The Best In 2001′s London Music

M.A.D.a.M. Secures Exclusive Depeche Mode Touring The Angel: Live in Milan Double DVD & CD Set Release Special Event for the Las Vegas Market

M.A.D.a.M. Secures Exclusive Depeche Mode Touring The Angel: Live in Milan Double DVD & CD Set Release Special Event for the Las Vegas Market

Las Vegas, Nevada (PRWEB) October 22, 2006

(M.A.D.a.M.) M.A.D.a.M and Area 108 FM and The Whiskey Sky CLUB & Sire/Mute Records proudly present Depeche Mode Touring The Angel: Live in Milan Special Event on Oct.29th 2006 starting at 10pm at The Whiskey at Green Valley Ranch Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas , Nevada.

Touring the Angel: Live and Milan is the focus of this special event. Giveaways at the event will include Depeche Mode Touring The Angel: Live In Milan CD (8 Live tracks) + 2 DVDs (complete live concert on DVD 1 and on DVD 2, over an hour of extras and tour documentary). DVDs(of entire concert in Amray box), 2 DVD+CD Sets (limited), posters and a grand prize mohawk Knit Head hat ( ) that Martin Gore wears in the show. Area 108 FM is giving away the promotional Depeche Mode items on air to special radio winners. The following is more information on the on the band and DVD & CD set brought to you by

“The most popular electronic band the world has ever known” – Q

“One of the greatest British pop groups of all time” – Sunday Telegraph

Depeche Mode’s ‘Touring The Angel’ was one of the most successful, highly grossing and critically acclaimed tours of the last year. Hailed as the greatest live performances of their career, it can be re-lived from September 25th when it’s released as a special edition 3-disc set, featuring the full-length live show and a host of exclusive extras on two DVDs and a live audio CD.

Directed by Blue Leach, who has previously worked with R.E.M, it was recorded at Milan’s Fila Forum on February 18th and 19th 2006 and sees the band at their live best with a pulsing sound, electric stage presence and ecstatic audience.

“Touring the Angel was probably the most enjoyable, rewarding live show we’ve ever done”, says Dave Gahan. “The new material was just waiting to be played live. It took on a life of its own. With the energy of the crowds, it just came to life”

“It had been four years since the last tour, so we were ready to take the album on the road” adds Andy ‘Fletch’ Fletcher. “For us, everything came together – it was one of our definitive live moments, especially as we got to perform older, equally special tracks.”

The first DVD features over 20 stunning live songs, including the recent hit singles ‘Precious’, ‘A Pain That I’m Used To’, ‘Suffer Well’ and ‘John The Revelator’ plus the definitive ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’, ‘I Feel You’, ‘Enjoy The Silence’ and many more.

DVD2 features a range of exclusive extras, including: two bonus live songs – 1986′s smash-hit ‘A Question of Lust’ and ‘Playing The Angel’s ‘Damaged People’ – plus a 20-minute documentary featuring Anton Corbijn, who directed the video for ‘Suffer Well’ and created the tour’s six stage screens, which also appear here.

“We worked with Anton Corbijn on the stage designs, which gave continuity from the videos” adds Dave Gahan. “It was definitely felt like one of our strongest tours – both musically and visually”

Additionally, the DVD boasts the official tour announcement from Germany, Summer 2005, and the previously unreleased ‘Playing The Angel’ electronic press kit. Meanwhile, the audio CD features over thirty minutes of stunning live tracks from the concert.

The European leg of the world tour followed 24 American dates and featured four UK shows – including two at London’s Wembley Arena. It sold-out 69 arena dates throughout 30 countries, with 800,000 tickets sold in Europe alone, and was their first since 2001′s ‘Exciter’, where they played to nearly two million people. In total, Depeche Mode played to 2.5 million people across 31 countries this year.

International sales of ‘Playing The Angel’ have surpassed two million, seeing them reach Number 1 in eighteen countries, plus Top Ten in the UK, US and Canada. The album has been certified multiple platinum and gold in 20 countries.


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Free Mp3 Music, Downloads By MIA, Fun

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It’s no wonder why Peachy Pleasures Massage London has been voted the No.1 Sensual Tantric Massage World Wide. The massage is spellbinding. The ladies are actually skilled massage therapists so really know how to relax those tired torsos. They focus is on your entire sensual build up, heightened sensitivity and sensory surrender. They have completely mastered the art of seduction. Their body to body massage slides are surprisingly provocative, graceful and artistic. What a wonderful way to view the female and male form in all its glory! Heidi puts her success down to this unique cocktail of Swedish massage, delicate caresses and sensuous body to body slides. It is really very tender & affectionate yet also incredibly thrilling and tantalising. The client’s body is adored and drenched in warm, fruity massage oil and massage from head to toe with the utmost precision and confidence, whilst some sensuous music quietly plays to put you in the zone.  A fabulous way to melt away that tension and add some zest to your life.

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Attractions for Children in London

Whether your kids are obsessed with sports, arts, music, gadgets, video games or sweets – they will definitely find themselves happy while on a holiday in London as there is everything they need. Make sure you pick up a central London hotel to stay at; otherwise the kids will loose interest after travelling long distances.

Children in London often enjoy the outdoor experience. London boasts many beautiful parks that are perfect for families: children can run, play or sleep in the vibrant and spacious London parks. London Zoo, in Regent’s Park, will leave your children overwhelmed and will give an insight into the wonderful life of animals and nature. London Aquarium and IMAX 3D Cinema at the London Science Museum will be equally liked.

Sport obsessed boys and girls might be interested in the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum or a football matches at the Arsenal Stadium. They will also be pleased to hit the sports shops – Oxford Street nearby to Paddington area has them all – Nike, Adidas or J D Sports and your wallets will start shrinking immediately.

Artsy kids will enjoy the galleries and museums. Tate Modern is a perfect place to take them – it is spacious and children can join the group and attend the drawing class. They might also enjoy the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery – no point to tell them who painted what – let them take their personal look at the gallery.

Those kids who at the age of three already claimed they’ll be pilots once they grow up will enjoy the RAF Museum that has an extensive collection of aircraft from around the world. Gadget and technology lovers will enjoy it as well.

There are many children-friendly restaurants in central London. La Porchetta in Stroud Green and Upper Street boast to be the London’s most family friendly restaurant. Chains Fish and Giraffe are awarded for giving special regards to children.

Have fun at some of the great attractions for children in London which will make your kids look forward to another holiday in London next year.

Diamond Dallas Page

Early life

Page as a child

Page Joseph Falkinburg, the oldest of three children, was born in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, the son of Sylvia (ne Seigel) and Page Joseph Falkinburg, Sr. Page was raised by his father during his early years, after his parents divorced. The name “Dallas” came from his love of the Dallas Cowboys. His brother and sister were raised by their maternal grandmother. Page lived with his father from the ages of three to eight. His father took him, at eight years old, to live with his grandmother, who raised him. Page admitted in his autobiography that he is dyslexic. He had many challenges hit him throughout his childhood and educational years. DDP attended St. Joseph’s High School (now Monsignor Donovan High School) in Toms River, New Jersey and Point Pleasant Boro High School in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. Page was a basketball player with the Panthers of Point Boro High School.

Professional wrestling career

Early years / American Wrestling Assiciation

Main article: Diamond Exchange

DDP, Curt Hennig and Diamond Doll Tonya in 1988

Page’s first wrestling appearance was in Canada in 1979. However due to poor initial training and a subsequent bad knee injury he gave up wrestling shortly afterward. His next appearance was not until WrestleMania VI, where he drove Rhythm and Blues (The Honky Tonk Man and Greg Valentine) to the ring in his pink Cadillac. At this time, he was virtually unknown in the World Wrestling Federation.

Page worked in the nightclub business running a hip club in Ft. Myers Florida, “Norma Jeans”, (known for its Pink Cadillac) located on Route 41, Tamiami Trail beside the Ft. Myers airport, Page Field, no relation, and worked there before and after he started working as a wrestling manager in the American Wrestling Association (AWA). He started managing in 1988, where he handled Badd Company (Paul Diamond and Pat Tanaka), a team he led to the AWA World Tag Team Championship on March 19. Badd Company, was often accompanied by a pair of female valets known as the “Diamond Dolls” (Tonya, Jennifer and Torri). During his time in the AWA, Page also managed Col. DeBeers, Curt Hennig and Madusa Miceli as the leader of the Diamond Exchange stable. He worked for the AWA at 12 dates over a period of nine months, where they filmed all the television shows in one day. He also worked as a color commentator in Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) where he worked alongside Gordon Solie, before finally debuting as a professional wrestler.

In 1990, Dallas received a tryout with the WWF as an announcer, but never got the job. When FCW went down, Page was still involved in the club business until Dusty Rhodes returned to World Championship Wrestling. WCW started booking and brought Page in on a small contract in early 1991.

World Championship Wrestling

Managing the Freebirds and the Diamond Mine (19911992)

Main articles: The Fabulous Freebirds and Diamond Mine

Page came to World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in 1991 as manager of The Fabulous Freebirds (Jimmy Garvin and Michael P.S. Hayes). Page managed the Freebirds to a shot at the NWA World Tag Team Championship where they defeated Doom (Butch Reed and Ron Simmons) on February 24. Before that match took place, Page unveiled the stable’s new road manager, Big Daddy Dink, formerly known as Oliver Humperdink, who interfered in the match. During this match, Page introduced the Diamond Dolls. Page added Scott Hall to the stable under the name of Diamond Studd. Page also worked as a color commentator for WCW with Eric Bischoff. With rumors that the WCW wanted to take the Diamond Studd away from Page, he decided to take the advice of Magnum T.A. and begin to wrestle himself. He headed to the WCW Power Plant where Buddy Lee Parker, The Assassin, and Dusty Rhodes trained the 35 year old rookie. He debuted as a wrestler in a tag team match later that year. With the Diamond Studd, he faced Kevin Sullivan and his partner. He was relegated to the “jobber” list. He made his wrestling pay-per-view debut at Starrcade in 1991, teaming with Mike Graham in a losing effort to Jushin Liger and Bill Kazmaier.

Page continued wrestling and brought other wrestlers into his stable, The Diamond Mine, such as Scotty Flamingo and Vinnie Vegas (Kevin Nash). The relationships between DDP, Flamingo, and Vegas were used in many angles over the following months. Page went in the corner of Scotty Flamingo, at Clash of the Champions XXI on November 18, 1992, when Flamingo fought Johnny B. Badd in a worked boxing match. Flamingo won this bout with a little help from Page who filled Flamingo’s glove with water. The following year, after Studd and Flamingo left the stable, Page teamed with Vinnie Vegas as the Vegas Connection. The Vegas Connection never returned to WCW until 2001 under the name “The Insiders”, because Page was fired from WCW shortly after the team’s debut due to his torn rotator cuff. The injury occurred in late 1992 in a tag match with Tex Slazenger and Shanghai Pierce (later known as The Godwinns).

Single competition; “The People’s Champion” (19941997)

Page determined to continue improving his character, sought the help of Jake Roberts who advised him on the psychological aspects of the business. After his injury had healed, Page returned to WCW television in 1994, with his wife Kimberly as the Diamond Doll, and an on-screen bodyguard, Maxx Muscle. He held open arm wrestling challenges to win Kimberly but Maxx always helped him win or arm wrestled for him. He also had a long feud with Dave Sullivan because Sullivan gave Kimberly gifts (and largely because Page was defeated by Sullivan in one of the arm wrestling contests, which earned him a date with Kimberly). At Fall Brawl, Page won his first championship when he defeated Renegade for the WCW World Television Championship. In the build-up to his first title defense at Halloween Havoc, there was growing dissension between Page and Kimberly. Johnny B. Badd defeated Page for the TV title and again at World War 3 on November 26, winning Kimberly’s freedom from DDP. At Uncensored on March 24, 1996 The Booty Man with Kimberly as The Booty Babe defeated Diamond Dallas Page in a Loser Leaves Town match.


Page returned on the May 18th, 1996 edition of WCW Saturday Night defeating Billy Kidman. On May 19, Page participated in the Lord of the Ring Tournament (Battle Bowl) at Slamboree. Page was victorious when he defeated The Barbarian with two Diamond Cutters. The winner was to be the number one contender for the World Title which at that time was held by The Giant. However, he never received the title shot that he earned that night. Page was feuding with Eddie Guerrero when the New World Order (nWo) was formed. Since Nash and Hall were both former partners of Page, they assisted him in his matches in the tournament being held for the vacant US Title. Believing their help was not appreciated, however, Hall and Nash attacked him during the tournament finals, therefore handing the belt to Guerrero. After demonstrating the benefits of the nWo, they asked him to join. He responded by giving them Diamond Cutters on January 25, 1997 at Souled Out, starting a face turn and a feud with the nWo. Page began a feud with “Macho Man” Randy Savage in 1997. On an episode of WCW Monday Nitro, Savage, aided by Scott Hall and Kevin Nash, attacked Page and spray-painted “nWo” on his back. A few weeks later at Uncensored, Savage and Miss Elizabeth “broke kayfabe” (a worked shoot) by revealing to the world that Page and Kimberly were, in fact, married. Savage then proceeded to beat up Page, ensuring a future match between the two. At Spring Stampede, Page and Savage battled in a match where Page emerged victorious, but it was the not the end of conflict between the two. A few months later at The Great American Bash, they squared off again in an anything goes, lights out match. This match ended with Savage defeating Page with help from (then) Tag Team Champion Scott Hall. At Bash at the Beach, Scott Hall and Randy Savage defeated Diamond Dallas Page and Curt Hennig. Curt Hennig, who Diamond Dallas Page had recruited personally to join WCW and team with him, turned on DDP during the match. Hennig defeated Diamond Dallas Page in a Grudge Match at Road Wild. At Fall Brawl, Page teamed with Lex Luger to defeat Scott Hall and Randy Savage in a NO DQ match. Page even dressed up as masked wrestler La Parka and beat Savage. Around this time, Page also started fighting nWo leader, Hollywood Hulk Hogan. Page and Savage battled for the last time at Halloween Havoc. The match was billed as a Las Vegas Sudden Death Match, where Savage pinned Page after Hogan, dressed as Sting, came out and hit Page with a baseball bat in his already “injured” mid-section, resulting in Savage picking up the win. On an episode of Nitro shortly after Halloween Havoc, Page fought Hogan, but was again beaten down by the nWo.

Teaming with the stars; United States Heavyweight Champion (19971998)

DDP and his one-time tag team partner Karl Malone in 1998.

At Starrcade, Page won the United States Heavyweight Championship from Curt Hennig. The following year at Uncensored, Page defended the title in a Triple Threat, Falls Count Anywhere contest against Chris Benoit and Raven, putting Raven through a table with a Diamond Cutter to retain the belt. Later in the year, Page tagged with Karl Malone against Hulk Hogan and Dennis Rodman at Bash at the Beach, losing due to interference. Page tagged with late night talk show host Jay Leno at Road Wild, where they defeated Hogan and Eric Bischoff.

DDP and Jay Leno in 1998.

At Fall Brawl, Page won the WarGames main event, and got a World title shot against the undefeated Goldberg at Halloween Havoc. Page did not win the match, but the match was voted WCW Magazine’s “Match of the Year” 1998. Halloween Havoc ran slightly longer than expected resulting in a number of cable companies blacking out the end of the Hogan versus Warrior match and all of the DDP versus Goldberg contest. WCW decided to air the Goldberg versus DDP title bout in its entirety on the October 26 edition of Nitro, which proved immensely popular in the ratings and resulted in a ratings win for Nitro over Raw the last win Nitro would ever have. Despite this setback in the World title picture, Page rebounded this same following night of Halloween Havoc, on the October 26 edition of Nitro, with a win over Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart to capture the United States Heavyweight Title.

World Heavyweight and World Tag Team Champion (19992001)

Main articles: Jersey Triad and The Insiders

Page became WCW World Heavyweight Champion in April 1999, at Spring Stampede when he defeated Sting, Hogan, and Ric Flair for the title in a Four Way Dance with “Macho Man” Randy Savage as Special Guest Referee. Page pinned Flair after giving Flair the Diamond Cutter. Shortly after gaining the title, Page wrestled Goldberg for his championship. Page turned heel during the match, using everything at his disposal to try and beat down Goldberg (the match eventually ended in a no contest). His first reign as champion lasted 15 days: on April 26, Page was defeated for the World Championship by Sting on Nitro in the first hour of the show. A little more than an hour and a half later, Page was given an opportunity to regain the title thanks to a challenge match set up by the returning Kevin Nash; he was pitted against Page, Goldberg, and the newly crowned champion Sting. During the course of the match, Page hit Nash with a foreign object to take the win and regain the title without actually defeating the reigning champion. Page was defeated by Nash at Slamboree that year, and fell out of the World title picture shortly thereafter.

DDP and Kevin Nash as the WCW World Tag Team Champions.

Shortly after Slamboree, Page entered into an alliance with fellow New Jerseyan Bam Bam Bigelow and won the WCW World Tag Team Championship from then champions Perry Saturn and Raven on May 31, thanks to Chris Kanyon turning heel on former ally Raven and costing the team the championships. Page, Bigelow, and Kanyon became known as the Jersey Triad and through their alliance with WCW “President for Life” Ric Flair took advantage of the Freebird Rule in their subsequent matches (meaning any combination of the three could defend the championship). The Triad held the titles until June 10, when Saturn and Chris Benoit (now stablemates in The Revolution) took the titles from them. The team regained the belts at The Great American Bash three days later, but would lose them to Harlem Heat at Road Wild in August. Later that night, Chris Benoit defeated Diamond Dallas Page to retain the United States title. The group broke up shortly thereafter and Page began feuding with Hogan again, joining Sid Vicious and Rick Steiner in a team effort to take on Hogan, Sting, and Goldberg. Soon after that feud ended Page turned into a hero again and feuded with both Kanyon and Bigelow before the year ended.

In 2000, with WCW under new management, Page earned a shot at the vacant WCW World Championship Belt at Spring Stampede against Jeff Jarrett. In a surprise twist, Page’s wife, Kimberly, turned on Page and helped Jarrett become the new WCW World Champion. Page got the better of Jarrett on the April 24th edition of Nitro, where he defeated Jarrett in a steel cage match to become WCW World Heavyweight Champion for the third time, but would lose the title to his very own tag partner, actor David Arquette three days later on Thunder; the rules stated that whoever got the pin would win the title, and Arquette pinned Jarrett’s partner, Eric Bischoff. Page attempted to win the title back at Slamboree later that month in a triple cage match against Arquette and Jarrett, but lost after Arquette hit him with a guitar. Page then entered a feud with Mike Awesome, who defeated him in an Ambulance Match at The Great American Bash after Kanyon turned on Page.

Page took some time off shortly after this, but returned in late 2000 as a full time wrestler. After Page came back he formed a tag team with Kevin Nash called The Insiders, and the team won the tag team championship on November 26 at Mayhem by defeating Perfect Event (Shawn Stasiak and Chuck Palumbo). The team was temporarily stripped of the titles but won them back at Starrcade defeating Stasiak and Palumbo again. Page and Nash lost the titles to Palumbo and Sean O’Haire at Sin in January and broke up shortly thereafter. After his tag team run Page briefly feuded with the returning Kanyon, which saw Kanyon defeat Page at SuperBrawl Revenge, and Page defeating Kanyon the following night on Nitro, ending their feud. Page then moved into the World Championship picture again by facing Scott Steiner. Their feud hit a climax at WCW’s final PPV Greed, saw Page’s final match in WCW and a semi-burial type defeat as he passed out in Steiner’s finisher, The Steiner Recliner.

World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment (20012002)

When WCW was purchased by WWF owner Vince McMahon in 2001, Page was one of the few major WCW stars to sign with McMahon. He debuted in the WWE on the June 18th, 2001 edition of RAW when he unveiled himself as the stalker of the The Undertaker’s wife, Sara. Page did it to make an impact and wanted to take on the biggest dog in the yard, but he then became obsessed with Sara. Page soon joined the the Alliance during the WCW Invasion.

Page and Chris Kanyon reunited on the August 6th, 2001 edition of RAW when Kanyon helped Page attack The Undertaker backstage. Three days later on August 9, 2001 edition of SmackDown, Page and Kanyon defeated the APA to win the WWF Tag Team Championship.

The feud with the Undertaker went on for the best part of Three Months and ended when Undertaker and Kane defeated Page and Kanyon at WWF Summerslam 2001 on August 19, 2001 in a Steel cage match for the WWF tag team championship, where Page got injured which kept him out of action until late October, 2001.

He became known for his catch phrase “Yo! It’s me, it’s me, it’s DDP!” While Page was injured he developed a new gimmick in September, 2001 to become a motivational speaker, something he did in real life, in what would come to be known as his Positively Page character. The name came from the title of his autobiography that was published during his WCW days. The character, who Page developed after attending the Tony Robbins Results 2000 seminar in October 2000, involved Page constantly smiling and acting optimistic, with his trademark phrase “That’s not a bad thing…that’s…a good thing”.

His return televised match was on November 3, 2001 at Rebellion losing to The Big Show. After the Alliance lost at Survivor Series DDP along with the rest of the alliance members kayfabe lost their jobs. Page eventually won his job back by defeating The Big Bossman on the January 17th, 2002 edition of SmackDown! and also competed in the Royal Rumble Match on January 20, 2002 but did not win it.

Page became the European Champion on the January 31st, 2002 edition of SmackDown, when he defeated Christian, a former follower of his positive “philosophy”. At WrestleMania X8, Page retained the title in a rematch. He lost the title, however, to William Regal on an episode of SmackDown that aired March 19. At age 46, he had nagging injuries, including a neck injury he suffered in a match with Bob Holly on the April 18th, 2002 episode of SmackDown, so his WWE contract was allowed to expire.

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (20042005)

On April 1, 2004, Diamond Dallas Page announced his return to the ring. After working for several independent promotions, he debuted with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling on November 12, feuding with Raven and Erik Watts. Page received an NWA World Heavyweight Championship title shot on March 13, 2005 at Destination X but was defeated by reigning champion Jeff Jarrett when Monty Brown turned heel and hit Page with the Pounce. Page left TNA shortly thereafter.

Juggalo Championship Wrestling (2009)

On August 9, 2009, Diamond Dallas Page made a special appearance with JCW aligning himself with the jWo. He hit his trademark Diamond Cutter finisher on Trent Acid late in the match.

Life after wrestling

Fitness guru

A copy of the Yoga for Regular Guys DVD

The birth of the Yoga for Regular Guys Workout came in 1998 while Page was recovering from ruptures to his L4/L5 discs. He was reluctantly brought into power yoga with his wife Kimberly. While watching her daily workouts, he realized that yoga had benefits that he had not yet explored.[citation needed] Page regained his flexibility and strength that were hindered by his ruptured disks. His favorite kind of yoga (according to his “Yoga for Regular Guys” book) is “Power Yoga,” an Americanized version of “Ashtanga Style” yoga. Page worked with Dr. Craig Aaron, the “Yoga-Doc,”[citation needed] and made his own the Yoga for Regular Guys Workout.


Page’s infamous “Diamond Cutter” hand gesture

Page is commonly associated with the “Self High Five” as well as the “Diamond Cutter” symbol, a hand gesture made by joining the thumbs and index fingers on each hand to form a diamond shape, then parting the two hands in one swift motion. He created the symbol in 1996 and later copyrighted it. In December 2005, Page filed a lawsuit against rapper Jay-Z, who, he claimed, had “illegally adopted his trademark hand gesture”. Page accused Jay-Z of trademark and copyright infringement, and sought a prohibitive injunction and monetary damages.

Other media

In early 1998, Page appeared in the music video for the song “Rising” by Stuck Mojo, off of Stuck Mojo’s album of the same name. Raven and The Flock also made an appearance in the music video. The WCW United States title belt was prominently featured on the album cover.

Diamond Dallas Page also appeared in The Devil’s Rejects along with Danny Trejo as a pair of bounty hunters who call themselves “The Unholy Two”.

In March 2000, He sang a duo with Zorak in the 2nd episode of Brak presents the Brak show starring Brak.

Starting January 14, 2010, Page will appear in the GSN reality series Carnie Wilson: Unstapled. In a promo for the show, Carnie is speaking to Page on her couch. He also shows up in her singing promo for the show. He apparently has a major role to play in it as Carnie’s work-out coach, friend and pseudo-therapist. Prior to her recent pregnancy, he helped Carnie lose 50 pounds (which she regained during the pregnancy) and plans to slim her down again as part of the show.

Personal life

On July 3, 2004, Page announced that he and Kimberly had amicably separated. He and Kimberly officially divorced in 2005.

In wrestling

Finishing moves

Diamond Clash (Belly to back inverted mat slam) TNA

Diamond Cutter, sometimes from the top rope, while applying a fireman carry or a overhead gutwrench innovated

Signature moves

Belly to back suplex

Belly to belly suplex

Discus clothesline

DDT, sometimes while jumping

Elbow drop with theatrics

Figure four leglock while using the ringpost for extra pressure

Fireman’s carry slam

Flying clothesline

Gutwrench gutbuster

Inverted atomic drop

Pumphandle backbreaker

Reverse chinlock

Russian legsweep

Shoulder jawbreaker

Side slam

Sidewalk slam

Slingshot crossbody

Spinning sitout powerbomb pin

Spinning spinebuster

Sunset flip

Swinging neckbreaker

Tilt-a-whirl mat slam

Wrist-lock followed by multiple shoulder blocks

With Bam Bam Bigelow

Aided Diamond Cutter

With Chris Kanyon

Belly to back suplex (DDP) / Neckbreaker (Kanyon) combination WWE

Russian legsweep (Kanyon) followed by an elbow drop (DDP) with theatrics


Diamond Dolls

Kimberly Page

Maxx Muscle

Wrestlers managed

Badd Company (Paul Diamond and Pat Tanaka)

Col. DeBeers

Curt Hennig

Madusa Miceli

Bam Bam Bigelow

Johnny Ace

Dick Slater

Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes, Jimmy Garvin, and Badstreet), with Big Daddy Dink

Diamond Studd

Vinnie Vegas

Scotty Flamingo



“Handsome” Dallas Page

“The People’s Champion”

Positively Page

Entrance themes

“Glam” (WCW) 19941996

“Self High-Five” (instrumental cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana) by J.Hart and J.Helm (WCW) 19962000

“Dog” by FAT late 2000arly 2001

“Spirit” by Dale Oliver (TNA) 20042005

Championships and accomplishments

DDP as the WCW World Heavyweight Champion.

Pro Wrestling Illustrated

PWI Most Improved Wrestler of the Year (1996)

PWI ranked him # 4 of the 500 best singles wrestlers of the year in the PWI 500 in 1997.

PWI Feud of the Year (1997) vs. Macho Man Randy Savage

PWI ranked him # 4 of the 500 best singles wrestlers of the year in the PWI 500 in 1998.

PWI Most Hated Wrestler of the Year (1999)

Swiss Wrestling Federation

SWF Heavyweight Championship (1 time)

World Championship Wrestling

WCW World Heavyweight Championship (3 times)

WCW United States Heavyweight Championship (2 times)

WCW World Tag Team Championship (4 times) with Kevin Nash (2), Chris Kanyon and Bam Bam Bigelow as the Jersey Triad (2)

WCW World Television Championship (1 time)

World Wrestling Federation

WWF European Championship (1 time)

WWF Tag Team Championship (1 time) with Kanyon

Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards

Best Wrestling Maneuver (1997) Diamond Cutter

Most Improved Wrestler (1996)

Worst Gimmick: Stalker (2001)

During Page’s two reigns with Kanyon and Bam Bam Bigelow as the Jersey Triad, the titles were defended using the Freebird Rule.


