Vincenzo “Enzo” Bearzot  was an Italian association football player and manager .died he was , 83. He is best known for having led the Italian national football team to a triumph in the 1982 FIFA World Cup.
|(26 September 1927 – 21 December 2010)|
Born in Aiello del Friuli, in the friulian Province of Udine in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Bearzot had a moderately successful playing career as a centre back. He made his debut in professional football with Pro Gorizia in 1946, a team he left in 1948 to join Serie A giants Internazionale. After three seasons with the Nerazzurri, Bearzot moved to Sicily and joined Catania for three more seasons. This was then followed by a long period at Torino, where he played from 1954 to 1964, except for a short stint back at Internazionale in 1956–57. He retired in 1964, aged 37.
In his playing career, Bearzot totalled 251 appearances in Italy’s Serie A, being called up once to play for Italy, making his debut on 27 November 1955 in a 0–2 1955–56 Central European International Cup match defeat to Hungary.
After having ended his playing career, Bearzot became assistant coach of Torino, working alongside Italian managers Nereo Rocco and Giovan Battista Fabbri. He successively moved in Tuscany to take his first head coaching job in Tuscany at the helm of Serie C side Prato.
However, Bearzot did not go on a club career, and chose instead to start working for the Italian Football Federation: first as under-23 head coach, then as assistant coach of Ferruccio Valcareggi in the 1974 FIFA World Cup. After the German World Cup, Bearzot was appointed as assistant coach of Fulvio Bernardini, and was then promoted head coach of Italy in 1977. It was Bearzot who drove the national team to fourth place in the 1978 FIFA World Cup, obtained thanks to one of the most exciting playing styles in the competition. This performance was repeated in the 1980 European Championship, hosted by Italy.
In the 1982 FIFA World Cup, after poor performances in the three first matches, Bearzot announced the so-called silenzio stampa (press silence) in order to avoid the raising critics from the Italian press. Following that, the Italian team finally started to play its best football, defeating Argentina and Brazil in the second round, Poland in the semi-final and Germany in the Final, leading his team to the first World Cup since 1938.
Italy did not qualify for the Euro 1984. Bearzot resigned after the 1986 FIFA World Cup, which saw Italy being defeated in the round of 16 by France. Bearzot was criticised during the latter tournament for relying to heavily on players from the 1982 team, as some of them were past their best form by 1986.
After a long period of inactivity, Bearzot was appointed President of the FIGC Technical Sector (Settore Tecnico, the main football coaching organization of Italy) in 2002. He left this office in 2005.
Bearzot died on 21 December 2010 in Milan, aged 83.
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Gideon is an American Master Artist and Sculptor of the 20th and 21st centuries died he was , 86. His paintings and sculptures include some of the world’s most known subjects, including the famous Gideon Holocaust Collection.
Signed Gideon (early works were sometimes signed E. Gideon), his works cover nearly the entire spectrum of artistic creativity; Abstract, Impressionistic, Modernistic, Portraits, Landscapes, Seascapes, Sculptures and more.
Gideon has been described as an “artist who borders on being an elemental force”  whose own ambitions guided him in the development of revolutionary paints and sculpting compounds, technique and form and application that enabled him to create over 20,000 original works of art during his life.
(11 January 1924 – 21 December 2010)
Gideon’s Youth (1924–1942)
Gideon was born in 1924 in the small town of Overland Park, Kansas. As a child born into a poor mid-west family, growing up during The Great Depression and Dust Bowl made life very difficult. His family was struggling to survive and had little time or interest to assist their son with what they saw as a passing fancy rather than a talent that should be nurtured.
Even through these struggles, his interest in art persevered from an early age. As early as five years old, motivated by his own inner drive, he would fashion paint brushes from twigs, rags and pieces of cotton. He spent hours carving, with only a pocket knife, and painting figures with tiny rags on a stick.
One of these figures was from the long-running cartoon strip “Bringing Up Father” (a.k.a. Maggie & Jiggs). He entered his carving of Jiggs in a school art contest and won first prize—25 cents. With his winnings, Gideon was then able to go to the dime store and purchase two very small cans of paint at 10 cents each, the first real paints he had ever had.
At the age of 12 he created a remarkable portrait of his grandfather done in blue chalk he had picked up from the hardware store. Many of the items he made, including the 78 year old carving of Jiggs, are still in his possession today.
Gideon’s early teenage years were spent traveling from state to state with his father and uncle, both of whom were alcoholic drifters. Working whenever he could find someone who would hire a child, Gideon took on several jobs including working on a farm picking fruit and vegetables, working in a laundry, as a janitor for a church, in a donut shop glazing donuts, in an ice cream manufacturing plant and becoming an experience-trained house painter.
When he turned 15, Gideon traveled to Inglewood, CA. He joined a CCC Camp (Civilian Conservation Corps). These camps were designed to give people something to do and keep them off the streets during The Great Depression. However, it also attracted a lot of undesirables a few of whom, immediately, began harassing young Gideon. When he learned about their plan to shave his head and paint it green, he left.
Gideon went to stay with his aunt and uncle in Chicago. They lived in a two-story wooden house with two bedrooms and a bath upstairs. His aunt’s mother slept in one of the bedrooms and Gideon had to sleep on a cot at the foot of her bed. While in Chicago, he worked in a machine shop and began training as a welder. He eventually became a certified welder and iron worker for Chicago Bridge & Iron, a skill he would later come to use extensively in his sculptures.
While there, he entered the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts where he was enrolled in an evening nude figures charcoal class, the first class you were required to take. Just getting to the school was extremely difficult taking hours of walking in all types of weather. The age-old “When I was a kid, I had to walk miles, to and from school, in knee-deep snow and driving sleet” was a reality for Gideon. Within a few months, someone offered him a job and he left the Academy.
The War and Holocaust (1943-1946)
In 1943, even though as a welder he had received a military deferment, Gideon went to Kansas City, Missouri and enlisted in the Army. He remembers the train, with all of the new inductees, pulling into the station outside of Camp Blanding, Florida and being met by the 66th Division Band. Gideon was placed in Field Artillery. However, shortly after his arrival, he was 1 of 100 men chosen to undergo Army Ranger training simultaneously with basic training. Upon completion of training and intense testing, he was one of a few in his division who actually became an Army Ranger.
Corporal Gideon was sent to England with the 66th “Black Panther” Division where he awaited orders. His division was scheduled to be a part of the infamous Battle of the Bulge. While crossing the English Channel, their boats were torpedoed resulting in many casualties. Luckily, Gideon was uninjured although he witnessed countless ships in the division exploding and set ablaze. The division, severely under strength, was then rerouted to the front lines in Southern France where Gideon found himself manning a howitzer with the remnants of the 66th.
Of his experiences in Southern France, Gideon writes:
“After we crossed the English Channel, we all got in trucks, 10 to 13 to each vehicle. It was bitter cold. We headed to Southern France and went directly to the frontlines, but our convoy of trucks and men got lost on the country roads.
“The big guns were going off, trying to pin down our location. The whole sky would light up, like being in the middle of a great fireworks display. Nonetheless, it was very dangerous to get that close to the German lines.
“Only one of our boys could speak a little French, and we finally settled in the woods and made our stand. We built small huts out of anything we could find. Anywhere from two to five guys would sleep in them, but most of us lived in pup tents. We packed snow all around the tents to keep the cold air from blowing in. Every night the Germans would start shooting at us; thousands of tracer bullets streaming over our heads. I could almost reach up and touch them. The sky lit up like 4 July, only it wasn’t a party. They were firing at us, and it was very much for real.
“We killed a lot of Germans while we were there, and spent a lot of time firing above them so the shrapnel would rain down on them and their gun positions. It was bitterly cold but we couldn’t build fires at night for risk of giving up our position. I had icicles on my helmet and shoulders most of the time. Rain, sleet, snow, mud… we lived in it. Sometimes, we could build small fires in the daytime and dry out a little. Imagine crawling into a three foot high pup tent filled with frozen mud, it’s snowing outside and you’re trying to get some sleep. There was mud all over our boots—and we didn’t take them off, either.
“All we had for lunch was a peanut butter sandwich, but we sure had plenty of cigarettes. Each man was issued a carton a week, like it or not. For a toilet we would dig a trench in the frozen ground. No frills. Just cold.”
Even while engulfed in the war, Gideon continued his passion to draw and sketch, storing his sketches and meager drawing implements in a cardboard canister of the type used to pack howitzer shells.
Gideon was reassigned to the 42nd “Rainbow” Division in Salzburg, Austria. At this time, Austria was overwhelmed with homeless civilians, displaced persons liberated from the concentration camps and SS captives. The aftermath of war created a nightmarish logistical problem for the Allies. As an Army Ranger, Gideon was charged with the task of guarding some of the SS captives and tending to the displaced persons.
Gideon witnessed first hand things that have haunted both his dreams and his waking hours through all the intervening years. He watched the endless trails of lost human beings trundling along the roadsides in an attempt to find their way back home through the ashes and the rubble that were the legacy of World War II.
He had seen the fighting of war, perhaps the worst in history, and now he served as an eyewitness to its Genocide and the awful aftermath. Obsessed by the visions he experienced during the war, Gideon would go on to paint and sculpt some of the most harrowing and poignant images of post-Holocaust Europe ever produced.
Ironically, at that time, Gideon had never heard of the famous European artists Gauguin, Renoir or Van Gogh and had no idea of the historic implication the time spent in Europe during the war years would have on his future. This can be seen, today, in his Holocaust Collection. In certain circles he is known as the “Holocaust Man.”
Consisting of his sketches from the frontlines, more than 3 dozen original paintings and nearly a dozen sculptures (some life-size), Gideon’s Holocaust collection remains an artistic journal to this horrific time in human history.
Although this collection is still privately held by Gideon, images of the works can be viewed at www.gideonart.com/holocaust or in print or online in the award-winning book, The Holocaust Chronicle on pages 389, 426 and 599. Editor-in-Chief David Hogan wrote of Gideon’s Holocaust works: “The pieces are striking, and have considerable impact on the printed page. I’m very taken by Gideon’s work.”
After the War (1946 – present)
Commercial & Decorative Years
After the war, Gideon settled in Miami, Florida with “decorations for valor, memories of the kind of combat duty that scars you somewhere inside, and $300.”. Shortly after his arrival in Miami, he got married and had two children. With a family to raise, he became involved in commercial enterprises. He worked painting houses on Miami Beach, as well as painting blouses and other decorative items for sale locally. He briefly attended the Terry Art School in Miami with assistance from the GI Bill, but quickly dedicated most of his waking hours to making a living through his art.
Throughout the 1950s and 60’s, Gideon was contracted by many businesses to provide original works en masse. From an orange juice producer in Lakeland, Florida to large art prints and reproduction companies, to famous hotels, Gideon was in high demand and considered the “Top-Selling U.S. Artist”.
Although difficult to count in retrospect, it is probable that Gideon produced over 10,000 original works for such entities as the Fontainebleau Hotel (Miami Beach, Florida), Jamaica Inn (Jamaica), Aruba Hotel (Aruba), El Rancho Hotel (Port-au-Prince, Haiti), International Inns (Washington DC), Duck Key Hotel (Florida), Rooney Plaza (Miami), Dunes Motel (Miami), Americana Hotel (Miami Beach), Montmartre Hotel (Miami), Doral Beach Hotel (Miami), Key Biscayne Hotel (Miami), Sands Hotel (Las Vegas), Howard Johnson Hotel (Las Vegas), Voyager Hotel (Miami), Ocean Reef Hotel & Country Club (Miami), Kraft Foods, Burdines Department Store, Richards Department Store, Tip Freeman Pictures, and Turner Pictures.
For two years prior to Castro taking control, Gideon kept an apartment in Cuba where he worked during the week. He would fly home on weekends to be with his family as well as to load up necessary supplies for the return trip. While at home, he made his own paint and sculpting materials which he then used in Cuba.
At that time, there were only two major hotels in Cuba. The Hotel Nacional hired him to furnish approximately 1,000 original paintings. The Havana Hilton also hired him to create another 800 – 900 original paintings. During his stay in Cuba, Gideon painted, framed and hung these original pieces in both hotels. Gideon then went south of Cuba to the Isle of Pines, where he produced 7 or 8 bas relief sculptures which he, personally, hung on the walls in the auditorium of El Colony Hotel. To this day, Gideon is unaware of the fate of these works. More than likely, these pieces are lost forever.
Sculpting, in one form or another, has always been a part of Gideon’s life. In 1957, The Pub, an up-scale restaurant in Coral Gables, Florida, contracted with Gideon to sculpt three trees in the center of the dining room. The 30-inch (760 mm) trunks reached from the floor to a 12-foot (3.7 m) ceiling. The limbs from the three trees spanned approximately 30 feet (9.1 m) and came together where they were fastened to the ceiling. The sculpting material used to build these beautiful, realistic trees was and continues to be another creative facet of Gideon’s vast repertoire. As a final touch, rufus, long twigs with leaves and sharp ends, were then inserted into the ceiling. These sculpted trees gave the restaurant patrons the unique experience of dining “outside” while, actually, dining inside.
A huge success, Gideon was contracted to sculpt more trees for other famous landmarks including Jordan Marsh Department Store, the Constellation Hotel (in Toronto), and Maas Department Store.
These projects are all examples of Gideon’s ability to produce, unassisted, quantities of work en masse. It wasn’t uncommon for him to receive single orders for 500 or more original works. For nearly 25 years, this type of commercial decorative art work allowed Gideon to make ends meet and support his family.
Discovery & Innovation
In one respect, Gideon is no different than so many other artists struggling to survive—dealing with the tremendous expense of purchasing art supplies in order to satisfy the need to create. Gideon soon realized that a small $75 tube of paint would not go very far—and that was just one color! Another problem with the tubes of paint was the slow drying process and lack of pliability.
Early on, he began a life-long quest to develop a formula for manufacturing large quantities of paint that would not crack or turn yellow with time, and that was also quick drying and pliable.
As a child, his daughter Terry recalls, “that there were always pieces of cardboard covered with globs of paint laying around the house. He would mix color pigment, oil, etc. in five gallon buckets, stirring with a big stick. He did all of this with no knowledge of chemistry.”
Gideon could not afford a new drill to make the mixing process easier so he bought a used 3/4″ drill from a relative for $10. Over the years, when the drill would break he would weld it and keep going. He still has that drill! Without the years of experimentation and eventual development of his own paint, he would never have been able to produce the volume of work that exists today. Gideon firmly believes that the exorbitant cost of art supplies can stifle creativity in people who might, otherwise, pursue a life in art.
For nearly 60 years, almost all of Gideon’s original works were created from Gideon’s own paint recipes. Today, these formulas remain close to Gideon and are not available to the public.
While coming up with his paint formula Gideon was, simultaneously, working on various sculpting compounds that would not fall apart but, rather, would become very solid and hard. The result of this difficult endeavor is a vast collection of sculptures varying in size from small clay studies measuring several inches, to heavy compounds with steel welded frames standing more than seven feet tall and weighing several thousand pounds. The wide variety of beautiful finishes is indescribable.
Like his paints, Gideon’s sculpting formulas and compounds are not available to the public and remain valued secrets known only to Gideon.
Serious Work & Reclusion
With family life and the commercial art taking most of his time, Gideon still managed to learn, experiment and create what he calls his “serious work.”
Immediately after his return from the war, Gideon began painting and sculpting creative, serious art work. He did this both for his own study, as well as to sell individually to serious art collectors.
For decades, Gideon created hundreds of magnificent serious works of art, both painting and sculpture. His heavy, thick paint was often a staple signature of his unique works. As early as the 1950s, Gideon began painting his world-famous “old men” and harbor scenes. Coupled with heavy sculptured frames that Gideon made himself, these classics are highly sought by private collectors.
Early on, Gideon had dozens of “One Man Shows”  and had won many awards. Well-known at the time, Gideon did as any other up-and-coming artist does and made waves with these events and personal galleries locally and abroad.
However, in the early 1970s, nearing 50 years of age Gideon closed the door on public life in the arts. Tired of being worked to the edge with commercialism and decorative art, Gideon decided he had his share of art shows and dealers and sought to focus on his serious works.
During an interview by the Clearwater Sun in 1963, Gideon said “At first I painted things the public liked and could pay for… Now I do this sort of thing for myself.” 
For the next few decades, Gideon created thousands of serious sketches, paintings and sculptures. He operated his own private art gallery in Miami, Florida, selling some works to private collectors directly as he needed to survive. He never dealt with third-party galleries, auction houses or dealers again.
Over the years, Gideon has created one of the largest, most prolific collections of art work by one man. In modern day, this private collection consists of over 5,000 original works and is still housed and kept by Gideon. Although in recent years, Gideon has begun searching for another entity, such as a private collector or museum or “treasure hunter”, to acquire this collection and share it and his life story with society and generations to come.
The Later Years: Gideon in the 21st Century
Unfortunately, the poor environment Gideon has been forced to work in during the past 60 years has taken its toll on his health. The many chemicals and various epoxies involved in his work, have caused breathing problems. Since the 1990s, Gideon has suffered from COPD and diminished breathing capacity.
Thursday, April 12, 2001 was declared “Gideon Day” with an official Proclamation by the Miami-Dade County Office of the Mayor and Board of County Commissioners whereby Mayor Alex Penelas and Commissioner Javier Souto proclaimed “[We] call upon the good people of Miami-Dade County to join me in recognizing this extraordinary artist and citizen for all of his invaluable contributions to this community as well as the culture of South Florida.” 
