, Pink Floyd spent the second of three days recording the Syd Barrett songs ‘Arnold Layne’ and ‘Candy And A Current Bun’ at Sound Techniques Studios, Chelsea, London. ‘Candy And A Current Bun’ was first known as ‘Let’s Roll Another One’ and contained the line ‘I’m high – Don’t try to spoil my fun’, but it was decided that Syd Barrett should rewrite it without the drug references.

1969, New Jersey state prosecutors issue a warning to US record dealers that they would be charged with distributing pornography if they were caught selling the John Lennon / Yoko Ono LP ‘Two Virgins’. The front cover of the album showed the pair frontally nude, while the back cover showed them from behind. The album still managed to reach No.124 on the US, but failed to chart at all in the UK, where only 5,000 copies were ever pressed.

1969, The Doors appeared at Madison Square Garden, New York City, They were paid over $50,000 for the gig making them one of the highest paid acts this year. 

1970, James Sheppard, the lead singer from the Heartbeats and Shep and the Limelites, was found murdered in his car on the Long Island Expressway. The US singer had been beaten and robbed. The Limelites reached No.2 in the US in 1961 with ‘Daddy’s Home’.

1970, Led Zeppelin appeared at Leeds University, Leeds, England. It was at this show when Zeppelin had a meeting with fine arts lecturer Zacron to discuss their ideas for the album sleeve of the band’s next album, Led Zeppelin III. Zacron, born Richard Drew, had studied at Kingston College of Art with members of the Yardbirds.

1976, Bob Dylan started a five week run at No.1 on the US chart with his 17th studio album Desire. The album features ‘Hurricane’, which protests the conviction of former middleweight boxer Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter for triple murder in 1966, arguing his innocence.

1977, The Buzzcocks appeared at the Roxy, in London, England, supported by Chelsea. Also appearing at the venue over the last week; The Damned, The Boys, The Adverts, Slaughter And The Dogs and Squeeze. 

1980, A billboard was erected on Sunset Strip, West Hollywood, California to promote Pink Floyd’s new album The Wall. A blank wall was pasted up and each day a brick was ‘removed’ to slowly reveal the inside spread and title of the album. 

1981, Adam And The Ants started a 10-week run at No.1 on the UK chart with their debut album ‘Kings Of The Wild Frontier’.

1992, Nirvana played their first ever show in Australia at the Phoenician Club in Sydney. Also on the bill, Tumbleweed and The Meanies. 

1995, American songwriter and record producer David Cole died from spinal meningitis brought on by AIDS aged 32. He was a member of C+C Music Factory who had the 1991 UK No.4 single ‘Things That Make You Go Hmmm…’, and the 1991 US No.1 single ‘Gonna Make You Sweat’. Cole also produced various hits for other artists including Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin. 

1998, Oasis went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘All Around The World’. The longest running-time for a UK No.1 with a total duration of 9 minutes 38 seconds. It was one of the first songs to be written by Noel Gallagher, with the band rehearsing it as early as 1992. 

1999, The Offspring went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Pretty Fly, For A White Guy’. Taken from their fifth studio album Americana the single was a No.1 hit in ten other countries. 

2005, Country singer Lynn Anderson was arrested for shoplifting after being caught stealing a Harry Potter DVD from a New Mexico supermarket and punching a police officer during her arrest. The 57 year-old had the 1970 Top 5 hit ‘Rose Garden’. 

2007, American record producer and composer Dave Shayman (also known as Disco D) was found dead after he hanged himself in his mother and stepfather’s basement. 26-year-old Shayman was famous for his production work on hip-hop records and was a rising star in the business. 

2008, Amy Winehouse  was admitted into rehab in a battle to kick her addiction to drugs. A statement from her record company, Universal said she entered the facility “after talks with her record label, management, family and doctors to continue her ongoing recovery against drug addiction.”

2016, David Bowie was at No.1 on both the UK & US album charts with his twenty-fifth and final studio album Blackstar, Bowie’s only album to top the Billboard 200 in the US. Bowie was the biggest-selling vinyl artist of 2016 in the UK, with five albums in the vinyl Top 30, including Blackstar as the No.1 selling vinyl album of the year.

2017, American drummer Butch Trucks from The Allman Brothers Band died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in West Palm Beach, Florida, at the age of 69. He played in various groups before forming the 31st of February while at Florida State University in the mid 1960s. He joined the Allman Brothers Band in 1969. Their 1971 live release, At Fillmore East, represented an artistic and commercial breakthrough.

Born on This Day

1933, Born on this day, Zeke Carey, singer with The Flamingos. They had the 1959 US No.11 single ‘I Only Have Eyes For You’ which was a 1975 UK No.1 hit for Art Garfunkel. Carey died on 24th December 1999.

1941, Born on this day, Aaron Neville, singer with The Neville Brothers who had the 1966 US No.2 single ‘Tell It Like It Is’, and the 1989 UK No.2 single with Linda Ronstadt ‘Don’t Know Much’). 

1941, Born on this day, Neil Diamond, singer, songwriter. Had the 1970 US No.1 & UK No.3 single ‘Cracklin’ Rose’ plus over 30 other US & 10 UK Top 40 singles. Wrote ‘I’m A Believer’, the No.1 for The Monkees. Many acts from Elvis Presley, Lulu and Deep Purple have all covered his songs. With his 2008 album ‘Home Before Dark’ Diamond became the oldest artist to have a US number one, the record was previously held by Bob Dylan in 2006 with ‘Modern Times’. 

1941, Born on this day, Ray Stevens, singer, songwriter who had the 1970 US No.1 & UK No.6 single ‘Everything Is Beautiful’ and scored the 1974 US & UK No.1 single ‘The Streak’. 

1947, Born on this day, American singer, songwriter Warren Zevon. During the early 1970s, Zevon toured regularly with the Everly Brothers as keyboard player, band leader, and musical coordinator. During his career recorded over 15 solo albums. He is best known for his 1978 single ‘Werewolves Of London’ taken from his third studio album Excitable Boy. Zevon died on September 7th 2003 aged 56.

1949, Born on this day, John Belushi, actor and singer who played Joliet ‘Jake’ Blues in The Blues Brothers who had the 1990 UK No.12 single ‘Everybody Needs Somebody To Love’. Belushi died of a drug overdose on 5th March 1982. 

1955, Born on this day, Jools Holland, English pianist, bandleader, singer, composer, who was a founding member of Squeeze who had the 1979 UK No.2 single ‘Up The Junction’. Became a TV presenter on the long running UK music show The Tube  and then the BBC music show Later… With Jools Holland. He also tours and releases records with the Jools Holland Big Band. 

1963, Born on this day, Keech Rainwater, drummer with American country group Lonestar who had the 2000 US No.1 & UK No.21 single ‘Amazed’. Lonestar has charted more than 20 singles on the Hot Country Songs chart, including 9 that reached No.1.

1974, Born on this day, Christopher River Hesse, drummer with Hoobastank who scored the 2004 US No.2 hit ‘The Reason’.

1975, Born on this day, Paul Marazzi, singer with A1 who had the 2000 UK No.1 single, ‘Same Old Brand New You’.

This Day in Music January 24