DDP as Scorpius in Gallowwalker

First Daughter (1999) as Dirk Lindman

Ready to Rumble (2000) as Himself

Rat Race (2001) in a deleted scene

Nice Guys

Bald (2005) as Huge Bruce

The Devil’s Rejects (2005) as Billy Ray Snapper

Jack’s Law (2006) as Spider Benson

Hood of Horror (2006) as Jersey

Splinter (2006) as Detective Stiles

Driftwood (2006) as Captain Kennedy

Knight Fever (2008)

Gallowwalker (2009) as Scorpius

40 Year Old Virgin (Deleted Scene)


Genta, Larry and Page, Diamond Dallas (2000) Positively Page, ISBN 0-9679922-0-6

Aaron, Craig and Page, Diamond Dallas (2005) Yoga for Regular Guys: The Best Damn Workout on the Planet, ISBN 1-59474-079-8


^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc cd ce cf cg ch “DDP’s profile”. Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 

^ a b “Positively Page”

^ a b c “Own Your Life” audio book on CD

^ WrestleMania XIX DVD

^ a b c d “The Career of Diamond Dallas Page” Jan Jorgensen

^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (4th Edition 2006). Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 

^ “DDP introduce Col DeBeers in his stable; Todd Becker Vs Col DeBeers /w DDP & Tonya”. American Wrestling Assiciation. AWA. 1988-08-27.

^ a b c d e f g h i j k “DDP’s bio”. Wrestling Museum. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 

^ a b Milner, John M. (October 21, 2005). “Kevin Nash’s bio”. SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-08-20. 

^ Davies, Ross. Kevin Nash, p.29

^ “Trademark infringement lawsuit between DDP & Jay-Z now settled;info”. 

^ “Message From Page” for 11/14/2009 from his website

^ a b “DDP Vs. Chris Kanyon w/ The Flock”. World Championship Wrestling. WCW Monday Nitro. 1998-10-04.

^ a b c d e “Tag Team title; Jersey Triad Vs. Benoit & Saturn”. World Championship Wrestling. WCW Great American Bash. 1999-06-13.

^ a b c d e f g h “US Heavyweight championship; DDP Vs. Chris Benoit(c); No Disqualification match”. World Championship Wrestling. WCW Road Wild. 1999-08-14.

^ a b c d e “Brian Adams vs Diamond Dallas Page”. World Championship Wrestling, TNT. WCW Monday Nitro. 1999-01-04.

^ a b c WWE WrestleMania X8 (2002): European championship; Christian Vs. DDP (c). World Wrestling Entertainment. 

^ a b c d e f “DDP Vs. Goldberg”. World Championship Wrestling. WCW Halloween Havoc. 1998-10-25.

^ a b c “DDP Vs. Goldberg”. World Championship Wrestling. WCW Fall Brawl. 1999-09-12.

^ a b c d e “Tag Team title; Jersey Triad Vs. Benoit & Saturn”. World Championship Wrestling. WCW Bash at the Beach. 1999-07-11.

^ “Four Corners match”. World Championship Wrestling. WCW Spring Stampede. 1999-04-11.

^ “Mike Enos vs Diamond Dallas Page”. World Championship Wrestling, TNT. WCW Monday Nitro. 1996-10-28.

^ Davies, Ross. Diamond Dallas Page. p. 31. ISBN 0823934934. 

^ “Raven’s profile”. Obssessed With Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 

^ “Swiss Wrestling Federation Title Historys”. Retrieved 2008-07-11. 

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Diamond Dallas Page

Professional wrestling


Yoga for Regular Guys site by DDP

Interview with DDP on Tha O Show

Dallas Page at the Internet Movie Database

Where are they now? on

Diamond Dallas sues Jay-Z over “Diamond Cutter” hand sign

DDP Interview 2/8/06

“The Career of Diamond Dallas Page” website compiled by Jan Jorgensen from various sources

“Own Your Life” audio book on CD

“Positively Page”


Links to related articles

v  d  e

WCW World Heavyweight Champions

Ric Flair   Lex Luger   Sting   Big Van Vader   Ron Simmons   Hulk Hogan   The Big Show   Randy Savage   Goldberg   Kevin Nash   Diamond Dallas Page   Bret Hart   Chris Benoit   Sid Vicious   Jeff Jarrett   David Arquette   Booker T   Vince Russo   Scott Steiner   Kurt Angle   The Rock   Chris Jericho

v  d  e

WCW World Television Champions

Danny Miller  Ivan Koloff  Paul Jones  Ric Flair  Angelo Mosca  Mr. Wrestling  Greg Valentine  Rufus R. Jones  Rick/Ricky Steamboat  Baron Von Raschke  Johnny Weaver  Masked Superstar  Roddy Piper  Sweet Ebony Diamond  Ron Bass  Charlie Brown/Jimmy Valiant  Jos LeDuc  Bad Leroy Brown  Mike Rotundo  Dick Slater  The Great Kabuki  Mark Youngblood  Tully Blanchard  Dusty Rhodes  Arn Anderson  Nikita Koloff  Rick Steiner  Sting  The Great Muta  The Z-Man  Bobby Eaton  Steve Austin  Barry Windham  Scott Steiner  Paul Orndorff  Lord Steven Regal  Larry Zbyszko  Johnny B. Badd  The Renegade  Diamond Dallas Page  Lex Luger  Prince Iaukea  ltimo Dragn  Alex Wright  Disco Inferno  Perry Saturn  Booker T  Rick Martel  Chris Benoit  Fit Finlay  Stevie Ray  Chris Jericho  Konnan  Scott Hall  Hacksaw Jim Duggan

v  d  e

World Tag Team Champions


Luke Graham and Tarzan Tyler  Karl Gotch and Rene Goulet  Mikel Scicluna and King Curtis Iaukea  Chief Jay Strongbow and Sonny King  Mr. Fuji and Professor Tanaka  Haystacks Calhoun and Tony Garea  Dean Ho and Tony Garea  Jimmy Valiant and Johnny Valiant  Dominic DeNucci and Pat Barrett/Victor Rivera  The Blackjacks (Blackjack Lanza and Blackjack Mulligan)  Louis Cerdan and Tony Parisi  The Executioners (Executioner #1 and Executioner #2)  Chief Jay Strongbow and Billy White Wolf  Dino Bravo and Dominic DeNucci  The Yukon Lumberjacks (Eric and Pierre)  Tony Garea and Larry Zbyszko  Jerry and Johnny Valiant  Ivan Putski and Tito Santana 


The Wild Samoans (Afa and Sika)  Bob Backlund and Pedro Morales  Tony Garea and Rick Martel  The Moondogs (Rex and King/Spot)  Mr. Fuji and Mr. Saito  Chief Jay Strongbow and Jules Strongbow  Tony Atlas and Rocky Johnson  Adrian Adonis and Dick Murdoch  The U.S. Express (Mike Rotundo and Barry Windham)  The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff  The Dream Team (Brutus Beefcake and Greg Valentine)  The British Bulldogs (Dynamite Kid and Davey Boy Smith)  The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart)  Strike Force (Rick Martel and Tito Santana)  Demolition (Demolition Ax and Demolition Smash)  The Brain Busters (Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard)  The Colossal Connection (Andr the Giant and Haku) 


Demolition (Demolition Ax, Demolition Smash, and Demolition Crush)  The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags)  The Legion Of Doom (Road Warrior Animal and Road Warrior Hawk)  Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase and Irwin R. Schyster)  The Natural Disasters (Earthquake and Typhoon)  The Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott)  The Quebecers (Pierre and Jacques)  The 1-2-3 Kid and Marty Jannetty  Men on a Mission (Mabel and Mo)  The Headshrinkers (Fatu and Samu)  Diesel and Shawn Michaels  The 1-2-3 Kid and Bob Holly  The Smoking Gunns (Billy Gunn and Bart Gunn)  Owen Hart and Yokozuna  The Bodydonnas (Skip and Zip)  The Godwinns (Henry and Phineas)  The British Bulldog and Owen Hart  Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels  Steve Austin and Dude Love  The Headbangers (Mosh and Thrasher)  The New Age Outlaws (Billy Gunn and Road Dogg)  Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie  Kane and Mankind  Steve Austin and The Undertaker  The Big Boss Man and Ken Shamrock  Jeff Jarrett and Owen Hart  Kane and X-Pac  The Acolytes (Bradshaw and Faarooq)  The Hardy Boyz (Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy)  The Unholy Alliance (The Big Show and The Undertaker)  The Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection (The Rock and Mankind)  The Holly Cousins (Crash Holly and Hardcore Holly)  Mankind and Al Snow  The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von) 


Edge and Christian  Too Cool (Grand Master Sexay and Scotty 2 Hotty)  Right to Censor (Bull Buchanan and The Goodfather)  The Rock and The Undertaker  The Brothers of Destruction (The Undertaker and Kane)  The Two-Man Power Trip (Steve Austin and Triple H)  Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho  Diamond Dallas Page and Chris Kanyon  Chris Jericho and The Rock  Booker T and Test  Spike Dudley and Tazz  Billy and Chuck  Rico and Rikishi  Edge and Hulk Hogan  The Un-Americans (Lance Storm and Christian)  The Hurricane and Kane  Christian and Chris Jericho  Booker T and Goldust  William Regal and Lance Storm  Chief Morley and Lance Storm  Kane and Rob Van Dam  La Rsistance (Ren Dupree and Sylvan Grenier)  Evolution (Batista and Ric Flair)  Booker T and Rob Van Dam  Chris Benoit and Edge  La Rsistance (Rob Conway and Sylvain Grenier)  Eugene and William Regal  William Regal and Tajiri  Rosey and The Hurricane  Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch  The Big Show and Kane  The Spirit Squad (Kenny, Mikey, Nicky, Johnny and Mitch)  Ric Flair and Roddy Piper  Rated-RKO (Edge and Randy Orton)  John Cena and Shawn Michaels  Paul London and Brian Kendrick  Hardcore Holly and Cody Rhodes  Ted DiBiase Jr. and Cody Rhodes  Batista and John Cena  CM Punk and Kofi Kingston  John Morrison and The Miz  The Colns (Carlito and Primo)  Edge and Chris Jericho  Chris Jericho and The Big Show  D-Generation X (Triple H and Shawn Michaels) 


The Miz and The Big Show

v  d  e

WWE European Champions

The British Bulldog  Shawn Michaels  Triple H  Owen Hart  D’Lo Brown  X-Pac  Shane McMahon 

Mideon  Jeff Jarrett  Mark Henry  Val Venis  Al Snow  Kurt Angle  Chris Jericho  Eddie Guerrero  Perry Saturn  William Regal  Crash Holly  Test  Matt Hardy  The Hurricane  Bradshaw  Christian  Diamond Dallas Page  Spike Dudley  Jeff Hardy  Rob Van Dam

v  d  e

WWE United States Champions


Harley Race   Johnny Valentine   Terry Funk   Paul Jones   Blackjack Mulligan   Bobo Brazil   Ric Flair   Ricky Steamboat   Mr Wrestling   Jimmy Snuka   Roddy Piper   Wahoo McDaniel   Sgt. Slaughter   Dick Slater   Magnum T.A.   Tully Blanchard   Nikita Koloff   Lex Luger   Dusty Rhodes   Barry Windham   Michael Hayes   Stan Hansen


Sting   Rick Rude   Dustin Rhodes   Steve Austin   Jim Duggan   Big Van Vader   Kensuke Sasaki   One Man Gang   Konnan   Eddy Guerrero   Dean Malenko   Jeff Jarrett   Steve McMichael   Curt Hennig   Diamond Dallas Page   Raven   Goldberg   Bret Hart   Scott Hall   Scott Steiner   David Flair   Chris Benoit   Sid Vicious   Lance Storm   Gen. Rection   Shane Douglas   Rick Steiner   Booker T   Chris Kanyon   Tajiri   Rhyno   Kurt Angle   Edge


Eddie Guerrero   The Big Show   John Cena   Booker T   Carlito   Orlando Jordan   Chris Benoit   John “Bradshaw” Layfield   Bobby Lashley   Finlay   Mr. Kennedy   Montel Vontavious Porter   Matt Hardy   Shelton Benjamin   Kofi Kingston   The Miz (current)

Categories: 1956 births | American film actors | American professional wrestlers | American television actors | Dutch Americans | Fictional criminals | German Americans | Living people | People from Ocean County, New Jersey | Professional wrestling announcers | Professional wrestling managers and valetsHidden categories: All articles with unsourced statements | Articles with unsourced statements from January 2009

Internet And The New Web , Meaning And Consequence By Mamta B. Herland


The information age is upon us, a paradigm with consequences compared to the Industrial Revolution. As land and agriculture products were replaced by energy in the Industrial Revolution, so information seems to replace energy as the basis for economic life in post-industrial societies. The WWW depends on effective telecommunication networks not available to a large part of the world, but it initiates rapid change when introduced. 1

2 The Internet is the fastest growing communication medium in the world today. It is seen as a communication revolution, and as space and time are collapsed individuals across the world interact and communicate to a degree scarcely anticipated.

The Internet is about 35 years old. The first experimental network was created in 1969 3 , but the full advantage to the public and the tremendous growth came with the introduction of the World Wide Web in 1994. Already in 1996 there were around 40 million users on the Internet, and nearly 20 million of them had access to the WWW. 4 . During the last ten years almost everyone in the advanced nations is on the Net: government agencies, universities, artists, museums, small companies, global conglomerates and private citizens.

Predecessors of today’s digital installations were first exhibited in the 1960s, like Michael A. Noll 5 creating some of the earliest computer-generated images, among them Gaussian Quadratic (1963). The works of John Whitney, Charles Csuri and Vera Molnar remain influential today for their investigations of the computer-generated transformations of visuals through mathematical functions. In 1968, the exhibition “Cybernetic Serendipity” at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London presented works which anticipated many of the important characteristics of the medium today 6 .

Digital technology has revolutionised the way art is created and experienced. Not only have traditional forms of art such as printing, painting, photography and sculpture been transformed by digital techniques and media, but entirely new forms of art such as net art, software art and digital installations have emerged. Some of the vital themes raised by this development are viewer interaction, artificial life and telepresence with multiple identities and personalities. Issues regarding sales and collections, presentation and preservation of digital art are hotly debated.

Paul Valéry 7 predicted in his essay “The conquest of Ubiquity” that the near future would see the reception of artworks transmitted from afar by electricity. If we did not know this was written in 1928, it could be describing contemporary telematic art.

By integrating written, oral and audio-visual human communication, its character changes fundamentally, as well as our culture of systems, beliefs, codes and action.

Even though some digital art concepts date back almost a century, an understanding of Internet art requires knowledge of the age and environment it inhabits. 8


1. Internet Art

Digital art 9 developed in the 1960′s based on an alliance between art, technology and science, in a collaboration largely fostered among universities. Nicholas Negroponte 10 declared that the goal was to combine the visual capabilities of film with computer processing. The Internet, WWW and digitalisation provided new conditions for artistic creation, practice, distribution and perception. Those who mastered the new technology were enthusiastic; those who did not argued that art “generated” by a computer cannot be defined as fine art.

Digital technology has given artists possibilities to synthesise traditional art forms and has brought the art of collage to a much higher level than has ever been possible. An image can be completely transformed in multiple ways and re-mixed with different visually interactive layers. Works can be copied without any decrease in quality. Digital media and traditional methods also frequently merge into new unities 11 .  Fine art, music, dance, animation, film, video and robotics can be synthesised, for the first time giving the artist the ability to create art that includes all these elements. Art presented at Internet Web sites has a potential world-wide audience, and works created by traditional methods are presented side-by-side with reproductions of such works. 12   Digital works can be presented either as a print or on a high-resolution flat wall-mounted screen13, as 3-D works, video, animation or any synthesis of known art forms. To some artists and art institutions this fast, seemingly uncontrollable and partly unregulated development is frightening, as it questions the role and values in art. Values regarding originality, authenticity and uniqueness that have been cherished for hundreds of years are not applicable to digital art. However, the technology is here to stay and it won’t go away even if traditional art communities keep ignoring it.

The Internet has allowed participation and collaboration between geographically-dispersed individuals. Among the best known is Douglas Davis’s The World’s First Collaborative Sentence (1994) where thousands of people have made contributions. Exploding Cell  was created in 1996 by MoMA with artist Peter Halley, and in Generation/Mutation artists world-wide were invited to choose an image, download it to their own computer, modify and return it. Artists in China and Europe are collaborating in Art for the People convened by Marketforces in London. 14  Such cultural exchange is important, not only as new possibilities for artists, but as a mean for broader understanding between people and cultures.

The introduction of networked telecommunication have, however, introduced an art totally different from anything experienced before. Roy Ascott has defined Telematics 15  as “computer-mediated communications networking between geographically dispersed individuals and institutions…and between the human mind and artificial systems of intelligence and perception”. Telematic emphasises the process of artistic creation and the systematic relationship between artist, network and viewer16. The idea of art as a system capable of transforming behaviour and consciousness was fundamental to Ascott. To achieve this the art must be interactive 17 , allowing the audience to be actively engaged. Control over content, context and time can be shifted to the viewer through interaction, thereby questioning the distinction between artist and viewer.

The Internet also provides for a field of interaction between human and artificial intelligence. Telematic art therefore challenges the traditional notions of realism by facilitating the creation of alternative or simulated forms of reality, or the “hypereal”. In the early 1990′s Demetri Terzopoulos developed a bio-mechanical software model of a fish, and Karl Sims created 3-dimentional images of forest and plants with highly complex structures in Panspermia (1990). In 1994 Christia Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau presented A-Volve 18 , a bright virtual habitat. Other artist-scientists such as Thomas Ray and Jane Prophet (TechnoSphere, 1995) also simulate processes of life. Evolution, breeding and selection have become methods for creating art works with “living” image worlds and viewers “playing God” creating new “life”, manipulating the reproduction system, controlling the simulated biotype and  “killing” by withdrawal of “nourishment”19.  Some virtual-reality environments that completely immerse the audience into an alternative world have been developed within an art context. The Canadian artist Charlotte Davies’s Osmose (1995) and Ephemere (1998) are classic examples.

By the involvement and interaction of the viewer, the artist has no longer control of the final result or even the survival of the work. Besides it seems like art has become a testing ground for scientific theories. With Netlife Thomas Ray predicts that artificial intelligence will form in the Internet and be able to go anywhere on the planet in milliseconds.

Body and identity are subjects with long traditions in art, even more so with the Internet. Online identity allows a simultaneous presence in various spaces and contexts, a constant “reproduction” of the self without body. Subcultures are fostered, with groups existing only on the Internet and group members geographically far apart, possibly only knowing each other as avatars20. Roy Ascott’s vision is “‘a multiplicity of bodies”, and his Aspects of Gaia: Digital pathways across the Whole Earth (1989) combined the disembodied experience of telematics and cyberspace with the corporeal experience of concrete reality in physical space.

Several philosophers, including Jean Baudrillard celebrate what they call the techno-body. 21 In her book How We Became Posthuman, Katherine Hayles states: “Increasingly the question is not whether we will become posthuman, for posthumanity is already here. Rather the question is what kind of posthumans we will be” 22 .

Since the introduction of photography in art, realism has been hotly debated. Telematics adds a new dimension to this debate with artificial life and multiple identities. Another dimension was added in September 2001. Wolfgang Staehle had a solo show at Postmasters Gallery in New York, where he presented three live views, one of them through a Web camera pointed at downtown Manhattan. The events of the 11th of  September was unfolded live on the gallery walls and created an unexpected, shocking context for the concept of “‘the ultimate realism” in art.


2. Digital Art and Theory

Digital art did not develop in an art-historical vacuum, but has connections to previous art movements, among them Dada, Fluxus, and conceptual art. The importance of these movements for digital art resides in their emphasis on formal instructions and in their focus on concept, event and audience participation, as opposed to unified material objects. The Theory of the Avant-Garde, technology as a sequence of creations, adoptions and liquidations, was radically different from the traditional attitude. Net artists in the early 1990′s often combined an avant-garde rejection of the artist’s individuality and originality with the possibilities provided by computer-mediated communication to generate anonymous, parodic, shared, multiple and inauthentic identities.

Jean Baudrillard23, “a theorist of the computer screen”, describes an audience that is absent, absorbed into the PC-monitor, losing one’s own image and predicting the disappearance of reality. Baudrillard ‘s concept of  “Hyper-realism” designates an experience of the contemporary world which is radically “unoriginal”.

Marshall McLuhan 24 believed that new technologies promote democracy and enhance human perception. In proclaiming “the medium is the message” 25 , McLuhan meant that content matters less than the structures of media and shapes human consciousness in profound ways. Roy Ascott 26 believes that the Net is the infrastructure of a dynamic new human consciousness powered by associative thought.  The viewer is empowered as his Internet interactivity levels artistic authority. It can even be argued that the participatory mode of the Internet heralds a culture where everyone can be an “artist”.

Digital technology and the Internet raise critical questions about the concepts of originality and authenticity. But already with the invention of photography the original was less relevant and challenged the idea of the uniqueness of a work of art. Walter Benjamin 27 favoured the newer, more democratic forms of art and discussed the impact of mechanical reproduction, believing that it contributed to human emancipation by promoting new modes of critical perception.  The “aura” of works of art was related to their special power in religious cults and the unique situation in time and space. The concept of time and space has radically changed with the World Wide Web, an artwork being able to be anywhere and anytime reproduced at high-quality. It can be argued that we are now on the threshold of the real democratisation of art.

The project life_ sharing 28 (2001) by Duo disputed the idea that information and intellectual property could be controlled. When it was turned into public property and published on the Web, the project became infinitely reproducible. 


3. Art Market

The art market does not merely sell art commodities but actively helps to define what counts as art and particularly what is “significant” art, and thereby alters our perception of art 29 .  Sales and the price of art attract more public attention than most other commodities, and when Charles Saatchi buys an artwork it is announced widely30. If someone like him starts collecting Internet art, the perception of the value of digital art will change as well.


Internet  Galleries

One of the most well-known consequences of WWW is the growth of Web based galleries, either existing dealers going online or virtual galleries existing only on the Web. 31 The Internet has opened up a global market for artists, and Paul Wynter, at London Art, says: “The site features 10,000 images from 900 artists and sells 20 to 30 works a month at an average price of £ 750 – £ 800……. Between four and five thousand people visit every day. A Cork Street gallery doesn’t have that.”‘ 32  London Art takes only 35 % commission, instead of the more usual 50 %,  because the business is not so expensive to run. In March 2004 World Printmakers had 112,000 page views 33 , reflecting an interesting exposure for artists represented at virtual galleries. Most of the Web galleries, though, have art made by traditional methods and Internet galleries are not especially in the forefront promoting and selling digital art.

An artist with a personal Web site promoting his or her own art can deal with potential customers directly without going through commercial galleries or other middlemen, and many find it fascinating to be free of any interference. However, it requires thorough technological knowledge and a strong effort to attract potential clients to one’s Web site34. As always the artist must prioritise the time to either create art or market it.


Art as a digital commodity

The art market is based on ownership and scarcity, with a few artists as international stars. Unique originals, limited editions and exhibitions in prestigious galleries are important when art is basically an investment. These lead to the high pricing of selective traditional art. But digitised art and digitised copies of traditional art can not only be perfectly multiplied but also can be offered “incognito” – artist unknown or anonymous. Digital art and Internet ideology can therefore be seen as an anti-commodity with questionable authenticity and indeterminate origin.

Commercial galleries are trying to convince potential clients of the possibility of earning money based on the “scarcity model”, mostly for wealthy clients. From an investment point of view it is understandable that the market for digital and Internet art has been limited. Digital prints have, however, been sold in limited editions or as customized art, and software or “programming art” has been licensed and acquired35. Digital art can be made affordable to ordinary people who buy art for art’s sake.


4. Democracy, Copyright and Commercialism

We live in the “Age of Access”36, and more and more the questions are: who has access to the communication channels, and how can this access be controlled?

The issues regarding copyright and ownership threaten the democratic and free ideology of the Internet since it actually questions our capitalist economic system. A “piracy” war is being fought by the music industry, new digital copyright laws are being promulgated37 and large global companies are aggressively38 commercialising the Internet. These will powerfully affect the creativity of artists. Many argue that digital copyright is one of the most valuable concepts in the new millennium. Corbis already controls 76 million digitised images39  and has spent more than $ 100 millions to purchase the rights to reproduce images from the Louvre, the Hermitage, London’s National Gallery and the Detroit Institute of Art. Together with Getty Images Inc.40 they are currently buying the digital rights to nearly every image that may have a market value. Based on the globalisation and the conglomerate’s market power, Joost Smiers 41 , proposes the complete abolition of copyright arguing that investors, not artists, are the main beneficiaries.

Global cultural conglomerates will, with little doubt, force the Internet into their existing economic system and values. Without an open software code, the Internet’s future as a free and open communication channel is debatable. New ways to control content and access have been developed. Asian countries are already attempting to introduce censorship.

The largest content providers are American, and we might as well face Americanisation and homogenisation instead of globalisation in fine art, as witnessed in the music and film industry.

When buying a piece of art is just a click and a credit card away, and with massive advertising by large international players influencing local buyers to buy internationally “known” names as an “investment”, the survival of the local art market and the local artist is at risk. Walter Benjamin might not after all be so impressed by the Web as a democratic space for art.


5. Art Institutions

The art establishment, trained to operate within the boundaries of tradition, seems to have found it difficult to recognise digital projects as being art. Museums, curators, educators and gallery owners all have to learn new skills, both with regard to technology and receptivity. The traditional way to exhibit, evaluate and preserve art changes with digital- based art.


Digital art made its official entry into the art world only in the late 1990s, when museums and galleries began increasingly to incorporate such art forms into their shows and dedicate entire exhibitions to it.42 Major international art events, including Documenta, the Whitney Biennial and the Venice Biennale have exhibited Internet art, and large institutions such as the Guggenheim, SFMOMA, the Walker Art Center and the ICC have acquired digital Internet- based art. 43

Museums can store written information about art objects together with digitised images, video, sound and oral presentations, with enhanced capabilities to present versions of an art work as it evolves to a finished state, multiplying and intensifying visitors’ experience.

The digital medium, however, poses a number of challenges with regard to collection and preservation. The curators have to take new roles, curating information as well as preserving art depending on changing, unstable technology with an interactive audience and art works not intended to last. An increasing number of international exhibitions and art events like SIGGRAPH rely on virtual curatorship.44 Many also argue that Internet art should only be presented on-line since it belongs to the context of the Internet, and should not be taken into ‘the white cube model’ of museums.



Art schools face a challenge by the fact that new generations of students use the computer and the Internet as their daily tools, with the Web as the obvious place to gather information, as the technology gap between generations seems to enlarge.

Most universities use the Internet to present themselves to future students and teaching professionals. Publishing research projects and having interactive discussions with other professionals and students are becoming more common.  Already in 1980, Roy Ascott organised an international artists’ computer-conference, “Terminal Art”, and he later founded the Centre for Advanced Inquiry in the Interactive Arts (CaiiA).  In 1995, CaiiA became the first online Ph.D program with an emphasis on interactive art, and in 1997/98 CaiiA-STAR was established (now “Planetary Collegium”) as a global network for advanced research of art and technology. 45



Digital technology, the Internet and the World Wide Web represent a total paradigm shift comparable to the Industrial Revolution, and artists can now radically and globally change content, context and form, but with limited control of the artworks’ final destiny.

Artistic creation, practice and production have been revolutionised by the possibilities to synthesise art created with traditional methods, as well as with sound and audio-visual art forms.

Internet and World Wide Web collaboration between artists and geographically-dispersed viewers is a new artistic practice. Viewers are invited to interactively participate, even to the extent of “playing God” with art, utilising telecommunications and artificial life techniques.

Even though accepted and collected by highly prestigious museums, digital art has not so far been embraced by private collectors. Internet art contradicts the current market model because it has no physical original, is endlessly reproducable, and may have indeterminate authenticity and ownership. Thereby, digital art is jeopardised as an investment.

The Internet has had an ideology and tradition as an open, free and democratic communication channel with a global audience. However, large international conglomerates have commercialised the Internet enforcing capitalistic values and questioning the future of art and artist.

Imperial War Museum



Sir Alfred Mond, photographed between 1910 and 1920.