In November 2002, Gideon left Miami after 56 years and moved to Thomasville, Georgia in an effort to get away from city life and rest peacefully. At 78 years of age, the relocation of his life’s work was a huge undertaking and one that he doesn’t want to repeat. Gideon’s private art works required nearly a dozen large moving trucks and countless trips and man hours.
In 2004, Gideon was diagnosed with a very rare and debilitating disease, Myasthenia Gravis. Plagued with double vision, lack of muscle control, difficulty eating and swallowing and breathing failure, Gideon has truly struggled to continue to paint and sculpt.
Gideon passed away just after 3:00am on Tuesday, December 21, 2010 from a lengthy illness.
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Marcia Lewis was an American character actress and singer died from cancer she was , 72.. She has been nominated twice for the Tony Award as Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Chicago and Grease) and twice for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical (Chicago and Rags).
|(August 8, 1938 – December 21, 2010)|
Lewis was born in Melrose, Massachusetts and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. She was a registered nurse at the The University of Cincinnati Hospital and Mount Sinai Hospital, New York and received her RN from the Jewish Hospital School of Nursing in Cincinnati in 1959.
Lewis made her Broadway debut in the original production of Hello, Dolly!, taking over the role of Ernestina. Additional theater credits include The Time of Your Life (1969), Annie, taking over the role of Miss Hannigan in April 1981, Rags (1986) (nominee, Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical), Roza (1987), Orpheus Descending with Vanessa Redgrave (1989), and the 1990 revival of Fiddler on the Roof as Golde. Lewis appeared in the 1994 revival of Grease as Miss Lynch, and was nominated for the Tony Award, Best Featured Actress in a Musical. She appeared as the Matron in the 1996 revival of Chicago. For her work, she received nominations for the Tony Award, Best Featured Actress in a Musical and Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical.Cite error:
She appeared at the Off-Broadway Theatre of the Zanies in An Impudent Wolf (1965), the Players Theatre in Who’s Who Baby? (1968), and Playwrights Horizons in Romance Language in 1984 and When She Danced in 1990.
Lewis toured in Cabaret as Fraulein Schneider and appeared in Chicago at the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, for three months. Her television credits include guest appearances on The Bob Newhart Show (1975), Baretta (1975), The Bionic Woman (1976), Happy Days (1977, 1979), the TV movie When She Was Bad (1979) and Kate and Allie (1988).
Cabaret and recording
As a singer, Lewis performed in most of the leading cabarets and supper clubs in Manhattan, including Rainbow & Stars, Upstairs at the Duplex, Upstairs at the Downstairs, Grande Finale, Reno Sweeney’s, Freddy’s Eighty-Eights, Town Hall, The Village Gate, and the Russian Tea Room. Lewis also appeared in concert at Carnegie Hall.
Lewis’ solo album Nowadays (1998), a collection of showtunes and standards recorded with the Mark Hummel Quartet, is available on the Original Cast Records label.
Lewis and Fred D. Bryan, a Nashville financial adviser, were married on June 24, 2001. Lewis died on December 21, 2010, at her home in Brentwood, Tennessee, of cancer, aged 72.[
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John Alldis  was an English chorus-master and conductor died he was , 81..
After his education at Felsted, Alldis studied as a choral scholar under Boris Ord at King’s College, Cambridge, from 1949 to 1952.
(10 August 1929 – 20 December 2010)
After leaving Cambridge University, Alldis quickly became highly regarded as a choral conductor. In 1966, the London Symphony Orchestra engaged him to form and direct its first standing choral group. However, he switched to the London Philharmonic Choir  in 1969, with which he remained until 1982, preparing choruses for many celebrated performances with Sir Adrian Boult, Otto Klemperer, Leopold Stokowski, Sir Colin Davis, Bernard Haitink, Georg Solti, Zubin Mehta and Daniel Barenboim.
In 1962, Alldis founded the professional, 16-member John Alldis Choir, which launched itself with the world premiere of Alexander Goehr‘s A Little Cantata of Proverbs and his name was identified with the choir thereafter. Contemporary music figured importantly in its repertory, with first performances of works by Malcolm Williamson, Richard Rodney Bennett and Harrison Birtwistle, many of which were captured on the Argo label. In 1967, he prepared the John Alldis Choir for the first European performance of Stravinsky‘s Requiem Canticles, conducted by Pierre Boulez. The choir’s 1972 recording of Justin Connolly‘s Verse, Op. 7b, was re-released in 2008 on the Lyrita label. The choir also participated in many opera recordings for Decca and RCA, featuring artists such as Luciano Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo, Janet Baker, Joan Sutherland and Kiri Te Kanawa.
In 1970, Alldis directed his choir in the first performance and recording of Pink Floyd’s rock album Atom Heart Mother. In 1975, he directed the choir in the Westminster Abbey performance of Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concert—a recording that was to be the last one made by the great bandleader. He also conducted the London Philharmonic Choir and brass section in the recording of David Bedford’s Star Clusters, available on the Classicprint label. In 1977, he recorded Sounds of Glory for Arcade Records, a celebration of choral classics, which won a gold disc.
Alldis conducted a number of other ensembles, in music ranging from the Renaissance to the present. From 1966 to 1979, he led the choir of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. From 1971 to 1977, he served as joint chief conductor of Radio Denmark, mainly leading its Danish State Radio Chorus. From 1979 to 1983, he conducted the Groupe Vocal de France, recording music by Francis Poulenc and Gabriel Fauré. From 1989 to 1990, he was music director and consultant for the Cameran Singers in Israel and briefly became guest conductor of the Hallé Choir in Manchester. From 1978 to 1987, he conducted the American Choral Symposium in Manhattan, Kansas. From 1985 to 1998, he was a permanent guest conductor with the Netherlands Chamber Choir, with whom he made several CDs including English Choral Music on the Globe label. From 1989 to 1997, he guest-conducted the Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus and the Central Philharmonic Society of China in Beijing. In 2002, he conducted the Lyon Opera in the first performance of Messa Sulenna by the Corsican composer Jean-Paul Poletti. From 1975 to 2003, John Alldis served on the Ralph Vaughan Williams Trust, and from 1971 to 2004 he conducted the Wimbledon Symphony Orchestra.
Alldis won Grammy Awards for his work with Sir Adrian Boult and Sir Georg Solti, was an Honorary Fellow of Westminster Choir College, Princeton, and in 1994 was named a Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He was married to the violinist and teacher Ursula Alldis, and had two sons, Dominic and Robert.
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Jacqueline Courtney, American actress (Another World, One Life to Live), died from metastatic melanoma she was , 64
Jacqueline Courtney was an American actress best known for her work on daytime soap operas died from metastatic melanoma she was , 64.
After short stints on The Edge of Night and Our Five Daughters, Courtney became famous for her role as Alice Matthews Frame on Another World; she played the role from the show’s debut in May 1964 until July 1975.
(September 24, 1946 – December 20, 2010)
In 1975, Courtney and the actor playing her love interest, George Reinholt, were fired, allegedly for “storyline purposes”. Head writer Harding Lemay reported in his memoir, Eight Years in Another World, that Courtney was fired because she was a bad actress, although she did have huge popularity with the soap audience. In reality, conflict brewed backstage because many longtime actors, including Courtney, were trying to protect their characters’ integrity in the face of Lemay’s changing scripts. After being dismissed by producer Paul Rauch, Courtney went on to play Pat Kendall on ABC’s One Life to Live until 1983, when the network fired her just before bringing Paul Rauch in as producer.
Courtney reconciled her differences with Another World and started back on the show as Alice on the 20th anniversary show in May 1984. She played the role until the next year when she was fired due to lack of story for the character. In 1989 she returned for the show’s 25th anniversary and for Mackenzie Cory’s funeral.
After a small role as madame Diane Winston on Loving in 1987, Courtney retired from acting, though she appeared, alongside Reinholt, on the TV special 50 Years of Soaps: An All-Star Celebration in 1994.
Courtney died on December 20, 2010, after a bout with metastatic melanoma. She was survived by a daughter, Jennifer, from her marriage to Carl Desiderio from 1970 to 1978.
|Actress playing the “Alice Matthews Frame” character on Another World
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Steve Landesberg, American actor (Barney Miller, Forgetting Sarah Marshall), died from colorectal cancer he was , 74
Steve Landesberg was an American actor, comedian, and voice actor known for his role as the tall, erudite, unflappable police detective Arthur P. Dietrich on the ABC sitcom Barney Miller died from colorectal cancer he was , 74.
(November 23, 1936 – December 20, 2010)
Landesberg was born in New York City, New York to a milliner mother and a grocery store-owner father. He was part of improv group New York Stickball Team, which performed several shows that were aired on cable television shortly after Barney Miller went off the air.
Landesberg made guest appearances on the TV shows The Rockford Files, Law & Order, Saturday Night Live, The Golden Girls, Ghost Whisperer, That 70′s Show and Everybody Hates Chris. He starred in Starz‘s original show Head Case as Dr. Myron Finkelstein. He appeared in the motion pictures Wild Hogs, Leader of the Band, and Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
Landesberg is credited with the quote “Honesty is the best policy, but insanity is a better defense.”
Landesberg died from colon cancer on December 20, 2010, aged 74. Initial reports of Mr. Landesberg’s death, relying on numerous biographical sources, said he was 65. He is survived by his widow Nancy Ross Landesberg and a daughter.
In acknowledging that he was actually nine years older, his daughter Elizabeth said he had provided varying birth dates over the years. “He got kind of a late start in show business,” she explained, “so he tried to straddle the generations. He fooled the whole world. People were surprised to think he was even 65.”
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Magnolia Shorty, born Renetta Lowe, was an American rapper in the New Orleans-based bounce music scene was shot.during a drive by shooting she was 28. She and Ms. Tee (Trishell Williams) were the first women signed to Cash Money Records. Her 1997 debut album Monkey on the Dick (often stylized Monkey On Tha D$ck) is considered a bounce classic, and she “was already considered a legend of bounce music” at the time of her death. Offbeat said the album exemplifies “the eccentric New Orleans elements of sexuality, comedy and hard edged dance rhythms.” In his 2007 book Triksta, Nik Cohn credits Magnolia Shorty with his own discovery of bounce, and the third chapter of that book is named after her debut album.
(1982 – December 20, 2010)
Magnolia Shorty was discovered by Birdman. She got her nickname from Soulja Slim, also known as Magnolia Slim, because both had grown up in New Orleans’ dangerous Magnolia Projects. Nicknamed “Queen of Bounce,” she collaborated with many Cash Money artists beginning in the 1990s, including Juvenile and Hot Boys. She was first featured on Juvenile’s 1997 song “3rd Ward Solja.” In 2009 she appeared at the SXSW music festival and won Best Bounce Song at the Underground Hip-Hop Awards in New Orleans. She was a member of Lil Wayne‘s Cash Money crew in the early 1990s, and she was collaborating as well as working on her second album on the Cash Money/Young Money label in 2010.
She was shot and killed in a car with Jerome Hampton in a double homicide in New Orleans. Police described the crime as a drive-by shooting.
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(1923 – December 19, 2010)
He was born in North Chicago, Illinois. During World War II he received a four Bronze Battle Stars while working on the combat air crew and cinemetographer on B-24 and A-26 in the Pacific.
After the war he worked at Douglas Aircraft as a trainee before starting his own business in 1947 Century Precision Optics Company of North Hollywood, California where he developed the Tele-Athenar telephoto lens which were used by Walt Disney photographers in the True Life Adventures series.
In 1953 he received his first patent for a 3D projection system. The system replaced the previous method of using two cameras. His invention was inspired by House of Wax.
He taught at Columbia College Hollywood from 1958 to 1960.
He co-wrote the American Cinematographer Manual for the American Society of Cinematographers with Joseph Mascelli in 1963.
In 1969-1969 he and his partner Allan Silliphant received a patent for the world’s 1st Single-Camera 3-D Motion Picture Lens and they formed the company Magnavision which was changed to StereoVision Entertainment. After the success of soft core 3D movie The Stewardesses he and Oliphant founded Sierra Pacific Airlines.
In 1972 he received a patent for a special widescreen 3-D camera lens for modern 35mm and 70mm reflex motion picture cameras.
During the 1970s his lenses were used in Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein, Dynasty, Fantastic Invasion of Planet Earth.
- The Stewardesses (filmed in Stereovision 3D) (1969)
- The Volcano Creature (co-producer)
- The CIA Girls of Capitol Hill (co-producer)
- Mr. Howard’s Crazy Airline (co-producer)
- The Wild Ride (co-producer and director of 3D photography)
- The Volcano Creature and Surfer Girls (co-producer and director of 3D photography)
- Jaws 3-D (Cinematographer and Chief 3-D Consultant) 1983
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Anthony Howard , British journalist, broadcaster and editor (New Statesman). died from a surgery for a ruptured aneurysm he was 76
Anthony Michell Howard, CBE was a prominent British journalist, broadcaster and writer. He was the editor of the New Statesman, The Listener and the deputy editor of The Observer died from a surgery for a ruptured aneurysm he was 76. He selected the passages used in “The Crossman Diaries”, a book of entries taken from Richard Crossman’s “The Diaries of a Cabinet Minister”.
(12 February 1934 – 19 December 2010)
Howard was the son of a Church of England clergyman, Canon Guy Howard. He was educated at Purton Stoke School at Kintbury in Berkshire, Highgate School, Westminster and at Christ Church, Oxford where, in 1954, he was chairman of the Oxford University Labour Club and, the following year, President of the Oxford Union.
Howard had planned a career as a barrister, having been called to the Bar (Inner Temple) in 1956 while fulfilling his National Service obligations in the army, during which he saw active service in the Royal Fusiliers during the Suez War, but he “stumbled” into his career as a journalist in 1958, starting on Reynolds News as a political correspondent. Howard moved to the Manchester Guardian in 1959. The following year, he was awarded a Harkness Fellowship to study in the United States, though he remained on the Guardian’s staff.
“I strongly believe that people should have the right to elect their own rulers and for a long time I was deeply affronted by what the Conservative Party did and never more affronted than when Alec Douglas-Home became leader of the Conservative Party. That seemed to me to be an Etonian fix organised by Harold Macmillan.”
In January 1965, Howard joined The Sunday Times as its Whitehall correspondent, a post he saw as being in advance of the then current journalistic practices. Cabinet Ministers were instructed by Prime Minister Harold Wilson‘s private secretary not to co-operate with Howard. Civil servants received similar instructions. Howard though, was soon invited to become the Observer’s chief Washington correspondent, serving in the role from 1966 to 1969, later contributing a political column (1971-72). During his period in America he made regular contributions to The World At One on Radio 4. “It got to where I was almost the World at One Washington correspondent”, he once remarked.
As editor of the New Statesman (1972-78), succeeding Richard Crossman, whose deputy he had been (1970-72), he appointed Robin Cook as the magazine’s parliamentary adviser in 1974, (Cook also contributed articles), James Fenton, Christopher Hitchens and Martin Amis as literary editor in 1977. Under Howard, the magazine published a rare non-British contributor: Gabriel García Márquez in March 1974, on the overthrow of Salvador Allende‘s elected government in Chile the previous September. Perhaps out of a sense of mischief, he featured a series of diatribes against the British Left, by the magazine’s former editor Paul Johnson, a drinking companion and friend of Howard’s, whose rightward drift was well advanced by then. Howard was unable to halt the magazine’s fall in circulation, however. He then edited The Listener for two years (1979-81).
Howard was deputy editor of The Observer (1981-88), where one of his journalist protégés was the journalist and (later) novelist Robert Harris, whom he appointed as the newspaper’s political editor. His professional relationship with the editor, Donald Trelford, ultimately broke down over allegations that Trelford had allowed the newspaper’s proprietor Tiny Rowland to interfere in editorial content. After leaving The Observer, following an ill-fated editorial coup against Trelford, he was a reporter on Newsnight and Panorama (1989-92), having previously presented Channel Four’s Face the Press (1982-85). His last editorial positions before turning freelance were at The Times as Obituaries editor (1993-99) and Chief Political Book Reviewer (1990-2004), though he contributed opinion columns to the newspaper until September 2005, when his regular column was discontinued.
Howard assisted Michael Heseltine on his memoirs, Life in the Jungle: My Autobiography (2000), and more recently published an official biography Basil Hume: The Monk Cardinal (2005), despite being an agnostic.
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Phil Cavarretta, American baseball player (Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox), died from complications from a stroke.he was 94
Philip Joseph Cavarretta was an American Major League Baseball first baseman, outfielder, and manager.
Cavarretta spent almost his entire baseball career with the Chicago Cubs. He was voted the 1945 National League Most Valuable Player after leading the Cubs to the pennant while winning the batting title with a .355 average. His 20 seasons (1934-1953) played for the Cubs is the second-most in franchise history, behind Cap Anson. He managed the Cubs in his final three seasons with the club.
(July 19, 1916 – December 18, 2010)
Cavaretta attended Lane Tech High School in Chicago, and signed a professional contract with the Cubs before finishing high school. In his first professional game with Peoria at age 17 in 1934, Cavaretta hit for the cycle as a right fielder. That same year he was brought up to the Cubs to replace manager Charlie Grimm at first base. He first appeared in a major league game on September 16, 1934, less than two months after his 18th birthday, pinch-hitting unsuccessfully for the Cubs’ shortstop Billy Jurges in the fifth inning of the first game of a doubleheader in Brooklyn. A week later, on September 25, in his first start and his first appearance at the Cubs’ home park, Wrigley Field, Cavaretta hit a home run that supplied the winning margin in the Cubs’ 1-0 win over Cincinnati. In his 1935 rookie season, he batted .275 with 82 runs batted in, also leading the league in double plays, as the Cubs captured their third pennant in seven years by winning 21 straight games in September; however, he batted only .125 in the World Series loss to the Detroit Tigers. Over the next several seasons he provided solid if unspectacular play at first base, routinely batting between .270 and .291 every season but one through 1943, though he lost significant playing time from 1938-40 due to a hip injury and an ankle broken twice while sliding. In the 1938 World Series against the New York Yankees, he batted .462 as the Cubs were swept.
Exempted from World War II service because of a hearing problem, in 1944 Cavaretta batted .321 with a league-high 197 hits, had career highs with 106 runs, 35 doubles and 15 triples, and earned his first of four straight All-Star selections (reaching base a record five times in the game) though the Cubs suffered their fifth consecutive losing season. But the team improved by 23 games in 1945, edging the defending champion St. Louis Cardinals by three games for the pennant as Cavaretta was named MVP. That season he also had a career-high 97 RBI, leading the NL in on base percentage and finishing third in slugging average. He batted .423 in the World Series against the Tigers, though the Cubs again lost, in seven games. In Game 1, he singled and scored as the Cubs took a 4-0 lead in the first inning, singled and scored again in the third, and homered in the seventh as Chicago took the opener 9-0. He scored the Cubs’ only run in Game 2, and in an 12-inning 8-7 win in Game 6 had a 2-RBI single and scored a run; he had three hits in Game 7, but the Cubs lost 9-3.
He made the All-Star team again in 1946 and 1947, batting .314 the latter year, as the Cubs again fell back in the standings. Over the next six years, he played a gradually diminishing role with the team. He was named manager in June 1951, succeeding Frankie Frisch, though the team finished in last place; continuing as manager for two more years, he compiled a record of 169-213. In 1953, his final season with the Cubs, he surpassed Stan Hack‘s modern team record of 1,938 games; Ernie Banks would eventually break his mark of 1,953 games in 1966. Cavaretta was fired during 1954 spring training after admitting the team was unlikely to finish above fifth place (they finished seventh), and in May he signed with the crosstown Chicago White Sox; he ended his career there in 1955.
In his 22-year major league career, Cavaretta compiled a .293 batting average with 95 home runs and 920 RBI. He later managed in the minor leagues from 1956-58 and again from 1965-72, became a coach and scout with the Tigers, and was a New York Mets organizational hitting instructor.
Cavaretta was the last living player to have played against Babe Ruth in a major league game; he did so on May 12, 1935, against the Boston Braves.
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Gregory Anthony Isaacs was a Jamaican reggae musician. Milo Miles, writing in the New York Times, described Isaacs as “the most exquisite vocalist in reggae”died from lung cancer. he was 59. His nicknames include Cool Ruler and Lonely Lover.
“My Only Lover”,
“All I Have Is Love”,
“Black a Kill Black”,
“Love Is Overdue”.
, Lloyd Campbell (“Slavemaster”),
“Scratch” Perry (“Mr. Cop”)
“Tribute to Waddy”
“Kool Ruler Come Again”
”Mind Yu Dis”,
“Too Good To Be True”
“My Only Lover”
“Report to Me”
“One Good Turn”
- n Person (1975) Trojan
- All I Have Is Love (1976) Trojan
- The Best Of Vol. 1 (1977) GG’s
- Extra Classic (1977) African Museum
- Mr Isaacs (1977) DEB
- Cool Ruler (1978) Front Line
- Soon Forward (1979) Front Line
- Slum (Gregory Isaacs in Dub) (1978) Burning Sounds
- Gregory Isaacs Meets Ronnie Davis (1979) Plant (with Ronnie Davis)
- Showcase (1980) Taxi
- Lonely Lover (1980) Pre
- More Gregory (1981) Pre
- The Best Of Vol. 2 (1981) GG’s
- Night Nurse (1982) Island/Mango
- Out Deh! (1983) Island/Mango
- Let’s Go Dancing (1984)
- Judge Not (1985) Greensleeves (with Dennis Brown)
- Private Beach Party (1985) Greensleeves & RAS
- Easy (1985) Tad’s
- Double Dose (1986) Blue Trac (with Sugar Minott)
- All I Have is Love Love Love (1987) Tad’s
- Victim (1987) VP
- Watchman of the City (1987) Rohit
- Come Along (1988), Live & Love
- Red Rose for Gregory (1988) Greensleeves & RAS
- Warning (1989) Firehouse
- Feature Attraction (1989) VP for Mixing Lab records
- No Contest (1989) Greensleeves & VP (with Dennis Brown)
- I.O.U. (1989) Greensleeves & RAS
- On The Dance Floor (1990) Heartbeat
- Call Me Collect (1990) RAS
- Set Me Free (1991) VP, Digital B & Vine Yard
- No Intention (1991) VP
- Boom Shot (1991) Shanachie
- State of Shock (1991) RAS
- Past and Future (1991) VP
- Pardon Me! (1992) RAS
- Cooyah! (1992) Label Unknown…
- Can’t Stay Away (1992) VP & Xterminator
- Rudie Boo (1992) Star Trail
- Unattended // Absent (1993) Pow Wow & Greensleeves
- Unlocked (1993) RAS
- Midnight Confidential (1994) Greensleeves for Xterminator records
- Dreaming (1995) Heartbeat
- Not a One Man Thing (1995) RAS
- Private Lesson (1996) Heartbeat
- Mr. Cool (1996) VP
- Maximum Respect (1996) House of Reggae
- Hold Tight (1997) Heartbeat
- Hardcore Hits (1997) Ikus
- Dance Curfew (1997), Acid Jazz – with Dread Flimstone
- Kingston 14 Denham Town (1998) Jamaican Vibes
- Do Lord (1998) Xterminator
- New Dance (1999) Prestige
- Turn Down The Lights (1999) Artists Only
- So Much Love (2000) Joe Gibbs Music
- Future Attraction (2000) VP
- Father & Son (2000), 2B1 – Gregory Isaacs & Son
- It Go Now (2002), 2B1
- Life’s Lonely Road (2004)
- Give It All Up (2004) Heartbeat
- Rat Patrol (2004) African Museum
- Masterclass (2004) Greensleeves for Blacker Dread records
- Revenge (2005) P.O.T.
- Substance Free (2005) Vizion Sounds
- Come take my hand (2006) Mun Mun
- Hold Tight (2008) Mafia & Fluxy
- Brand New Me (2008) African Museum
- My Kind Of Lady (2009) Rude Productions
- Isaacs Meets Isaac with King Isaac (2010) King Isaac Music
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Who is Mary Elizabeth Winstead? The entertainment anc acting world knows her as an American actress. Winstead has been called a prominent scream queen because of her roles in the horror films Monster Island, The Ring Two, Final Destination 3, Black Christmas, Death Proof, and The Thing. She has also branched out into other genre films, including Sky High, Bobby, Live Free or Die Hard/Die Hard 4.0, Make It Happen and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. During her career, she has been nominated for a Young Artist Award, for her performance in Passions, and received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination as part of the cast of Bobby.
Winstead was born November 28, 1984 in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, the daughter of Betty Lou (née Knight) and James Ronald Winstead. When she was five, her family moved to Sandy, Utah, a Salt Lake City suburb. Her interest in performing art also began to emerge with interests in ballet and acting. As a child, Winstead appeared in the Mountain West Ballet’s version of The Nutcracker. Hoping to become a ballerina, at the age of eleven, she received the opportunity to study dance in a summer program of the prestigious Joffrey Ballet School in New York City. There, she studied ballet and jazz dance, but decided to also study acting. Winstead ended up appearing on Broadway during Donny Osmond’s successful run of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. She was also a member of the International Children’s Choir during her youth and honed her skills performing at her church.
Winstead began her acting career at age 13, guest starring in episodes of the CBS drama series Touched by an Angel and Promised Land, before being cast as Jessica Bennett in the NBC soap opera series Passions, a role she played from 1999 to 2000. She subsequently appeared in the short-lived CBS drama series Wolf Lake (2001–2002), and in the made-for-television film Monster Island (2002). Trying her hand at comedy, Winstead went the independent film route as the Jewish daughter of a large, zany family in the indie feature Checking Out, but her screen time fared better in the more mainstream Disney live-action film Sky High, which was financially and critically successful. She starred as Gwen Grayson, the in-disguise alter ego of the supervillain Royal Pain.
After the exposure Sky High provided, 2006 saw her forge a professional relationship with the creative team of James Wong and Glen Morgan, formerly best known for their memorable contributions to The X-Files. She and her co-star, Ryan Merriman, landed in the path of the grim reaper’s master plan in Final Destination 3. (Winstead also starred with co-lead Ryan Merriman in 2005′s The Ring Two.) The film also acts as the first feature she has a lead role in as well as being the highest-grossing film to date that she has had a lead role in. Morgan and Wong wanted to collaborate with her again and convinced her to appear in their sorority slasher Black Christmas, where she once again teamed up with fellow Final Destination castmate Crystal Lowe. They initially wanted her to play the lead, but afraid of being typecast, Winstead would only accept if she were cast in a supporting role. The film fared poorly with critics and viewers alike, but earned her a nomination for Scream Queen at the 2007 Scream Awards. One day, Winstead inadvertently received a chance to lampoon horror scream queens when The Tonight Show host Jay Leno, unaware of who she was, knocked on her front door and included her in a comedy segment spoofing horror movies; She and Riley parodied the Saw series. That same year, she appeared in Emilio Estevez‘s Bobby, a valentine to the politics and morals of Robert F. Kennedy, which drew moderate critical attention, and became a minor box office success. The film’s cast included Laurence Fishburne, Anthony Hopkins, Ashton Kutcher, William H. Macy, Demi Moore, and Sharon Stone, but most of her scenes were with Shia LaBeouf and Brian Geraghty. She and her co-stars were nominated for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Cast in a Motion Picture but won the Hollywood Film Festival Award for Best Ensemble Cast.
In 2007, Winstead appeared in a pair of high-profile event films. Quentin Tarantino cast her as a well-intentioned but vapid and naïve actress in his high-speed segment of Grindhouse called Death Proof, his half of a double-billed feature. The film failed to produce ticket sales, but drew critical acclaim. Death Proof is the second film to feature Winstead with Kurt Russell (the first being Sky High). Winstead appeared in most of the films marketing campaigns, possibly due to her clothes which resemble Uma Thurman’s character in Kill Bill, Tarantino’s earlier film. The same summer, hot off the heels of its release, Winstead received another shot at action as John McClane‘s estranged daughter Lucy in Live Free or Die Hard. The film earned over $130 million domestically, making it the highest grossing film that features Winstead.
In 2008, Winstead screen-tested for the role of Wonder Woman in the film adaption of Justice League. She starred in a lead role in Make It Happen, a dance film. The film went straight to DVD in the US, and gained a small collection in the UK, which eventually led to its financial failure. Nevertheless, the film proved a delight for Winstead to shoot, as she had always dreamed about becoming a dancer. It was also announced on May 16, 2008, that Winstead would co-star opposite Michael Cera in the comic-book adaptation Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, under the direction of Edgar Wright. Filming began in early March 2009 and wrapped on August 28, 2009. Also co-starring were Chris Evans and Brandon Routh. The film had a U.S. release on August 13, 2010. On February 2010, Winstead landed the lead role in the prequel to The Thing, which is directed by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. and tentatively set for an April 29, 2011 release.
Winstead has expressed interest in returning as Lucy McClane for the fifth installment of the Die Hard film series, although her involvement in the project is yet to be confirmed. She was also mentioned in news regarding the prequel to The Ring (tentatively titled The Ring 3D), though further information is yet unknown.
In August 2010, shortly before the release of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, news emerge regarding Winstead’s potential upcoming project, a romcom penned by Elan Mastai, The F Word. Casey Affleck is set to star, while Winstead is up for the female lead, testing against Rebecca Hall, Rose Byrne and Deborah Ann Woll.
|Checking Out||Lisa Apple||supporting role (limited release)|
|Sky High||Gwendolyn ‘Gwen’ Grayson||supporting role|
|The Ring Two||Young Evelyn||minor role (cameo) (second film of the ’’Ring’’ series)|
|Final Destination 3||Wednesday ‘Wendy’ Christensen||lead role opposite Ryan Merriman (third film of the ’’Final Destination’’ series)|
|Bobby||Susan Taylor||supporting role|
|Black Christmas||Heather Lee-Fitzgerald||supporting role (remake to Black Christmas)|
|Factory Girl||Ingrid Superstar||minor role (cameo) (limited release)|
|Live Free or Die Hard||Lucy Gennero-McClane||supporting role (fourth film of the Die Hard series)|
|Grindhouse: Death Proof||Lee Montgomery||supporting role (counterpart to Planet Terror)|
|Make It Happen||Lauryn Kirk||lead role opposite Riley Smith|
|Scott Pilgrim vs. the World||Ramona Victoria Flowers||lead role opposite Michael Cera (adaptation of graphic novel Scott Pilgrim)|
|The Thing||Kate Lloyd||lead role opposite Joel Edgerton (in production) (prequel to The Thing) (tentative title)|
|Films made for TV/video|
|The Long Road Home||Annie Jacobs||supporting role|
|Monster Island||Madison||supporting role|
|Touched by an Angel||Kristy||episode 3.27: “A Delicate Balance” (minor guest)|
|Passions||Jessica Bennett||series regular|
|2001 – ’02||Wolf Lake||Sophia Donner||series regular|
|Tru Calling||Bridget Elkins||episode 1.08: “Closure” (supporting guest)|
- Winstead had left Passions for a lead-starring role in a Fox show, Father Can’t Cope. The show was set to also co-star Scott Bakula, Mary Page Keller and Jake Sandvig (her co-star in Sky High), but the show was scrapped even before production began.
Awards and nominations
|1999||Passions||Young Artist Award for Best Young Actress in a Daytime TV Series||Nominated||Lost to Brittany Snow (Guiding Light)|
|2006||Bobby||Hollywood Film Festival Award for Best Ensemble Cast
Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
|Shared with the rest of the ensemble cast of Bobby
Lost to the cast in Little Miss Sunshine
|Black Christmas||Scream Awards for 2007 Scream Queen||Nominated||Lost to Kate Beckinsale (Vacancy)|
Interviewed in 2006, Winstead said she was in a long-term relationship with Riley Stearns, an aspiring director from Austin, Texas. In 2008, they worked together in Stop/Eject – a short film he was making with Winstead’s Final Destination 3 co-star Ryan Merriman, which is as of yet still in post-production. The project was shot on the weekends during the 2008 writers’ strike. Winstead elaborates, “The whole short is 25 minutes long. We’re currently working on post sound and music and we hope to show it at festivals.”
On July 22, 2010, Winstead announced her engagement to longtime boyfriend Riley Stearns during an interview with Spin.com. The wedding is to take place in October 2010 in Austin, Texas, where Stearns is from.
Winstead had stated that at one point, Final Destination 3 co-star Amanda Crew “stayed with [her] for a while”. She has also called Lacey Chabert her “confidant” and in the same interview, says she is good friends with Death Proof co-stars Rosario Dawson and Sydney Tamiia Poitier. “I’m not a really “cliquish” type of person,” she says of herself. “There’s usually one person that I gravitate to, who I feel I relate to the most, and kind of stick to throughout the whole thing.” While filming Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Winstead made good friends with co-star Anna Kendrick. “The two of us, we were just sitting up there watching the first fight [scene] in the balcony together for a week and a half, and we were always talking about gossip, film news and just gabbing about everything!”
Winstead has been quoted saying she is a fan of the movies Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Sixth Sense and the television shows My So Called Life, Third Rock From the Sun, Just Shoot Me and Will & Grace. She also favors indie rock and alternative music. Her favorite novel is S. E. Hinton’s 1967 The Outsiders. Winstead has also voiced her like for the music of Bat for Lashes, French pop songs, Alanis Morissette, mewithoutYou, The Shangri-Las, The Shirelles, Roy Orbison, Madonna, The xx and Ben E. King‘s Stand By Me.
Winstead has expressed her interest in singing, but does not plan on pursuing it as a career. “I wasn’t ever really going to be a singer, but it’s just something I’ve always loved.” For his part of the Grindhouse film, Tarantino had Winstead sing an a cappella cover of The Shirelles‘ hit recording Baby It’s You. She was asked impromptu to perform the song and the cast were reportedly “gob-smacked” by her singing. The clip can be found in the second disc of the 2-disc Death Proof DVD.
In 2009, Winstead and music producer Thai Long Ly worked on a song he wrote, “Warmth of Him”. Although first rumored to be a pre-release single, Winstead has since then confirmed that she was just exploring her interest and does not plan on releasing any music albums.
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(January 1, 1938 – December 18, 2010)
Clay Cole was born Albert Rucker, Jr., on January 1, 1938, in Youngstown, Ohio. He became a juvenile stage and radio actor; then in 1953, at age 15, became the television host and producer of his own Saturday night teen music show, Rucker’s Rumpus Room, first on WKBN-TV, then, until 1957, on WFMJ. Arriving in Manhattan in 1957, he worked first as an NBC page, then as a production assistant on the troubled quiz show Twenty One , the events at which were recreated in the 1994 film Quiz Show, directed by Robert Redford.