On 27 February 1917 Sir Alfred Mond, an MP and First Commissioner of Works, wrote to the Prime Minister David Lloyd George to propose the establishment of a National War Museum. This proposal was accepted by the War Cabinet on 5 March 1917 and the decision announced in The Times on 26 March. A committee was established, chaired by Mond, to oversee the collection of material to be exhibited in the new museum.

This National War Museum Committee set about collecting material to illustrate Britain’s war effort by dividing into subcommittees examining such subjects as the Army, the Navy, the production of munitions, and women’s war work. There was an early appreciation of the need for exhibits to reflect personal experience in order to prevent the collections becoming dead relics. Sir Martin Conway, the Museum’s first Director General, said that exhibits must “be vitalised by contributions expressive of the action, the experiences, the valour and the endurance of individuals”. The museum’s first curator and secretary was Charles ffoulkes, who had previously been curator of the Tower of London armouries. In July 1917 Mond made a visit to the Western Front in order to study how best to organise the museum’s growing collection. While in France he met French government ministers, and Field Marshal Haig, who reportedly took great interest in his work. In December 1917 the name was changed to the Imperial War Museum after a resolution from the India and Dominions Committee of the museum.

The museum was opened by the King at the Crystal Palace on 9 June 1920. During the opening ceremony, Sir Alfred Mond addressed the King on the behalf of committee, saying that ‘it was hoped to make the museum so complete that every one who took part in the war, however obscurely, would find therein an example or illustration of the sacrifice he or she made’ and that the museum ‘was not a monument of military glory, but a record of toil and sacrifice’ . Shortly afterwards the Imperial War Museum Act 1920 was passed and established a Board of Trustees to oversee the governance of the museum. To reflect the museum’s Imperial remit the board included appointees of the governments of India, South Africa, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. While the Act was being debated, some Parliamentarians felt that that museum would perpetuate an undesirable war spirit and Commander Joseph Kenworthy MP said that he would ‘refuse to vote a penny of public money to commemorate such suicidal madness of civilisation as that which was shown in the late War’ . By November 1921 the museum had received 2,290,719 visitors.


In 1924 the museum moved to the Imperial Institute building (demolished in the 1950s and 1960s to make way for Imperial College) in South Kensington. While this location was more central and in a prestigious area for museums, the accommodation itself proved cramped and inadequate and in 1936 a new permanent location was found south of the River Thames in Southwark.

The Imperial Institute, South Kensington, where the museum was located from 1924 – 1936

The building, designed by James Lewis was the former Bethlem Royal Hospital which had been vacated following the hospital’s relocation to Beckenham in Kent. The site was owned by Lord Rothermere, who had originally intended to demolish the building entirely in order to provide a public park in what was a severely overcrowded area of London. Eventually the central portion of the hospital building was retained while its two extensive wings were removed and the resulting space named Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park, after Lord Rothermere’s mother. Sir Martin Conway described the building as ‘…a fine building, really quite noble building, with a great portico, a distinguishing dome, and two great wings added to it for the accommodation of lunatics no longer required. This particular building can be made to contain our collection admirably, and we shall preserve from destruction quite a fine building which otherwise will disappear’ . The ‘distinguishing dome’ was added by Sydney Smirke in 1846 and housed the hospital’s chapel, and is now the museum’s reading room. The museum was reopened by the Duke of York (later King George VI) in its new accommodation on 7 July 1936.

With the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, the museum began to collect material documenting the conflict. The museum initially remained open but was closed for the duration of the war in September 1940 with the onset of the Blitz. On 31 January 1941 the museum was struck by a Luftwaffe bomb which fell on the naval gallery. A number of ship models were damaged by the blast and a Short Seaplane, which had flown at the Battle of Jutland, was destroyed. While closed to the public the museum’s building was used for a variety of purposes connected to the war effort, such as a repair garage for government motor vehicles, a centre for Air Raid Precautions civil defence lectures and a fire fighting training school. In October 1945 the museum mounted a temporary exhibition, the first since the end of the war in August, which showcased technologies developed by the Petroleum Warfare Department. These included the submarine fuel pipeline PLUTO, the fog dispersal method FIDO, and flame weapons such as the Churchill Crocodile and Wasp Universal Carrier. However, due to bomb damage to both the building and exhibits, the museum was obliged to reopen its galleries piecemeal. The museum reopened a portion of its galleries in November 1946. A third of the galleries were opened in 1948 and a further wing opened in 1949.

In 1953, with Commonwealth forces engaged in Korea and Malaya the museum began its current policy of collecting material from all modern conflicts in which British or Commonwealth forces were involved. However, despite this expansion of remit, the early postwar period was a period of decline for the museum. Dr Noble Frankland, the museum’s Director from 1960 to 1982, described the museum’s galleries in 1955 as appearing ‘dingy and neglected’ and in a ‘dismal state of decay’ the museum’s ‘numerous stunning exhibits’ notwithstanding.


The museum building showing the dome, guns, and the absence of the wings.

In 1966 the Museum’s Southwark building was extended to provide collections storage and other facilities, the first major expansion since the Museum had moved to the site. The development also included a purpose-built cinema. Two years later in 1968 a pair of 15-inch naval guns were installed in front of the Museum. Both had previously been mounted in Royal Navy warships (one from HMS Ramillies and the other mounted on HMS Resolution and later HMS Roberts) and had been fired in action during the Second World War.

Later that year on 13 October the Museum was attacked by an arsonist, Timothy John Daly, who claimed he was acting in protest against the exhibition of militarism to children. He caused damage valued at approximately 200,000, not counting the loss of irreplaceable books and documents. On his conviction in 1969 he was sentenced to four years in prison.

By 1983 the museum was again looking to redevelop the Southwark site and approached engineering firm Arup to plan a phased programme of works that would expand the building’s exhibition space, provide appropriate environmental controls to protect collections, and improve facilities for visitors. The first phase of these works, started in 1986, created 8,000m2 of gallery space of which 4,6002 was new, and saw the conversion of what was previously the hospital’s courtyard into a centrepiece Large Exhibits Gallery. This gallery featured a strengthened ground floor (to support the weight of very heavy exhibits), a first floor mezzanine and second storey viewing balcony. Into this space were placed tanks, artillery pieces, vehicles, ordnance and aircraft from the First World War to the Falklands War, and for some years the museum was marketed as ‘The new Imperial War Museum’. This atrium, with its concentration of military hardware, has been described as ‘the biggest boys’ bedroom in London’. This first phase cost 16.7 million (of which 12 million was provided by the government) and was opened by the Queen on 29 June 1989.

Panorama of the atrium. Ground floor exhibits include: ‘Devil’ a Mark V tank; ‘Ole Bill’ an LGOC B-type bus, V-2 and Polaris missiles, and (sand-coloured, extreme right) a Grant tank used by Bernard Montgomery. Suspended aircraft include a Sopwith Camel, Heinkel He 162 and (partially obscured) a Supermarine Spitfire which flew in the Battle of Britain.

In September 1992 the museum was the target of a Provisional Irish Republican Army attack against London tourist attractions. Two incendiary devices were found in a basement gallery, but were extinguished by staff before the arrival of the fire brigade, and caused only minor damage.

A second stage of redevelopment, providing a further 1,600m2 of floor space was completed in 1994 and a third stage in 2000. The latter expansion, the Southwest Infill, was partly funded by a 12.6 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and provided 5,860m2 of gallery space and educational facilities over six floors The development included the installation of the museum’s Holocaust Exhibition which was opened by the Queen on 6 June 2000. This was the first permanent exhibition dedicated to the Holocaust in a UK museum, and had taken five years at a cost of 5 million.

Tibetan Peace Garden with the museum behind

This period also saw the use of the surrounding park for purposes of commemoration or the promotion of peace. In 1999 a Soviet War Memorial was unveiled by the then Secretary of State for Defence George Robertson, and the Russian ambassador Yuri Fokine. The date of the unveiling (9 May) was significant as that day is marked as Victory Day in Russia. Also in May 1999 the Dalai Lama opened a Tibetan Peace Garden, commissioned by the Tibet Foundation, in the park. The garden features a bronze cast of the Kalachakra Mandala, contemporary western sculpture, and a pillar inscribed with a message from the Dalai Lama in English, Tibetan, Hindi and Chinese.

In August 2009 the museum announced the creation of the Imperial War Museum Foundation. Chaired by Jonathan Harmsworth, the great-grandson of the 1st Viscount who had secured the museum’s Bethlem building, the foundation is charged with raising funds to support the refurbishment of the museum’s permanent galleries. At the time of the announcement, the museum was planning for the refurbishment of its First World War gallery by 2014, the centenary of the outbreak of the war, and for the refurbishment of its Second World War and Post-1945 galleries by 2020, the museum’s own centenary.


From the 1970s onwards the museum began to expand onto other sites. The first of these sites, a former RAF and United States Army Air Force airfield at Duxford in Cambridgeshire, was opened to the public on a regular basis in June 1976. HMS Belfast, a light cruiser moored in the Pool of London, has been under the care of the museum since 1978.

Imperial War Museum Duxford

Main article: Imperial War Museum Duxford

AirSpace at IWM Duxford.

The Duxford branch of the Imperial War Museum houses its large exhibits, including the aircraft and military and naval vehicles collection. The museum has seven main exhibition buildings with nearly 200 military and civil aircraft. A historic airfield, used for military flying since 1916; the last operational flight at Duxford was made in July 1961. The museum originally only used one of the site’s hangars as temporary storage for part of its aircraft collection; however, following a series of popular air displays from 1973 onwards, the museum acquired the entire site for its use in February 1976.

The aircraft collection includes types such as a British Aircraft Corporation TSR-2 and the only SR-71 Blackbird on display outside the United States of America. The military vehicle collection includes command caravans used by Field Marshal Montgomery. The naval collection includes an example of an X-craft midget submarine and the Vosper motor torpedo boat MTB-71. The site provides accommodation for a number of regimental museums (including those of the Parachute Regiment, named Airborne Assault, and the Royal Anglian Regiment), and also provides additional collections storage. The site remains an active airfield and hosts regular air displays.

HMS Belfast

Main article: HMS Belfast (C35)

Care of the light cruiser HMS Belfast, which had served throughout the Second World War, was transferred to the museum on 1 March 1978 after Shirley Williams, the then Secretary of State for Education and Science, accepted that the ship was “a unique demonstration of an important phase of our history and technology”.

HMS Belfast at her berth in the Pool of London

She had been preserved for the nation since 1971 in the Pool of London under the care of a private charitable trust, the HMS Belfast Trust; the first such preservation of a naval ship since HMS Victory. The museum, along with the National Maritime Museum and the Ministry of Defence, had been involved in an earlier plan, which took place in the late 1960s, to preserve the ship, which the government on that occasion had declined in 1971.

HMS Belfast was a notable vessel. Launched in March 1938 she served throughout the Second World War, participating in the Battle of North Cape and firing some of the first shots of Operation Overlord. She later served in the Korean War. The ship left Singapore on 26 March 1962 for the UK where she made a final visit to Belfast and after an exercise in the Mediterranean was paid off on 24 August 1963. In service for 24 years HMS Belfast was, in the view of historian Noble Frankland, capable of representing “a whole generation of [historical evidence]“.

Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms

Main article: Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms

The Map Room of the Cabinet War Rooms

In 1984 the Cabinet War Rooms were opened to the public as a branch of the museum. The War Rooms are an underground complex that had been used as a command centre by the British government throughout the Second World War. Located beneath the Treasury building in the Whitehall area of Westminster, the facilities were constructed before the war in anticipation of extremely destructive aerial bombing of London. They became operational in 1939 and were in constant operation for the duration of the war. The complex was abandoned in August 1945 after the surrender of Japan. The historical value of the Rooms was recognised early on, and the public were able to visit the War Rooms by appointment. However, the practicalities of allowing public access to a site beneath a working government office meant that only 4,500 of 30-40,000 annual applicants to visit the War Rooms could be admitted. During the 1970s the Cabinet Office and the Department for the Environment, which was responsible for the Rooms after 1975, raised the possibility of the museum taking over the War Rooms. The museum was reluctant due to its new commitments related to Duxford and HMS Belfast, but agreed in 1982. The scheme was keenly supported by the then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, an admirer of Britain’s wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and she opened the War Rooms in April 1984.

Following a major expansion in 2003 a suite of rooms, used as accommodation by Churchill, his wife and close associates, were added to the museum. The restoration of these rooms, which since the war had been stripped out and used for storage, cost 7.5 million. In 2005 the War Rooms were rebranded as the Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms, with 850m2 of the site redeveloped as a biographical museum exploring Churchill’s life. The museum, the development of which cost a further 6 milion raised from private fundraising, makes extensive use of audiovisual technology. The centrepiece is a 15m interactive table which enables visitors to access digitised material, particularly from the Churchill Archives Centre, via an ‘electronic filing cabinet’.

Imperial War Museum North

Main article: Imperial War Museum North

Entrance of Imperial War Museum North in Manchester

The Imperial War Museum North was opened in Trafford, Greater Manchester in 2002, the first branch of the museum outside of southeast England. The museum’s first floor main gallery space houses the permanent exhibitions. These consist of a chronological display which runs around the gallery’s 200m perimeter and six thematic displays in ‘silos’ within the space. The walls of the gallery space are used as screens for the projection of an hourly audiovisual presentation, the Big Picture. Though exhibiting fewer large objects than other museum branches, Imperial War Museum North features in its main gallery a Russian T-34 tank, a United States Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier jet, and a British 18-pounder field gun which fired the British Army’s first shot of the First World War. The museum also hosts a programme of temporary exhibitions, mounted in a separate gallery.

The project to construct a branch of the museum in the north of England, was launched in January 1999 by the then Culture Secretary Chris Smith. The new building was the first of the branches to be purpose-built as a museum. Designed by architect Daniel Libeskind, it was his first building in Britain. Libeskind building, overlooking the Manchester Ship Canal at Salford Quays, was based on the concept of a globe shattered by conflict into shards and reassembled. These shards, representing earth, air and water, give the building its shape. Originally budgeted at 40 million, the museum was eventually completed for 28.5 million after anticipated funding was not forthcoming. The museum was funded by local, national and European development agencies, by private donations and by Peel Holdings, a local transport and property company which contributed 12.5 million.

The London building

A view of Bethlem Royal Hospital in 1828

The Imperial War Museum has had three homes. Originally housed in the Crystal Palace at Sydenham Hill, in 1920, the museum moved to space in the Imperial Institute in South Kensington during 1924, and finally in 1936 the museum acquired a permanent home in the former Bethlem Royal Hospital in Southwark. The hospital building was designed by the hospital surveyor, James Lewis, from plans submitted by John Gandy and other architects, and construction completed in October 1814. The hospital consisted of a range of buildings 580 feet long with a basement and three storeys, parallel to Lambeth Road, with a central entrance under a portico.

The building was substantially altered in 1835 by architect Sydney Smirke. In order to provide more space, he added blocks at either end of the frontage, and galleried wings on either side of the central portion. He also added a small single-storey lodge, still in existence, at the Lambeth Road gate. Later, between 1844-46, the central cupola was replaced with a copper-clad dome in order to expand the chapel beneath. The building also featured a theatre in a building to the rear of the site.

The building remained substantially unchanged until vacated by the hospital in 1930. After the freehold was purchased by Lord Rothermere, the wings were demolished to leave the original central portion (with the dome now appearing disproportionately tall) and Smirke’s later wings. When the museum moved into the building in 1936 the ground floor of the central portion was occupied by the principal art gallery, with the east wing housing the Naval gallery and the west wing the Army gallery. The Air Force gallery was housed in the former theatre. The first floor comprised further art galleries (including rooms dedicated to William Orpen and John Lavery), a gallery on women’s war work, and exhibits relating to transport and signals. The first floor also housed the museum’s photograph collection. The second floor housed the museum’s library in its west wing, and in the east wing the map collection and stored pictures and drawings. This division of exhibits by service, and by civil or military activity, persisted until a wide-ranging redisplay of the galleries from the 1960s onwards.

The original hospital building is now largely occupied by corporate offices. A 1966 extension? houses the library, art store, and document archives.Redevelopments in the 1980s created exhibition space over five floors, along with the acquisition of the All Saints Annexe, a former hospital building in Austral Street off West Square. The 1867 building, which backs onto Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park, was originally an orphanage opened by local philanthropist Charlotte Sharman, then later used as a hospital. It houses the museum’s photographic, film and sound archives, and offices.


The collections include this photograph of Montgomery in his command tank, the tank itself, as well as Montgomery’s papers and command caravan from the European campaign.

The Imperial War Museum’s original collections date back to the material amassed by the National War Museum Committee. The present departmental organisation came into being during the 1960s as part of Frankland’s reorganisation of the museum. The 1970s saw oral history gain increasing prominence and in 1972 the museum created the Department of Sound Records (now the Sound Archive) to record interviews with individuals who had experienced the First World War. Since the opening of the Holocaust and Crimes against Humanity exhibitions, a collecting department has been established to support them. The museum maintains an online database of its collections named Collections Online.

Material from the collections are displayed at each of the museum’s branches, and on five levels at the Lambeth Road site. The basement is occupied by permanent galleries on the First and Second World Wars, and of conflicts since 1945. The ground floor comprises the atrium, cinema, temporary exhibition spaces, the permanent Children’s War exhibition (extending into the basement), and visitor facilities. The first floor provides the atrium mezzanine, education facilities, and a permanent gallery, Secret War, exploring special forces, espionage and covert operations. The second floor features the atrium viewing balcony, two art galleries, a temporary exhibition area and the permanent Crimes against Humanity exhibition. The third floor houses the permanent Holocaust Exhibition, and the fourth floor provides a further exhibition area in the vaulted roof space. From November 2010 this area will accommodate the Lord Ashcroft Gallery, exhibiting the museum’s own collection of Victoria and George Crosses, and the private collection of Victoria Crosses amassed by Michael Ashcroft.


There are eight departments responsible for different aspects of the museum’s collections.

The Department of Documents holds private papers such as letters and diaries from both individual soldiers and civilians to high-ranking officers such as Field Marshals Bernard Montgomery, Sir John French and Henry Maitland Wilson. Also of note are manuscripts by war poets Isaac Rosenberg and Siegfried Sassoon. The Department holds the official British records of the Nuremberg and Tokyo War Crimes Tribunals and a variety of other official records. The Department also houses the UK National Inventory of War Memorials.

The Art department holds much of the work of official war artists from both world wars, and contemporary art from after 1945. As early as 1920 the art collection held over 3,000 works and included pieces by John Singer Sargent, Wyndham Lewis, John Nash and Christopher Nevinson. The collection expanded again after the Second World War, holding around 70% of the 6,000 works produced by the Ministry of Information’s War Artists Advisory Committee. The collection also includes a large number of propaganda posters from many countries and periods.[a] In 1972 the museum’s Artistic Records Committee was established to commission artists to cover contemporary conflicts.

The Film and Video Archive is one of the oldest film archives in Britain and preserves a range of historically significant film and video material. The collection includes the official British film record of the First World War and the 1916 feature film The Battle of the Somme, which is inscribed on UNESCO’s Memory of the World register. The collection also includes the official British film record of the Second World War, amateur film and film of other conflicts since 1945. Material from the collection was used to make a number of well-known TV documentary series including The Great War and The World at War.

The Photograph Archive preserves the official British photographic record of both World Wars and conflicts since 1945. It currently holds more than 6,000,000 images and the Second World War collection includes the work of photographers such as Bill Brandt, Cecil Beaton and Bert Hardy. Both the Film and Photograph Archives are official repositories for material produced by the Ministry of Defence and so include material from contemporary operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Department of Exhibits and Firearms is responsible for the care of the Museum’s collection of three-dimensional objects. The cores of the collection are the firearms collection, collections of artillery, ordnance and vehicles, and medals and decorations such as the Victoria Cross and George Cross. Many of the department’s larger exhibits are on display and can be seen in the photographs below. Other exhibits include artillery pieces whose crew won the Victoria Cross, a Lee Enfield rifle used by T. E. Lawrence, and a Colt 1911 automatic pistol owned by Winston Churchill.

A still from The Battle of the Somme, kept in the Film and Video Archive

The Department of Printed Books is responsible for the Museum collection of printed materials including books, maps and ephemera. When the Museum was established the distinguished historian Sir Charles Oman was given responsibility for the library. In 1922 the library collection contained a reported 20,000 items and 60,000 items in 1953. Today the Museum gives the size of its library collection as 270,000 items.

The Sound Archive, originally named the Department of Sound Records, administers a collection of over 56,000 hours of historical recordings and was opened to the public in July 1977. The core of this collection are oral history interviews with people who were affected by war in the 20th century. This collection has been used for a series of radio programmes and books, called Forgotten Voices, about war in the 20th century. The collection also includes historic broadcasts, and actuality sound effects recorded during conflicts.

The Department of Holocaust and Genocide History supports the Holocaust and Crimes against Humanity exhibitions. The department seeks to acquire archival material and artefacts to illustrate its subject; notable acquisitions include the Gianfranco Moscati collection which documents the persecution of the Jews during the Second World War. The department also answers public and academic enquiries, advises other bodies working on related subjects, represents the museum at relevant events and supports the museums’ educational activities. It also occasionally undertakes external consultancy, for instance assisting with the establishment of a memorial room at Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Since 1917 the museum has had six directors. The first was Sir Martin Conway, a noted art historian, mountaineer and explorer. He was knighted in 1895 for his efforts to map the Karakoram mountain range of the Himalayas, and was Slade Professor of Fine Arts at the University of Cambridge from 1901 to 1904. Conway held the post of Director until his death in 1937, when he was succeeded by Leslie Bradley. Bradley had served in the First World War in the Middlesex Regiment before being invalided out in 1917. He later became acquainted with Charles ffoulkes, who invited him to join the museum where he was initially engaged in assembling the museum’s poster collection. Bradley retired in 1960 and was succeeded by Dr Noble Frankland. Frankland had served as a navigator in RAF Bomber Command, winning a Distinguished Flying Cross. While a Cabinet Office official historian he co-authored a controversial official history of the RAF strategic air campaign against Germany. Frankland retired in 1982 and was succeeded by Dr Alan Borg who had previously been at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. In 1995 Borg moved to the Victoria and Albert Museum and was succeeded by Sir Robert Crawford, who had originally been recruited by Frankland as a research assistant in 1968. Upon Crawford’s retirement in 2008 he was succeeded by Diane Lees, previously Director of the V&A Museum of Childhood. She was noted in the media as the first woman appointed to lead a British national museum


^ Whitmore, Mark (letter to Frankie Roberto) (12 May 2008) WhatDoTheyKnow.comTotal number of objects in the Imperial War Museum’s collection. Accessed 28 October 2009.

^ Department for Culture, Media and Sport: Monthly museum and gallery visitor figuresFigures for 2008/09 financial year. Accessed 21 May 2009.

^ “History Today – Guns and Roses : The Imperial War Museum has appointed its first female Director Diane Lees. Juliet Gardiner asks her about her vision for the museum, both in London and at its various outposts around the country.”. Retrieved 2009-08-21. 

^ Google Maps (2009) Walking directions to Imperial War Museum London from Lambeth North tube station. Accessed 28 December 2009.

^ Google Maps (2009) Walking directions to Imperial War Museum London from Waterloo station. Accessed 28 December 2009.

^ Imperial War Museum (17 July 2008) Annual Report and Account 2007-2008(London: The Stationery Office). ISBN 978-0-10-295346-6. Accessed 30 July 2009.

^ Kavanagh, Gaynor ‘Museum as Memorial: The Origins of the Imperial War Museum’, Journal of Contemporary History Vol. 23 No. 1 (January 1988) pp.81 Available via JSTOR at . Accessed 13 August 2009.

^ ‘National War Museum. The Collection Of Relics And Souvenirs’, The Times, March 26, 1917 Issue 41436; pg. 5; col C

^ Kavanagh, pp.82

^ Kavanagh, pp.83

^ James Mann, foulkes, Charles John (18681947), rev. William Reid, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Oct 2006 accessed 22 June 2009

^ ‘The War Museum. Sir Alfred Mond’s visit to the front’, The Times, July 24, 1917 Issue 41538; pg. 3; col C

^ Museums and the First World War, page 137, Gaynor Kavanagh, Continuum International Publishing Group, 1994, ISBN 071851713X |accessdate=2009-08-21

^ ‘The Greatest War Memorial. Opening By The King. Human Interest At The Crystal Palace’. The Times, 10 June 1920, Issue 42433, page 11 column D

^ Office of Public Sector Information: UK Statute Law Database Imperial War Museum Act 1920. Accessed 15 March 2009.

^ Hansard, 12 April 1920 Imperial War Museum Bill HC Deb 12 April 1920 vol 127 cc1465-9 Hansard 1803-2005 Accessed 22 March 2009.

^ ‘Public And Crystal Palace. Full Benefit Later’, The Times, 15 November 1921, Issue 42878, page 5, column D

^ ‘The Imperial War Museum: Lack of Accommodation’,The Times 25 August 1933 Issue no. 46532, page 13 column E

^ Peter Leach, ewis, James (1750/511820), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 Accessed 12 March 2009

^ Conway was addressing the House of Lords and his words recorded in Hansard. Quoted in Cooke & Jenkins, ‘Discourses of Regeneration in Early Twentieth-Century Britain: From Bedlam to the Imperial War Museum’, Area, Vol. 33, No. 4 (Dec., 2001), Blackwell Publishing for The Royal Geographical Society, pp. 387. Available via JSTOR at . Accessed 13 August 2009.

^ Imperial War Museum London (guidebook), (London: Imperial War Museum, 2009) pp. 5 ISBN 9781904897958

^ mperial War Museum: Collection of war relics, The Times 14 May 1940 Issue 48615 Page 4 Column F

^ a b c Imperial War Museum London (guidebook), (London: Imperial War Museum, 2009) pp. 2 ISBN 9781904897958

^ Ministry of Information photograph caption IWM Collections – Photograph Search search for ‘D 29420′ under ‘Reference Number’

^ ‘Petroleum Warfare Exhibition: Secrets Of Crocodile And Wasp’, The Times, 5 October 1945, Issue 50265, Page 7 Column D

^ ‘Imperial War Museum: Memorial and Record Of Deeds In Two World Wars’, The Times 31 January 1953 issue 52534, page 7 column E

^ ‘New Exhibits In War Museum Galleries Reopened’,The Times, 31 August 1948; Issue 51164; pg. 6; col E

^ elics Of Two World Wars Museum Wing Reopened, The Times, 23 February 1949, Issue 51313, Col E

^ Frankland, Noble (1998) History at War: The Campaigns of an Historian (London: Giles de la Mare) pp.160 ISBN 9781900357104

^ ‘Cinema For War Films Opens’, The Times, 2 November 1966, Issue no. 56778, page 16, column B

^ ‘Picture Gallery’, The Times, 7 May 1968, Issue no. 57245, page 3 column G

^ Marshall, Rita ‘War museum damaged by arson’, The Times 14 October 1968, Issue no. 57381, page 1

^ ‘Museum fire youth gets four years’, The Times, 23 January 1969, Issue 57466, page 3 column G

^ a b Pearce, David and Penton, Annelise (2002) ‘The Imperial War Museum, London – Stage 3′ The Arup Journal Volume 37 No. 2 pp. 42-47

^ The new Imperial War Museum (guidebook, 1992), London: Imperial War Museum.ISBN 0-901627-50X

^ Karpf, Anne (2 June 2000) The Guardian Bearing Witness. Accessed 11 July 2009

^ Hansard, 17 July 1989 Imperial War Museum – HC Deb 17 July 1989 vol 157 cc13-4 Hansard 1803-2005. Accessed 16 March 2009.

^ Kirby, Terry (18 September 1992). “Firebombs found at three tourist venues in London”. The Independent. Retrieved 6 April 2009. 

^ Hansard, 4 March 1996 Terrorist Incidents – HC Deb 04 March 1996 vol 273 cc51-62W Hansard 1803-2005. Accessed 6 April 2009.

^ Heritage Lottery Fund – Second World War 60 Years On: remembering, learning, commemorating Accessed 10 March 2009.