Early television and film career
In 1958, he continued his Saturday night television legacy, launching Al Rucker and the Seven Teens program on WJAR-TV, Providence, Rhode Island. In New York City in 1959, when asked to change his name, he chose that of a distant cousin, Clay Cole. Clay’s 1960 all-star ten-day Christmas show at the Brooklyn Paramount Theater broke the all-time house box office record. Clay was among the few white performers invited to appear at Harlem’s Apollo Theater; he headlined three week-long revues, starring Fats Domino, Gladys Knight & the Pips and Chubby Checker. In 1961, he appeared as himself in the film Twist Around the Clock. When WNTA-TV was sold in 1963, Cole’s program was picked up by New York City television station WPIX-TV, where the program became known as Clay Cole’s Discotek by 1965. During the 1960′s “British Invasion”, musical acts arriving from the UK often appeared on Cole’s television show before doing network shows such as The Ed Sullivan Show. The Rolling Stones and The Who were among those who first appeared on Cole’s television show. Cole’s show differed from American Bandstand in a few ways: while both Cole and Dick Clark had an interest in young people and their music, Cole did not hesitate to join in on his show’s dance floor. He was also more confident about booking lesser-known performers and comedians for his show.
Writing, producing and directing career
Leaving the Clay Cole Show in 1967, Clay became a television writer – producer, involved in the production of over 3500 broadcast television shows. He is twice winner of the Emmy Award (NATAS) as “producer of outstanding television programming” in 1981 and 1982 for the Joel Siegel Academy Awards special. He producedThe Discovery of Marilyn Monroe, Play Bridge with Omar Sharif and 365 This Day In Hollywood segments. Along with David Susskind and Raysa Bonow, he created and produced the first primetime entertainment magazine People for CBS in 1979. Cole also hosted A. M. New York. He returned briefly in 1974 as the star of the first HBO-produced music special Clay Cole’s 20 Years of Rock and Roll, a two-hour event taped at Rockland Community College, and as co-host of the WABC-TV weekday program, AM New York. His final professional assignment was as writer/producer/director of the television special, the 2002 Sanremo Music Festival in Italy, featuring Britney Spears, Destiny’s Child, Alicia Keys, Shakira, Kylie Minogue and other international pop divas.
Retirement and death
Cole retired and had been living on Oak Island since 2007, off the Cape Fear River on the North Carolina coastline. His pop culture memoir, Sh-Boom! The Explosion of Rock ‘n’ Roll (1953-1968), has been published by Morgan James. It has been nominated for the 2010 Association for Recorded Sound Collections Awards for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research. Cole made a personal appearance at the annual Long Island Radio & TV Day in April 2010, and also at the New Jersey Rock Con later that year.
In addition, Cole was a member of the nominating committee of the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.
Cole died of a heart attack at his home on December 18, 2010, at the age of 72.
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(April 13, 1918 – December 18, 2010)
He began his career in weather during World War II. He worked for Admiral Chester Nimitz in the Pacific. Roberts was on the first plane to enter the eye of a tropical system near the Philippines. This method is still used today by the “Hurricane Hunters” of the Air Force based at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi to measure and record internal conditions in hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean to help predict their development and path.
In 1948 he began broadcasting on WDSU-TV. Roberts was the first full-time weathercaster in the Deep South and one of the first to use radar on television weather broadcasts.
Nash continued as a local forecaster on New Orleans television and radio. His calm guidance during these storms made him legendary to people throughout southeast Louisiana. He was the only local forecaster to accurately predict the paths of Hurricane Betsy in 1965, which hit the New Orleans area directly, and Hurricane Camille in 1969, a storm that devastated coastal Mississippi.
After 25 years at WDSU (1948-1973), he moved to Newscene 8 at WVUE-TV for 5 years, then to Eyewitness News at WWL-TV in April 1978. As he aged, he gradually cut back his schedule, giving most of the day-to-day weathercasting chores to younger meteorologists.
In later years, Nash was the favorite forecaster in the area, especially among older viewers, to the point where competitors good-naturedly referred to him as “the Weather God”. After his retirement, he would be brought back as a special consultant when hurricanes threatened in the Gulf. By the late 1980s he seemed to many like a figure from an earlier era, as he eschewed computer graphics and other modern special effects in favor of a simple black marker and paper map. Nash retired from the Eyewitness News anchor desk in late 1984, but would come back during storms to help calm and educate the locals during hurricane season, sometimes to the visible resentment of the station’s younger weathermen, especially when Nash’s experience, intuition, and pen and paper yielded more accurate predictions than their computer models. He accurately predicted the path of Hurricane Georges in 1998, while all the full time on-air meteorologists of the area predicted an incorrect track.
Roberts finally retired from even his special hurricane appearances in 2001 (in part to help take care of his wife of over 60 years, Lydia), and that same year donated his papers to Loyola University, New Orleans.
He was fully retired, and had not been seen on TV in several years by 2006. Roberts and his wife evacuated in advance of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the first time he had left town for a hurricane. Nash figures prominently in a 2006 book about Hurricane Camille, “Roar Of The Heavens,” by Stefan Bechtel.
Lydia and Nash Roberts had two sons, four grandchildren and six great grandchildren. Lydia Roberts died in June 2007;  Nash himself died December 18, 2010 after a lengthy illness at age 92. 
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(27 November 1945 – 17 December 2010)
Adams’ mother was from Kingston and his father from St. Vincent; the two met while working in Curaçao. Adams’ first break in the music business came as a teenager, when he appeared as a singer in a vocal group on Radio Jamaica’s Opportunity Knocks show hosted by Vere Johns. Later performing on the same show as a solo singer which led to appearances on cabaret shows and performances in Kingston and St. Andrews at weekends. Adams’ older sister Yvonne was also a popular singer and he was spotted by Clement “Coxsone” Dodd while rehearsing a song that she had written called “Wonder Thirst”. Coxsone took him into the Federal Recording Studio to record the track in 1960. Although not officially released as a single at the time, the song became a popular dub plate on sound systems, and the title of the song became his nickname.
Adams formed a duo, Ken and Glen, with Ken Boothe and they came second place in the 1966 Festival Song Competition with “I Remember”. The duo also backed Stranger Cole on his number one single “Uno Dos Tres”. He co-founded The Heptones before moving on to The Pioneers, appearing on the latter’s “Shake It Up” and “Good Nanny”. While continuing to earn a living as a tailor, he moved on to work with Duke Reid‘s Treasure Isle set-up as an informal musical director, introducing singers such as Joe White to Reid.
Adams also worked with Bunny Lee from around 1967 as a solo singer, backing singer and A&R man, in exchange for studio time. At a recording session in October 1968, when several musicians failed to turn up due to a dispute about payment for a previous session, Adams was asked to play piano, despite not being proficient on the instrument. Unhappy with the results, he switched instruments with organist Lloyd Charmers (although he had never played the organ before). He played organ on eight tracks in that session, which included Lester Sterling‘s “Bangarang” and Slim Smith‘s “Everybody Needs Love” and he has stuck with the instrument ever since, becoming a regular session player. Along with other musicians such as the Barrett brothers (Aston and Carlton), he performed in sessions for a range of producers under a variety of group names notably The Hippy Boys for Bunny Lee, where Adams did some of his most memorable work accompanying Slim Smith, The Reggae Boys and The Upsetters for Lee “Scratch” Perry. Adams also worked for Herman Chin Loy, where he was one of a number of keyboard players to record under the name Augustus Pablo, before Horace Swaby adopted that identity.
Perry and The Upsetters toured the United Kingdom to capitalise on the success of Perry’s hit “Return Of Django” (and the less successful follow-up, “Live Injection”); returning to Jamaica in 1970. As part of The Upsetters, Adams backed The Wailers during their spell with Perry and Adams did much of the arranging and composed the song “Mr. Brown“. The lyrics were inspired by a local tale about a duppy who was supposedly seen speeding around on a three-wheeled coffin with two “John Crows” (buzzards) on top, one of which would ask for “Mr. Brown”. Adams was due to record the track himself but Perry suggested that the Wailers record it, with Peter Tosh and Adams adding spooky organ riffs. Adams regularly introduced this song at his concerts with the statement: “I wrote this song for Bob Marley”. When The Wailers parted company with Perry in 1971 taking The Upsetter’s rhythm section with them, Adams remained with Perry. During this period he had also started to split his time between Jamaica and the United States. In the United States he set up his own Capo record label and put together a new band, the Blue Grass Experience. He eventually moved to Brooklyn permanently in 1975, where he became more involved in producing and also worked for Brad Osbourne’s Clocktower and Lloyd Barnes‘ Bullwackie labels and played with The Realistics band.
In the late 1970s, Adams expanded into R&B and Rap production, working with hip hop artist T Ski Valley. He has also worked with Shaggy and remixed an album of previously-unreleased Upsetters material in 1996, released by Heartbeat Records as Upsetters a Go Go.
After many years in the studio, Adams returned to live performance in the 2000s, touring the USA and Europe with The Slackers and also playing occasional NYC shows with the Jammyland All-Stars.
Adams owned his own recording studio and in his later years produced artists such as Susan Cadogan and Keith Rowe, half of the vocal duo Keith & Tex from Jamaica.
Glen Adams died on 17 December 2010 at the University Hospital of the West Indies after falling ill while visiting Jamaica.
- Far Away, 1967
- Grab A Girl, 1968
- Hey There Lonely Girl, 1968
- Hold Down Miss Winey
- I Can’t Help It, 1968
- I Remember, 1967
- I Wanna Hold Your Hand, 1968
- My Argument, 1968
- Run Come Dance, 1968
- I’m Shocking, I’m Electric (She), 1967
- She’s So Fine (I’ve Got A Girl), 1968
- Silent Lover, 1967
- Taking Over Orange Street, 1968
- Upsetters – Blackboard Jungle Dub
- Glen Adams – Wonderthirst [1963-73] (LP) Landmark
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Did you know it won the current name in January 2001?
Did you know that SPFW event is the most important fashion show in Latin America?
Did you know that Besides structuring the whole textile industry of the country, the event has been marked by campaigns for hunger, for the prevention of cancer and Aids, recycling of waste, education and more recently celebrated the centenary of Japanese diaspora to Brazil (Spring Collection/2008)?
Did you know that many designers names such as Ricardo Almeida, Reinaldo Lourenço, Ronaldo Fraga. Years before, international brands such as Chanel and Versace first appeared in Brazil due to the opening of imports of the Collor government?
Did you know that SPFW event happens twice a year, one in January, featuring the fall collection, and June with spring collection, with its all-famous Brazilian lines of beachwear such as Amir Slama’s Rosa Cha?
Did you know that in the first ten years, the investments grew from 600 thousand reais to more than five million in 2006?
Did you know that some famous designers that show collections in SPFW are Tufi Duek, Alexandre Herchcovitch and Amir Slama?
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Who is Marco Antonio Rubio The political world knows him as Marco Rubio, he is the junior United States Senator from Florida and member of the Republican Party. At the age of 39, he is the second youngest current U.S. Senator, being only one week older than Mike Lee of Utah.
Rubio was the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives during the 2007 and 2008 legislative sessions. He was first elected to the Florida House on January 25, 2000, from the 111th district.
Rubio was born May 28, 1971, he is the second son and third child of Cuban exiles Mario Rubio (1927–2010) and Oria Garcia (born 1931), and was born in Miami, Florida. His siblings are: Mario (born 1950), Barbara (born 1960) and Veronica (born 1972). Rubio identifies himself as Catholic having been baptized, confirmed, and married in the Catholic Church, Rubio is fluent in Spanish. His father was a bartender and his mother worked as a hotel housekeeper in Las Vegas, Nevada. Rubio lived in Las Vegas from 1979 to 1985, before his family returned to Miami in the summer of 1985.
Rubio attended South Miami Senior High School and graduated in 1989. He then attendedTarkio College for one year on a football scholarship from 1989 to 1990, before enrolling atSanta Fe College, and then the University of Florida. He earned his B.A. degree in political science from the University of Florida in 1993, and his J.D. degree cum laude from theUniversity of Miami in 1996.
Marco Rubio served as a City Commissioner for West Miami before being elected to the Florida House of Representatives for the 111th district in a special election on January 25, 2000. He has won each of his re-election bids. In November 2006, he was elected Speaker of theFlorida State House for the 2006–08 term.
He is the author of the book 100 Innovative Ideas for Florida’s Future. This book was compiled from Rubio’s travels around the state to gather ideas from citizens. This was done through what Rubio calls “Idearaisers”. Many of the issues that he pushed for in his first year as speaker came from ideas in this book. During 2007, Marco Rubio championed a major overhaul of the Florida tax system. He argued it would reduce property taxes and decrease the size of government.
2010 U.S. Senate campaign
On April 28, 2010, Crist announced he would be running as an independent, effectively ceding the Republican nomination to Rubio. Several of Crist’s top fundraisers, as well as Republican leadership, refused to support Crist after Rubio won the Republican nomination for Senate.
Upon taking office, Rubio hired Cesar Conda, former lobbyist and “top domestic policy adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney” as his Chief of Staff. He has been assigned to the Senate Commerce, Small Business, Foreign Relations and Intelligence Committees.
Presidential election 2012
As did a number of other successful Republican candidates in the 2010 midterm election nationwide, Rubio soon became the subject of otherwise unsupported media driven speculation as a potential GOP candidate for the presidential election of 2012. Rubio stated shortly after taking office that he has no interest in running for president or vice president in 2012.
Rubio married Jeanette Dousdebes, a former Miami Dolphins cheerleader, in 1997. She is of Colombian descent, and together they have four children named Amanda, Daniella, Anthony, and Dominic. Rubio and his family live in West Miami, Florida. While Rubio regularly attends Catholic Mass, he has also attended and donated to the Christ Fellowship Church in West Kendall, Florida since 2004. This church, one of the largest in the United States, describes itself as non-denominational but is affiliated to the Southern Baptist Convention. Some observers have speculated that his attendance at both Catholic and Protestant churches despite their incompatible theologies is an attempt to court Hispanic voters, some of whom have embraced Protestantism as against a more established tendency among Hispanics to adhere to Catholicism.
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Captain Beefheart, American rock musician and artist (Trout Mask Replica), died from complications from multiple sclerosis he was , 69
Don Van Vliet born Don Glen Vliet was an American musician, singer-songwriter and artist best known by the stage name Captain Beefheart , died from complications from multiple sclerosis he was , 69. His musical work was conducted with a rotating ensemble of musicians called The Magic Band, active between 1965 and 1982, with whom he recorded 12 studio albums. Noted for his powerful singing voice with its wide range, Van Vliet also played the harmonica, saxophone and numerous other wind instruments. His music blended rock, blues and psychedelia with free jazz, avant-garde and contemporary experimental composition. Beefheart was also known for exercising an almost dictatorial control over his supporting musicians, and for often constructing myths about his life.
During his teen years in Lancaster, California, Van Vliet developed an eclectic musical taste and formed “a mutually useful but volatile” friendship with Frank Zappa, with whom he sporadically competed and collaborated. He began performing with his Captain Beefheart persona in 1964 and joined the original Magic Band line-up, initiated by Alexis Snouffer, in 1965. The group drew attention with their cover of Bo Diddley‘s “Diddy Wah Diddy“, which became a regional hit. It was followed by their acclaimed debut album Safe As Milk, released in 1967 on Buddah Records. After being dropped by two consecutive record labels, they signed to Zappa’s Straight Records. As producer, Zappa granted Beefheart the unrestrained artistic freedom in making 1969′s Trout Mask Replica, ranked fifty-eighth in Rolling Stone magazine’s 2003 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 1974, frustrated by lack of commercial success, he released two albums of more conventional rock music that were critically panned; this move, combined with not having been paid for a European tour, and years of enduring Beefheart’s abusive behavior, led the entire band to quit. Beefheart eventually formed a new Magic Band with a group of younger musicians and regained contemporary approval through three final albums: Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) (1978), Doc at the Radar Station (1980) and Ice Cream for Crow (1982).
Van Vliet has been described as “one of modern music’s true innovators” with “a singular body of work virtually unrivalled in its daring and fluid creativity”. Although he achieved little commercial or mainstream critical success, he sustained a cult following as a “highly significant” and “incalculable” influence on an array of New Wave, punk, post-punk, experimental and alternative rock musicians. Known for his enigmatic personality and relationship with the public, Van Vliet made few public appearances after his retirement from music (and from his Beefheart persona) in 1982. He pursued a career in art, an interest that originated in his childhood talent for sculpture. His expressionist paintings and drawings command high prices, and have been exhibited in art galleries and museums across the world. Van Vliet died in 2010 after many years of suffering from multiple sclerosis.
Early life and musical influences, 1941–1962
Van Vliet was born Donald Glen Vliet in Glendale, California, on January 15, 1941, to Glen Alonzo Vliet, a service station owner of Dutch ancestry from Kansas, and Willie Sue Vliet (née Warfield), who was from Arkansas. He claimed to have as an ancestor Peter Van Vliet, a Dutch painter who knew Rembrandt. Van Vliet also claimed that he was related to adventurer and author Richard Halliburton and the cowboy actor Slim Pickens, and said that he remembered being born.
Van Vliet began painting and sculpting at age three.
His subjects reflected his “obsession” with animals, particularly dinosaurs, fish, African mammals and lemurs. At the age of nine he won a children’s sculpting competition organised for the Los Angeles Zoo in Griffith Park by a local tutor, Agostinho Rodrigues. Local newspaper cuttings of his junior sculpting achievements can be found reproduced in the Splinters book, included in the Riding Some Kind Of Unusual Skull Sleigh boxed CD work, released in 2004. The sprawling park, with its zoo and observatory had a strong influence on young Vliet, as it was a short distance from his home on Waverly Drive. The track “Observatory Crest” on Bluejeans & Moonbeams reflects this continued interest. A portrait photo of the school-age Vliet can be seen on the front of the lyric sheet within the first issue of the US release of Trout Mask Replica.
For some time during the 1950s Van Vliet worked as an apprentice with Rodrigues, who considered him a child prodigy. Vliet made claim to have been a lecturer at the Barnsdall Art Institute in Los Angeles at the age of eleven, although it is likely he simply gave a form of artistic dissertation. Accounts of Van Vliet’s precocious achievement in art often include his statement that he sculpted on a weekly television show. He claimed that his parents discouraged his interest in sculpture, based upon their perception of artists as ‘queer’. They declined several scholarship offers, including one from the local Knudsen Creamery to travel to Europe with six years’ paid tuition to study marble sculpture. Van Vliet later admitted personal hesitation to take the scholarship based upon the bitterness of his parents’ disencouragement.
Van Vliet’s artistic enthusiasm became so fervent, he claimed that his parents were forced to feed him through the door in the room where he sculpted. When he was thirteen the family moved from the Los Angeles area to the more remote farming town of Lancaster, near the Mojave Desert, where there was a growing aerospace industry and testing plant that would become Edwards Airforce Base. It was an environment that would greatly influence him creatively from then on. Van Vliet remained interested in art; his paintings, often reminiscent of Franz Kline‘s, were later featured on several of his own albums. Meanwhile he developed his taste and interest in music, listening “intensively” to the Delta blues of Son House and Robert Johnson, jazz artists such as Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk and Cecil Taylor, and the Chicago blues of Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters. During his early teenage years Vliet would sometimes socialize with members of local bands such as “The Omens” and “The Blackouts”, although his interests were still focused upon an art career. The Omens’ guitarists Alexis Snouffer and Jerry Handley would later become founders of “The Magic Band” and The Blackouts’ drummer, Frank Zappa, would later capture Vliet’s vocal capabilities on record for the first time. This first known recording, when he was simply ‘Don Vliet’, is “Lost In A Whirlpool” – one of Zappa’s early ‘field recordings’ made in his college classroom with brother Bobby on guitar. It can be found on the Zappa Lost Episodes CD.
Van Vliet claimed that he never attended public school, alleging “half a day of kindergarten” to be the extent of his formal education and saying that “if you want to be a different fish, you’ve got to jump out of the school.” His associates said that he only dropped out during his senior year of high school to help support the family after his father’s heart attack. His graduation picture appears in the school’s yearbook. While attending Antelope Valley High School in Lancaster, Van Vliet became close friends with fellow teenager Frank Zappa, the pair bonding through their interest in Chicago blues and R&B. Van Vliet is portrayed in both The Real Frank Zappa Book and Barry Miles‘ biography Zappa as fairly spoiled at this stage of his life, the center of attention as an only child. He spent most of his time locked in his room listening to records, often with Zappa, into the early hours in the morning, eating leftover food from his father’s Helms bread truck and demanding that his mother bring him a Pepsi. His parents tolerated such behavior under the belief that their child was truly gifted. Vliet’s ‘Pepsi-moods’ were ever a source of amusement to band members, leading Zappa to later write the wry tune “Why Doesn’t Someone Give Him A Pepsi?” that featured on the ‘Bongo Fury‘ tour.
After Zappa began regular occupation at Paul Buff’s PAL Studio in Cucamonga he and Van Vliet began collaborating, tentatively as “The Soots”. By the time Zappa had turned the venue into Studio Z the duo had completed some songs. These were “Cheryl’s Canon”, “Metal Man Has Won His Wings” and a Howlin’ Wolf styled rendition of Little Richard‘s “Slippin’ And Slidin’”. Further songs, on Zappa’s Mystery Disc CD, “I Was A Teen-Age Malt Shop” and “The Birth Of Captain Beefheart” also provide an insight to Zappa’s ‘teenage movie’ script titled Captain Beefheart vs. the Grunt People, the first appearances of the Beefheart name. It has been suggested this name came from a term used by Vliet’s Uncle Alan who had a habit of exposing himself to Don’s girlfriend, Laurie Stone. He would urinate with the bathroom door open and, if she was walking by, would mumble about his penis, saying “Ahh, what a beauty! It looks just like a big, fine beef heart.” In a 1970 interview with Rolling Stone, Van Vliet requests “don’t ask me why or how” he and Zappa came up with the name. He would later claim in an appearance on Late Night with David Letterman that the name referred to “a beef in my heart against this society.” In the “Grunt People” draft script Beefheart and his mother play themselves, with his father played by Howlin’ Wolf. Grace Slick is penned in as a ‘celestial seductress’ and there are also roles for future Magic Band members Bill Harkleroad and Mark Boston.
Van Vliet enrolled at Antelope Valley Junior College as an art major, but decided to leave the following year. He once worked as a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman, during which time he sold a vacuum cleaner to the writer Aldous Huxley at his home in Llano, pointing to it and declaring, “Well I assure you sir, this thing sucks.” After managing a Kinney’s shoe store, Van Vliet relocated to Rancho Cucamonga, California, to reconnect with Zappa, who inspired his entry into musical performance. Van Vliet was quite shy but was eventually able to imitate the deep voice of Howlin’ Wolf with his wide vocal range. He eventually grew comfortable with public performance and, after learning to play the harmonica, began playing at dances and small clubs in Southern California.
Initial recordings, 1962–1969
In early 1965 Alex Snouffer, a Lancaster rhythm and blues guitarist, invited Vliet to sing with a group that he was assembling. Vliet joined the first Magic Band and changed his name to Don Van Vliet, while Snouffer became Alex St. Clair (sometimes spelled Claire). Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band signed to A&M and released two singles in 1966. The first was a version of Bo Diddley‘s “Diddy Wah Diddy” that became a regional hit in Los Angeles. The followup, “Moonchild” (written by David Gates) was less well received. The band played music venues that catered to underground artists, such as the Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco.
Safe As Milk
After fulfilling their deal for two singles the band presented demos to A&M during 1966 for what would become the Safe As Milk album. A&M’s Jerry Moss reportedly described this new direction as “too negative” and dropped the band from the label, although still under contract. Much of the demo recording was accomplished at Art Laboe‘s Original Sound Studio, then with Gary Marker on the controls at Sunset Sound on 8-track. By the end of 1966 they were signed to Buddah Records and much of the demo work was transferred to 4-track, at the behest of Krasnow and Perry, in the RCA Studio in Hollywood, where the recording was finalized. Tracks that were originally laid down in the demo by Doug Moon are therefore taken up by Cooder’s work in the release, as Moon had departed over ‘musical differences’ at this juncture.
Drummer John French had now joined the group and it would later (notably on Trout Mask Replica) be his patience that was required to transcribe Van Vliet’s creative ideas (often expressed by whistling or banging on the piano) into musical form for the other group members. On French’s departure this role was taken over by Bill Harkleroad for Lick My Decals Off, Baby.
Many of the lyrics on the Safe As Milk album were written by Van Vliet in collaboration with the writer Herb Bermann, who befriended Van Vliet after seeing him perform at a bar-gig in Lancaster in 1966. The song “Electricity” was a poem written by Bermann, who gave Van Vliet permission to adapt it to music.
Much of the Safe As Milk material was honed and arranged by the arrival of 20-year–old guitar prodigy Ry Cooder, who had been brought into the group after much pressure from Vliet. The band began recording in spring 1967, with Richard Perry cutting his teeth in his first job as producer. The album was released in September 1967. Richie Unterberger of Allmusic called the album “blues–rock gone slightly askew, with jagged, fractured rhythms, soulful, twisting vocals from Van Vliet, and more doo wop, soul, straight blues, and folk–rock influences than he would employ on his more avant garde outings”.
Among those who took notice were The Beatles. Both John Lennon and Paul McCartney were known as great admirers of Beefheart. Lennon displayed two of the album’s promotional ‘baby bumper stickers’ in the sunroom at his home. Later, the Beatles planned to sign Beefheart to their experimental Zapple label (plans that were scrapped after Allen Klein took over the group’s management). Van Vliet was often critical of the Beatles, however. He considered the lyric “I’d love to turn you on”, from their song “A Day in the Life“, to be ridiculous and conceited. Tiring of their “lullabies”, he lampooned them with the Strictly Personal song “Beatle Bones ‘n’ Smokin’ Stones”, that featured the sardonic refrain of “strawberry fields, strawberry fields forever“. It should also be noted that ‘strawberry fields’ could also be an oblique reference to a form of LSD circulating at the time. The album’s five ‘acid stamps’ and first track “Ah Feel like Ahcid” may underline this, whilst ‘Smokin’ Stones’ is probably a ‘pro comment’ on the contrasting rhythm and blues style of the Rolling Stones. Vliet spoke badly of Lennon after getting no response when he sent a telegram of support to him and wife Yoko Ono during their 1969 “Bed–In for peace”. Van Vliet did meet McCartney in Cannes during the Magic Band’s 1968 tour of Europe, though McCartney later claimed to have no recollection of this meeting.
The Flipside of Success
Doug Moon left the band after his dislike of the band’s increasing experimentation beyond his preference of the blues genre. Ry Cooder told of Moon becoming so angered by Van Vliet’s unrelenting criticism that he walked into the room pointing a loaded crossbow at him, only to be told “Get that fucking thing out of here, get out of here and get back in your room”, which he obeyed. (Other band members have disputed this account, although Moon is likely to have ‘passed through’ the studio with a weapon.) Moon was present during the early demo sessions at Original Sound studio, above the Kama Sutra/Buddah offices. The works Moon laid down did not see the light of day, as he was replaced by Cooder when they continued on material at Sunset Sound with Marker. Marker then fell by the wayside when recording was moved by Krasnow and Perry to RCA Studio. This would have a profound effect on the quality of the Safe As Milk work, as the former studio was 8-track and the subsequent studio a 4-track.
To support the album’s release the group had been scheduled to play at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. During this period Vliet suffered severe anxiety attacks that made him convinced that he was having a heart attack, probably exacerbated by his heavy LSD use and the fact that his father died of heart failure a few years earlier. At a vital ‘warm-up’ performance at the Mt. Tamalpais Festival (June 10/11) shortly before the scheduled Monterey Festival (June 16/18), the band began to play “Electricity” and Van Vliet froze, straightened his tie, then walked off the ten–foot stage and landed on manager Bob Krasnow. He later claimed he had seen a girl in the audience turn into a fish, with bubbles coming from her mouth. This aborted any opportunity of breakthrough success at Monterey, as Cooder immediately decided he could no longer work with Van Vliet, effectively quitting both the event and the band on the spot. With such complex guitar parts there was no means for the band to find a competent replacement in time for Monterey. Cooder’s spot was eventually filled for a short spell by Gerry McGee, who had played with The Monkees. According to French the band did two gigs with McGee, one of which was at The Peppermint Twist near Long Beach. The other was at Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, 7 August 1967, as opening act to The Yardbirds. McGee was in the group long enough to have an outfit made by a Santa Monica boutique that also created the gear worn by the band on the Strictly Personal cover stamps.
In August, guitarist Jeff Cotton filled the guitar spot vacated, in turn, by Cooder and McGee. In October and November 1967 the Snouffer/Cotton/Handley/French line–up recorded material for what was planned to be the second album. Originally intended to be a double album called It Comes to You in a Plain Brown Wrapper for the Buddah label, it was released later in pieces in 1971 and 1995. After rejection from Buddah, Bob Krasnow encouraged the band to re–record four of the shorter numbers, to add two more, and make shorter versions of “Mirror Man” and “Kandy Korn”. The music was already weakly recorded with a trebly thin sound; Krasnow then implemented a strange mix full of “phasing” that by most accounts (including Beefheart’s) diminished the music’s strength; this was released in October 1968 as Strictly Personal on Krasnow’s Blue Thumb label. Stewart Mason in his Allmusic review of the album described it as a “terrific album” and a “fascinating, underrated release”, “every bit the equal of Safe as Milk and Trout Mask Replica“. Langdon Winner of Rolling Stone called Strictly Personal “an excellent album. The guitars of the Magic Band mercilessly bend and stretch notes in a way that suggests that the world of music has wobbled clear off its axis,” with the lyrics demonstrating “Beefheart’s ability to juxtapose delightful humor with frightening insights”. Van Vliet furthered his own mythology through interviews.
In 1971 some of the recordings done for Buddah were released as Mirror Man, bearing a liner note claiming that the material had been recorded “one night in Los Angeles in 1965″. This was a ruse to circumvent possible copyright issues; the material was actually recorded in November and December 1967. Essentially a “jam” album, described as pushing “the boundaries of conventional blues–rock, with a Beefheart vocal tossed in here and there. Some may miss Beefheart’s surreal poetry, gruff vocals, and/or free jazz influence, while others may find it fascinating to hear the Magic Band simply letting go and cutting loose”. The album’s ‘miss-credit errors’ also state band members as “Alex St. Clare Snouffer” (Alex St. Clare/Alexis Snouffer), “Antennae Jimmy Simmons” (Semens/Jeff Cotton) and “Jerry Handsley” (Handley). First vinyl was issued in both a die-cut gatefold (revealing a ‘cracked’ mirror) and a single sleeve with same image. The UK Buddah issue was part of the Polydor-manufactured ‘Select’ series.
During his first trip to England in January 1968, Captain Beefheart was briefly represented in the UK by mod icon Peter Meaden, an early manager of The Who. The Captain and his band members were initially denied entry to the United Kingdom, because Meaden had illegally booked them for gigs without applying for appropriate work permits. After returning to Germany for a few days, the group was permitted to re-enter the UK, when they recorded material for John Peel‘s radio show and appeared at the Middle Earth venue, introduced by Peel on Saturday 20 January. By this time, they had terminated their association with Meaden. On January 27, 1968, Beefheart achieved one of his most memorable live performances, when the band performed in the MIDEM Music Festival on the beach at Cannes, France.
Alex St. Claire left the band in June 1968 after their return from a second European tour and was replaced by teenager Bill Harkleroad; bassist Jerry Handley left a few weeks later.
The Mirror Man Sessions and new Buddha
In 1999 the defunct Buddah label emerged with a new look, a correct title spelling and relevant ‘deity’ image – replacing the silhouetted ‘Shiva’ image and Buddah name for Beefheart material. The Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG) now had the Buddah catalogue, producing both a remastered CD of Safe As Milk and a CD titled The Mirror Man Sessions, the latter providing an insight to the Mirror Man and Strictly Personal albums, and recordings relating to the ‘Brown Wrapper’ project. The tracks are presented as “Original Masters” and provides further insight to the interpolating material that also appears on It Comes To You In A Plain Brown Wrapper. The insert also shows the entire band in Quaker hats and outfits.
The ‘Brown Wrapper’ Sessions
After their Euro tour and the Cannes beach performance the band returned to the USA. Moves were already in the air for them to leave Buddah and sign to MGM and, prior to their May tour – mainly in the UK – they re-recorded some Buddah material of the partial Mirror Man sessions at Sunset Sound with Bruce Botnick. Beefheart had also been conceptualizing new band names, including “25th Century Quaker” and “Blue Thumb”, whilst making suggestions to other musicians that they might get involved. The thought-process of “25th Century Quaker” was that it would be a ‘blues band’ alias for the more avant-garde work of the Magic Band. Photographer Guy Webster actually photographed the band in Quaker-style outfits, and the picture appears in The Mirror Man Sessions CD insert. It would later transpire that much of this situation was transient and that Buddah’s Bob Krasnow was to set up his own label. The label that was unsurprisingly named Blue Thumb launched with its first release Strictly Personal, a truncated version of the original Beefheart vision of a double album. Thus “25th Century Quaker” became a track and a potential band-name became a label. (In the Verve/MGM catalogue there is also an entry for a 3000 series issue cat# FTS 3054, allocated to Captain Beefheart as “unreleased”)
In overview, the works for the double album in this period were intended to be packaged in a plain brown wrapper, with a ‘strictly personal’ over-stamp and addressed in a manner that could have connotations of drug content, pornographic or illicit material; As per the small ads of the time; “It comes to you in a plain brown wrapper”. Given that Krasnow had effectively poached the band from Buddah there were limitations on what material could be released. Strictly Personal was the result, contained in its enigmatically-addressed parcel sleeve. The raft of material left behind eventually emerged, firstly on CD as I May Be Hungry, But I Sure Ain’t Weird and later on vinyl, implemented by John French, as It Comes To You In A Plain Brown Wrapper (which has two tracks that are missing from the former release). Both Blue Thumb and the stamps on the cover of Strictly Personal have LSD connotations, as does the track “Ah Feel Like Ahcid”.
The Beefheart Pose
Following the shelved concepts for a “25th Century Quaker” band, it could be viewed as pertinent that Beefheart can later be seen wearing a ‘Quaker hat’ on the cover of Trout Mask Replica, while employing a carp head as a ‘replica’ for a trout. Vliet’s appearance on the sleeves of his albums has a strong affinity with the nature of their content. Like his music, his taste in clothing can be seen as a ‘window’ into his world. The sharp ‘mod’ suits and ties of Safe as Milk, reflecting the ‘modernist’ movement in the UK, tip a fedora to the snappy attire of influential bluesmen of the band’s past. The beat-generation, its goatees and the Freak-hair and hippie-influence shirts then flare up on the ‘acid stamps’ of Strictly Personal. The dapper line-up on Lick My Decals Off, Baby, photographed on the Warner set of the film and television show Hotel, heads into the realms of the Jazz Age, Scott Fitzgerald and an Oscar Wilde dress mode. Much suggestive of the word-play that evolves.