^ Duncan, Sue (29 November 2001) The Architects’ Journal Sensitive choices. Accessed 14 July 2009

^ For details of the development process of the Holocaust Exhibition see Bardgett, Suzanne Exhibiting Hatred Accessed 10 March 2009. Originally published in History Today (June 2000).

^ Society for Cooperation in Russian and Soviet Studies Soviet War Memorial Accessed 11 March 2009.

^ Tibet Foundation Art and Culture: Tibetan Peace Garden. Accessed 11 March 2009.

^ Steel, Patrick (August 2009) ‘IWM sets up foundation to fund gallery revamp’ Museums Journal Volume 109 No. 8, pg 6

^ A guide to the transport museums of Great Britain, page 100, Jude Garvey, Pelham Books, 1982, 0720714044

^ a b Wingate, John (2004). In Trust for the Nation: HMS Belfast 1939-1972. London: Imperial War Museum. p. Postscript. ISBN 1-901623-72-6. 

^ Imperial War Museum Duxford History of Duxford Accessed 21 February 2009

^ Frankland, Noble (1998) History at War: The Campaigns of an Historian (London: Giles de la Mare) pp.205-208 ISBN 9781900357104

^ Imperial War Museum Duxford: The Land Warfare Hall Monty Accessed 22 June 2009

^ Imperial War Museum Duxford: The Maritime Collection X-craft Exhibition Accessed 22 June 2009

^ British Military Powerboat Trust MTB-71: 60ft Vosper Motor Torpedo Boat Accessed 22 June 2009

^ For a list of aircraft, vehicles and boats at Duxford, see IWM Duxford: Aircraft and Vehicles. Accessed 26 June 2009

^ See Airborne Assault homepage. Accessed 26 June 2009.

^ “HMS “Belfast” (Hansard, 19 January 1978)”. Retrieved 2009-08-21. 

^ London’s Changing Riverscape, page 216, Graham Diprose, Charles Craig, and Mike Seaborne, Frances Lincoln Ltd, 2009, ISBN 0711229414

^ Frankland, Noble (1998) History at War: The Campaigns of an Historian (London: Giles de la Mare) pp.204 ISBN 9781900357104

^ a b Holmes, Richard (2009) Churchill Bunker: The Secret Headquarters at the Heart of Britain Victory (London: Profile Books Ltd) pp 193 ISBN 978-1846682254

^ Kennedy, Maev (9 April 2003) The Guardian Restored underground apartments opened to public. Accessed 28 July 2009.

^ Waterfield, Giles ‘The Churchill Museum: Ministry of sound’ Museum Practice No.30 (Summer 2005) pp.18-21

^ McLaren, Leah (July 6, 2002), “Triumph over adversity”, The Globe and Mail: R5 

^ Worsley, Giles (29 June 2002) The Daily Telegraph A globe ripped to pieces. Accessed 20 November 2009.

^ Martin, David ‘Full metal jacket: Imperial War Museum North’ Museum Practice No.21, December 2002, pp.24-29

^ Studio Daniel Libeskind Imperial War Museum North Accessed 7 July 2009

^ Manchester Evening News, 4 March 2008 Peel Milestones. Accessed 7 July 2009

^ Glancey, Jonathan (22 April 2002) Guardian Unlimited War and peace and quiet. Accessed 7 July 2009

^ a b “Bethlem Hospital (Imperial War Museum)”. Royal Hospital. Retrieved 2009-08-21. 

^ a b ‘Bethlem Hospital (Imperial War Museum)’, Survey of London: volume 25: St George’s Fields (The parishes of St. George the Martyr Southwark and St. Mary Newington) (1955), pp. 76-80 British History Online. Accessed 20 August 2009.

^ ‘War Museum In Its New Home – Arrangement Of The Exhibits’, The Times 16 June 1936, Issue 47402, page 14 column B

^ Archives in London and the M25 Area All Saints Hospital. Accessed 20 August 2009.

^ See Imperial War Museum Collections Online Photograph Search under Reference No. E 18980

^ See under ‘Land Warfare Hall’.

^ For an overview of the Museum’s collections, see Bardgett, Suzanne ‘Imperial War Museum and the history of war’ at ‘Making History’ maintained by the Institute of Historical Research accessed 17 December 2008

^ Imperial War Museum Lord Ashcroft’s Victoria Cross Collection. Accessed 15 September 2009.

^ For more details of the architectural layout of the building see Pearce, David and Penton, Annelise (2002) ‘The Imperial War Museum, London – Stage 3′ The Arup Journal Volume 37 No. 2 pp. 42-47

^ ‘Montgomery documents’,The Times 8 July 1982, Issue 61280, page 2 column A

^ ‘Field marshal’s indiscreet love letters fetch 4,800′,The Times, 18 December 1975 Issue 59581, page 7 column C

^ Malvern, Sue ‘War, Memory and Museums: Art and Artefact in the Imperial War Museum’, History Workshop Journal No. 49 (Spring 2000) pp.177-203, page 188. Available via JSTOR at . Accessed 13 August 2009.

^ Foss, Brian ‘Message and Medium: Government Patronage, National Identity and National Culture in Britain 1939-1945′, Oxford Art Journal Vol 14 No.2 (1991) pp 52-72, pp. 70. Available via JSTOR at . Accessed 13 August 2009.

^ The Art Collection at the Imperial War Museum: Contemporary War Artists: Introduction Accessed 28 February 2009

^ A number of artists commissioned by the committee, and a number of others, are described at University of the west of England: School of Creative Arts: Vortex – The Home Page of Paul Gough Accessed 28 February 2009

^ For the early history of the Imperial War Museum film archive, see Smither and Walsh ‘Unknown Pioneer: Edward Foxen Cooper and the Imperial War Museum Film Archive 1919-1934′, Film History Vol 12 No. 2 pp 187-203. Available via JSTOR at . Accessed 13 August 2009.

^ For a detailed summary of the Film and Video Archive’s holdings, see Moving History: A guide to UK film and television archive in the public sector. Accessed 14 March 2009.

^ ‘Beaton’s record of war revived’, The Times, 7 October 1981 Issue 61049, page 7 column C

^ See Jack Cornwell and L Battery RHA

^ ‘A Rifle with a Story’, The Times, 18 March 1937 Issue no. 47636, page 18 column E

^ Paddy Griffith, (2004) man, Sir Charles William Chadwick (18601946), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, online edn, Oct 2007 Oxford DNB Online Edition, accessed 3 Feb 2009

^ ‘News in Brief: Sir Ian Hamilton Gift to War Museum’, The Times, 25 February 1922 issue 42965, page 6 column F

^ ‘Imperial War Museum: Memorial and Record Of Deeds In Two World Wars’, The Times 31 January 1953 issue 52534, page 7 column E

^ Imperial War Museum Collections homepage, accessed 1 December 2008

^ Lance, D G ‘Sound Archive of Recordings Opens to the Public’, Social History Volume 2 No.6 (October 1977) pp 803-804. Available via JSTOR at . Accessed 13 August 2009.

^ Intute database Gianfranco Moscati Collection. Accessed 19 August 2009.

^ Imperial War Museum Holocaust and Genocide History. Accessed 19 August 2009.

^ Bardgett, Suzanne (November 2007) ‘Remembering Srebrenica’ History Today Volume 57 No. 11 Accessed 19 August 2009.

^ ‘Mr L. R. Bradley: Former Director of Imperial War Museum’ (obituary) The Times 30 January 1968 pg. 8

^ Heal, Sharon (January 2008) ‘New chief at IWM revealed’ Museums Journal 108/1 p. 8


a. ^  The Visual Arts Data Service (VADS), hosted by the University for the Creative Arts, provides online access to a large number of images from the Imperial War Museum’s collections. The images are copyright cleared and free for use in UK education and personal research. This includes over 7000 images from the museum’s poster collection, digitised and catalogued as part of a project in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University, and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. See: Posters of Conflict, Concise Art Collectionand Spanish Civil War Poster Collection

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Translation Of Humor In Cartoons:


It is sometimes believed that humor does not travel between languages. This has been a motivation for scholars to consider the (un)translatability of humor. However, considering the widespread admiration of some films and TV programs all over the world, one can realize that, regardless of any inconveniences, humor does travel across cultural and linguistic barriers. Having this point in mind, the objective of this study was to examine how it goes between languages and cultures through one of media translation methods, which is dubbing here.

Basic characteristics that all comic events share include surprising, and playing with logic, expectations, conventions and meaning (Nael & Krutnik 1990:43). The two modes are considered as one in this study, since it seems to be difficult to separate them. However, deviating from the norms of conventional, everyday conversation and breaking the rules of politeness and decorum are crucial to all kinds of comedy. Timing and appropriateness of utterance is another factor in creating humor. Sometimes when this factor is violated the resultant surprise is amusing and appealing to the audience. Replete instances of humorous items in the Shrek and Shrek 2 animations and their world wide success as being the most popular animated films among children and adults, and moreover, the successful dubbed versions of these cartoons in Persian in comparison with other dubbed animated films, have been the reasons for choosing them as the focus of this study. Songs and rhyming are excluded from this study since they are a complicated, large category and out of the scope of this study.


There were two objectives for doing this study which was carried out in order to write a master thesis. First, the researcher wanted to figure out what strategies the Persian translators have applied to transfer the humor from English into Persian. Second, it was intended to see which strategies have been more frequently used by translators.


For the purpose of this research, some popular animated English-speaking films have been selected, which are among the most successful cartoons worldwide. Although there are multiple reasons to justify these choices, initially there were two requirements which the research material had to meet: it needed to have dubbed the version in Persian. The second reason is directly linked to the strong humorous flavor of the selected cartoons since the focus of this study is considering the element of humor in translation. To give an example we can shortly refer to Shrek which, as Patrick Zabalbeascoa (2000: 27) writes, belongs to the category of “white background with black spots” which in other words means a text presented as an infantile genre but with elements directed exclusively to adults. In the case of Shrek, the content of humor directed exclusively to adults was a guarantee of interesting and complex research material.

Theoretical Frame

This study is based on Viney and Darbelnet (1995) model of translation. They represent two broad categories, namely direct or literal, and oblique translation methods. These two categories include seven strategies: borrowing, calque, literal translation, transposition, modulation, equivalence, and adaptation.

Data Analysis

Some of the humorous items of cartons Skrek I and II and their translations in dubbed Persian are analyzed here based on the aforementioned model.

“Aren’t you a sight of sore eyes?”  

Persian: Cheshmaye baba ghurim daran dorost mibinan?

In this sentence Donkey states his surprise of seeing Shrek and Fiona, the Persian translation has observed the form, ‘sore eyes’ has been replaced by a cultural term to refer to his own eyes, but this phrase in Persian is  more humorous for the audience. The strategies applied here are literal translation and equivalence.

“Oh, you mean sorting the mails and watering the plants?”

Persian: Manzuret moratab kardane nameha va aab dadane golast?

Donkey claims that he has taken care of Shrek’s “love-nest” when they were in honey moon. Shrek’s utterance is an ironic remark to Donkey since obviously he has done nothing useful in the house, even though he so sincerely claims he has. In this case the visual context makes the utterance humorous. The Persian translation has observed both the meaning and the form. The strategy applied here is literal translation.

“All right, all right, I got it. I’m just darn bored.

Persian: Be darake asfalo safelin ke dure, man hoselam sar rafte!

Donkey is bored with the long journey to “Far Far Away” although he has been told several times that it is far far away; and when Shrek and Fiona get furious at his repeatedly asking “Are we there yet?” Donkey states this sentence. The humor of this example comes from the point that Donkey does not understand the situation even when explained to him, and this happens many times during the story. The Persian translation uses a slang phrase to show that Donkey is angry and bored, which adds to the humorous flavor of the original. The strategy applied is equivalence.

“Now let’s go before they light the torches.”

Persian: Bia bala gheiratan ta dakhlemuno nayvordan bargardim.        

The English idiom, ‘light the torches’, means trying to take revenge. This meaning is indirectly stated in English, but in the Persian translation it is overtly stated with a cultural flavor that comes from the expressions “bala gheiratan” and “dakhlemuno nayvordan”. It can be said that literal translation has been used here along with equivalence.  

“It’s easy to see where Fiona gets her good looks from.”

Persian: Hala dige rahat mishe fahmid ghiafe ghashange Fiona be ki rafte.

The timing of the utterances and their appropriateness in the situation are relevant factors in humor. This is an example of inappropriateness. One interpretation would be that Shrek refers to the beauty that Fiona had as a human, and the utterance is meant to be a compliment to the parents. Another way to interpret the situation is that the parents were not expecting their daughter to return with an ogre, let alone as an ogre, so the situation is awkward and Shrek tries to break the tension by telling a joke. As it turns out, nobody finds it funny, but rather insulting, and the silence that follows is even worse than before. However, this uncomfortable situation is amusing for the audience. Literal translation has been used in the Persian rendering and the tone of the Persian speaker together with the context helps the audience get the humor of the situation.     

“Let’s go bond with daddy.”    

Persian: Berim pedar zan salam.  

The English sentence is humorous since Donkey knows this fact that Shrek and his father-in-law have not gone along quite well with each other at their first meeting and when Shrek has lost his chance to talk to him because of not finding the way through the woods, uttering this sentence shows that Donkey does not understand the importance of the situation for Shrek. In the Persian translation ‘father-in-law’ is mentioned directly which was not mentioned verbally in the ST but the audience knows it from the storyline but the form and meaning are preserved. So here literal translation has been applied.   

“Hey, Shrek! Donkeys don’t purr. What do you think am I?”

Persian: Avalan ke aarvaare, dovoman be man migan khare palang.

The English sentence is Donkey’s complaint to Shrek, the Persian translation uses slang words and a different style which match the previous sentences and context. The strategies used include adaptation and modulation. 

“The position of annoying talking animal has already been taken.”

Persian: Hazrate agha, jatuno dadim geda avail bord.

The humor of this sentence comes from the speaker of it, Donkey, he is trying to show that he is Shrek’s best friend and the Cat can not take his position. He wants to show his disapproval of the Cat using these adjectives, but he is not aware that at the same time he is also insulting his own character. The form has been preserved, but the meaning has been a little altered to match the target culture. The applied strategy is equivalence.

 ”I had some rotten berries, I had strong gases eking out of my butt.”

Persian: Tameshke fased khordan haman o nasime molayem vazidan haman.

The humor in this sentence comes from inappropriate time of uttering this sentence by Donkey and the subject matter of it. The Persian rendering has modulated the meaning of English sentence, as in the target culture it is impolite to state such these matters directly. The meaning is observed but the form not. Modulation and transposition have been utilized.  

“Maybe there’s a good reason donkeys shouldn’t talk.”

  Persian: Ye zarbol masale ghadimimi hast ke mige khoda kharo shenakht ke behesh zabun nadad.                                      

This ironic sentence uttered by Shrek shows his unhappiness about Donkey’s talking all the time and the meaning of the sentence along with the paradox of the situation, that is, a talking Donkey, makes the situation humorous. The Persian translation includes a proverb which is not the exact equivalent for the English sentence but with a little change in the Persian proverb it has turned to an appropriate rendering. This change is that instead of word ‘shakh (horn)’ there is the word ‘zabun (tongue)’ in the translation. So here we have adaptation. 

“Donkeys don’t have layers. We wear our fear right out there on our sleeves.”

  Persian: Khara aslant laye laye nistan, una ba shoma kheili fargh daran.

The idiom ‘to wear one’s heart in a sleeve’ is altered with another sentiment, fear. The original idiom means vulnerability and a tendency to show ones feelings; in this case Donkey means that he is scared easily. With a sarcastic intent, Shrek takes the words literally and replies ‘Wait a second, Donkeys don’t have sleeves’. The Persian translation just considers the meaning of the Donkey’s first sentence (having layers) and expands it and ignores the idiom since there is no equivalent in Persian for it. The following sentence uttered by Shrek has been treated the same way; it directly talks about Donkey’s fear. The strategy applied in this example equivalence.    

“It’s no way to behave in front of a princess.”

Persian: Jun be junet konan bi tarbiati.                

Donkey complains to Shrek for his impolite behavior, this violation of the conventions of social behavior and politeness itself is the source of humor, but the following scene in which Fiona, who is supposed to behave like a princess, burps exactly like Shrek adds to the humorous load of the situation. Again applying adaptation in rendering the meaning of this sentence has added to the humorous flavor, the meaning has been rendered according to the context by a cultural expression. 

“That’s me: the noble steed.”

Persian: khar fahm shodi? Un ba man bud.                                        

This sentence is uttered by Donkey and the humor in the original sentence comes from the phrase “noble steed”. In the Persian translation the form is not observed and the meaning is adapted according to the target culture using “khar fahm shodi ” instead of  “Shir fahm shodi” to emphasize the word “donkey” as the focus of the sentence. So the strategies applied here are modulation and equivalence.

“S: Men of Farquaad’s stature are in short supply.

 Persian: Jenabe aghaye lord Farquaad nesfeshun zire zamine.   

D:There are those who think little of him.

Persian: Be injur adama migan kutule vaveyla.                

F: You’re just jealous you can never measure up to a great ruler like Lord Farquaad.

 Persian: Shomaha faghat be in hasuditun mish eke ba kasi mese Lord Farquaad ghabele moghayese nistid.                   

S: May be you’re right.  But I’ll let you do the measuring when you see him tomorrow.”

Persian: Khab didi kheir bashe. Behtare in moghayese ro bezari vase farad ke be didane un kutule miri.

Lorf Farquaad, like Nappoleon, is a very short man and thirsty of power. His shortness often implies some thing about sexual matters, and that he wants to compensate this shortness by material things, such as his castle. In this example the wordplay is in the idioms (to be in short supply, to think little of somebody, and measuring up to something or somebody) and in the different ways shortness can be implied (stressing words ‘short’ and ‘little’ in the idioms). The first two sentences are seemingly a polite description of Farquaad, but the clear stress in the spoken version shows that something else is intended. In the latter two sentences the idiom ‘to measure up’ is first used in its original, real meaning: ‘being as good as something else’. In the response the idiom is back grounded and the original meaning of ‘measuring’ is implied instead. In the Persian translation there is no direct reference to the implied meanings since there are no equivalent idioms for the English ones and the just from the tone of voice of the characters it is understood that there is another implied meaning. Literal translation has been used here.    

“Two renaissance wraps, Medieval meal, Sourdough soft taco please.”

Persian: sosis torki, nun barbari, 2ta baste baghala ghatogh.

The humor in this sentence comes from the previous dialogue between Fairy godmother and the King, as she threatens him to hurt him and instead she orders some food, that is, she breaks her diet. The names of the food mentioned in the original sentence have been replaced by some other food familiar to the target audience, so generally the form is observed but the meaning is replaced by cultural equivalences. So the strategy applied here is adaptation.

 ”Shirley Bassey bush” 

Persian: derakhte chaghale baadom                                                                  

Shirly Bassey is a Welsh singer, who became famous in the 60s and 70s by performing theme songs to James Bond films (Wikipedia). Donkey is describing the bush with this allusion, either referring that it has a similar pose to Bassey, or that the head of the human-shaped bush is like afro hairstyle a certain singer used to have. Considering this point, the Persian translation does not contain this information and replaces it with the name of a tree which is familiar to the target audience, so the form is observed but not the meaning, the strategy applied here is equivalence.

“I’m the stair master. I’ve mastered the stairs.” 

Persian: Be man migan olaghe pelle kosh.                  

The “stair master” can refer to a gymnastics device, or being a master in stairs (meaning to ‘conquer’ the steps, or being the best at ‘fighting’ the stairs). In the Persian translation only the second meaning is stated and the English wordplay has not been created in the Persian. The meaning has somehow been observed but the form not. The strategy used here is equivalence.

“Neuter him, give him the Bob Barker treatment.”

 Persian: kubidash kon  bekesh be sikh, zemnan pustesham bekan.

Bob Barker is a US game show the “Price Is Right” host, who has actively spoken against animal overpopulation (Turnquist 2004), and is an allusion here. Donkey states this sentence about the cat. In the Persian translation the meaning has completely changed and replaced by cultural equivalence but the form is somehow observed. The applied strategies are equivalence and adaptation.

“Sergeant Pompous and the Fancy Pants Club Band”

Persian: Daste arazel o obash va sar daste gamboo.

The allusion here is to the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album by the Beatles. The allusion is not direct, but rather used sarcastically by changing the wording slightly. The intent of this utterance is to indicate that the announcer was rude and arrogant, and that it was too much for Shrek that the message was delivered with music in the background, which is something that is sarcastically expected of the rich and famous people. In the Persian translation this allusion is not kept because it is not known to the target audience, and it is replaced by other phrases familiar to the target culture. So the applied strategy is adaptation.

“Almost every body that meets you wants to kill you.”                                                                                                                                                          Persian: To dar vaghe’ ye ikbirie zeshti.

This sentence is uttered to Shrek by Donkey that is expressing his opinion about Shrek and his bad behaviour. In the Persian translation there is no reference to the English meaning and Shrek is addressed by two adjectives to show his lack of respect and disapproval of his behavior. The applied strategy is equivalence.

“You need some Tic Tacs or something, cause your breath stinks!”

Persian: Baba jan mesvak bezan.                       

Tic Tac (officially styled as “tic tac”) is a brand of small, hard sweets manufactured by the Italian confectioner Ferrero. The individual pieces are commonly called Tic Tacs themselves. Donkey believes that Shrek should use some Tic Tac since his breath stinks. Normally stating such a direct sentence is offensive and usually people avoid it, but Donkey does it as direct as possible and it makes the context humorous. In the Persian translation the allusion is not produces, it is not familiar to the target culture, and this name is replaced simply by a verb, brushing. The strategies applied here are equivalence and modulation.

 ”Swamp toad soup, fish eye tartar”

Persian: Baghala ghatoghe lajane mordab,  mirza ghasemie eshpele ghurbaghe              

The names of the foods again have been replaced by the foods familiar to the target culture audience to make it more tangible. Humor in this sentence comes from the type of the materials considered as food as they are disgusting for the human beings to be eaten but delicious dishes for ogres. The strategy applied here is equivalence.

“Smelly ogre!” 

Persian: Chie eshghe piaz?                                                                                                                                                                              

Neither the form nor the meaning is kept. An adjectival phrase is rendered by a question In the English version Donkey addresses Shrek as an “smelly ogre” but in the Persian translation there is a flash back to the previous scenes where Shrek states that ogres are like onions, that is, they have layers. Donkey, referring to that sentence, calls him a smelly ogre. In the Persian translation the word ‘piaz (onion) is explicitly stated to show the hidden meaning in the English version. Modulation and adaptation have been used here.

“I have to save my ass.”

Persian: man delam nemikhad mese baghie jezghale sham.                                          

In this scene Shrek and Donkey are saving Fiona from the dragon-guarded castle. Shrek has found Fiona, but the dragon has taken Donkey. Fiona has not met the Donkey yet, and does not know that Shrek has come with some body, so Shrek’s response sounds like he is trying to save only himself and not her. This is an example of homonymy-wordplay since the word “ass” with a double meaning, one of them being ‘donkey’ and the other one ‘bottom’. But in the Persian there is no word with such double meaning to be replaced. Therefore, the wordplay could not be created in the Persian translation and only the second meaning, ‘bottom’, is stated with some cultural modulation to avoid the exact word. The translator has taken advantage of the scene that shows the dead bodies of previous knights to state that Shrek does not want to meet the same fate. The applied strategy is equivalence.

“Oh, stop being such a drama-king!”

Persian: Ooh, mese shahaye tuye gheseha shodi.                         

The verbal humor in this example comes from the change in the idiomatic expression “drama-queen”. Normally someone who is acting a little hysterical over nothing is called a “drama-queen”, no matter what their sex is. In this example the Queen is speaking to the King, who is very angry. Therefore, with this change of words in the idiomatic expression the utterance refers humorously to the ‘profession’ of the speakers as well as to the original meaning of the idiom, to reacting too seriously to something. However, in the Persian translation there is not such an idiomatic expression to be used as an equivalent; the translator has tried to show the Queen’s disapproval of the King’s behavior by just referring to the word “King” as a profession, the English idiomatic meaning is lost in Persian. The applied strategy is adaptation.

“A gender-confused wolf “

Persian: Ye gorge ahmagh                                                                   

In the film the Wolf is always dressed in grandmother’s dress and bonnet (the Wolf from the Little Red Riding Hood). However, he also has a really low, masculine voice and in the beginning of the Shrek 2 he is found reading ‘Pork Illustrated’, a magazine that refers to the Sports Illustrated magazine that is filled with women in bikinis. This allusion has taken one instance from the original fairy tail and created a new, humorous identity for the character. In the Persian translation this allusion is lost and replaced by an adjective to show the disapproval of the speaker since there is no back ground knowledge about the magazine referred to; although the audience is familiar with the Wolf from the Little Red Riding Hood story, the intended meaning is not produced in the translation. The applied strategy is adaptation.


The examples presented in this study are part of a research done as a master thesis. After gathering the data manually from the DVDs available and considering the translations, analyzing the data shows that, based on Viney and Darbelnet (1995) model considered, from among the strategies applied by the translators ‘equivalence’ has been most frequently used.  

Moreover, the target text tends to contain less humorous elements, linguistic ones of course, than the source text; the reason for this is that the target language lacks equivalents for the linguistic items of the source language. However, surprisingly, jokes and humorous items were found in which the humorous load of the target version increased, as compared with the original versions, especially in the scenes that the mouth of the characters could not be seen the translator has taken advantage of the silence and added humorous expressions to the text. There have been also some cases that the source text contains no humorous items but in the Persian translation it has been created.  This can be as a compensation for the loss of linguistic humors in other parts of the text, or to add too the humorous flavor to make it more appealing to the audience.  

A particular feature of Shrek, especially, is that it is probably not accidental that almost half of the humorous elements in this animated film belong to the category of visual. It can be said that maybe these elements present fewer problems in transfer than other humorous elements, especially in Latin and English-speaking countries and their use was intentional with the aim to make the humor of the film internationally available, but in case of Persian it van be different since many children can not read the signs and are not familiar with the brand names which appear in the scenes of the film. It is not possible to transfer these visual elements through translation and if the audience does not have any back ground knowledge about them they would be lost in the process of translation.  


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Shrek DVD 2001




Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich of Russia

Early life

Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich with three of his brothers(from left to right) : Alexander, Alexei, Vladimir and Tsarevich Nicholas

The Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich Romanov of Russia was born in Saint Petersburg on 14 January 1850 (4 January O.S.). He was the son of emperor Alexander II and empress Maria Alexandrovna. He was a younger brother of Grand Duchess Alexandra Alexandrovna, Tsarevich Nikolay Alexandrovich, Alexander III of Russia, Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich of Russia and Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia and He was an older brother of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia and Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich.

Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich was destined for a naval career since his childhood. At the age of 7 he received the rank of midshipman. The next year Konstantin Nikolayevich Posyet was appointed as his tutor. While the winters were dedicated to theoretical studies, during the summers he trained on Russian warships of the Baltic fleet stationed in Saint Petersburg harbour. The training was rough, but gave him the possibility of getting used to various sailing ships:

in 1860 the yacht Shtandart on a cruise from Petergof to Livada [disambiguation needed]

in 18611863 the yacht Zabava under the flag of counter-admiral Posyet in the Gulf of Finland and Gulf of Bothnia,

in 1864 the frigate Svetlana in the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea

in 1866 the frigate Oslyabya during an extensive training cruise to the Azore Islands.

Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich in his youth

On 18 September 1866 Grand Duke Alexei was promoted lieutenant. He continued his navy career serving as officer aboard the frigate Alexander Nevski on a cruise in across the Mediterranean Sea to Pireaus, where he attended the wedding of his cousin Olga Konstantinovna.

In 1868 he went on a trip to southern Russia traveling by train from Saint Petersburg to Nikolaevsk [disambiguation needed], continuing by ship down the Volga to Astrakhan. He then boarded a military ship for a cruise on the Caspian Sea to Baku, [Petrovsk (now Makhachkala) and then to Iran. He then crossed the Caucasus and reached Poti where the Alexander Nevsky was moored. From there he sailed to Constantinople, Athens and the Azore Islands On the return voyage, on the frigate was involved in a shipwreck off the coast of Jutland during a storm on the North Sea. Though the ship was lost, the crew including Alexei Alexandrovitch was unhurt and could safely reach the shore.