In the period leading up to the formation of a new line-up and Trout Mask Replica rehearsals, Vliet and his musical associates would mix at Zappa’s home. The paths of The GTOs and The Magic Band would cross at such meetings. GTOs’ group member, and Zappa babysitter, Miss Pamela had already been introduced to Vliet by her high-school acquaintance with his cousin Victor Hayden. The GTOs’ track “The Captain’s Fat Theresa Shoes” is an amusing observation of his keen taste in footwear. Interestingly, the GTOs’ album also has work by Safe As Milk members Ry Cooder and Russ Titelman. Vliet points to his shoes in his ‘tapdance’ on the TV commercial for Lick My Decals Off, Baby, which is now archived at the MoMa. His similar ‘soft shoe’ attire can be seen on Bongo Fury, with the image flipped left-to-right and Vliet enigmatically having his face obscured once again. An album from a period in which he would also become “Bloodshot Rollin’ Red” on One Size Fits All and be hauling himself out of a contractual quagmire.
On The Spotlight Kid the Magic Band is uncredited and Vliet steps into the limelight of the cover in an outfit that gives more than a passing nod to the look of the Pachuco and Tex-Mex musician. His art and poetry begins to feature on the back of this release. By the release of Clear Spot Vliet had begun to put on a little weight. The black and white image is a long-shot of Vliet, complete with Rickshaw hat, perhaps a ‘star’ at the control board of Griffith Observatory, situated in the park with the zoo of his sculpting junior past. Then, there is no question that Vliet is ‘going commercial’, complete with a wad of dollar bills on the cover of Unconditionally Guaranteed. He gives cousin Victor Hayden a chance to provide a painted image for its follow-up Bluejeans & Moonbeams, with what may be interpreted as a ‘sacrificial’ astral goat about to straddle a fence.
The final three albums then embrace Vliet’s art completely, with his “Green Tom” (1976) painting on Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller), a 1979 illustration on Doc At The Radar Station and his painting segments employed on the 1982 Ice Cream For Crow. On this final album, in the Anton Corbijn photo, he has removed his familiar hat and has taken a ‘final stage bow’ stance. In the Corbijn film, he pulls down a blind on the proceedings.
Trout Mask Replica, 1969
Critically acclaimed as Van Vliet’s magnum opus, Trout Mask Replica was released as a 28 track double album in June 1969 on Frank Zappa‘s newly formed Straight Records label. First issues, in the USA, were auto-coupled and housed in the black ‘Straight’ liners along with a 6-page lyric sheet illustrated by The Mascara Snake. A school-age portrait of Van Vliet appears on the front of this sheet, whilst the cover of the gatefold enigmatically shows Beefheart in a ‘Quaker’ hat, obscuring his face with the head of a fish. The fish is a carp – arguably a ‘replica’ for a trout, photographed by Cal Schenkel. The inner spread ‘infra-red‘ photography is by Ed Caraeff, who’s Beefheart vacuum cleaner images from this session also appear on Zappa’s Hot Rats release (a month earlier) to accompany “Willie The Pimp” lyrics sung by Vliet. Alex St. Clair had now left the band and, after Junior Madeo from The Blackouts was considered, the role was filled by Bill Harkleroad. Bassist Jerry Handley had also departed, with Gary Marker stepping in. Thus the long rehearsals for the album began in the house on Ensenada Drive in Woodland Hills, L.A., that would become the infamous ‘Magic Band House’.
The Magic Band began recordings for Trout Mask Replica with bassist Gary ‘Magic’ Marker at T.T.G. (on “Moonlight On Vermont” and “Veteran’s Day Poppy”), but later enlisted bassist Mark Boston after his departure. The remainder of the album was recorded at Whitney Studios, with some field recordings made at the house. Boston was acquainted with French and Harkleroad via past bands. Van Vliet had also begun assigning nicknames to his band members, so Harkleroad became “Zoot Horn Rollo“, and Boston became “Rockette Morton“, while John French assumed the name “Drumbo“, and Jeff Cotton became “Antennae Jimmy Semens“. Van Vliet’s cousin Victor Hayden, “The Mascara Snake“, performed as a bass clarinetist later in the proceedings. Vliet’s girlfriend Laurie Stone, who can be heard laughing at the beginning of “Fallin’ Ditch”, would also became a temp typist at the Magic Band house.
Van Vliet wanted the whole band to “live” the Trout Mask Replica album. The group rehearsed Van Vliet’s difficult compositions for eight months, living communally in their small rented house in the Woodland Hills suburb of Los Angeles. With only two bedrooms the band members would find sleep in various corners of one, whilst Vliet occupied the other and rehearsals were accomplished in the main living area. Van Vliet implemented his vision by completely dominating his musicians, artistically and emotionally. At various times one or another of the group members was “put in the barrel,” with Van Vliet berating him continually, sometimes for days, until the musician collapsed in tears or in total submission. Drummer John French described the situation as “cultlike” and a visiting friend said “the environment in that house was positively Mansonesque.” Their material circumstances were dire. With no income other than welfare and contributions from relatives, the group barely survived and were even arrested for shoplifting food (Zappa bailed them out). French has recalled living on no more than a small cup of beans a day for a month. A visitor described their appearance as “cadaverous” and said that “they all looked in poor health.” Band members were restricted from leaving the house and practiced for 14 or more hours a day.
Physical assaults were encouraged at times, along with verbal degradation. Beefheart spoke of studying texts on brainwashing at a public library at about this time, and appeared to be applying brainwashing techniques to his bandmembers: sleep deprivation, food deprivation, constant negative reinforcement, and rewarding bandmembers when they attacked each other or competed with each other. At one point Cotton ran from the house and escaped for a few weeks, during which time Alex Snouffer filled in for him and helped to work up “Ant Man Bee”. French, who had thrown a metal cymbal at Cotton, ran after him yelling that he too wanted to come. Cotton later returned to the house with French’s mother, who took him away for a few weeks, but he later felt compelled to return, as did Cotton. Mark Boston at one point hid clothes in a field across the street, planning his own getaway.
John French’s 2010 book Through the Eyes of Magic describes some of the “talks” which were initiated by his actions such as being heard playing a Frank Zappa drum part (“The Blimp (mousetrapreplica)”) in his drumming shed, and not having finished drum parts as quickly as Beefheart wanted. French writes of being punched by band members, thrown into walls, kicked, punched in the face by Beefheart hard enough to draw blood, being attacked with a sharp broomstick, and eventually of Beefheart threatening to throw him out of an upper floor window. He admits complicity in similarly attacking his bandmates during “talks” aimed at them. In the end, after the album‘s recording, French was ejected from the band by Beefheart throwing him down a set of stairs with violence, telling him to “Take a walk, man” after not responding in a desired manner to a request to “play a strawberry” on the drums. Beefheart replaced French with drummer Jeff Bruschel, an acquaintance of Hayden. Referred to as ‘Fake Drumbo’ (playing on French’s drumset) this final act resulted in French’s name not appearing on the album credits, either as a player or arranger. Bruschel toured with the band to Europe but was replaced by the next recording.
According to Van Vliet, the 28 songs on the album were written in a single 8½ hour session at the piano, an instrument in which he had no skill in playing, an approach Mike Barnes compared to John Cage‘s “maverick irreverence toward classical tradition”, though band members have stated that the songs were written over the course of about a year, beginning around December 1967. (The band did watch Federico Fellini‘s 1963 film 8½ during the creation of the album). It took the band about eight months to mold the songs into shape, with French bearing primary responsibility for transposing and shaping Vliet’s piano fragments into guitar and bass lines, which were mostly notated on paper. Harkleroad in 1998 said in retrospect: “We’re dealing with a strange person, coming from a place of being a sculptor/painter, using music as his idiom. He was getting more into that part of who he was instead of this blues singer.” The band had rehearsed the songs so thoroughly that the instrumental tracks for 21 of the songs were recorded in a single four and a half hour recording session. Van Vliet spent the next few days overdubbing the vocals. The album’s title came from its cover artwork, which was photographed and designed by Cal Schenkel; Van Vliet wearing the raw head of a carp, bought from a local fish market and fashioned into a mask by Schenkel.
Trout Mask Replica incorporated a wide variety of musical styles, including blues, avant garde/experimental, and rock. The relentless practice prior to recording blended the music into an iconoclastic whole of contrapuntal tempos, featuring slide guitar, polyrhythmic drumming (with French’s drums and cymbals covered in cardboard), honking saxophone and bass clarinet. Van Vliet’s vocals range from his signature Howlin’ Wolf inspired growl to frenzied falsetto to laconic, casual ramblings.
The instrumental backing was effectively recorded live in the studio, while Van Vliet overdubbed most of the vocals in only partial synch with the music by hearing the slight sound leakage through the studio window. Zappa said of Van Vliet’s approach, “[it was] impossible to tell him why things should be such and such a way. It seemed to me that if he was going to create a unique object, that the best thing for me to do was to keep my mouth shut as much as possible and just let him do whatever he wanted to do whether I thought it was wrong or not.”
Van Vliet used the ensuing publicity, particularly with a 1970 Rolling Stone interview with Langdon Winner, to promulgate a number of myths which were subsequently quoted as fact. Winner’s article stated, for instance, that neither Van Vliet nor the members of the Magic Band ever took drugs, but Harkleroad later contradicted this. Van Vliet claimed to have taught both Harkleroad and Boston to play their instruments from scratch; in fact the pair were already accomplished young musicians before joining the band. Last, Van Vliet claimed to have gone a year and half without sleeping. When asked how this was possible, he claimed to have only eaten fruit.
Critic Steve Huey of Allmusic writes that the album’s influence “was felt more in spirit than in direct copycatting, as a catalyst rather than a literal musical starting point. However, its inspiring reimagining of what was possible in a rock context laid the groundwork for countless experiments in rock surrealism to follow, especially during the punk and New Wave era.” In 2003, the album was ranked fifty-eighth by Rolling Stone in their list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: “On first listen, Trout Mask Replica sounds like raw Delta blues“, with Beefheart “singing and ranting and reciting poetry over fractured guitar licks. But the seeming sonic chaos is an illusion—to construct the songs, the Magic Band rehearsed twelve hours a day for months on end in a house with the windows blacked out. (Producer Frank Zappa was then able to record most of the album in less than five hours.) Tracks such as “Ella Guru” and “My Human Gets Me Blues” are the direct predecessors of modern musical primitives such as Tom Waits and PJ Harvey“. Guitarist Fred Frith noted that during this process “forces that usually emerge in improvisation are harnessed and made constant, repeatable.”
Critic Robert Christgau gave the album a B+, saying that “I find it impossible to give this record an A because it is just too weird. But I’d like to. Very great played at high volume when you’re feeling shitty, because you’ll never feel as shitty as this record”. BBC disc jockey John Peel said of the album: “If there has been anything in the history of popular music which could be described as a work of art in a way that people who are involved in other areas of art would understand, then Trout Mask Replica is probably that work.”
Later recordings, 1970–1982
Lick My Decals Off, Baby
Lick My Decals Off, Baby (1970) continued in a similarly experimental vein. An album with “a very coherent structure” in the Magic Band’s “most experimental and visionary stage”, it was Van Vliet’s most commercially successful in the United Kingdom, spending twenty weeks on the UK Albums Chart and peaking at number 20. An early promotional music video was made of its title song, and a bizarre television commercial was also filmed that included excerpts from “Woe-Is-uh-Me-Bop”, silent footage of masked Magic Band members using kitchen utensils as musical instruments, and Beefheart kicking over a bowl of what appears to be porridge onto a dividing stripe in the middle of a road. The video was rarely played but was accepted into the Museum of Modern Art, where it has been used in several programs related to music.
On this LP Art Tripp III, formerly of the Mothers of Invention, played drums and marimba. Lick My Decals Off, Baby was the first record on which the band was credited as “The Magic Band”, rather than “His Magic Band”; journalist Irwin Chusid interprets this change as “a grudging concession of its members’ at least semiautonomous humanity.” Robert Christgau gave the album an A-, commenting that “Beefheart’s famous five-octave range and covert totalitarian structures have taken on a playful undertone, repulsive and engrossing and slapstick funny”. Due to licensing disputes, Lick My Decals Off, Baby has since become a very expensive rarity, whether on vinyl or CD. It was ranked second in Uncut magazine’s May 2010 list of “The 50 Greatest Lost Albums”. In 2011 however, the album became available for download on the iTunes Store.
The Spotlight Kid and Clear Spot
The next two records, The Spotlight Kid (simply credited to “Captain Beefheart”) and Clear Spot (credited to “Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band”), were both released in 1972. The atmosphere of The Spotlight Kid is “definitely relaxed and fun, maybe one step up from a jam.” And though “things do sound maybe just a little too blasé,” “Beefheart at his worst still has something more than most groups at their best.” The music is simpler and slower than on the group’s two previous releases, the uncompromisingly original Trout Mask Replica and the frenetic Lick My Decals Off, Baby. This was in part an attempt by Van Vliet to become a more appealing commercial proposition as the band had made virtually no money during the previous two years—at the time of recording, the band members were subsisting on welfare food handouts and remittances from their parents. Van Vliet offered that he “got tired of scaring people with what I was doing… I realized that I had to give them something to hang their hat on, so I started working more of a beat into the music.” Magic Band members have also said that the slower performances were due in part to Van Vliet’s inability to fit his lyrics with the instrumental backing of the faster material on the earlier albums, a problem that was exacerbated in that he almost never rehearsed with the group. In the period leading up to the recording the band lived communally, first at a compound near Ben Lomond, California and then in northern California near Trinidad. The situation saw a return to the physical violence and psychological manipulation that had taken place during the band’s previous communal residence while composing and rehearsing Trout Mask Replica. According to John French, the worst of this was directed toward Harkleroad. In his autobiography Harkleroad recalls being thrown into a dumpster, an act he interpreted as having metaphorical intent.
Clear Spot’s production credit of Ted Templeman made Allmusic consider “why in the world [it] wasn’t more of a commercial success than it was,” and that while fans “of the fully all-out side of Beefheart might find the end result not fully up to snuff as a result, but those less concerned with pushing back all borders all the time will enjoy his unexpected blend of everything tempered with a new accessibility.” The song “Big Eyed Beans from Venus” is noted as “a fantastically strange piece of aggression.” A Clear Spot song, “Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles”, appeared on the soundtrack of the Coen brothers‘ cult comedy film The Big Lebowski (1998).
Unconditionally Guaranteed and Bluejeans & Moonbeams
In 1974, immediately after the recording of Unconditionally Guaranteed, which markedly continued the trend towards a more commercial sound heard on some of the Clear Spot tracks, the Magic Band’s original members departed. Disgruntled and past members worked together for a period, gigging at Blue Lake and putting together their own ideas and demos, with John French earmarked as the vocalist. These concepts eventually coalesced around the core of Art Tripp III, Harkleroad and Boston, with the formation of Mallard, helped by finance and UK recording facilities from Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson. Some of French’s compositions were used in the band’s work, but the group’s singer was Sam Galpin and the role of keyboardist was eventually taken by John Thomas, who had shared a house with French in Eureka at the time. At this time Vliet attempted to recruit both French and Harkleroad as producers for his next album, but his pleas fell on deaf ears. Andy Di Martino produced both of these Virgin label albums.
Van Vliet was forced to quickly form a new Magic Band to complete support-tour dates, with musicians who had no experience with his music and in fact had never heard it. Having no knowledge of the previous Magic Band style, they simply improvised what they thought would go with each song, playing much slicker versions that have been described as “bar band” versions of Beefheart songs. A review described this incarnation of the Magic Band as the “Tragic Band”, a term that has stuck over the years. Mike Barnes said that the description of the new band “grooving along pleasantly”, was “an appropriately banal description of the music of a man who only a few years ago composed with the expressed intent of shaking listeners out of their torpor”. The one album they recorded, Bluejeans & Moonbeams (1974) has, like its predecessor, a completely different, almost soft rock sound from any other Beefheart record. Neither was well received; drummer Art Tripp recalled that when he and the original Magic Band listened to Unconditionally Guaranteed, they “were horrified. As we listened, it was as though each song was worse than the one which preceded it.” Beefheart later disowned both albums, calling them “horrible and vulgar”, asking that they not be considered part of his musical output and urging fans who bought them to “take copies back for a refund”. Musician Jack White seemingly had a different viewpoint, recording a cover of the track Party of Special Things to Do from the Bluejeans & Moonbeams album on a limited edition 7″ vinyl. This has two other tracks from Beefheart works.
Bongo Fury to Bat Chain Puller
By the fall of 1975 the band completed their Euro tour, with further USA dates completed into the New Year of ’76, along with Dr. John, supporting Zappa. Van Vliet now found himself stuck in a web of contractual hang-ups. At this point Zappa had begun to extend a helping hand, with Vliet already having performed incognito as Rollin’ Red on FZ’s One Size Fits All (1975) and then joining with him on the Bongo Fury album and its later support tour. Two Vliet-penned numbers on the Bongo Fury album are Sam With The Showing Scalp Flat Top and Man With The Woman Head. The form, texture and imagery of this album’s first track Debra Kadabra, sung by Vliet, has ‘angular similarities’ to the work he would later produce in his next three albums. On the Bongo Fury album Vliet also sings Poofter’s Froth, Wyoming Plans Ahead, harmonizes on 200 Years Old and Muffin Man and plays harmonica and soprano saxophone. In early 1976 Zappa put on his producer hat and, once again, opened up his studio facilities and finance to Vliet. This was for the production of an album provisionally titled Bat Chain Puller. The band were John French (drums), John Thomas (keyboards) and Jeff Moris Tepper and Denny Walley (guitars). Much of the work on this album had been finalized and some demos had been circulated when fate once again struck the Beefheart camp. In May 1976 the long association between Zappa and his manager/business partner Herb Cohen ceased. This resulted in Zappa’s finances and ongoing works becoming part of protracted legal negotiations. The Bat Chain Puller project went ‘on ice’ and has remained in the Zappa vaults since. Consequently, the thrust and works of this album had to be reworked and recorded again. Some bootlegs on both vinyl and CD, purportedly containing original tracks, have circulated. After this recording John Thomas joined ex Magic Band members in Mallard.