In January 1870 Alexei Alexandrovich reached the age of majority according to Russian legislation. The event was marked by taking two oaths : the military one and the oath of allegiance of the Grand Dukes of the Russian Imperial House. In June 1870 Alexei Alexandrovich started the last part of his training. This included inland navigation on a cutter with a steam engine, on the route from Saint Petersburg to Arkhangelsk through the Mariinsk Canal system and the Northern Dvina River. After visiting the schools and industrial facilities of Arkhangelsk, he started his navigation training in arctic conditions, aboard the corvette Variag. His cruise took him to the Solovetsky Islands, continuing through the White Sea and Barents Sea to Novaya Zemlya. The route continued to Kola Bay and the city of Murmansk, the ports of northern Norway and Iceland. He returned to Cronstadt at the end of September.

Love affair with Alexandra Zhukovskaya

Alexandra Zhukovskaya

In 1869/1870, Alexei had an affair with Alexandra Zhukovskaya, daughter of poet Vasily Andreyevich Zhukovsky, who was eight years older than him. They were parents to a son, Alexei, born on 26 November 1871. Tsar Alexander II was strongly opposed to this relationship.

Some historians claim that they were morganatically married and that the marriage was annulled by the Russian Orthodox Church , because, according to the "Fundamental Laws of the Imperial House", this marriage was illegal. However, articles 183 and 188, which prohibited marriages without the consentment of the emperor, were included in the Fundamental Laws only by the 1887 revision under Tsar Alexander III. The rules valid in 1870 did not prohibit mornaganatic marriages, but simply excluded their offspring from the succession to the throne. There is no evidence either to the marriage or to the divorce. There is also no evidence that the Grand Duke even requested the permission to marry. As Alexandra Zhukovskaya, was not an aristocrat and, besides, the daughter of an illegitimate son of a Russian landowner and a Turkish slave, such a marriage would have been unthinkable.

Upset by his son's affair, Alexander II even refused to grant Alexandra Zhukovskaya a title, which would have officially recognized the Grand Duke's paternity, even if illegitimate. Other European courts also refused to grant her a title. As a solution of last resort, on 25 March 1875 Alexandra was able to secure the title of baroness Seggiano from the Republic of San Marino, with the right to transmit the title to her son Alexei and his firstborn male descendants. It was only in 1883, that Alexander III, the Grand Duke's elder brother, granted the baron Seggiano the title of count Belevsky, and in 1893 approved his coat of arms.

Tour of the United States

On board the frigate Svetlana

Voyage to the United States

After the official visit to Saint Petersburg of an American squadron under the command of Admiral David Farragut in 1867, a high level visit of the Russian Navy was envisaged by the Russian Government. After lengthy negotiations, it was decided that the Russian delegation would be headed by Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich. The official announcement of the visit was made on 29 June 1871 by Nikolay Karlovich Krabbe, Minister of the Imperial Russian Navy.

The Russian squadron, under the command of admiral Konstantin Nikolayevich Posyet on board the frigate Bogalye included the frigates Svetlana and The Admiral General, the corvette Ignatiev and the gunboat Abrek. The Grand Duke was serving as lieutenant aboard the Svetlana. Before reaching the United States, the Russian squadron was to be met by the frigate Vsadnik of the Russian Pacific Fleet. Though all ships were equipped with steam-engines, the squadron made the passage to America mainly under sail, so as to avoid making port on the route for coal supplies. Except for the Grand Duke personal staff, the crew included 200 officers and over 3000 sailors. The squadron set sail out of Kronstadt on 20 August 1871.

The squadron first stopped in Copenhagen, where the Grand Duke paid a visit to King Christian IX of Denmark. In the English Channel the Russians were met by a squadron of the Royal Navy and escorted to Plymouth, where the Grand Duke was met by the Duke of Edinburgh Alfred of Saxe-Coburg. A visit to Balmoral Castle had been scheduled, but had to be canceled because the Prince of Wales was very sick and Queen Victoria extremely concerned. The Russian squadron set sail from Plymouth on 26 September. and, on route to New York, stopped for a few days in Funchal, (Madeira Islands), leaving on 9 October.

The Russian squadron was met by an American squadron under the command of vice-admiral Stephen Clegg Rowan Port Admiral of New York hoisting his flag on the frigate Congress. Admiral Samuel Phillips Lee, commander of the North Atlantic Squadron attended on his own flagship, the Severn. The other ships of the squadron were the Iroquois and the Kansas, attended by several tugs.

A welcoming committee had been formed in New York, chaired by William Henry Aspinwall. Among the members of the committee were Moses H. Grinnell, general Irwin McDowell, Theodore Roosevelt, Sr. rear-admiral S. W. Godon, John Taylor Johnston, Albert Bierstadt, Lloyd Aspinwall and others. After a short delay due to the weather, the Russian squadron anchored in New York harbor on 21 November 1871, where the Grand Duke was greeted by general John Adams Dix. A military parade took place in the city. The Grand Duke then attended a thanksgiving service at the Russian chapel.
Reception by President Grant

On 22 November, the Grand Duke left for Washington by special train, placed at his disposal by the New Jersey Railroad and Transportation Company. The train had three cars: the "Commissariat" having all the modern improvements of a hotel, comprising store-rooms and pantry, the "Ruby", dining room car to accommodate 28 persons, with kitchen, ice boxes, and a sort of wine cellar, and "The Kearsarge" used as sitting, sleeping and reading room.

On 23 November, the Grand Duke was received by president Ulysses S. Grant The president wife Julia Grant and his daughter Nellie Grant also attended. Most of the members of the cabinet were present at the meeting: Hamilton Fish United States Secretary of State, Columbus Delano United States Secretary of the Interior with his wife, Amos Tappan Akerman United States Attorney General with his wife, George S. Boutwell United States Secretary of the Treasury, George Maxwell Robeson United States Secretary of the Navy, general Frederick Tracy Dent (the president brother-in-law and military secretary), John Creswell Postmaster General of the United States as well as generals Horace Porter and Orville E. Babcock .

The Grand Duke arrived at 1 p.m. in company of minister Katakazi, admiral Posyet and other members of his suite. The president and the members of the cabinet received them in the Blue Room where the presentations were made. The president then escorted the Grand Duke to the Red Room where he was introduced to the ladies. The interview lasted only fifteen minutes, after which the Grand Duke left.

The visit to Washington was overshadowed by President Grant discontent caused by the Russian government refusal to recall Konstantin Katacazi, minister plenipotentiary of Russia to the United States. The entire visit in Washington lasted only one day. No formal entertainment was given in Washington to the Grand Duke, though for all other visits of members of royal families to the White House, formal dinners had been organized. Such dinners had taken place when President John Tyler received Franois d'Orlans, prince de Joinville, when Abraham Lincoln received Prince Napoleon Joseph Bonaparte and even when Ulysses Grant received Kamehameha V, king of the Sandwich Islands. The evening of the visit to the White House, the Grand Duke and his suite dined at the minister Katakazi residence, the only American official attending being general Porter. At his departure the Grand Duke was asked if he intended to return to Washington. Though he expressed his interest to return during a session of Congress, the uneasy diplomatic relations due to Minister Katakazi prevented this from happening. There had also been expectations that a military alliance treaty between the United States and Russia would be signed during the meeting; however this was not the case.

The next day, the Grand Duke left by train for Annapolis where he visited the Naval Academy, thereafter returning to New York.
Farragut in the shrouds of the Hartfort at the battle of Mobile Bayr>Print after the painting by William Page, presented to Grand Duke Alexei as a gift for Tsar Alexander II

The East Coast

In New York, the Grand Duke visited the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Fort Wadsworth and the fortifications on Governors Island. He also reviewed the Fire Department at Tompkins Square. A highlight was the trip by steamer on the Hudson for the visit of the United States Military Academy, West Point.

Several balls were organized in his honor, the most important being the grand balls at the Navy Yard and at the Academy of Music. Alexei also attended opera performances of Faust and Mignon at the Academy of Music. He also went on a shopping spree, stopping at the A.T. Stewart and Tiffany stores where he bought some jewellery and bronze statues.

On 2 December 1871, a ceremony took place at the National Academy of Design, where the Grand Duke was received by Samuel F. B. Morse, William Stoddard, William Page, Albert Bierstadt and several other artists. The painting Farragut in the shrouds of the Hartfort at the battle of Mobile Bay by William Page was handed over to Grand Duke Alexei as a gift of the citizens of New York for Tsar Alexander II. General John Adams Dix presented the picture and the accompanying scroll, with a brief address in which he expressed the hope that it would further cement the union that existed between the United States and Russia. The painting was placed on-board the Russian flag-ship for transportation to Russia.

On 3 December 1871, the Grand Duke Alexei left for Philadelphia where he was received by general George Meade and Admiral Turner. He visited Girard College, Baird Locomotive Works and the Navy Yard. He was particularly interested by the Methodist Fair at the Horticultural Hall, where the ladies presented him an Afghan Hound. .

From 7 December to 14 December, Grand Duke Alexei stopped in Boston, Massachusetts where he stayed at the Paul Revere House. The landau which president Lincoln rode during his visit to Boston, was prepared for the Grand Duke. He was officially welcomed at the City Hall and the State House. During his stay, the Grand Duke visited Harvard University and the suburb of Cambridge, Massachusetts as well as different public schools in the Boston area, being extensively briefed on the American education system. Other highlights of were the battlefield of Bunker Hill and the visit to the shipyards of Charlestown, Massachusetts.

The Grand Duke also attended a Music Festival where 1,200 school children composed the great choir. At the festival, a grand march of welcome, specially composed by Julius Eichberg and dedicated to is Imperial Highness, was presented

A ball in honor of the Grand Duke took place at the Boston Theatre. The audit of the expenses shows that the cost of ball was .678,58 (equivalent of 0.000 today), only .916,29 being covered by the sale of the tickets and other receipts
Detour to Canada

On 17 December, The Grand Duke left by train to Canada. He first stopped in Montreal, where he had breakfast with the mayor of the city, and then visited Lachine, Quebec He then passed through Ottawa and Toronto, finally reaching Clifton Hill (Niagara Falls) on 22 December 1871 by the Great Western Railway. On his way, the train stopped in Hamilton, Ontario where he received a telegram from Queen Victoria, notifying him that the Prince of Wales had recovered from his illness. From Clifton Hill the party left by sleighs for a visit to the Niagara Falls. After having dressed in oil-skinned suits for fishermen at sea, the party also went under the falls. The Grand Duke then crossed the Niagara River over new suspension bridge and then visited the United States part of the falls.

Newspaper caricature of the Grand Duke's buffalo hunt

Visit to the Midwest

On 23 December, Grand Duke Alexei left by train for Buffalo, New York, where he spent Christmas. On Christmas Day, he went to the opera to see the British Parepa-Rosa Opera Company. After the performance he sent soprano Euphrosyne Parepa-Rosa a bracelet studded with turquoise and diamonds. On 26 December, the Grand Duke arrived in Cleveland where he visited the iron mills and other factories in Newburgh Heights, Ohio. He then reviewed the Cleveland Fire Department and visited the National Inventors Exhibition. He then stopped in Detroit on his way to Chicago, where he arrived on 30 December. The city was recovering from the great fire. Joseph Medwill, mayor of Chicago, had written to the Grand Duke:

"We have but little to exihibit but the ruins and dbris of a great and beautiful city and an undaunted people struggling with adversity to relieve their overwhelming misfortunes."

The Grand Duke visited the destroyed part of the city and was impressed by the rhythm of the reconstruction. He gave ,000 USD (equivalent to 0,000 today) in gold to the homeless people of Chicago, Illinois. As an irony, the same day Grand Duke Alexei arrived in Chicago, a special Grand Jury indicted thirteen members of the city Common Council [disambiguation needed] on charges of bribery. Grand Duke Alexei also visited the stockyards and a pork processing plant.

As the Tremont House Hotel had been burnt to the ground, the Grand Duke was accommodated in the New Tremont House which had opened on Michigan Avenue, where he was awarded the “Freedom of the City”. On New Year Day General Philip Sheridan initiated him into the American custom of making “New Year calls upon the ladies”. From 2 January to 4 January Grand Duke Alexei visited Milwaukee, Wisconsin and on 5 January he arrived in St. Louis, Missouri, where he stayed for over a week.

In St. Louis, Grand Duke Alexis attended a burlesque show Buebeard in which Lydia Thompson, a 36-year-old actress was singing a tune “If Ever I Cease to Love”. It is claimed that the Grand Duke was fascinated both by the actress and the song. Supposedly, she had also sung the number privately for the duke during a rendezvous. Lydia Thompson wasn’t the only woman to catch the duke’s eye; while in St. Louis, Alexei became particularly enamored of one of his dance partners, a lady called Sallie Shannon of Lawrence, Kansas.

Finally on 12 January he arrived in Omaha, Nebraska
The Great Royal Buffalo Hunt

Color print by Louis Maurer (1895)

Trip to the hunting grounds

Preparations for the hunt were extensive and had been carried out under the command of General Joel Palmer. Two companies of infantry in wagons, two companies of cavalry, the cavalry’s regimental band, outriders, night herders, couriers, cooks had been mobilized for the event.

The Grand Duke in the company of General Philip Sheridan, General Edward Ord, and General George Armstrong Custer, the latter having been selected to be Grand Marshall of the hunt, arrived at Fort McPherson on 13 January 1872, by a special train provided by the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. They were greeted by an enthusiastic crowd, headed by William Frederick Cody (know as Buffalo Bill). After speeches, the Duke’s party set out for the hunting grounds.

The Duke and General Sheridan rode in an open carriage, drawn by four horses. William Frederick Cody escorted the party with five ambulances, a light wagon for luggage, three wagons of “champagne and royal spirits” and fifteen to twenty extra saddle horses. A relay of horses was set up at Medicine Creek, about half way to the camp, where the party stopped for lunch. The journey then continued to they called “Camp Alexis” on the Red Willow Creek. The 2d Cavalry band was in place and in tune; “Hail to the Chief” was played when the Grand Duke arrived. The entire trip covered about 50 miles and took approximately eight hours.

The camp consisted of two hospital tents (used as dining tent), ten wall tents and tents for servants and soldiers. Three wall tents were floored and the Grand Duke was carpeted with oriental rugs. Box stoves and Sibley stoves were provided for the tents.

Cody had discussed the hunt with Spotted Tail, chief of the Brul Lakota, who had agreed to meet the “great chief from across the water who was coming there to visit him.” About 600 warriors of different Sioux tribes, led by Spotted Tail, War Bonnet, Black Hat, Red Leaf, Whistler and Pawnee Killer, assembled to greet the grand duke at the hunting camp. They had been provided with ten thousand rations of flour, sugar, coffee, and 1,000 pounds of tobacco for their trouble – twenty-five wagon loads in all.

At the start of the party, Spotted Tail, dressed in a suit, which didn fit him, with an army belt upside down and an extremely awkward look was introduced to the Grand Duke. Then the Indian chief extended his hand, and greeted the Grand Duke with the customary “How.”

For the amusement of Alexei the Indians staged exercises of horsemanship, lance-throwing and bow-shooting. Then there was a sham fight, showing the Indian mode of warfare, closing up with a grand war dance. It was noticed that Grand Duke Alexei paid considerable attention to a good-looking Indian maiden. Concerned that his mother, Empress Maria Alexandrovna, might receive reports of his flirtations, he wrote her from St. Louis: “Regarding my success with American ladies about which so much is written in the newspapers, I can openly say, that this is complete nonsense. They looked on me from the beginning as they would look on a wild animal, as on a crocodile or other unusual beast.” .

However, a dispute broke out when general Custer, probably having drunk too much champagne, made crude overtures to Spotted Tail’s pretty 16-year-old daughter. Alexei was able to calm down the fight with gifts of red and green blankets, ivory-handled hunting knives and a large bag of silver dollars. A formal council took place in Sheridan tens and a peace pipe was passed around. Spotted Tail seized the chance to press his demand for the right to hunt freely south of the Platte River and for more than one store in which to trade.
Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich killing a buffalo with a pistol shot on 15 January 1872

The buffalo hunt

The big hunt took place on the Grand Duke 22nd birthday, 14 January 1872. For the hunt the Duke wore a jacket and trousers of heavy gray cloth, trimmed with green, the buttons bearing the Imperial Russian coat-of-arms. He wore his boots outside his trousers in the European way, which was unusual for his American hosts. Alexei carried a Russian hunting knife, and an American revolver, bearing the coats-of-arms of the United States and Russia on the handle, which he had recently received as a present. The hunting party approached buffalo herd several miles up the Red Willow Creek. The Grand Duke rode William Cody celebrated buffalo horse “Buckskin Joe”, which had been trained to ride at full gallop with a target so that the best shot could be made. As soon as a herd of buffalo was seen, some two miles away, Alexei wanted to make a charge but was restrained by William Cody. The party moved to the windward and gradually approached the herd. Within a hundred yards of the fleeing buffalo, the Grand Duke, not accustomed to shooting from a running horse, fired, but missed. Cody rode up close beside Alexei, handed him his own famed .48-caliber rifle, “Lucretia,” the one with which he claimed to have killed 4,200 buffalo and advised him not to fire until he was on the flank of the buffalo. When Alexei tried again, he brought down his game. The hide of the dead buffalo was carefully removed and dressed; the Grand Duke took it home as a souvenir of his hunt on the western plains. Twenty to thirty animals were killed on the first day of the hunt. The party returned early to camp, where there was a liberal supply of champagne and other beverages provided, and the evening was spent in frontier style.

The next morning Spotted Tail requested him to hunt by the side of Two Lance, chief of the Nakota Sioux tribe, so that he could see a demonstration of the Indian way of hunting. Coming up to a heard of buffalo, Two Lance demonstrated his skill by killing a large animal with one arrow which passed entirely through the body of the running buffalo. The arrow was preserved and given to Alexei. The Grand Duke killed two buffalo, one of them at 100 paces distance, with a pistol shot.

On the conclusion of the hunt, when returning to Fort McPherson, General Sheridan proposed that William Cody take the reins and show Alexei the old style of stage driving over the plains with the horses at full gallop. The heavy ambulance bounded over the rough prairie, while the occupants could hardly keep their seats. Grand Duke Alexei was pleased with his hunting trip. When he and Cody parted in Fort McPherson, he presented Cody with a fur coat and expensive cuff links.

Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich and General George Armstrong Custer in Topeka, at the end of the buffalo hunt

From there the train continued to Denver where the Grand Duke arrived on 17 January. While in Denver, he attended an honorary ball sponsored by the Pioneer Club and visited some mines. Alexei apparently loved the new sport he had just learned and hunted buffalo again near Colorado Springs, on his return trip from Denver through Kansas to St. Louis. However, the horses used to hunt in eastern Colorado were cavalry mounts and unaccustomed to buffalo; several hunters were injured during the resulting confusion. Alexei was unhurt and succeeded in killing as many as 25 buffalo. He even shot a few more from the train on its way across western Kansas toward Topeka, which was reached on 22 January. It is claimed that, by the time they reached St. Louis, the party’s supply of caviar and champagne had been exhausted.

General Custer became one of the Duke’s best friends. He accompanied the Duke and his entourage through Kansas, to St. Louis, New Orleans, and finally to Florida. They continued to correspond with one another up until Custer death.

In the United States, the hunt is remembered as “The Great Royal Buffalo Hunt”. Starting from the year 2000, the Hayes Center, Nebraska organizes each year the “Grand Duke Alexis Rendezvous” featuring a reenactment of the buffalo hunt.

Grand Duke Alexei received as a gift from chief Spotted Tail an Indian wigman and a bow and arrows. The Grand Duke took them back to St. Petersburg. At present they are kept at the museum in Tver. In memory of his adventures in the America, the Grand Duke organized every year a special entertainment. The actors arrived to a village of tents in old carriages drawn by heavy horses. On the palaces lake there were “Indian” pirogues. Men with sword and tomahawks danced with women dressed in long old skirts. The performance was supposed to give the attendance an image of the American Old West.

The southern states

While in St. Louis, the Grand Duke made a short visit to Cincinnati, Ohio on 26 January On 28 January he left by train for Louisville, Kentucky, where he visited the Mammoth Cave He continued his trip by steamer, arriving on 2 February 1872 in Memphis Tennessee aboard the Great Republic. After visiting the city he left on 8 February aboard the James Howard and after a stop in Vicksburg he finally arrived in New Orleans

Poster of the Rex parade of 1872

Visit to New Orleans

In New Orleans Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich attended the 1872 Mardi Gras celebrations, where he was guest of honor reviewing the inaugural Rex parade.

There are many legends related to the Grand Duke visit to New Orleans. Though it has been claimed that local business leaders had planned the first daytime parade to honor the Grand Duke, but this was not true. New Orleans was struggling to recover from the lingering effects of the civil war. At the same time, many city leaders saw the need to bring some order to the chaotic street parades of Mardi Gras day. They had planned the parade all along and took the opportunity to capitalize on the Grand Duke visit. A new krewe of prominent citizens was formed, calling itself the School of Design and its ruler was to be Rex (the organization is now known as the “Rex Organization”). The group of young men who founded the Rex Organization hoped not only to entertain the Grand Duke, but also to create a daytime parade that would be attractive and fun for the citizens of the city and their guests. They selected one of their members, Lewis J. Salomon, the organization fund-raiser to be the first Rex, King of Carnival. Before he could begin his reign, he had to borrow a crown, scepter, and costume from Lawrence Barrett, a distinguished Shakespearean actor who was performing Richard III at the Varieties Theater.

At the same time, Lydia Thompson tour had reached New Orleans and the Bluebeard burlesque was staged at the Academy of Music on St. Charles Avenue. Rumours of the courtship between the Grand Duke and the actress had reached New Orleans and were amplified mainly to ensure a full house. The Duke had already seen the performance and was a no-show, hanging out at the Jockey Club. Besides, the Grand Duke preferences had shifted and he was captivated by the diminutive actress Lotta Crabtree who had one of the main roles in the play The Little Detective. Though the encounter was brief, Alexis sent her a bracelet of diamonds, opals and pearls in Memphis, her next stop after New Orleans.

The Duke however attended the Rex parade. According to legend, the song “If Ever I Cease to Love”, was chosen as anthem of the Rex parade, because it was claimed to be the Duke favorite tune. Actually, the silly song had been written by George Leybourne and published in London in 1871. The song was popular in New Orleans long before the first Rex parade in 1872. the local adaptation of the lyrics was likely done local journalist E.C. Hancock whose newspaper had already published a spoof of the song in 1871. The lyrics of the song were adapted to the occasion and changed to:

“May the Grand Duke Alexis

Ride a buffalo in Texas

If Ever I Cease to Love”

The Grand Duke never rode a buffalo in Texas, but Nebraska doesn rhyme with Alexis.

It is also claimed that the Grand Duke was also given the honour of selecting the official colours for Mardi Gras, and using the heraldic traditions, selected purple for justice, green for faith, and gold for power. The claim that these were the colors of the Romanov family is however incorrect.

The parade which the Grand Duke attended, bears little resemblance to present day parades. Rex rode a horse, not a float and the parade that followed was made up largely of the informal maskers and marchers. There were however bands who stopped and played the Russian national anthem in honor of the Grand Duke. But many traditions such as the selection of Rex, the King of the Parade, the Rex anthem, the parade colors date back to the Grand Duke visit.
The Russian fleet set sail from Pensacola, Florida of 22 February 1872. It is claimed that hundreds of pounds of iced buffalo meat were carefully stowed aboard.

While Libbie Custer, general Custer’s wife, believed the grand duke was more interested in “pretty girls and music” than the country he was passing through, Alexei did spend most of his time trying to get an understanding of the country.

Good Will Mission to Japan

The voyage to the Far East

On its way home the Russian squadron first stopped in Havana, Cuba, which it reached on 29 February. At that time, Cuba was still a Spanish colony and in the middle of the Ten Years’ War against the insurgents, who had attempted to declare the island independence. Though fighting was still going on the western part of the island against the rebels under the command of Carlos Manuel de Cspedes , the hostilities did not prevent governor Blas Villate, count of Valmaceda to receive the Grand Duke with full honors. During his stay in Havana, balls were organized every evening. Alexei also attended the operas Crispino e la Comare and Martha at the Great Theatre of Havana where, at the beginning of the play, the opera choir sang the Russian national anthem. The Grand Duke also visited the works of the Canal de Vento (now called Acueducto de Albear) for the water supply of the city, saw a cock fight in the city of Marianao and a corrida in the “Plaza de Torros” of Havana. In the following days he also went to the Yumur River valley and to the city of Matanzas

The Russian squadron then stopped in Rio de Janeiro where it arrived on 3 June 1872. The Grand Duke entertained emperor Pedro II of Brazil and the imperial court aboard the Svetlana. The Braziliam emperor awarded him the Imperial Order of Dom Pedro I. The Grand Duke looked slightly disappointed and said that he had hoped for the Imperial Order of the Rose, a lower order, because he had never seen a more beautiful order. Pedro II graciously awarded him both orders. Thereafter, he spent several days in Brazil, leaving on 9 June.

Sailing to the Far East, the squadron stopped in Cape Town, Batavia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Canton and Shanghai
Telegram sent by Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich to Tsar Alexander II confirming the visit of the Japanese Emperor

Tour of Japan

On 15 October 1872 the Russian squadron cast anchor in Nagasaki harbour, where he was greeted by the governor. The program of the Grand Duke included a ceremonial dinner in his honour, visits to the surrounding countryside and a tournament of 60 best wrestlers of Japan. On 22 October Alexei and his staff visited a little village Inasa where a Russian colony lived. The Russians delegation visited two hotels named “Kronstadt” and “Moscow” as well as the Russian cemetery.

The Russian squadron left Nagasaki on 24 October, the next port of call being Kobe, where the Grand Duke was again greeted by the provincial governor. The Russians were surprised by the jinrikshas which they saw for the first time. They used rickshaws for their trip to the Nunobeki water falls in the proximity of the city. Grand Duke Alexei also attended a performance at the local theatre in Kobe.

On 1 November the Russian squadron set sail for Yokohama. The Grand Duke was met by Prince Arisugawa Taruhito, the Daij daijin (Chancellor of the Realm) who escorted him to Edo Castle. At the castle Alexei met Soejima Taneomi Head of the Gaimush (Department of foreign affairs). who made the arrangements for the accommodation and the entertainment of the Russian delegation. On 5 November, the Grand Duke was officially received by Japanese Emperor Meiji.

Emperor Meiji, presented his portrait a gift for the Tsar, the first time ever a Japanese emperor portrait was given to a foreigner, and asked for a portrait of Alexander II in return. The Great Prince Alexeis promised to send the portrait as soon as he got back to St.-Petersburg, and, as soon as he came on-board the Svetlana, sent his own portrait to thank the Mikado. The exchange continued and, the next day, the Emperor sent over the portraits of his spouse and mother.

On 9 November, Alexei and the Mikado viewed the parade of the Japanese armed forces, and upon his return to the palace, he was introduced to the Empress Masako. After a few days, the Mikado at the invitation of the Grand Duke, the Mikado went to Yokohama to see the Russian squadron. Following the Grand Duke intervention, 34 Japanese Christians were pardoned by the Mikado and released.

On 26 November the Russian squadron set sail for Vladivostok reaching the base of the Russian Pacific Fleet on 5 December nearly a year and a half after it had left from Kronstadt. He then returned to St. Petersburg across Siberia
Palace of Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich on the Moika Embankment of Saint Petersburg

Palace of Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich

After his return from America, Grand Duke Alexei was concerned about an appropriate residence. He purchased an older building located at 122 Moika River Embankment in Saint Petersburg. The building was completely redesigned and rebuilt by architect Maximilian Messmacher having a total surface of 9,200 sq.m. It is considered one of the most interesting examples of Saint Petersburg eclectic architecture. The architect used a different style for each faade. The wrought iron and stone fence surrounding the palace and its gardens is also an interesting feature. The central gates are still ornamented with the Grand Duke monogram, the meaning of which was overlooked by the Soviet authorities. In 1910 part of the gardens were sold for the construction of a candy factory. Though the palace was declared a national landmark in 1968, it remained in disrepair for many years. At present, the palace is undergoing major restoration. It will be open in December 2008 as the House of Music.

Military career

Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich in the uniform of admiral general of Russia

In 1873, Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich was appointed head of the Imperial Naval Guards. He was also appointed member of the section for shipbuilding and naval artillery of the Russian Naval Technical Committee.

During the Russo-Turkish War (18771878) he was promoted commander of the Russian Naval Forces on the Danube. On 9 January 1878 he was distinguished with the Order of St. George Fourth Degree for “tireless and successful management of the naval forces and equipment on 14 June 1877 for the construction and maintenance of the pontoon bridges and crossings at Zimnicea, Pietroani and Nikopol and for the successful measures for protecting these crossing from destruction by enemy forces.”

In 1880 he was promoted general adjutant. In 1882 after the accession of Tsar Alexander III to the throne, Alexander III, Alexei was appointed head of the Naval Department, replacing Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolaievich. In 1883 he was also appointed General Admiral of the Russian Imperial Fleet. Though his control over the day-to-day affairs of the military is limited, Alexei is involved in naval and military planning. His influence over the Tsar gives him a powerful say in strategic decision-making.

Besides being the head of Russia fleets, Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich was also in command of the naval cadet corps, the Moskow guard regiment, the 37-th Ekaterinburg infantry regiment, the 77-th Tenginsk infantry regiment, and the 17-th Eastern Siberian infantry regiment.

As commander in chief of the navy, the Grand Duke’s main concern was the constant modernization of the fleet, taking into account the rapid technological progress. During his tenure he ensured a five-fold increase of the navy’s budget. He was able to launch a series of pre-dreadnought battleships which were replacing the old ironclad ships. Thus he was instrumental in the equipment of the Russian navy with several battleships of various classes:

The Peresviet class, inspired by the British battleship HMS Centurion.

The Borodino class, based on a French design by the shipyards in La Seyne-sur-Mer

The Petropavlovsk class designed at Galerniy Yard, St. Petersburg,

The Navarin class, on the British Trafalgar class battleship

He also had older ironclads of the Imperator Aleksandr II class reconstructed by the Fench La Seyne yard. He also put new cruisers in service (among which the cruiser Aurora).

The Grand Duke was instrumental in the modernization of the Russian navy. reconstructed and developed of the military harbours of Sevastopol, Alexander III in Livada (now Liepja, Latvia) and Port Arthur, increased of the number of navy yards and extended the dry-docks in Kronstadt, Vladivostok and Sevastopol. He also reorganized the navy, defining the conditions for different naval qualifications, drafting of rules for rewarding long-time service of first and second rank ship captains, restructuring of the corps of mechanical engineers and naval engineers, increasing the number of officers and crew.

When tensions mounted in the Far East, Grand Duke Alexei ordered the transfer of additional ships to Port Arthur, including the battleship Petropavlovsk.

Russian academician and naval engineer Alexei Nikolaevich Krylov shows that, despite these achievements, there were severe drawbacks in the Grand Duke activity. There was no strategic planning and ships were not built based on their intended role within the fleet. There were too many ships of different types. Ships were designed mainly by copying the ones of foreign navies, and were therefore technologically 67 year old when they were launched. Their armour and equipment was often inadequate.

The Grand Duke seems to have become aware of some the these deficiencies. He decided to have more battleships of a single type and to have them designed abroad to meet the needs of the Russian navy. However, though the Grand Duke was an admirer of the British navy, the new battleships were conceived in France and had a poor design. The new Borodino class battleships had tumblehome hulls and were unstable, having a high center of gravity. The drawbacks proved to be fatal for the Russian navy.

At the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War, in 1904 the Russian First Pacific Squadron was able to resist the Japanese attack during the Battle of the Yellow Sea. However, the squadron was destroyed during the battle for Port Arthur, and the Baltic Fleet, sent for reinforcement was completely defeated in the Battle of Tsushima. On 2 June 1905 O.S., Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovitch was relieved of his command and retired.

Life at the Russian court

Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich and the Duchess of Leuchtenberg

His critics talked of Alexei’ life as consisting of “fast women and slow ships,” referring to his womanizing and the defeat of the Russian navy by the Japanese. This statement is not justified, because, despite any drawbacks, his contribution to the modernization of the Russian Navy was outstanding. Away from his desk Alexei devoted his time to the good things of life. He entertained generously and collected fine silver and other works of art to adorn his palace. Sometimes he designed his own clothes. A womanizer, he spent his vacations in Paris or in Biarritz, each time in the company of a different lady.

Around the late 1880s he started a celebrated affair with the Duchess of Leuchtenberg, the morganatic wife of one of his cousins. Born Zinaida Skobelyeva, “Zina” was a strikingly beautiful woman who had married Eugeni of Leuchtenberg as his second wife in 1870. Alexander II made her Countess de Beauharnais and Alexander III raised her to Serene Highness and Duchess of Leuchtenberg. Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich was so besotted with her that he conducted an affair openly, under her husband’s roof and in his full knowledge. Eugeni Leuchtenberg drank away most of his fortune, and for years he and Zenaida lived off his cousin’s generosity. Even after his wife’s death in 1899 the Duke continued to live under Alexei’s roof.

Besides his military duties, Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich also was chairman of the Imperial Commission for the Promotion of Ballet.

In 1904, Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich was one of the godparents of Tsarevich Alexei, the other godparents being the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, King Edward VII of the United Kingdom, King Christian IX of Denmark, Grand Duke Ernest Ludwig of Hesse, Crown Princess Victoria of Prussia, Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna, Grand Duke Michael Nikolaevich, Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaievna. Besides, all soldiers serving in the military during the Russo-Japanese War were declared godfathers to Alexei.


After the assassination of his brother Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia in February 1905 and his retirement in disgrace from the navy in June that same year, Alexei Alexandrovich spent most of his time in a Paris house which he had bought in 1897. At his house in Avenue Gabriel he kept open door for writers, painters, actors and especially actresses. He had always been less interested in the armed services than in art and fashion, and he had long since been recognized as a connoisseur of the social, artistic and literary life of Paris. His massive frame was a familiar sight at restaurants and theaters, particularly on first nights. His last public appearance, a week before his death, was at the dress rehearsal of a new play at the vaudeville. Decades of comfort and good living eventually took their toll on the Grand Duke’s health. He died of pneumonia in Paris on 27 November (14 November O.S.) 1908. His death was said to have devastated Tsar Nicholas II, his nephew, who reportedly claimed Alexei as his favourite uncle. In 2006 the diary of Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich was found in the Russian National Library along with Yussupov funds. The journal, written in English, begins in 1862 and ends in 1907. It has not been published yet.

Popular culture

The Grand Duke’s western hunt is alluded to in the film version of Maverick, starring Mel Gibson. In the film, the Duke is hustled, after he has grown bored with hunting animals, into thinking he has killed a Native American.

He is also described by Boris Akunin in his novel “The coronation of the last Romanov” (, ) where he is presented as the character Georgi Aleksandrovich.

The 1973 Lucky Luke comic book Le Grand Duc features a Russian Grand Duke who visits the Wild West.


^ a b c d .. – - ( ) –
^ Jacques Ferrand – Descendances naturelles des souverains et Grand-Ducs de Russie de 1762 1910, Paris, 1995

^ Jacques Ferrand – Les familles comtales de lncien Empire de Russie, Paris, 1999

^ 1797 Fundamental laws of Emperor Paul I of Russia.
^ a b Stanislaw Dumin – Les Romanov et la rpublique de Saint-Marin

^ The Question settled. Confirmation of the Grand Duke visit to America New York Times, 30 June 1871
^ Grand Duke Alexis. His Departure For America In August The Fleet Fitting Out At Cronstadt The Probable Programme. The New York Times, 16 May 1871
^ Preparations for the American Tour of the Grand Duke. The New York Times, 19 June 1871
^ Grand Duke Alexis. Departure of His Imperial Highness from Cronstadt. He is in Command of a Royal Squadron. The New York Times, 21 August 1871
^ Imposing Reception of the Grand Duke Alexis at Plymouth. The English Fleet Tender Him an Imperial Salute. Festivities at the Royal Navy Club-House. The Duke of Edinburgh Receives His Royal Cousin. Preparations at London for the Duke’s Reception. The New York Times 18 September 1871
^ Departure of the Russian squadron for New York The New York Times, 27 September 1871
^ The Russian Reception. Alexis Not Yet Arrived. Dates from Madeira The New York Times, 29 October 1871
^ Official Reception of Prince Alexis Personals. The New York Times, 4 October 1871
^ The Coming Reception of the Grand Duke Alexis. – The New York Times, 27 April 1871
^ Honors To Alexis. A Cordial Welcome To The Russian Grand Duke. The New York Times 22 November 1971
^ On Board the Mary Powell. The Grand Duke’s Reception by the Committee The New York Times 21 November 1871

^ On the Mary Powell. The Grand Duke Reception The New York Times 22 November 1871
^ The Grand Duke. Departure from New-York for the National Capital. A Special Train at His Service Throughout the Visit. Enthusiastic Reception by the People of Baltimore. Safe Arrival of the Visitors in Washington. The New York Times 23 November 1871
^ a b White House – Royal And Titled Guests, 1908

^ The Grand Duke Pays His Respects to the President. – The New York Times, 24 November 1871
^ The City of Brooklyn.; The Grand Naval Ball. Honors to Grand Duke Alexis at the Brooklyn Navy-Yard The New York Times, 24 November 1871
^ Arrival In This City. The Grand Duke Reaches This City at the Appointed Hour Programme for the Coming Week. The New York Times, 25 November 1871
^ The Grand Duke Visits the Federal Military Fortifications. . The New York Times, 25 November 1871
^ A Quiet Sunday for the Grand Duke and His Party. The New York Times, 27 November 1871
^ The Grand Duke. His Movements Yesterday- The New York Times 28 November 1871
^ Prince Alexis. Yesterday’s Festivities in Honor of the Grand Duke. The New York Times, 29 November 1871
^ How Alexis Passed the Day A Shopping Excursion The New York Times, 30 November 1871
^ The Grand Duke’s Visit. A Trip to West Point The New York Times 2 December 1871

^ The Season of Opera The New York Times, 2 December 1871

^ Grand Duke Alexis. How He Passed His Time Yesterday And Last Evening. Presentation Of Admiral Farragut’s Picture The New York Times 3 December 1871
^ The Grand Duke: Reception at Philadelphia The New York Times, 5 December 1871
^ Return of the Grand Duke The New York Times, 6 December 1871

^ Duke Alexis in Boston The New York Times, December 9, 1871

^ Alexis Visits the Boston Public Schools He Asks for Statistics, Reports, and Rules and Regulations The New York Times 13 December 1871
^ The Russian Prince -How He Passed His Second Day in Boston. Particulars Concerning the Ball The New York Times, 10 December 1871
^ Expense of Boston Ball in Honor of the Grand Duke The New York Times, 20 December 1871
^ Telegraphic Brevities The New York Times, 15 December 1871

^ The Grand Duke. Breakfast with the Mayor of Montreal The New York Times, 16 December 1871
^ The Grand Duke. Breakfast with the Mayor of Montreal The New York Times, 16 decembrie 1871
^ Royal Party at the Falls of Niagara. Telegram from Queen Victoria The New York Times 25 December 1871
^ Reappearance of the Grand Duke Alexis from the Canadian Snows His Future Movements The New York Times, 23 December 1871
^ Westward Progress of the Grand Duke of Russia The New York Times, 27 December 1871
^ Chicago The Grand Duke and New Year Day The New York Times, 4 January 1872
^ About Carnival

^ a b c d Norman E. Saul – Concord and Conflict: The United States and Russia, 1867-1914. University of Kansas Press, 1996, ISBN 978-0700607549

^ The Grand Duke Alexis arrived at Omaha The New York Times, 13 January 1872
^ The Hunt of the Grand Duke Alexis

^ Buffalo Hunting by the Grand Duke The New York Times 14 January 1872

^ a b Jean Day – Buffalo Hunting – The Red Devils Chapter 29

^ Grand duke enjoyed Topeka visit – Topeka Capital-Journal, The, 21 May 2001
^ The Grand Duke Alexis

^ William F. Cody The Adventures of Buffalo Bill Cosimo Classics, 2005 ISBN978-1596056275

^ Andreas’ History of the State of Nebraska

^ Buffalo Hunt in Nebraska by the Grand Duke Alexis of Russia in 1872

^ When a Romanov came a huntin’ Grand Duke Alexis: Russian came to Kansas in 1872 to go after the buffalo – By Bill Blankenship
^ The Hunt fo the Grand Duke Alexis

^ a b Walt Sehnert – The Grand Duke Alexis – McCook Gazette, Monday, 31 December 2007
^ Grand Duke Alexis Rendezvous

^ a b c
^ The Grand Duke Alexis. Cincinnati Redeeming its Character for Courtesy. The New York Times. 29 January 1872
^ The Grand Duke going to Louisville, Ky The New York Times 28 January 1872
^ The Grand Duke Alexis. The New York Times 30 January 1872

^ Movements of the Grand Duke Alexis The New York Times. 2 February 1872
^ The Grand Duke Alexis was at Vicksburg yesterday The New York Times 11 February 1872
^ Arrival of the Grand Duke at the Crescent City. The New York Times 13 February 1872
^ Errol Laborde – Mardi Gras.- History 2: The First Bathurst

^ History of Mardi Gras in New Orleans
^ Ned Hmard – New Orleans Nostalgia “She Was Only the Stable Master Daughter”
^ Rex King of Carnival

^ Renee Kutcher – Krewes Mardi Gras at

^ New Orleans Know-It-All

^ Discovery of the American West

^ Arrival of the Grand Duke Alexis in Havana The New York Times, 1 March 1872
^ Arrival of the Grand Duke and Suite at Havana State Dining. The New York Times 1 March 1872
^ Cuba: The Progress of the War – The New York Times, 3 March 1872

^ Alexis The Grand Duke in Havana-His Arrival and Reception The New York Times, 11 March 1872
^ Alexis.; The Grand Duke’s Sojourn In Havana–The Ball At The Palace–A Sunday Cock-Fight–A Trip To Matanzas–At The Theatre–A Festive Week. The Palace Ball. Trip To Matanzas. At The Theatre. A Bull-Fight. The Duke’s Departure. The New York Times, 15 March 1872
^ The Alexander Palace Time Machine

^ Brazil – The New York Times, 23 July 1872

^ Arrival of the Grand Duke Alexis at Cape Town. – The New York Times, 24 August 1872
^ South Africa: The Grand Duke Alexis’ Visit to Cape Town Ended – The New York Times, 6 September 1872
^ -Arrival of the Grand Duke Alexis at Hong Kong. -The New York Times, 18 September 1872
^ China: Movements of the Grand Duke Alexis. – The New York Times 13 October 1872
^ China: The Grand Duke Alexis -The New York Times, 16 November 1872

^ a b Imperial Russian State Council, 1902

^ Japan: Reception of the Grand Duke Alexis – The New York Times, 17 December 1872
^ .. –
^ a b
^ Palace of Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich

^ Palace of Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich

^ Pepsi Nunes The Evolution of the Imperial Russian Navy and the Grand Dukes 1850-1917 Atlantis Magazine, Vol.2, 2001 Nr3-4., Vol.3 2002, Nr.1

^ a b c Zeepvat, Romanov Autumn, p. 150

^ a b c d Zeepvat, Romanov Autumn, p. 151

^ Romanovs of Russia

^ a b Van der Kiste, The Romanovs 1818-1959, p. 179

^ Journal of Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich


Chavchavadze, David. The Grand Dukes. Atlantic, 1989. ISBN 0938311115

Ferrand, Jacques, Descendances naturelles des souverains et grands-ducs de Russie, de 1762 1910 : rpertoire gnalogique,1995.

Nunes, Pepsi, The Evolution of the Imperial Russian Navy and the Grand Dukes 18501917. Atlantis Magazine, Vol.2, 2001 Nr34., Vol.3 2002, Nr.1

Van Der Kiste, John. The Romanovs 18181959. Sutton Publishing, 1999. ISBN 0-7509-2275-3.

Zeepvat, Charlotte. Romanov Autumn. Sutton Publishing, 2000. ISBN 0-7509-2739-9


v  d  e

Ancestors of Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich of Russia



















16. Peter III of Russia








8. Paul I of Russia












17. Catherine II of Russia








4. Nicholas I of Russia















18. Friedrich II Eugen, Duke of Wrttemberg








9. Sophie Dorothea of Wrttemburg












19. Friederike Dorothea of Brandenburg-Schwedt








2. Alexander II of Russia


















20. Frederick William II of Prussia








10. Frederick William III of Prussia












21. Frederika Louisa of Hesse-Darmstadt








5. Charlotte of Prussia















22. Charles II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz








11. Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz












23. Friederike Caroline Luise of Hesse-Darmstadt








1. Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich of Russia





















24. Louis IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt








12. Louis I, Grand Duke of Hesse












25. Karoline of Zweibrcken








6. Louis II, Grand Duke of Hesse















26. Georg Wilhelm of Hesse-Darmstadt








13. Louise of Hesse-Darmstadt












27. Luise of Leiningen-Heidesheim








3. Marie of Hesse and by Rhine


















28. Charles Frederick, Grand Duke of Baden








14. Charles Louis of Baden












29. Karoline Luise of Hesse-Darmstadt








7. Wilhelmine of Baden















30. Louis IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt








15. Amalie of Hesse-Darmstadt












31. Karoline of Zweibrcken







v  d  e

Grand Dukes of Russia

1st Generation

Tsarevich Alexei Petrovich  Alexander Petrovich  Paul Petrovitch  Peter Petrovich  Paul Petrovich  Peter Petrovich

2nd Generation

Peter II

3rd Generation

Peter III

4th Generation

Paul I

5th Generation

Alexander I  Grand Duke Constantine Pavlovich  Nicholas I  Grand Duke Michael Pavlovich

6th Generation

Alexander II  Grand Duke Constantine Nicholaevich  Grand Duke Nicholas Nicholaevich  Grand Duke Michael Nicholaevich

7th Generation

Tsarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich  Alexander III  Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich  Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich  Grand Duke Nicholas Constantinovich  Grand Duke Nicholas Nicholaevich  Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich  Grand Duke Constantine Constantinovich  Grand Duke Nicholas Mikhailovich  Grand Duke Dimitri Constantinovich  Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich  Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich  Grand Duke Viacheslav Constantinovich  Grand Duke George Mikhailovich  Grand Duke Peter Nicholaevich  Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich  Grand Duke Sergei Mikhailovich  Grand Duke Alexei Mikhailovich
8th Generation

Nicholas II  Grand Duke Alexander Alexandrovich  Grand Duke George Alexandrovich  Grand Duke Alexander Vladimirovich  Grand Duke Cyril Vladimirovich  Grand Duke Boris Vladimirovich  Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich  Grand Duke Andrew Vladimirovich  Grand Duke John Constantinovich*  Grand Duke Gabriel Constantinovich*  Grand Duke Dimitri Pavlovich

9th Generation

Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich  Grand Duke Vladimir Cyrillovich

10th Generation

Grand Duke Michael Pavlovich**

11th Generation

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich**

*born a Grand Duke, but stripped of his title by Alexander III’s ukase of 1886, limiting the style to only male-line grandsons of a tsar

**title granted by Grand Duke Vladimir Cyrillovich

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Categories: House of Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov | Imperial Russian Navy admirals | Members of the State Council of the Russian Empire | Russian royalty | Recipients of the Order of Saint Stanislaus (Russian) | 1850 births | 1908 deaths | Recipients of the Order of Saint George IV Class | Recipients of the Order of Saint Andrew the First-CalledHidden categories: Articles with links needing disambiguation

Marc Bolan


Early life and career

The son of a lorry driver, Bolan grew up in post-war Hackney, East London, amongst a Jewish family, and later lived in Wimbledon, southwest London. He fell in love with the rock and roll of Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, Arthur Crudup and Chuck Berry[citation needed] at an early age and became a Mod, hanging around coffee bars such as the 2 I’s in Soho. He appeared in an episode of the television show Orlando as a Mod extra.

At the age of nine, Bolan was given his first guitar and began a skiffle band shortly after, and at fifteen, he left school “by mutual consent.”

Plaque marking Marc Bolan’s childhood home, 25 Stoke Newington Common, Hackney. (November 2005)

He briefly joined a modelling agency and became a “John Temple Boy,” appearing in a clothing catalogue for the menswear store. He was used as a model for their suits in their catalogues as well as a model for cardboard cut-outs to be displayed in shop windows. “TOWN” Magazine featured him as an early example of the Mod movement in a photo spread with a couple of other “faces”.

Marc Feld had changed his name to Toby Tyler when he met and moved in with child actor Allan Warren, who was to become his first manager. Warren saw Toby Tyler’s potential whilst Toby spent hours sitting cross-legged on Warren’s floor playing his acoustic guitar. Warren then took him to the photographer Michael McGrath and commissioned a series of photographs. Warren then hired a recording studio and had Bolan’s first acetates cut. One track being the Bob Dylan song ‘ Blowing in the wind’. Also a version of Betty Everett’s “You’re No Good” which was later submitted to EMI for a test screening but they turned down the then Toby Tyler. Warren later sold Marc’s contract and recordings for 200.00 to his landlord, property mogul David Kirch, in lieu of three months back rent. Kirch was far too busy with his property empire to do anything for him. A year or so later, Marc’s mother pushed into Kirch’s office and shouted at him that he had done nothing for her son. She demand he tear up the contract and willingly he complied.

The tapes produced during the Toby Tyler recording session vanished from thought and mind for over twenty-five years before resurfacing in 1991 and selling for nearly eight thousand dollars. Their eventual release on CD in 1993 made available the earliest of Marc’s known recordings.

After changing his name again to Marc Bolan (via Mark Bowland) while with Decca Records he released his first single “The Wizard.” In early 1967 Manager Simon Napier Bell added him to the Pop-Art/mod band John’s Children, which achieved some success as a live band but sold few records. A John’s Children single written by Marc Bolan called “Desdemona” was banned by the BBC for its line “lift up your skirt and fly.” His tenure with the band was brief. Bolan claimed to have spent time with a wizard in Paris who allegedly gave him secret knowledge and could levitate. The time spent with him was often alluded to but remained “mythical”; in reality the wizard was probably U.S. actor Riggs O’Hara with whom Bolan made a trip to Paris in 1965. His songwriting took off and he began writing many of the neo-romantic songs that would appear on his first albums with Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Besides Berry, Bolan’s influences included Bob Dylan, Syd Barrett, Cliff Richard and Elvis Presley.

Tyrannosaurus Rex

When John’s Children collapsed (amongst other problems, the band were stunned to discover their equipment had been stolen from a studio, according to a Bolan biographer), Bolan and Steve Peregrine Took created Tyrannosaurus Rex, a psychedelic-folk rock acoustic group, playing Bolan’s songs, with Took playing assorted hand and kit percussion and occasional bass to Bolan’s acoustic guitars and voice.

This version of Tyrannosaurus Rex released four albums and four singles, flirting with the charts, getting as high as number fifteen and getting airplay and support from Radio 1 DJ John Peel. One of the highlights of this era was playing at the first free Hyde Park concert in 1968. Drug-taking and free spirited Took was fired from the group after their first American tour. A rock and roller at heart, Bolan began bringing amplified guitar lines into the duo’s music, buying a vintage Gibson Les Paul guitar (later featured on the cover of the album T. Rex in 1970). After replacing Took with Mickey Finn, he let the electric influences come forward even further on A Beard of Stars, the final album to be credited to Tyrannosaurus Rex. It closed with a song, Elemental Child, featuring a long electric guitar break influenced by Jimi Hendrix.

Then Bolan, by now married to his girlfriend June Child (a former secretary to the manager of another of his heroes, Syd Barrett), shortened the group’s name to T.Rex and wrote and recorded “Ride a White Swan,” dominated by a rolling, hand clapping back-beat, Bolan’s electric guitar and Finn’s percussion.

T. Rex and glam rock

Bolan and his producer Tony Visconti sorted out the session for “Ride a White Swan” and the single changed Bolan’s career almost overnight. Recorded on 1 July 1970 and released later that year, making slow progress in the UK Top 40, it finally peaked in early 1971 at No. 2. Bolan and Visconti largely (and, in many ways, unwittingly) invented the style that would become glam rock and helped restore a brash and exciting feel, when rock bands had grown increasingly self-important.

Bolan took to wearing top hats and feather boas on stage as well as putting drops of glitter on each of his cheekbones. Stories are conflicting about his inspiration for thisome say it was initially introduced by his PA, the late Chelita Secunda, although Bolan told John Pidgeon in a 1974 interview on Radio 1 that he noticed the glitter on his wife’s dressing table prior to a photo session and just casually daubed some on his face there and then. Other performersnd their fansoon took up variations on the idea.

The glam era also saw the rise of Bolan’s friend David Bowie, whom Bolan had come to know in the underground days (Bolan had played guitar on Bowie’s 1970 single “Prettiest Star”). Before long, even Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart and Grand Funk Railroad dabbed on a little glitter.

Bolan followed “Ride a White Swan” and T. Rex by expanding the group to a quartet with bassist Steve Currie and drummer Bill Legend, and cutting a five-minute single, “Hot Love”, with a rollicking rhythm, string accents and an extended sing-along chorus inspired somewhat by the Beatles’s “Hey Jude”. It was No. 1 for six weeks and was quickly followed by “Get It On”, a grittier, more adult tune that spent four weeks in the top spot. The song was renamed “Bang a Gong (Get It On)” when released in the United States, to avoid confusion with another song of the same name by the American band Chase. The song reached #10 in the United States in early 1972, the only top 40 single the band ever had in America.

In November 1971, the band’s record label, Fly, released the Electric Warrior track “Jeepster” without Bolan’s permission. Outraged, Bolan took advantage of the timely lapsing of his Fly Records contract and left to EMI, who gave him his own record label, the T. Rex Wax Co. Its bag and label featured an iconic head-and-shoulders image of Bolan. Despite Bolan’s lack of endorsement, “Jeepster” still peaked at #2.

In 1972, Bolan achieved two more British No. 1s with “Telegram Sam” and “Metal Guru” (the latter of which stopped Elton John getting to the top with “Rocket Man”) and two more No. 2′s in “Children Of The Revolution” and “Solid Gold Easy Action”. The total of four No. 2 singles particularly galled his fans as three were held off the top spot by novelty singles recorded by Clive Dunn, Benny Hill and little Jimmy Osmond. In the same year he appeared in Ringo Starr’s film Born to Boogie, a documentary showing a concert at Wembley Empire Pool on 18 March 1972. Mixed in were surreal scenes shot at John Lennon’s mansion in Ascot and a super-session with T. Rex joined by Ringo Starr on second drum kit and Elton John on piano. At this time T. Rex record sales accounted for about 6 percent of total British domestic record sales. The band was reportedly selling 100,000 records a day; however, no T. Rex single ever became a million-seller in the UK, despite many gold discs and an average of four weeks at the top per No. 1 hit; documentation of actual sales has been lost.[citation needed]

In 1973, Bolan played twin lead guitar alongside his friend Jeff Lynne on the Electric Light Orchestra songs “Ma-Ma-Ma Belle” and “Dreaming of 4000″ (originally uncredited) from On the Third Day, as well as on “Everyone’s Born To Die”, which was not released at the time but appears as a bonus track on the 2006 remaster.