Prior to his next album Beefheart appeared in 1977 on the Tubes‘ album Now, playing saxophone on the song “Cathy’s Clone”, and the album also featured a cover of the Clear Spot song “My Head Is My Only House Unless It Rains”. In 1978 he appeared on Jack Nitzsche‘s soundtrack to the film Blue Collar.
Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller)
Having extricated himself from a mire of contractual difficulties Beefheart emerged with this new album, in 1978, on the Warner Bros label. Shiny Beast contained re-workings of the shelved Bat Chain Puller album and still retained this works’ original guitarist, Jeff Moris Tepper. However, he and Vliet were now joined by a whole new line-up of Richard Redus (guitar, bass and accordion), Eric Drew Feldman (bass, piano and synthesizer), Bruce Lambourne Fowler (trombone and air bass), Art Tripp (percussion and marimba) and Robert Arthur Williams (drums). Thus, the album was suffixed Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) and took on new musical directions. It was co-produced by Vliet with Pete Johnson. Members of this Magic Band and the ‘Bat Chain’ elements would later feature on Beefheart’s last two albums. Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) was described by Ned Ragget of Allmusic to be “…manna from heaven for those feeling Beefheart had lost his way on his two Mercury albums“. Following Vliet’s death, John French claimed the 40-second spoken word track “Apes-Ma” to be an analogy of Van Vliet’s deteriorating physical condition. The album’s sleeve features the Don Van Vliet painting Green Tom, made in 1976. One of the many works that would mark out his longed-for career as a painter of note in later years.
Doc At The Radar Station
Doc at the Radar Station (1980) helped establish Beefheart’s late resurgence. Released by Virgin Records during the post-punk scene, the music was now accessible to a younger, more receptive audience. He was interviewed in a feature report on KABC-TV‘s Channel 7 Eyewitness News in which he was hailed as “the father of the New Wave. One of the most important American composers of the last fifty years, [and] a primitive genius”; Van Vliet said at this period, “I’m doing a non-hypnotic music to break up the catatonic state… and I think there is one right now.” Huey of Allmusic cited the Doc at the Radar Station as being “generally acclaimed as the strongest album of his comeback, and by some as his best since Trout Mask Replica“, “even if the Captain’s voice isn’t quite what it once was, Doc at the Radar Station is an excellent, focused consolidation of Beefheart’s past and then-present”. Van Vliet’s biographer Mike Barnes speaks of “revamping work built on skeletal ideas and fragments that would have mouldered away in the vaults had they not been exhumed and transformed into full-blown, totally convincing new material.” During this period, Van Vliet made two appearances on David Letterman‘s late night television program on NBC, and also performed on Saturday Night Live.
Richard Redus and Art Tripp departed on this album, with slide guitar and marimba duties taken up by the reappearance of John French. The guitar skills of Gary Lucas also feature on the track “Flavor Bud Living”.
Ice Cream for Crow
The final Beefheart record, Ice Cream for Crow (1982), was recorded with Gary Lucas (who was also Van Vliet’s manager), Jeff Moris Tepper, Richard Snyder and Cliff Martinez. This line-up made a video to promote the title track, directed by Van Vliet and Ken Schreiber, with cinematography by Daniel Pearl, which was rejected by MTV for being “too weird.” However, the video was included in the Letterman broadcast on NBC-TV, and was also accepted into the Museum of Modern Art. Van Vliet announced “I don’t want MTV!” during his interview with Letterman, in reference to MTV’s “I want my MTV” marketing campaign of the time. Ice Cream for Crow, along with songs such as its title track, features instrumental performances by the Magic Band with performance poetry readings by Van Vliet. Ragget of Allmusic called the album a “last entertaining blast of wigginess from one of the few truly independent artists in late 20th century pop music, with humor, skill, and style all still intact”; with the Magic Band “turning out more choppy rhythms, unexpected guitar lines, and outré arrangements, Captain Beefheart lets everything run wild as always, with successful results”. Barnes writes that “the most original and vital tracks (on the album) are the newer ones”, saying that it “feels like an hors-d’oeuvre for a main course that never came”. Promotional work proposed to Beefheart by Virgin Records was as unorthodox as him making an appearance in the 1987 film Grizzly II: The Predator. Soon after, Van Vliet retired from music and began a new career as a painter. Gary Lucas tried to convince him to record one more album, but to no avail.
The Legendary A&M Sessions
After Beefheart’s retirement A&M Records gathered up their archived singles recordings of the band back in the mid ’60s and released them as The Legendary A&M Sessions in 1984. This is a 12″ 45rpm vinyl EP, containing the tracks from the two singles “Diddy Wah Diddy” b/w “Who Do You Think You’re Fooling” and “Moonchild” b/w “Frying Pan”. In addition, it has a 5th track, “Here I Am, I Always Am” – which had not been officially released. An Edsel reissue on vinyl and CD appeared in 1986. This release effectively takes the history of the band back to its roots
Riding Some Kind Of Unusual Skull Sleigh
Released in 2004 by Rhino Handmade in a limited edition of 1,500 copies, this prestigious signed and numbered box set contains a “Riding Some Kind of Unusual Skull Sleigh” CD of Vliet-recited poetry, the Anton Corbijn film of Vliet Some YoYo Stuff on DVD and two art books. One book, entitled Splinters, gives a visual ‘scrapbook’ insight into Vliet’s life, from an early age to his painting in retirement. The second, eponymously titled, book is packed with art pages of Vliet’s work. The first is bound in green linen, the second in yellow. These colors are counterpointed throughout the package, which comes in a green slipcase measuring 235 x 325 x 70 mm. An onion-skin wallet, nestling at the package’s inner sanctum, contains a matching-numbered Vliet lithograph on hand-rolled paper, signed by the artist. The two books are by publishers “Artist Ink Editions”.
Corbijn also directed the video for Ice Cream For Crow.
Note: An art book, by W. C. Bamberger, which analyzes Vliet’s paintings, is also titled “Riding Some Kind Of Unusual Skull Sleigh” and should not be confused with this set.
Throughout his musical career, Van Vliet remained interested in art. He placed his paintings, often reminiscent of Franz Kline‘s, on several of his albums. In 1987, Van Vliet published Skeleton Breath, Scorpion Blush, a collection of his poetry, paintings and drawings.
In the mid 1980s, Van Vliet became reclusive and abandoned music, stating he had gotten “too good at the horn” and could make far more money painting. Beefheart’s first exhibition had been at Liverpool’s Bluecoat Gallery during the Magic Band’s 1972 tour of the UK. He was interviewed on Granada regional TV standing in front of his bold black and white canvases. He was inspired to begin an art career when a fan, Julian Schnabel, who admired the artwork seen on his album covers, asked to buy a drawing from him. His debut exhibition as a serious painter was at the Mary Boone Gallery in New York in 1985 and was initially regarded as that of “another rock musician dabbling in art for ego’s sake”, though his primitive, non-conformist work has received more sympathetic and serious attention since then, with some sales approaching $25,000. Two books have been published specifically devoted to critique and analysis of his artwork: Riding Some Kind of Unusual Skull Sleigh: On The Arts Of Don Van Vliet (1999) by W.C. Bamberger and Stand Up To Be Discontinued, first published in 1993, a now rare collection of essays on Van Vliet’s work. The limited edition version of the book contains a CD of Van Vliet reading six of his poems: “Fallin’ Ditch”, “The Tired Plain”, “Skeleton Makes Good”, “Safe Sex Drill”, “Tulip” and “Gill”. A deluxe edition was published in 1994; only 60 were printed, with etchings of Van Vliet’s signature, costing £180.
In the early 1980s Van Vliet established an association with the Michael Werner Gallery. Eric Feldman stated later in an interview that at that time Michael Werner told Van Vliet he needed to stop playing music if he wanted to be respected as a painter, warning him that otherwise he would only be considered a “musician who paints”. In doing so, it was said that he had effectively “succeeded in leaving his past behind.” Gordon Veneklasen, one of the gallery’s directors in 1995 described Van Vliet as an “incredible painter” whose work “doesn’t really look like anybody else’s work but his own.” Van Vliet has been described as a modernist, a primitivist, an abstract expressionist, and an outsider artist. Morgan Falconer of Artforum concurs, mentioning both a “neo-primitivist aesthetic” and further stating that his work is influenced by the CoBrA painters. The resemblance to the CoBrA painters is also recognized by art critic Roberto Ohrt, while others have compared his paintings to the work of Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, Antonin Artaud, Francis Bacon, Vincent van Gogh and Mark Rothko.
According to Dr. John Lane, director of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, in 1997, although Van Vliet’s work has associations with mainstream abstract expressionist painting, more importantly he is a self-taught artist and his painting “has that same kind of edge the music has.” Lane explained that in contrast to the busied, bohemian urban lives of the New York abstract expressionists, the rural desert environment Van Vliet is influenced by is a distinctly naturalistic one, making him a distinguished figure in contemporary art, whose work will survive in canon. Van Vliet has stated of his own work, “I’m trying to turn myself inside out on the canvas. I’m trying to completely bare what I think at that moment” and that “I paint for the simple reason that I have to. I feel a sense of relief after I do”. He has stated of precedent influences that there are none. “I just paint like I paint and that’s enough influence.” He has however stated his admiration of Georg Baselitz, the De Stijl artist Piet Mondrian, and Vincent van Gogh; after seeing van Gogh’s paintings in person, Van Vliet quoted himself as saying that “the sun disappoints me so”.
Exhibits of his paintings from the late 1990s at both the Anton Kern and Michael Werner Galleries of New York City received favorable reviews, the most recent of which were held between 2009 and 2010. Falconer stated that the most recent exhibitions showed “evidence of a serious, committed artist.” It was claimed that he stopped painting in the late 1990s. A 2007 interview with Van Vliet through email by Anthony Haden-Guest, however, showed him to still be active artistically. He exhibited only few of his paintings because he immediately destroyed any that did not satisfy him.
Life in retirement
After his retirement from music, Van Vliet rarely appeared in public. He resided near Trinidad, California, with his wife Janet aka his sometime song co-writer Jan Van Vliet. By the early 1990s he had become wheelchair-bound and was suffering from multiple sclerosis. The severity of his illness was sometimes disputed. Many of his art contractors and friends considered him to be in good health. Other associates such as his longtime drummer and musical director John French and bassist Richard Snyder have stated that they had noticed symptoms consistent with the onset of multiple sclerosis, such as sensitivity to heat, loss of balance, and stiffness of gait, by the late 1970s.
One of Van Vliet’s last public appearances was in the 1993 short documentary Some Yo Yo Stuff by filmmaker Anton Corbijn, described as an “observation of his observations”. Around 13 minutes long and shot entirely in black and white, with appearances by his mother and David Lynch, the film showed a noticeably weakened and dysarthric Van Vliet at his residence in California, reading poetry, and philosophically discussing his life, environment, music and art. In 2000, he appeared on Gary Lucas’ album Improve the Shining Hour and Moris Tepper’s Moth to Mouth, and spoke on Tepper’s 2004 song “Ricochet Man” from the album Head Off. He is credited for naming Tepper’s 2010 album A Singer Named Shotgun Throat.
Van Vliet often voiced concern over and support for environmentalist issues and causes, particularly the welfare of animals. He often referred to Earth as “God’s Golfball” and this expression can be found on a number of his later albums. In 2003 he was heard on the compilation album Where We Live: Stand for What You Stand On: A Benefit CD for EarthJustice singing a version of “Happy Birthday to You” retitled “Happy Earthday”. The track is 34 seconds long and was recorded over the telephone.
The Michael Werner Gallery announced on Friday, December 17, 2010, that Van Vliet had died at a hospital in Arcata, California, weeks short of his 70th birthday. The gallery stated him to be “a complex and influential figure in the visual and performing arts,” and “one of the most original recording artists of his time”. The cause was named as complications from multiple sclerosis. Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan commented on his death, praising him: “Wondrous, secret… and profound, he was a diviner of the highest order.”
Dweezil Zappa dedicated the song “Willie the Pimp” to Beefheart at the “Zappa Plays Zappa” show at the Beacon Theater in New York City on the day of his death, while Jeff Bridges exclaimed “Rest in peace, Captain Beefheart!” at the conclusion of the December 18 episode of NBC’s Saturday Night Live.
Relationship with Frank Zappa
Van Vliet met Frank Zappa when they were both teenagers and shared an interest in rhythm and blues and Chicago blues. They collaborated together from this early stage, with Zappa’s scripts for ‘teenage operettas’ such as “Captain Beefheart & The Grunt People” helping to elevate the Van Vliet persona of Captain Beefheart. In 1963, the pair recorded a demo at the Pal Recording Studio in Cucamonga as the Soots, seeking support from a major label. Their efforts were unsuccessful, as “Beefheart’s Howlin’ Wolf vocal style and Zappa’s distorted guitar” were “not on the agenda” at the time.
The friendship between Zappa and Van Vliet over the years was sometimes expressed in the form of rivalry as musicians drifted back and forth between their groups. Van Vliet embarked on the 1975 Bongo Fury tour with Zappa and The Mothers, mainly because conflicting contractual obligations made him unable to tour or record independently. Their relationship grew acrimonious on the tour to the point that they refused to talk to one another. Zappa became irritated by Van Vliet, who drew constantly, including while on stage, filling one of his large sketch books with rapidly executed portraits and warped caricatures of Zappa. Musically, Van Vliet’s primitive style contrasted sharply with Zappa’s compositional discipline and abundant technique. Mothers of Invention drummer Jimmy Carl Black described the situation as “two geniuses” on “ego trips”. Estranged for years afterwards, they reconnected at the end of Zappa’s life, after his diagnosis with terminal prostate cancer. Their collaborative work appears on the Zappa rarity collections The Lost Episodes (1996) and Mystery Disc (1996). Particularly notable is their song “Muffin Man“, included on the Zappa/Beefheart Bongo Fury album, as well as Zappa’s compilation album Strictly Commercial (1995). Zappa finished concerts with the song for many years afterwards. Beefheart also provided vocals for “Willie the Pimp” on Zappa’s otherwise instrumental album Hot Rats (1969). One track on Trout Mask Replica, “The Blimp (mousetrapreplica)”, features Magic Band guitarist Jeff Cotton talking on the telephone to Zappa superimposed onto an unrelated live recording of the Mothers of Invention (the backing track was later released in 1992 as “Charles Ives” on You Can’t Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 5 ). Van Vliet also played the harmonica on two songs on Zappa albums: “San Ber’dino” (credited as “Bloodshot Rollin’ Red”) on One Size Fits All (1975) and “Find Her Finer” on Zoot Allures (1976). He is also the vocalist on “The Torture Never Stops (Original Version)” on Zappa’s You Can’t Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 4.
The Magic Band
The members of the original Magic Band had come together in 1965 and, like many rhythm and blues-oriented groups of that era, were influenced by the success of English bands such as the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. At this time Don Van Vliet was simply the lead singer of the group, which had been brought together by guitarist Alex St. Clair. Like many emerging groups in California at the time, there were elements of chemically-induced euphoria embedded in performances and the seeds of a peace and love generation being sown.
Thus, it seemed quite logical to promote the group as “Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band”, around the concept that Captain Beefheart had ‘magic powers’ and, upon drinking a ‘Pepsi’, could summon up “His Magic Band” to appear and perform behind him. The strands of this logic emanating from Vliet’s Beefheart persona having been ‘written in’ as a character in a ‘teenage operetta’ that Zappa had formulated, along with Vliet’s renowned ‘Pepsi-moods’ with his mother Willy Sue and his generally spoilt teenage demeanor.
In late 1965, after numerous car-club dances, juke joint gigs, appearances at the Avalon Ballroom and winning the Teenage Fair ‘Battle of the Bands‘, the group finally bagged a contract for recording two singles with the newly-created A&M Records label with Leonard Grant as their manager. It was at this time that musical relationships had also been struck with members of Rising Sons who would later feature in the band’s recordings. The A&M deal also brought some contention between members of the band, torn between a career as an experimental ‘pop’ group and that of a purist blues band. Working with young producer David Gates also opened up horizons for Vliet’s skills as a poet-cum-lyricist, with his Who Do You Think You’re Fooling on the flipside of the band’s first single, a cover of the Ellas McDaniel/Willie Dixon-penned hit, “Diddy Wah Diddy”. Fate and circumstance, not for the first time, would befall the band’s success upon its release – which coincided with a singles cover of the same song by The Remains. The initial line-up of the Magic Band that entered the studio for the A&M recordings was not that which emerged by the second release, “Moonchild”, also backed by a Vliet-penned number, “Frying Pan”. A 12″ vinyl 45rpm mono EP was later released in 1987, with the 4 tracks of the 2 singles plus “Here I Am, I Always Am” as a 5th previously unreleased song. This release was titled The Legendary A&M Sessions, with a red-marbled cover and (later) members Moon, Blakely, Vliet, Snouffer and Handley seated in a ‘temperance dance band’ photo-pose.
The original Magic Band was primarily a rhythm and blues band, led by local Lancaster guitarist Alexis Snouffer, along with Doug Moon (guitar), Jerry Handley (bass), and Vic Mortenson (drums), the last being rotated with and finally replaced by Paul Blakely, known as ‘P.G. Blakely‘. For the first A&M recording Mortenson had been called up for active service and Snouffer stood in on drums, with a recently recruited Richard Hepner taking up the guitar role. By the time the single was aired on a pop TV show P.G. Blakely was back in the drum seat. He then left for a career in TV and was replaced by John French by the time the band cut their first album, as the first release on the new Buddah Records label.