By late 1973, his pop star fame gradually began to wane, even though he achieved a Number 3 hit, “20th Century Boy” in February and mid year “The Groover” followed it to No. 4. “Truck On (Tyke)” missed the UK Top 10 only reaching #12 in December. However, “Teenage Dream” from the 1974 album Zinc Alloy And The Hidden Riders of Tomorrow showed that Bolan was attempting to create richer, more involved music than he had previously attempted with T. Rex. He expanded the line up of the band to include a second guitarist, Jack Green, and other studio musicians and began to take more control over the sound and production of his records.

In 1974, Bolan played guitar for Ike & Tina Turner. He appeared on “Nutbush City Limits”, “Sexy Ida (Part II)”, and “Baby Get It On”. Tina Turner confirmed this in a BBC Radio One interview.

Eventually, the vintage T. Rex line-up disintegrated. Legend left in 1973 and Finn in 1975 and Bolan’s marriage came to an end because of his affair with backing singer Gloria Jones. He spent a good deal of his time in the U.S. for much of the next three years, continuing to release singles and albums which, while less popular to the masses, were full of unusual lyrics and sometimes eccentric musical experiments. Although Bolan’s health began to fail as he put on weight, the former glam rock icon cleaned up and continued working, producing at least one UK chart hit every year until his death in 1977.


Gloria Jones gave birth to Bolan’s son in September 1975, whom they named Rolan Bolan (although his birth certificate lists him as ‘Rolan Seymour Feld’; compare David Bowie’s son Zowie Bowie). That same year, Bolan returned to the UK from tax exile in the U.S. and Monaco and to the public eye with a low-key tour. Bolan made regular appearances on the LWT pop show Supersonic, directed by his old friend Mike Mansfield and released a succession of singles, but he never regained the success of his glory days of the early 1970s. The last remaining member of Bolan’s halcyon era T. Rex, Currie, left the group in late 1976.

In early 1977, Bolan got a new band together, released a new album, Dandy in the Underworld, and set out on a fresh UK tour, taking along punk band The Damned as support to entice a young audience who did not remember his heyday. Granada Television commissioned Bolan to front a six-part series called Marc, where he introduced new and established bands and performed his own songs. By this time Bolan had lost weight, appearing as trim as he had during T. Rex’s earlier heyday. The show was broadcast during the post-school half-hour on ITV earmarked for children and teenagers; it was a big success. The last episode featured a unique Bolan duet with David Bowie during which Bolan fell off the stage. With no time for a retake, this occurrence was aired and Bowie’s amusement was clearly visible.


Bolan’s shrine, on what would have been his 60th birthday, 30 September 2007.

Bolan died on 16 September 1977, two weeks before his 30th birthday and on the same day as Maria Callas. He was a passenger in a purple Mini 1275GT (registration FOX 661L) driven by Gloria Jones as they headed home from Mortons drinking club and restaurant in Berkeley Square. Jones lost control of the car and it struck a sycamore tree after failing to negotiate a small humpback bridge near Gipsy Lane on Queens Ride, Barnes, southwest London. Bolan died instantly, while Jones suffered a broken arm and broken jaw and spent time in the hospital; she did not learn of Bolan’s death until the day of his funeral. Neither was wearing a seat belt. Bolan’s home, which was less than a mile away at 142 Upper Richmond Road West in East Sheen, was quickly looted. Fans quickly turned the site of the crash into a shrine and in 2007 the site was officially recognised as Bolan’s Rock Shrine

At Bolan’s funeral, attended by David Bowie and Rod Stewart, a swan-shaped floral tribute was displayed outside the service in recognition of his breakthrough hit single. His funeral service was at the Golders Green Crematorium which is a secular provision in North London. Bolan himself stated that he was Jewish, the religion of his father. However, because his mother was not a Jew he would be considered a gentile under Jewish law (Halakha). His ashes were buried at Golders Green Crematorium.

Bolan never learned to drive, fearing a premature death. Despite this fear, cars or automotive components are at least mentioned in, if not the subject of, many of his songs. He also owned a number of vehicles, including a famed white Rolls Royce, which had been lent by his management to Hawkwind on the night of his death.

Fellow T. Rex member Steve Currie also died in a car crash less than four years later.


Marc Bolan was mostly seen playing Gibson Les Pauls. His main Les Paul was refinished in an opaque orange to resemble Gretsch guitars played by his hero Eddie Cochran. He was also seen playing a Gibson Flying V with tremolo and a Fender Stratocaster.


In 1979, Siouxsie and the Banshees released a cover “20th Century Boy” as the b-side to the single “The Staircase (Mystery)”.

In December 1980, “Telegram Sam” was the fourth single released by British gothic rock band Bauhaus. The A side is a cover of T. Rex’s song of the same name. It was released in 7-and 12-inch format, the latter featuring “Rosegarden Funeral of Sores” as an extra track. The Bongos were the first American group to cover a T. Rex tune, “Mambo Sun” and enter the Billboard charts. Since then, Bongos frontman Richard Barone has recorded several other Bolan compositions, is working with producer Tony Visconti for his forthcoming solo album and has himself produced tracks for Bolan’s son Rolan Bolan.

In 1981, Department S released a cover of “Solid Gold Easy Action” as the b-side to the single “Is Vic There?”.

In 1984, The Replacements released a cover of “20th Century Boy” as a B-side to the single “I Will Dare”; it is also included on the reissue version of their album Let It Be. In 1993, Adam Ant (born, Stuart Leslie Goddard) covered the track live on the Limed Edition live disc of his Antmusic: The Very Best of Adam Ant collection.

In 1985, Duran Duran splinter band Power Station, with Robert Palmer as vocalist, took a version of “Get It On” into the UK Top 40, the first cover of a Bolan song to enter the charts since his death. They also performed the tune (with Michael Des Barres replacing Palmer) at the U.S. Live Aid concert.

In 1986, the Violent Femmes performed “Children of the Revolution” on their third album The Blind Leading the Naked, for which they also recorded a music video.

In 1990, Baby Ford did a cover of “Children of the Revolution” that appeared on the album Oooh, The World of Baby Ford.

In 1994, Billy Idol wore a t-shirt reproducing The Slider album cover in his popular video supporting the song “Speed”. That was a clear homage to Marc Bolan, who helped Generation X to rise at the very beginning of their career.

In 2006 Def Leppard released their album Yeah which are covers of their favourite bands while growing up, the first song on this album is 20th Century Boy. Joe Elliott wanted to sing Metal Guru while Vivian Campbell wanted Telegram Sam but end up agree to 20th Century Boy, it’s not the first time that Def Leppard has sung a T.Rex song, there is a live version of Get It On.

“Children of the Revolution” was similarly performed by Elton John and Pete Doherty at Live 8, 20 years later. Bono and Gavin Friday cover “Children of the Revolution” on the Moulin Rouge! soundtrack.

In 2000, Naoki Urasawa created a manga entitled “20th Century Boys” that was inspired by Marc Bolan’s song, “20th Century Boy”. The book is a multiple award-winner, and has just been released in the United States through VIZ media.

“20th Century Boy” introduced a new generation of devotees to Bolan’s work in 1991 when it was featured on a Levi’s jeans TV commercial featuring Brad Pitt, and was re-released, reaching the UK Top 20. The song was performed by the fictional band The Flaming Creatures (performed by Placebo, reprised by Placebo and David Bowie at the 1999 BRIT Awards) in the 1998 film Velvet Goldmine. In every decade since his death, Bolan has placed a greatest hits compilation in the top 20 UK albums and periodic boosts in sales have come via cover versions from artists inspired by Bolan, including Morrissey and Siouxsie and the Banshees. Similarly, “I Love to Boogie” was briefly used on an advert for Robinson’s soft drink in 2001, bringing Bolan’s music to a new generation. Mitsubishi also featured “20th Century Boy” in a 2002 car commercial, prompting Hip-O Records to release a best-of collection CD titled 20th Century Boy: The Ultimate Collection.

His music is still widely used in films, recent notable cases being Breakfast on Pluto, Death Proof, Lords of Dogtown, Billy Elliot, Jarhead, Moulin Rouge!, Herbie: Fully Loaded, Breaking-Up, Hot Fuzz, Click & School of Rock. Bolan is still cited by many guitar-centric bands as a huge influence (Joy Division/New Order’s Bernard Sumner has said that the first single he owned was “Ride a White Swan”.) However, he always maintained he was a poet who put lyrics to music. The tunes were never as important as the words.

Bolan used to hang around in our office and sit on the floor, strumming his guitar, flirting with our secretary, June, who, of course, he later married. He was a great Syd [Barrett] fan. I was quite fond of him. He was a big pain in the arse, of course, very full of himself. I always liked that thing where he called himself the Bolan child, this magical, mythical name. It was really from his doorbell in Ladbroke Grove. It had his name and our secretary’s surname, Child, so it read Bolan Child and fans used to think, wow, he is the Bolan Child!

Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour,[citation needed]

An altogether less welcome legacy for his friends and family is the ongoing row about his fortune. Bolan had arranged a discretionary trust to safeguard his money. His death left the fortune beyond the reach of those closest to him and both his family and journalists have taken an active interest in investigating the situation, so far with little result other than bringing the story to wider attention. A small, separate Jersey-based trust fund has allowed his son to receive some income. However, the bulk of Bolan’s fortune, variously estimated at between 20 and 30 million pounds (approx million), remains in trust. As of 2007, Bolan’s family is supposed to have a house paid for by the trust, and Rolan is supposed to receive an allowance.

Bolan returned to the top of the UK charts in 2005 when the remastered, expanded Born to Boogie DVD hit No. 1 in the Music DVD charts.

Steve Kilbey a self-confessed Marc Bolan fan and singer for renowned Australian art-rock group The Church performed Bolan’s “One Inch Rock” on the Steve Kilbey Live DVD, released in January 2008.

In 2006, it was revealed that English Heritage had refused to commission a blue plaque to commemorate Bolan, as they believed him to be of “insufficient stature or historical significance”. There is, however, an existing plaque dedicated to Bolan at his childhood home, put there by Hackney Council.

There are also two plaques dedicated to his memory at Golders Green Crematorium in North London. The second one to be displayed was placed there by the official Marc Bolan fan club and fellow fans in September 2002, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of his passing. The inscription on the stone, which also bears his image, reads ’25 years on his light of love still shines brightly’. Placed beneath the plaque there is an appropriate ceramic figure of a white swan.

In 2006, TV series Life on Mars, an actor portrays Marc Bolan, circa 1973, in a bar in Manchester. Time-travelling Sam Tyler recognises him, has a fan boy moment, and warns him to be careful of riding in Minis. In the American version of the series, the character is replaced by that of Jim Croce, who died later that year in a plane crash, and Sam warns him. However, the T. Rex version of “Get It On” is played in the New York dance club in that scene.

One of Bolan’s guitars, a Gibson Flying V, recently turned up on Antiques Roadshow in the hands of a private collector. The appraiser estimated the value of the guitar to be approximately 50,000-60,000.

A school is planned in his honour, to be built in Sierra Leone: The Marc Bolan School of Music and Film.[citation needed]



Nov. 1965 The Wizard/Beyond The Rising Sun. Decca F 12288.

June 1966. The Third Degree/San Francisco Poet. Decca F 12413.

Dec. 1966. Hippy Gumbo/Misfit. Parlophone R 5539.

John’s Children:

May 1967. Desdemona/Remember Thomas A Beckett. Track 604 003.

July 1967. Midsummer’s Night Scene/Sara Crazy Child.

Aug. 1967. Come And Play With Me In The Garden/Sara Crazy Child. Track 604 005.

Tyrannosaurus Rex:

April 1968. Debora/Child Star.(34). Regal Zono RZ 3008.

Aug. 1968. One Inch Rock/Salamada Palaganda.(28). Regal Zono RZ 3011.

Jan. 1969. Pewtor Suitor/Warlord Of The Royal Crocodiles. Regal Zono RZ 3016.

July 1969. King Of The Rumbling Spires/Do You Remember.(44). Regal Zono RZ 3022.

Jan. 1970. By The Light Of A Magical Moon/Find A Little Wood. Regal Zono RZ 3025.

March 1970. Debora/One Inch Rock/Woodland Bop/Seal Of Seasons.(7). Magnifly ECHO 102.

Dib Cochran And The Earwigs:

1970. Oh Baby/Universal Love. Bell 1121.

T. Rex:

Oct. 1970. Ride a White Swan/Is It Love/Summertime Blues. Fly BUG 1.

Feb. 1971. Hot Love/Woodland Rock/King Of The Mountain Cometh. Fly BUG 6.

July 1971. Get It On (Bang a Gong)/There Was A Time/Raw Ramp. Fly BUG 10.

Nov. 1971. Jeepster/Life’s A Gas. Fly BUG 16.

Jan. 1972. Telegram Sam/Cadillac/Baby Strange. T.Rex Wax 101.

May 1972. Metal Guru/Thunderwing/Lady. EMI Marc 1.

Sept. 1972. Children Of The Revolution/Jitterbug Love/Sunken Rags. EMI Marc 2.

Dec. 1972. Solid Gold Easy Action/Born To Boogie. EMI Marc 3.

March 1973. 20th Century Boy/Free Angel. EMI Marc 4.

June 1973. The Groover/Midnight. EMI Marc 5.

Big Carrot:

Aug. 1973. Blackjack/Squint Eye Mangle. EMI 2047.

T. Rex:

Nov. 1973. Truck On (Tyke)/Sitting Here.(12). EMI Marc 6.

Jan. 1974. Teenage Dream/Satisfaction Pony.(13). EMI Marc 7.

Marc Bolan:

June 1974. Jasper C. Debussy/Hippy Gumbo/The Perfumed Garden Of Gulliver Smith. Track 2094 013.

T. Rex:

July 1974. Light Of Love/Explosive Mouth.(22). EMI Marc 8.

Nov. 1974. Zip Gun Boogie/Space Boogie.(41). EMI Marc 9.

July 1975. New York City/Chrome Sitar.(15). EMI Marc 10.

Sept. 1975. Dreamy Lady/Do You Wanna Dance/Dock Of The Bay.(30). EMI Marc 11.

Nov. 1975. Christmas Bop/Telegram Sam/Metal Guru.(Scheduled for release but canceled). EMI Marc 12.

Feb. 1976. London Boys/Soul Baby.(40). EMI Marc 13.

April 1976. Hot Love/Get It On. Cube BUG 66.

June 1976. I Love To Boogie/Baby Boomerang.(13). EMI Marc 14.

Sept. 1976. Laser Love/Life’s An Elevator.(41). EMI Marc 15.

Marc Bolan and Gloria Jones:

Jan. 1977. To Know Him Is To Love Him/City Port. EMI 2572.

T. Rex:

March 1977. The Soul Of My Suit/All Alone.(42). EMI Marc 16.

May 1977. Dandy In The Underworld/Groove A Little/Tame My Tiger. EMI Marc 17.

Aug. 1977. Celebrate Summer/Ride My Wheels. EMI Marc 18.

See also

Blackhill Enterprises (Peter Jenner and Andrew King)

David Bowie

John’s Children

Gloria Jones

Simon Napier-Bell


^ “Feld, Mark”. Births Registered in October, November and December, 1947. London: General Register Office. pp. (page 394). Retrieved 2008-10-08.  Scanned image of the original document. Restricted access.

^ The confessions of a society photographer – Allan Warren (Jupiter, London, 1976) ISBN 0904041689 ISBN 9780904041682

^ Dukes, Queens and Other Stories – Allan Warren (New Millenium Books, London, 1999)


^ Rhino Records (2008-02-15). “The Replacements Remastered”. Press release. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 

^ Wigg, David (2007-09-20), “My Daddy of Britpop by Marc Bolan’s son”, Daily Mail, 

^ Steve Kilbey Live

^ “English Heritage thinks Ignatius Sancho means more to you than Eric Morecambe”. 30 December 2006. Retrieved 2007-01-15. 


2. Riggs O’Hara interview, Record Collector Magazine, September 1997

3. Mentioned in The Who song “You Better You Bet”, (to the sound of old T-rex)

4. Celebrity Fans include Oasis, David Bowie, and Chris Cummings.

External links

Marc Bolan and T. Rex information website

Marc Bolan School Of Music And Film

Marc Bolan Myspace

Website concerning Marc Bolan’s TV and film appearances.

Marc Bolan and T. Rex information website

Marc Bolan at the Internet Movie Database

Marc Bolan at Find a Grave

v  d  e

T. Rex

Marc Bolan  Mickey Finn  Steve Currie  Bill Legend

Steve Peregrin Took  Miller Anderson  Herbie Flowers  Jack Green  Gloria Jones  Davey Lutton  Tony Newman  Dino Dines

As Tyrannosaurus Rex

My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair… but Now They’re Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows  Prophets, Seers & Sages: The Angels of the Ages  Unicorn  A Beard of Stars

As T. Rex

T. Rex  Electric Warrior  The Slider  Tanx  Zinc Alloy and the Hidden Riders of Tomorrow  Bolan’s Zip Gun  Futuristic Dragon  Dandy in the Underworld

Related articles

Discography  John’s Children  Born to Boogie  Blackhill Enterprises  Great Jewish Music: Marc Bolan  Marc  Mickey Finn’s T-Rex



Bolan, Marc


Feld, Mark





Hackney, East London, England




Barnes, London, England

Categories: 1947 births | 1977 deaths | Bisexual musicians | English Jews | English male singers | English rock singers | English singer-songwriters | Glam rock | Jewish musicians | LGBT musicians from the United Kingdom | People from Stoke Newington | Road accident deaths in England | Protopunk musiciansHidden categories: Articles needing additional references from October 2008 | All articles needing additional references | All articles with unsourced statements | Articles with unsourced statements from January 2010 | Articles with unsourced statements from August 2009 | Articles with unsourced statements from October 2008 | Articles with unsourced statements from January 2009

Bruce Springsteen

Life and career

19491972: Early years

Springsteen was born in Long Branch, New Jersey, and spent his childhood and high school years in Freehold Borough. He lived off South Street in Freehold Borough and attended Freehold Borough High School. His father, Douglas Frederick Springsteen, was of Dutch and Irish ancestry and worked, among other vocations, as a bus driver; his surname is Dutch for stepping stone. His mother, Adele Ann (ne Zerilli), was a legal secretary and was of Italian ancestry. His grandfather was born in Vico Equense, a city near Naples. He has two younger sisters, Virginia and Pamela. Pamela had a brief film career, but left acting to pursue still photography full time; she took photos for the Human Touch and Lucky Town albums.

Raised a Roman Catholic, Springsteen attended the St. Rose of Lima Catholic school in Freehold Borough, where he was at odds with both the nuns and other students, even though much of his later music reflects a deep Catholic ethos and included many rock-influenced, traditional Irish-Catholic hymns.

In ninth grade, he transferred to the public Freehold Regional High School, but did not fit in there, either. Old teachers have said he was a “loner, who wanted nothing more than to play his guitar.” He completed high school, but felt so uncomfortable that he skipped his own graduation ceremony. He briefly attended Ocean County College, but dropped out.

Springsteen had been inspired to take up music at the age of seven after seeing Elvis Presley on The Ed Sullivan Show. At 13, he bought his first guitar for ; later, his mother took out a loan to buy the 16-year-old Springsteen a Kent guitar, as he later memorialized in his song “The Wish.”

In 1965, he went to the house of Tex and Marion Vinyard, who sponsored young bands in town. They helped him become lead guitarist and subsequently the lead singer of The Castiles. The Castiles recorded two original songs at a public recording studio in Brick Township and played a variety of venues, including Cafe Wha? in Greenwich Village. Marion Vinyard said that she believed the young Springsteen when he promised he would make it big.

Called for induction when he was 19, Springsteen failed his physical examination and didn’t serve in Vietnam. In an interview in Rolling Stone magazine in 1984, he said, “When I got on the bus to go take my physical, I thought one thing: I ain’t goin’.” He suffered a concussion in a motorcycle accident when he was 17, and this together with his “crazy” behaviour at induction and not taking the tests, was enough to get him a 4F.

New Jersey beach towns such as Asbury Park, New Jersey inspired the themes of ordinary life in Bruce Springsteen’s music.

In the late 1960s, Springsteen performed briefly in a power trio known as Earth, playing in clubs in New Jersey. Springsteen acquired the nickname “The Boss” during this period as when he played club gigs with a band he took on the task of collecting the band’s nightly pay and distributing it amongst his bandmates. Springsteen, however, has never liked this nickname, due to his dislike of bosses. Lately, however, he seems to have accepted the nickname. Many recent concerts have audiences making up various signs on banners, license plates and so on saying, “Boss Time”. Previously he had the nickname “Doctor”. From 1969 through early 1971, Springsteen performed with Steel Mill, which also featured Danny Federici, Vini Lopez, Vinnie Roslin and later Steve Van Zandt and Robbin Thompson. They went on to play the mid-Atlantic college circuit, and also briefly in California. In January 1970 well-known San Francisco Examiner music critic Philip Elwood gave Springsteen credibility in his glowing assessment of Steel Mill: “I have never been so overwhelmed by totally unknown talent.” Elwood went on to praise their “cohesive musicality” and, in particular, singled out Springsteen as “a most impressive composer.” During this time Springsteen also performed regularly at small clubs in Asbury Park and along the Jersey Shore, quickly gathering a cult following. Other acts followed over the next two years, as Springsteen sought to shape a unique and genuine musical and lyrical style: Dr Zoom & the Sonic Boom (earlyid 1971), Sundance Blues Band (mid 1971), and The Bruce Springsteen Band (mid 1971id 1972). With the addition of pianist David Sancious, the core of what would later become the E Street Band was formed, with occasional temporary additions such as horn sections, “The Zoomettes” (a group of female backing vocalists for “Dr Zoom”) and Southside Johnny Lyon on harmonica. Musical genres explored included blues, R&B, jazz, church music, early rock’n'roll, and soul. His prolific songwriting ability, with more words in some individual songs than other artists had in whole albums, brought his skill to the attention of several people who were about to change his life: new managers Mike Appel and Jim Cretecos, and legendary Columbia Records talent scout John Hammond, who, under Appel’s pressure, auditioned Springsteen in May 1972.

Even after Springsteen gained international acclaim, his New Jersey roots showed through in his music, and he often praised “the great state of New Jersey” in his live shows. Drawing on his extensive local appeal, he routinely sold out consecutive nights in major New Jersey and Philadelphia venues. He also made many surprise appearances at The Stone Pony and other shore nightclubs over the years, becoming the foremost exponent of the Jersey Shore sound.

19721974: Initial struggle for success

Springsteen signed a record deal with Columbia Records in 1972, with the help of John Hammond, who had signed Bob Dylan to the same label a decade earlier. Springsteen brought many of his New Jerseyased colleagues into the studio with him, thus forming the E Street Band (although it would not be formally named as such for a couple more years). His debut album, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J., released in January 1973, established him as a critical favorite, though sales were slow. Because of Springsteen’s lyrical poeticism and folk rockooted music exemplified on tracks like “Blinded by the Light” and “For You”, as well as the Columbia and Hammond connections, critics initially compared Springsteen to Bob Dylan. “He sings with a freshness and urgency I haven’t heard since I was rocked by ‘Like a Rolling Stone’,” wrote Crawdaddy magazine editor Peter Knobler in Springsteen’s first interview/profile, in March 1973. Crawdaddy “discovered” Springsteen in the rock press and was his earliest champion. (Springsteen and the E Street Band acknowledged by giving a private performance at the Crawdaddy 10th Anniversary Party in New York City in June 1976.) Music critic Lester Bangs wrote in Creem, 1975, that when Springsteen’s first album was released…..”many of us dismissed it: he wrote like Bob Dylan and Van Morrison, sang like Van Morrison and Robbie Robertson, and led a band that sounded like Van Morrison’s.” The track “Spirit in the Night” especially showed Morrison’s influence, while “Lost in the Flood” was the first of many portraits of Vietnam veterans and “Growin’ Up” his first take on the recurring theme of adolescence.

In September 1973 his second album, The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle, was released, again to critical acclaim but no commercial success. Springsteen’s songs became grander in form and scope, with the E Street Band providing a less folky, more R&B vibe and the lyrics often romanticizing teenage street life. “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)” and “Incident on 57th Street” would become fan favorites, and the long, rousing “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)” continues to rank among Springsteen’s most beloved concert numbers.

In the May 22, 1974, issue of Boston’s The Real Paper, music critic Jon Landau wrote after seeing a performance at the Harvard Square Theater, “I saw rock and roll future, and its name is Bruce Springsteen. And on a night when I needed to feel young, he made me feel like I was hearing music for the very first time.” Landau subsequently became Springsteen’s manager and producer, helping to finish the epic new album, Born to Run. Given an enormous budget in a last-ditch effort at a commercially viable record, Springsteen became bogged down in the recording process while striving for a wall of sound production. But, fed by the release of an early mix of “Born to Run” to progressive rock radio, anticipation built toward the album’s release. All in all the album took more than 14 months to record, with six months alone spent on the song “Born To Run.” During this time Springsteen battled with anger and frustration over the album, saying he heard “sounds in [his] head” that he could not explain to the others in the studio. It was during these recording sessions that “Miami” Steve Van Zandt would stumble into the studio just in time to help Springsteen organize the horn section on “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” (it is his only written contribution to the album), and eventually led to his joining the E Street Band.[citation needed] Van Zandt had been a long-time friend of Springsteen, as well as a collaborator on earlier musical projects, and understood where he was coming from, which helped him to translate some of the sounds Springsteen was hearing. Still, by the end of the grueling recording sessions, Springsteen was not satisfied, and, upon first hearing the finished album, threw the record into the alley and told Jon Landau he would rather just cut the album live at The Bottom Line, a place he often played.[citation needed]

The woman in his life during this time was part-time-live-in 20-year-old Karen Darvin of Dallas, Texas, who was in New York City pursuing a career in dance.

19751983: Breakthrough

On August 13, 1975, Springsteen and the E Street Band began a five-night, 10-show stand at New York’s Bottom Line club. The engagement attracted major media attention, was broadcast live on WNEW-FM, and convinced many skeptics that Springsteen was for real. (Decades later, Rolling Stone Magazine would name the stand as one of the 50 Moments That Changed Rock and Roll.) With the release of Born to Run on August 25, 1975, Springsteen finally found success. The album peaked at number 3 on the Billboard 200, and while there were no hit singles, “Born to Run” (Billboard #23), “Thunder Road”, “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” (Billboard #83), and “Jungleland” all received massive album-oriented rock airplay and remain perennial favorites on many classic rock stations. The songwriting and recording was more disciplined than before, while still maintaining an epic feel. With its panoramic imagery, thundering production and desperate optimism, Born to Run is considered by some fans to be among the best rock and roll albums of all time and Springsteen’s finest work. It established him as a sincere and dynamic rock and roll personality who spoke for and in the voice of a large part of the rock audience. To cap off the triumph, Springsteen appeared on the covers of both Time and Newsweek in the same week, on October 27 of that year. So great did the wave of publicity become that Springsteen eventually rebelled against it during his first venture overseas, tearing down promotional posters before a concert appearance in London.

A legal battle with former manager Mike Appel kept Springsteen out of the studio for over two years, during which time he kept the E Street Band together through extensive touring across the U.S. Despite the optimistic fervor with which he often performed, the new songs he was writing and often debuting on stage had taken a more somber tone than much of his previous work. Reaching settlement with Appel in 1977, Springsteen finally returned to the studio, and the subsequent sessions produced Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978). Musically, this album was a turning point in Springsteen’s career. Gone were the raw, rapid-fire lyrics, outsized characters and long, multi-part musical compositions of the first two albums; now the songs were leaner and more carefully drawn and began to reflect Springsteen’s growing intellectual and political awareness. Some fans consider Darkness Springsteen’s best and most consistent record; tracks such as “Badlands” and “The Promised Land” became concert staples for decades to come, while the track “Prove It All Night” received a significant amount of album rock radio airplay. Other fans would prefer the work of the adventurous early Springsteen. The cross-country 1978 tour to promote the album would become legendary for the intensity and length of its shows.