Personnel in the Magic Band for Beefheart’s first album, Safe As Milk, were Alex St. Clair, Jerry Handley and John French. Earlier meetings with the Rising Sons had also secured them the guitar and arranging skills of Ry Cooder, which also brought about input from Taj Mahal on percussion and guitar work from Cooder’s brother-in-law Russ Titelman. Further guests to this line-up included Milt Holland on percussion and the all-important and controversial theremin work on Electricity by Dr Samuel Hoffman. It was perhaps this track, above the others, which caused A&M to view the band as ‘unsuitable’ for their label with what was seen as weird and too psychedelic for popular consumption. Thus, this album was recorded for Buddah, with the band signed to Kama Sutra, which left them close to penniless after extricating themselves from A&M. A large proportion of the tracks on this album were co-written with Van Vliet by Herb Bermann, whom Vliet initially met up with at a bar gig near Lancaster. Part-time Hollywood TV actor and budding scriptwriter Bermann and his then wife Cathleen spent some time in Vliet’s company prior to this release. Bermann would later write for Neil Young and script an early Spielberg-directed TV medical drama. Gary ‘Magic’ Marker (the “Magic” added by Beefheart) was involved in early session work for this release, and his involvement with Rising Sons was also instrumental in acquiring the skills of Cooder, upon an unfulfilled suggestion that Marker might produce the album. Marker would later lay down two uncredited bass tracks for Trout Mask Replica before being replaced by Mark Boston.
French worked on five more Beefheart albums, while Snouffer worked with Beefheart on and off on three more albums. Bill Harkleroad joined the Magic Band as guitarist for Trout Mask Replica and stayed with Beefheart through May 1974.
Beefheart takes the lead
In the transition from A&M to Buddah the band had gone through a metamorphosis, with Vliet’s egocentric personality and eclectic concepts driving it in new directions. The band’s original delta blues style was now becoming a form of its fusion into rock, free-jazz forms, musique concrète and Vliet’s verbal slant on concrete poetry. This caused some discord with the purist ‘blues-minded’ members, whilst not always sitting comfortably with music executives looking for success with a band bristling with chart-hit promise. Whether by intent or circumstance Vliet had begun to take the lead, with aspiring musicians who would seemingly ‘jump through musical hoops’ to achieve his visions, for whatever their own personal motivations may have been. Making ‘new’ and ‘exciting’ music was generally the driving criteria for all concerned.
While appearing humorous and kind-hearted in public, by all accounts Van Vliet was a severe taskmaster who abused his musicians verbally and sometimes physically. They were reportedly paid little or nothing. Drummer John French recalled that the musicians’ contract with Van Vliet’s company stipulated that Van Vliet and the managers were paid from gross proceeds before expenses, then expenses were paid, then the band members evenly split any remaining funds—in effect making band members liable for all expenses. As a result French was paid nothing at all for a 33-city U.S. tour in 1971 and a total of $78 for a tour of Europe and the U.S. in late 1975. In his 2010 memoir Beefheart: Through The Eyes of Magic French recounted being “screamed at, beaten up, drugged, ridiculed, humiliated, arrested, starved, stolen from, and thrown down a half-flight of stairs by his employer”.
The musicians also resented Van Vliet for taking complete credit for composition and arranging when the musicians themselves pieced together most of the songs from taped fragments or impressionistic directions such as “Play it like a bat being dragged out of oil and it’s trying to survive, but it’s dying from asphyxiation.” John French summarized the disagreement over composing and arranging credits metaphorically:
If Van Vliet built a house like he wrote music, the methodology would go something like this… The house is sketched on the back of a Denny’s placemat in such an odd fashion that when he presents it to the contractor without plans or research, the contractor says “This structure is going to be hard to build, it’s going to be tough to make it safe and stable because it is so unique in design.” Van Vliet then yells at the contractor and intimidates him into doing the job anyway. The contractor builds the home, figuring out all the intricacies involved in structural integrity himself because whenever he approaches Van Vliet, he finds that he seems completely unable to comprehend technical problems and just yells, “Quit asking me about this stuff and build the damned house.”… When the house is finished no one gets paid, and Van Vliet has a housewarming party, invites none of the builders and tells the guests he built the whole thing himself.
Post-Beefheart, receiving only a “grumpy” reception from him, the band reformed in 2003 with John French on lead vocals, Gary Lucas and Denny Walley on guitars, Rockette Morton on bass, and Robert Williams on drums. At the start of their only European tour, Williams left and was replaced by Michael Traylor. The band released two albums and toured before disbanding in 2006.
They toured the UK in 2005, playing a selection of small venues. John Peel was initially skeptical about the re-formed Magic Band. He played a live recording of the band recorded at the 2003 All Tomorrows Parties festival on his radio show; afterwards he couldn’t speak and had to put on another record to regain his composure. Later the band did a live session for him. The band’s albums are Back To The Front (on the London-based ATP Recordings, 2003) and 21st Century Mirror Men (2005). They played over 30 shows throughout the United Kingdom and Europe, and one in the United States.
Van Vliet has been the subject of at least two documentaries, the BBC‘s 1997 The Artist Formerly Known As Captain Beefheart narrated by John Peel, and the 2006 independent production Captain Beefheart: Under Review.
According to Peel, “If there has ever been such a thing as a genius in the history of popular music, it’s Beefheart… I heard echoes of his music in some of the records I listened to last week and I’ll hear more echoes in records that I listen to this week.” His narration added: “A psychedelic shaman who frequently bullied his musicians and sometimes alarmed his fans, Don somehow remained one of rock’s great innocents”. Mike Barnes referred to him as an “iconic counterculture hero”, who with the Magic Band “went on to stake out startling new possibilities for rock music”. Lester Bangs cited Beefheart as “one of the four or five unqualified geniuses to rise from the hothouses of American music in the Sixties”. John Harris of The Guardian praised the music’s “pulses with energy and ideas, the strange way the spluttering instruments meld together”. A Rolling Stone biography described his work as “a sort of modern chamber music for [a] rock band, since he plans every note and teaches the band their parts by ear. Because it breaks so many of rock’s conventions at once, Beefheart’s music has always been more influential than popular.” In this context, it is performed by the classical group, the Meridian Arts Ensemble. Piero Scaruffi characterize “three basic elements”: “the ballad out of tune, with guitar interlaced with jolting rhythm, vocal miasma and a rogue harmonica”. Scaruffi ranked Trout Mask Replica number one on his list of the greatest rock albums of all time. He says that “the distance between Captain Beefheart and the rest of rock music is the same distance that there was between Beethoven and the symphonists of his time”. Nicholas E. Tawa, in his 2005 book Supremely American: Popular Song in the 20th Century: Styles and Singers and What They Said About America, included Beefheart among the prominent progressive rock musicians of the 1960s and 70s, while the Encyclopædia Britannica describes Beefheart’s songs as conveying “deep distrust of modern civilization, a yearning for ecological balance, and that belief that all animals in the wild are far superior to human beings.”
Many artists have cited Van Vliet as an influence, beginning with the Edgar Broughton Band, who covered Dropout Boogie as Apache Drop Out (mixed with The Shadows‘ “Apache“) as early as 1970 and The Kills coverage of it 32 years later. The Minutemen were fans of Beefheart, and were arguably among the few to effectively synthesize his music with their own, especially in their early output, which featured disjointed guitar and irregular, galloping rhythms. Michael Azerrad describes the Minutemen’s early output as “highly caffeinated Captain Beefheart running down James Brown tunes”, and notes that Beefheart was the group’s “idol”. Others who arguably conveyed the same influence around the same time or before include John Cale of The Velvet Underground, Laurie Anderson, The Residents and Henry Cow. Genesis P-Orridge of Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV, and poet mystic Z’EV, both pioneers of industrial music, cited Van Vliet along with Zappa among their influences. More notable were those emerging during the early days of punk rock, such as The Clash and John Lydon of the Sex Pistols (reportedly to manager Malcolm McLaren‘s disapproval), later of the post-punk band Public Image Ltd.
Cartoonist and writer Matt Groening tells of listening to Trout Mask Replica at the age of 15 and thinking “that it was the worst thing I’d ever heard. I said to myself, they’re not even trying! It was just a sloppy cacophony. Then I listened to it a couple more times, because I couldn’t believe Frank Zappa could do this to me—and because a double album cost a lot of money. About the third time, I realised they were doing it on purpose; they meant it to sound exactly this way. About the sixth or seventh time, it clicked in, and I thought it was the greatest album I’d ever heard.” Groening first saw Beefheart and the Magic Band perform in the front row at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in the early 1970s. He later declared Trout Mask Replica to be the greatest album ever made. He considered the appeal of the Magic Band as outcasts who were even “too weird for the hippies“. Groening served as the curator of the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival that reunited the post–Beefheart Magic Band.
Van Vliet’s influence on post–punk bands was demonstrated by Magazine‘s recording of “I Love You You Big Dummy” in 1978 and the tribute album Fast ‘n’ Bulbous – A Tribute to Captain Beefheart in 1988, featuring the likes of artists such as the Dog Faced Hermans, The Scientists, The Membranes, Simon Fisher Turner, That Petrol Emotion, the Primevals, The Mock Turtles, XTC, and Sonic Youth, who included a cover of Beefheart’s “Electricity” as a bonus track on the deluxe edition of their 1988 album Daydream Nation. Other post-punk bands influenced by Beefheart include Gang of Four, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Pere Ubu, Babe the Blue Ox and Mark E. Smith of The Fall. The Fall covered “Beatle Bones ‘N’ Smokin’ Stones” in their 1993 session for John Peel. Beefheart is considered to have “greatly influenced” New Wave artists, such as David Byrne of Talking Heads, Blondie, Devo, The Bongos, and The B-52s.
Tom Waits‘ shift in artistic direction, starting with 1983′s Swordfishtrombones, was, Waits claims, a result of his wife Kathleen Brennan introducing him to Van Vliet’s music. “Once you’ve heard Beefheart,” said Waits, “it’s hard to wash him out of your clothes. It stains, like coffee or blood.” Guitarist John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers cited Van Vliet as a prominent influence on the band’s 1991 album Blood Sugar Sex Magik as well as his debut solo album Niandra Lades and Usually Just a T-Shirt (1994) and stated that during his drug-induced absence, after leaving the Red Hot Chili Peppers, he “would paint and listen to Trout Mask Replica.” Black Francis of the Pixies cited Beefheart’s The Spotlight Kid as one of the albums he listened to regularly when first writing songs for the band. Kurt Cobain of Nirvana acknowledged Van Vliet’s influence, mentioning him among his notoriously eclectic range.
The White Stripes in 2000 released a 7″ tribute single, Party of Special Things to Do, containing covers of that Beefheart song plus “China Pig” and “Ashtray Heart”. The Kills included a cover of “Dropout Boogie” on their debut Black Rooster EP (2002). The Black Keys in 2008 released a free cover of Beefheart’s “I’m Glad” from Safe as Milk. Beck included “Safe as Milk” and “Ella Guru” in a playlist of songs as part of his website’s Planned Obsolescence series of mashups of songs by the musicians that influenced him. Franz Ferdinand cited Beefheart’s Doc At The Radar Station as a strong influence on their second LP, You Could Have It So Much Better. Placebo briefly named themselves Ashtray Heart, after the track on Doc at the Radar Station; the band’s album Battle for the Sun contains a track called “Ashtray Heart”. Joan Osborne covered Beefheart’s “(His) Eyes are a Blue Million Miles”, which appears on Early Recordings. She cited Van Vliet as one of her influences. PJ Harvey and John Parish discussed Beefheart’s influence in an interview together. Harvey’s first experience of Beefheart’s music was as a child. Her parents had all of his albums; listening to them made her “feel ill”. Harvey was reintroduced to Beefheart’s music by Parish, who lent her a cassette copy of Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) at the age of 16. She cited him as one of her greatest influences since. Parish described Beefheart’s music as a “combination of raw blues and abstract jazz. There was humour in there, but you could tell that it wasn’t [intended as] a joke. I felt that there was a depth to what he did that very few other rock artists have managed [to achieve].”
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Ralph Coates, English footballer (Burnley, Tottenham Hotspur, Leyton Orient, England), died from a stroke he was , 64
Ralph Coates was an English footballer who played at both professional and international levels as a winger died from a stroke he was , 64. Coates played for Burnley, Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient, making 480 appearances in the Football League. Coates also earned four caps for England between 1970 and 1971 died from a stroke he was , 64.
|(26 April 1946 – 17 December 2010)|
Coates was born in Hetton-le-Hole, County Durham. He was an apprentice colliery fitter and his footballing ability was spotted by Burnley’s North-East scout Jack Hixon. Coates joined Burnley on trial in 1961 and after a period as an apprentice turned professional in 1963. He made his first-team debut in December 1964 scoring his first goal in a 2-0 win against Leicester City in March 1965.He would go on to make 261 appearances for Burnley in all competitions scoring 32 goals. After Burnley had been relegated from the First Division in 1971 Coates was sold to Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of £190,000. He played over 300 games for Tottenham and earned winner’s medals for the 1972 UEFA Cup and the 1973 Football League Cup Final where he scored the winning goal in the final. Coates left Tottenham in 1978 and had a short period playing in Australia before returning to play for Leyton Orient where he was also on the coaching staff. He played 84 games in all competitions for Orient scoring 12 goals. 
He retired from professional football in 1982 but continued to play non-league football for Hertford Heath, Ware and Nazeing. 
 International career
Coates played eight times for England U-23 and four times for England. He was a member of the initial squad for the 1970 World Cup but was not selected for the final squad which travelled to Mexico.
 Later life and death
After his football career ended Coates moved into the leisure industry managing leisure centres in Chelmsford and Boreham Wood and was involved with Tottenham Hotspur for over 20 years where he worked as a match-day host.
In early December 2010, he suffered a series of strokes and was hospitalised. He died on 17 December 2010 at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital NHS Trust aged 64.
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Walter Dropo , nicknamed “Moose”, was an American college basketball standout and a professional baseball first baseman died he was , 87. During a 13-year career in Major League Baseball, he played for the Boston Red Sox (1949–1952), Detroit Tigers (1952–1954), Chicago White Sox (1955–1958), Cincinnati Redlegs (1958–1959) and Baltimore Orioles (1959–1961).
|(January 30, 1923 – December 17, 2010)|
Dropo’s Serbian parents emigrated from Mostar, then Kingdom of Yugoslavia (now Bosnia and Herzegovina), to start a new life. His father, Savo, worked at the local textile mill while also running their Connecticut family farm. Walter was raised in Moosup, Connecticut, where he played sandlot baseball with his brothers Milton and George, and attended Plainfield High School in Central Village, Connecticut, before attending the University of Connecticut.
While at the University of Connecticut Dropo played for the football team, basketball team and baseball team. Dropo left UConn as the school’s all time leading scorer in basketball. Dropo was drafted in the first round of the 1947 BAA Draft by the Providence Steamrollers with the fourth overall pick. Dropo was also drafted by the Chicago Bears in the 9th round of the 1946 NFL Draft.http://www.dailymotion.com/swf/video/xgqs4i
Remembering the Moose From Moosup
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Listed at 6’5″, 220 lb (100 kg), Walter turned down an offer from the Chicago Bears and the Providence Steamrollers, in order to sign with the Red Sox as an amateur free agent in 1947. He debuted on April 19, 1949, and in 11 games batted .146 (6-for-41).
In 1950, Dropo lead the league in RBIs (144) and total bases (326), while batting .322 and hitting 34 home runs, (second only to Al Rosen 37). In addition, his .583 slugging percentage and 70 extra bases were second only to the .585 – 75 of Joe DiMaggio, and his .961 OPS finished third in the league, after (Larry Doby .986 and DiMaggio .979). Dropo finished sixth in American League Most Valuable Player award, and earned AL Rookie of the Year honors, ahead of Whitey Ford. His efforts that season led to his only All-Star appearance.
In 1951, Dropo fractured his right wrist and never had another season the equal of his 1950 campaign. After another one-plus season, he was traded to Detroit on June 3, 1952. After being traded, he collected 12 consecutive hits to tie the MLB record. Included in the streak was a 5-for-5 game against the Yankees (July 14) and a 7-for-7 performance in the first game of a doubleheader against Washington (July 15). In the second game, he went 4-for-5, matching an American League record of 16 hits in three games. In that season, he hit a combined 29 home runs and 97 RBIs, but would never again hit over 19 homers (1955) or bat over .281 (1954).
In a 13-season career, Dropo batted .270 (1,113-for-4,124) with 152 home runs, 704 RBIs, 478 runs, 168 doubles, 22 triples and five stolen bases in 1,288 games.
- Rookie of the Year (1950)
- All-Star (1950)
- Top 10 MVP (sixth, 1950)
- Led league in RBIs (144, 1950)
- Led league in total bases (326, 1950)
- Tied an MLB record with 12 consecutive at-bats with a hit (July 15, 1952)
- Tied an MLB record with 12 consecutive plate appearances with a hit (July 15, 1952)
- Tied an AL record with 15 hits in four games (July 16, 1952)
- Dropo was the first rookie to top 100 RBIs with more RBIs than games played (144 in 136 games, 1950)
- The first Red Sox player to be named the American League Rookie of the Year, followed by Don Schwall (1961), Carlton Fisk (1972), Fred Lynn (1975), Nomar Garciaparra (1997), and Dustin Pedroia (2007).
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