By the late 1970s, Springsteen had earned a reputation in the pop world as a songwriter whose material could provide hits for other bands. Manfred Mann’s Earth Band had achieved a U.S. number one pop hit with a heavily rearranged version of “For You” and Greetings’ “Blinded by the Light” in early 1977. Patti Smith reached number 13 with her take on Springsteen’s unreleased “Because the Night” (which Smith co-wrote) in 1978, while The Pointer Sisters hit number two in 1979 with Springsteen’s also unreleased “Fire”.

Springsteen in concert on The River Tour. Drammenshallen, Drammen, Norway, May 5, 1981.

In September 1979, Springsteen and the E Street Band joined the Musicians United for Safe Energy anti-nuclear power collective at Madison Square Garden for two nights, playing an abbreviated set while premiering two songs from his upcoming album. The subsequent No Nukes live album, as well as the following summer’s No Nukes documentary film, represented the first official recordings and footage of Springsteen’s fabled live act, as well as Springsteen’s first tentative dip into political involvement.

Springsteen continued to consolidate his thematic focus on working-class life with the 20-song double album The River in 1980, which included an intentionally paradoxical range of material from good-time party rockers to emotionally intense ballads, and finally yielded his first hit Top Ten single as a performer, “Hungry Heart”. This album marked a shift in Springsteen’s music toward a pop-rock sound that was all but missing from any of his earlier work. This is apparent in the stylistic adoption of certain eighties pop-rock hallmarks like the reverberating-tenor drums, very basic percussion/guitar and repetitive lyrics apparent in many of the tracks. The title song pointed to Springsteen’s intellectual direction, while a couple of the lesser-known tracks presaged his musical direction. The album sold well, becoming his first topper on the Billboard Pop Albums chart, and a long tour in 1980 and 1981 followed, featuring Springsteen’s first extended playing of Europe and ending with a series of multi-night arena stands in major cities in the U.S.

The River was followed in 1982 by the stark solo acoustic Nebraska. According to the Marsh biographies, Springsteen was in a depressed state when he wrote this material, and the result is a brutal depiction of American life. The title track is about the murder spree of Charles Starkweather. According to Marsh, the album started as a demo tape for new work to be played with the E Street Band, but during the recording process Springsteen and producer Landau realized the songs worked better as solo acoustic numbers. Several studio sessions with the E Street Band led them to realize that the original recording, made in Springsteen’s home on a simple, low-tech four-track tape deck, were the best versions they were going to get. However, those sessions were not all for naught, as the band recorded several new songs that Springsteen had written in addition to the Nebraska material, including “Born in the U.S.A.” and “Glory Days”. These new songs would not be released until two years later, when they formed the basis of Springsteen’s next album.

While Nebraska did not sell well, it garnered widespread critical praise (including being named “Album of the Year” by Rolling Stone magazine’s critics) and influenced later significant works by other major artists, including U2′s album The Joshua Tree. It helped inspire the musical genre known as lo-fi music, becoming a cult favorite among indie-rockers. Springsteen did not tour in conjunction with Nebraska’s release.

19841991: Commercial and popular phenomenon

Springsteen probably is best known for his album Born in the U.S.A. (1984), which sold 15 million copies in the U.S. and became one of the best-selling albums of all time, with seven singles hitting the Top 10, and the massively successful world tour that followed it. The title track was a bitter commentary on the treatment of Vietnam veterans, some of whom were Springsteen’s friends and bandmates. The lyrics in the verses were entirely unambiguous when listened to, but the anthemic music and the title of the song made it hard for many, from politicians to the common person, to get the lyricsxcept those in the chorus, which could be read many ways. The song was widely misinterpreted as jingoistic, and in connection with the 1984 presidential campaign became the subject of considerable folklore. Springsteen also turned down several million dollars offered by the Chrysler Corporation to use the song in a car commercial. (In later years, to eliminate the bombast and make the song’s original meaning more explicitly clear, Springsteen performed the song accompanied only by acoustic guitar. An acoustic version also appeared on Tracks, a later album.) “Dancing in the Dark” was the biggest of seven hit singles from Born in the U.S.A., peaking at number 2 on the Billboard music charts. The music video for the song featured a young Courteney Cox dancing on stage with Springsteen, an appearance which helped kickstart the actress’s career. The song “Cover Me” was written by Springsteen for Donna Summer, but his record company persuaded him to keep it for the new album. A big fan of Summer’s work, Springsteen wrote another song for her, “Protection”. Videos for the album were made by noted film directors Brian De Palma and John Sayles. Springsteen was featured on the “We Are the World” song and album in 1985.

During the Born in the U.S.A. Tour, Springsteen met actress Julianne Phillips. They were married in Lake Oswego, Oregon, on May 13, 1985, surrounded by intense media attention. Opposites in background, their marriage was not long-lived. Springsteen’s 1987 album Tunnel of Love described some of his unhappinesses in the relationship, and during the subsequent Tunnel of Love Express tour, as reported by many tabloids, Springsteen took up with backup singer Patti Scialfa. Phillips and Springsteen filed for divorce in 1988. The divorce was finalized in 1989.

Springsteen performing on the Tunnel of Love Express at the Radrennbahn Weiensee in East Berlin on July 19, 1988.

The Born in the U.S.A. period represented the height of Springsteen’s visibility in popular culture and the broadest audience demographic he would ever reach (aided by the release of Arthur Baker’s dance mixes of three of the singles). Live/197585, a five-record box set (also on three cassettes or three CDs), was released near the end of 1986 and became the first box set to debut at number 1 on the U.S. album charts. It is one of the most commercially successful live albums of all time, ultimately selling 13 million units in the U.S. Live/197585 summed up Springsteen’s career to that point and displayed some of the elements that made his shows so powerful to his fans: the switching from mournful dirges to party rockers and back; the communal sense of purpose between artist and audience; the long, intense spoken passages before songs, including those describing Springsteen’s difficult relationship with his father; and the instrumental prowess of the E Street Band, such as in the long coda to “Racing in the Street”. Despite its popularity, some fans and critics felt the album’s song selection could have been better. Springsteen concerts are the subjects of frequent bootleg recording and trading among fans.

By the peak of Springsteen’s international megastardom in the mid-’80s there were no less than five Springsteen fanzines circulating at the same time in the UK, and many others elsewhere. Gary Desmond’s ‘Candy’s Room’, produced in Liverpool, was the first in 1980, quickly followed by Dan French’s ‘Point Blank’, Dave Percival’s ‘The Fever’, Jeff Matthews’ ‘Rendezvous’ and Paul Limbrick’s ‘Jackson Cage’. In the US, Backstreets Magazine started in Seattle and continues today as a glossy publication, now in communication with Springsteen’s management and official website.

After this commercial peak, Springsteen released the much more sedate and contemplative Tunnel of Love (1987), a mature reflection on the many faces of love found, lost and squandered, which only selectively used the E Street Band. It presaged the breakup of his marriage to Julianne Phillips. Reflecting the challenges of love in Brilliant Disguise, Springsteen sang:

I heard somebody call your name, from underneath our willow. I saw something tucked in shame, underneath your pillow. Well I’ve tried so hard baby, but I just can’t see. What a woman like you is doing with me.

The subsequent Tunnel of Love Express tour shook up fans with changes to the stage layout, favorites dropped from the set list, and horn-based arrangements. During the European leg in 1988, Springsteen’s relationship with Scialfa became public. Later in 1988, Springsteen headlined the worldwide Human Rights Now! tour for Amnesty International. In the fall of 1989 he dissolved the E Street Band, and he and Scialfa relocated to California. Springsteen married Scialfa in 1991. They have three children: Evan James (b. 1990), Jessica Rae (b. 1991) and Sam Ryan (b. 1994).

19922001: Artistic and commercial ups and downs

In 1992, after risking charges of “going Hollywood” by moving to Los Angeles (a radical move for someone so linked to the blue-collar life of the Jersey Shore) and working with session musicians, Springsteen released two albums at once. Human Touch and Lucky Town were even more introspective than any of his previous work and displayed a newly revealed confidence. As opposed to his first two albums, which dreamed of happiness, and his next four, which showed him growing to fear it, at points during the Lucky Town album, Springsteen actually claims happiness for himself.

Some E Street Band fans voiced (and continue to voice) a low opinion of these albums, especially Human Touch, and did not follow the subsequent “Other Band” Tour. Other fans, however, who had only come to know Springsteen after the 1975 consolidation of the E Street Band, found this tour an exciting opportunity to see Springsteen develop a working onstage relationship with a different group of musicians, and to see him explore the Asbury Park soul-and-gospel base in some of his classic material.

An electric band appearance on the acoustic MTV Unplugged television program (later released as In Concert/MTV Plugged) was poorly received and further cemented fan dissatisfaction. Springsteen seemed to realize this a few years hence when he spoke humorously of his late father during his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame acceptance speech:

I’ve gotta thank him because what would I conceivably have written about without him? I mean, you can imagine that if everything had gone great between us, we would have had disaster. I would have written just happy songs and I tried it in the early ’90s and it didn’t work; the public didn’t like it.

A multiple Grammy Award winner, Springsteen also won an Academy Award in 1994 for his song “Streets of Philadelphia”, which appeared on the soundtrack to the film Philadelphia. The song, along with the film, was applauded by many for its sympathetic portrayal of a gay man dying of AIDS.[citation needed] The music video for the song shows Springsteen’s actual vocal performance, recorded using a hidden microphone, to a prerecorded instrumental track.[citation needed] This technique was developed on the “Brilliant Disguise” video.

In 1995, after temporarily re-organizing the E Street Band for a few new songs recorded for his first Greatest Hits album (a recording session that was chronicled in the documentary Blood Brothers), he released his second (mostly) solo guitar album, The Ghost of Tom Joad, inspired by Journey to Nowhere: The Saga of the New Underclass, a book by Pulitzer Prize-winners author Dale Maharidge and photographer Michael Williamson. This was generally less well-received than the similar Nebraska, due to the minimal melody, twangy vocals, and political nature of most of the songs, although some praised it for giving voice to immigrants and others who rarely have one in American culture. The lengthy, worldwide, small-venue solo acoustic Ghost of Tom Joad Tour that followed successfully featured many of his older songs in drastically reshaped acoustic form, although Springsteen had to explicitly remind his audiences to be quiet and not to clap during the performances.

Following the tour, Springsteen moved back to New Jersey with his family. In 1998, Springsteen released the sprawling, four-disc box set of out-takes, Tracks. Subsequently, Springsteen would acknowledge that the 1990s were a “lost period” for him: “I didn’t do a lot of work. Some people would say I didn’t do my best work.”

Springsteen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 by U2, a favor he returned in 2005.

In 1999, Springsteen and the E Street Band officially came together again and went on the extensive Reunion Tour, lasting over a year. Highlights included a record sold-out, 15-show run at Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey to kick off the American leg of the tour.

Springsteen’s Reunion Tour with the E Street Band ended with a triumphant ten-night, sold-out engagement at New York City’s Madison Square Garden in mid-2000 and controversy over a new song, “American Skin (41 Shots)”, about the police shooting of Amadou Diallo. The final shows at Madison Square Garden were recorded and resulted in an HBO Concert, with corresponding DVD and album releases as Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band: Live in New York City.

2002resent: Return to mainstream success

The scene outside the Giants Stadium parking lot for banner-marked, record-setting, 10-night stand of The Rising Tour during July 2003.

In 2002, Springsteen released his first studio effort with the full band in 18 years, The Rising, produced by Brendan O’Brien. The album, mostly a reflection on the September 11 attacks, was a critical and popular success. (Many of the songs were influenced by phone conversations Springsteen had with family members of victims of the attacks who in their obituaries had mentioned how his music touched their lives.) The title track gained airplay in several radio formats, and the record became Springsteen’s best-selling album of new material in 15 years. Kicked off by an early-morning Asbury Park appearance on The Today Show, The Rising Tour commenced, barnstorming through a series of single-night arena stands in the U.S. and Europe to promote the album in 2002, then returning for large-scale, multiple-night stadium shows in 2003. While Springsteen had maintained a loyal hardcore fan base everywhere (and particularly in Europe), his general popularity had dipped over the years in some southern and midwestern regions of the U.S. But it was still strong in Europe and along the U.S. coasts, and he played an unprecedented 10 nights in Giants Stadium in New Jersey, a ticket-selling feat to which no other musical act has come close. During these shows Springsteen thanked those fans who were attending multiple shows and those who were coming from long distances or another country; the advent of robust Bruce-oriented online communities had made such practices more common. The Rising Tour came to a final conclusion with three nights in Shea Stadium, highlighted by renewed controversy over “American Skin” and a guest appearance by Bob Dylan.

During the early 2000s, Springsteen became a visible advocate for the revitalization of Asbury Park, and played an annual series of winter holiday concerts there to benefit various local businesses, organizations, and causes. These shows were explicitly intended for the devoted fans, featuring numbers such as the unreleased (until Tracks) E Street Shuffle outtake “Thundercrack”, a rollicking group-participation song that would mystify casual Springsteen fans. He also frequently rehearses for tours in Asbury Park; some of his most devoted followers even go so far as to stand outside the building to hear what fragments they can of the upcoming shows. The song “My City of Ruins” was originally written about Asbury Park, in honor of the attempts to revitalize the city. Looking for an appropriate song for a post-Sept. 11 benefit concert honoring New York City, he selected “My City of Ruins,” which was immediately recognized as an emotional highlight of the concert, with its gospel themes and its heartfelt exhortations to “Rise up!” The song became associated with post-9/11 New York, and he chose it to close The Rising album and as an encore on the subsequent tour.

At the Grammy Awards of 2003, Springsteen performed The Clash’s “London Calling” along with Elvis Costello, Dave Grohl, and E Street Band member Steven Van Zandt and No Doubt’s bassist, Tony Kanal, in tribute to Joe Strummer; Springsteen and the Clash had once been considered multiple-album-dueling rivals at the time of the double The River and the triple Sandinista!. In 2004, Springsteen and the E Street Band participated in the “Vote for Change” tour, along with John Mellencamp, John Fogerty, the Dixie Chicks, Pearl Jam, R.E.M., Bright Eyes, the Dave Matthews Band, Jackson Browne, and other musicians. All concerts were to be held in swing states, to benefit the liberalism political organization group America Coming Together and to encourage people to register and vote. A finale was held in Washington, D.C., bringing many of the artists together. Several days later, Springsteen held one more such concert in New Jersey, when polls showed that state surprisingly close. While in past years Springsteen had played benefits for causes in which he believed against nuclear energy, for Vietnam veterans, Amnesty International, and the Christic Institute he had always refrained from explicitly endorsing candidates for political office (indeed he had rejected the efforts of Walter Mondale to attract an endorsement during the 1984 Reagan “Born in the U.S.A.” flap). This new stance led to criticism and praise from the expected partisan sources. Springsteen’s “No Surrender” became the main campaign theme song for John Kerry’s unsuccessful presidential campaign; in the last days of the campaign, he performed acoustic versions of the song and some of his other old songs at Kerry rallies.

An acoustic guitar number during the solo Devils & Dust Tour performance at the Festhalle Frankfurt, June 15, 2005.

Devils & Dust was released on April 26, 2005, and was recorded without the E Street Band. It is a low-key, mostly acoustic album, in the same vein as Nebraska and The Ghost of Tom Joad although with a little more instrumentation. Some of the material was written almost 10 years earlier during, or shortly after, the Ghost of Tom Joad Tour, a couple of them being performed then but never released. The title track concerns an ordinary soldier’s feelings and fears during the Iraq War. Starbucks rejected a co-branding deal for the album, due in part to some sexually explicit content but also because of Springsteen’s anti-corporate politics. The album entered the album charts at No. 1 in 10 countries (United States, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Ireland). Springsteen began the solo Devils & Dust Tour at the same time as the album’s release, playing both small and large venues. Attendance was disappointing in a few regions, and everywhere (other than in Europe) tickets were easier to get than in the past. Unlike his mid-1990s solo tour, he performed on piano, electric piano, pump organ, autoharp, ukulele, banjo, electric guitar, and stomping board, as well as acoustic guitar and harmonica, adding variety to the solo sound. (Offstage synthesizer, guitar, and percussion were also used for some songs.) Unearthly renditions of “Reason to Believe”, “The Promised Land”, and Suicide’s “Dream Baby Dream” jolted audiences to attention, while rarities, frequent set list changes, and a willingness to keep trying even through audible piano mistakes kept most of his loyal audiences happy.

In November 2005, Sirius Satellite Radio started a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week radio station on Channel 10 called E Street Radio. This channel featured commercial-free Bruce Springsteen music, including rare tracks, interviews, and daily concerts of Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band recorded throughout their career.

Springsteen and The Sessions Band performing on their tour at the Fila Forum, Milan, Italy on May 12, 2006.

In April 2006, Springsteen released We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions, an American roots music project focused around a big folk sound treatment of 15 songs popularized by the radical musical activism of Pete Seeger. It was recorded with a large ensemble of musicians including only Patti Scialfa, Soozie Tyrell, and The Miami Horns from past efforts. In contrast to previous albums, this was recorded in only three one-day sessions, and frequently one can hear Springsteen calling out key changes live as the band explores its way through the tracks. The Bruce Springsteen with The Seeger Sessions Band Tour began the same month, featuring the 18-strong ensemble of musicians dubbed The Seeger Sessions Band (and later shortened to the The Sessions Band). Seeger Sessions material was heavily featured, as well as a handful of (usually drastically rearranged) Springsteen numbers. The tour proved very popular in Europe, selling out everywhere and receiving some excellent reviews, but newspapers reported that a number of U.S. shows suffered from sparse attendance. By the end of 2006, the Seeger Sessions tour toured Europe twice and toured America for only a short span. Bruce Springsteen with The Sessions Band: Live in Dublin, containing selections from three nights of November 2006 shows at the The Point Theatre in Dublin, Ireland, was released the following June.

Springsteen performing with drummer Max Weinberg behind him, on the Magic Tour stop at Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, Florida, August 15, 2008.

Springsteen’s next album, titled Magic, was released on October 2, 2007. Recorded with the E Street Band, it featured 10 new Springsteen songs plus “Long Walk Home,” performed once with the Sessions band, and a hidden track (the first included on a Springsteen studio release), “Terry’s Song,” a tribute to Springsteen’s long-time assistant Terry Magovern who died on July 30, 2007. The first single, “Radio Nowhere,” was made available for a free download on August 28. On October 7, Magic debuted at number 1 in Ireland and the UK. Greatest Hits reentered the Irish charts at number 57, and Live in Dublin almost cracked the top 20 in Norway again. Sirius Satellite Radio also restarted E Street Radio on Channel 10 on September 27, 2007, in anticipation of Magic. Radio conglomerate Clear Channel Communications was alleged to have sent an edict to its classic rock stations to not play any songs from the new album, while continuing to play older Springsteen material. However, Clear Channel Adult Alternative (or “AAA”) station KBCO did play tracks from the album, undermining the allegations of a corporate blackout. The Springsteen and E Street Band Magic Tour began at the Hartford Civic Center with the album’s release and was routed through North America and Europe. Springsteen and the band performed live on NBC’s Today Show in advance of the opener. Longtime E Street Band organist Danny Federici went off the tour in November 2007 due to melanoma; he died on April 17, 2008, after a three-year battle with the disease.

Recent events

In April 2008, Springsteen announced his endorsement of U.S. Senator Barack Obama in his 2008 presidential campaign. In a video shot at an Ohio rally for Obama, Springsteen discussed the importance of “truth, transparency and integrity in government, the right of every American to have a job, a living wage, to be educated in a decent school, and a life filled with the dignity of work, the promise and the sanctity of home…But today those freedoms have been damaged and curtailed by eight years of a thoughtless, reckless and morally-adrift administration.”

On June 18, 2008, Springsteen appeared live from Europe at the Tim Russert tribute at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., to play one of Russert’s favorite songs, “Thunder Road.” Springsteen dedicated the song to Russert, who was “one of Springsteen’s biggest fans.”[citation needed]

Springsteen made a few solo acoustic performances in support of Obama’s campaign in October 2008, culminating with a November 2 rally where he debuted “Working On A Dream” in a duet with Scialfa.

Springsteen at a rally for then-presidential candidate Barack Obama

Cleveland, Ohio on November 2, 2008

On November 4, the first song played over the loudspeakers after Obama’s victory speech as president-elect in Chicago’s Grant Park was “The Rising”.

Springsteen’s Working on a Dream album was released in late January 2009.

Springsteen was the musical opener for the We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial on January 18, 2009 which was attended by over 400,000. He performed “The Rising” with an all-female choir. Later he performed Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” with Pete Seeger.

On January 11, 2009, Springsteen won the Golden Globe Award for Best Song for “The Wrestler”, from the Mickey Rourke film by the same name.

Springsteen performed at the halftime show at Super Bowl XLIII on February 1, 2009, agreeing to do it after many previous offers: t was sort of, well, if we don do it now, what are we waiting for? I want to do it while I alive.50] A few days before the game, Springsteen gave a rare press conference, where he promised a “twelve-minute party.” When asked if he would be nervous performing before such a large audience, Springsteen alluded to the “We Are One” concert, which took place at the Lincoln Memorial: “Youl have a lot of crazy football fans, but you won have Lincoln staring over your shoulder. That takes some of the pressure off.” His 12:45 set, with the E Street Band and the Miami Horns, included abbreviated renditions of “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out”, “Born to Run”, “Working on a Dream,” and “Glory Days,” the latter complete with football references. The set of appearances and promotional activities led Springsteen to say, “This has probably been the busiest month of my life.”

On April 1, 2009, Springsteen kicked off the Working on a Dream Tour in San Jose, California. The tour was hit by controversy in February 2009 when ticket site and tour partner Ticketmaster was found to be redirecting customers to their subsidiary TicketsNow, where tickets were being sold at inflated prices, despite the availability of face-value tickets elsewhere. Ticketmaster CEO Irving Azoff issued a swift apology, following a furious statement from Springsteen, who accused the site of “the abuse of our fans and our trust”. The tour’s shows featured few songs from the new album, with instead set lists dominated by Springsteen classics and selections reflecting the ongoing late-2000s recession. The tour also featured Springsteen playing songs requested by audience members holding up signs usually garage rock or punk rock classics or older, more obscure entries in Springsteen’s back catalog in a practice dating back to the final stages of the Magic Tour. Drummer Max Weinberg was replaced for some shows by his 18-year-old son Jay Weinberg, so that the former could serve his role as bandleader on the debuting The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien.

Springsteen was part of the lineup of The Clearwater Concert, a celebration of Pete Seeger’s 90th birthday which took place on May 3, 2009 at Madison Square Garden.

Fireworks go off at the conclusion of the “E! Street! Band!” exhortation during the final shows at Giants Stadium.

During the Working on a Dream Tour, Springsteen and the band made their first real foray in the world of music festivals, headlining nights at the Pinkpop Festival in the Netherlands, the Bonnaroo Music Festival in the United States where Springsteen also sat in with Phish for three songs and the Glastonbury Festival and Hard Rock Calling in the UK. He also was the headliner of the Festival des Vieilles Charrues in Brittany, France in July, his only tour stop in France. His son Evan participated in the concert, playing guitar.

During a stretch of five final shows at his homestate Giants Stadium, Bruce Springsteen opened the shows with a brand new song dedicated to the “old lady” (and told from its perspective), named “Wrecking Ball”. The song highlights the historic stadium, and his Jersey roots. The stand, as well as some other shows on the U.S. third leg of the tour, featured full album presentations of Born to Run, Darkness on the Edge of Town, or Born in the U.S.A.

The tour ended as scheduled in Buffalo, NY in November 2009 amid speculation that it was the last performance ever by the E Street Band, but during the show Springsteen said it was goodbye or a little while.

In October, 2009, Bruce Springsteen was among the headline acts of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 25th anniversary benefit concert along with artists like U2, Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin.

On December 6, 2009, Springsteen was among the recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors, an annual award to figures from the world of arts for their contribution to American culture.. This is probably the highest honor Mr. Springsteen has received yet. Prior to the official ceremony at the Kennedy Center, the six cultural icons were hosted by President Obama and Ms. Michelle Obama. During the speech by the President, he talked about how Springsteen has incorporated the life of regular Americans in his expansive pallette of songs and how his concerts are beyond the typical rock-and-roll concerts, how apart from being high-energy concerts they are “communions”. President Obama ended with the remark: “On days like the “We Are One” concert and today we are reminded that while I am the president, He is The Boss”. During the official awards show on December 6, 2009, tributes were paid by several well-known celebrities like Jon Stewart, Ben Stiller, Eddie Vedder, Sting and Melissa Etheridge.

Jon Stewart opened with a funny albeit touching tribute to Mr. Springsteen: “I am not a music critic. Nor historian, nor archivist. I cannot tell you where Bruce Springsteen falls in the pantheon of the American songbook. I cannot illuminate the context of his work, or its roots in the folk and oral history traditions of our great nations. But I am from New Jersey. So, I can tell you what I believe. And what I believe is that Bob Dylan and James Brown had a baby. Yes! And they abandoned this child, as you can imagine at the timeinterracial, same sex relationships being what they werethey abandoned this baby by the side of the road between the exit interchanges 8A and 9 on the Jersey Turnpikethat child was Bruce Springsteen.” He continued, “I believe that Bruce Springsteen is an unprecedented combination of lyrical eloquence, musical mastery and sheer unbridled, unadulterated joy. Exuberance in the act of telling stories so familiar, stories that have never been told so well or so uniquely. And I know he hating this right now. He a modest man, and he doesn like sitting there in that little box, with his little suit, wearing a little rainbow dreamcatcher or whatever they have on therehe doesn like it. He wishes he had his guitar and that I would shut up, but I will not. He is the BossBut I didn understand his music for a long time, until I began to yearn. Until I began to question the things that I was making and doing in my own life. Until I realized that it wasn just about the joyful parade on stage and the theatrics. It was about stories of lives that could be changed. And that the only status that you could fail to achieve is the status quo. The only thing, the only failure in life was not to make the effort to change our station. And it resonated with me because, and I say this truly to him… I would not be here, God knows, not even in this business if it were not for the inspirational words and music of Bruce Springsteen.”

Golden Globe Award-winning writer Ron Kovic then took the stage, explaining how he first met Bruce Springsteen at the Sunset Marquis Hotel in Hollywood in 1978. A chance encounter led to an exchange of the artists work, and a friendship was born between the Born on the Fourth of July author and Vietnam Veteran and the Born in the U.S.A. musician. Kovic introduced Springsteen musical tribute, which began with the Rob Mathes All-Star band performing 10th Avenue Freeze Out, followed by Grammy Award-winning musician John Mellencamp crooning Born in the U.S.A.. It was then followed by a medley of My Father House, Glory Days and I on Fire by multi-Grammy winners Ben Harper and Jennifer Nettles, accompanied by the Rob Mathes band. Grammy Award and Academy Award-winning musician Melissa Etheridge rocked out a concert-version of Born to Run, followed by Grammy Award and Golden Globe Award-winning singer Eddie Vedder explosive rendition of My City of Ruins. Finally, musical powerhouse Sting, himself a multiple Grammy, Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner, ended the night with a memorable performance of The Rising, joined by The Joyce Garrett Choir and the rest of the performers for the evening rousing conclusion. Throughout the tribute show, President Obama, Ms. Obama and the other recipients looked on admiringly at the towering personality of Mr. Springsteen.

On January 22, 2010, Bruce joined many well-known artists to perform on Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief, organized by George Clooney to raise money to help the victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

The 2000s ended with Springsteen being named one of eight Artists of the Decade by Rolling Stone magazine and with Springsteen’s tours ranking him fourth among artists in total concert grosses for the decade.

Personal life

Springsteen family greets Obama family on stage at rally in Cleveland, Ohio on November 2, 2008.

Springsteen was a bachelor until the age of 35, when he married 25 year old Julianne Phillips (born May 6, 1960) in Lake Oswego, Oregon on May 13, 1985. The marriage helped her acting career flourish, although the two were opposites in background, and his traveling took its toll on their relationship. The final blow came when Bruce began an affair with Patti Scialfa (born July 29, 1953), whom he had dated briefly in 1984 shortly after she joined the band. Phillips and Springsteen separated in the spring of 1988, and on August 30, 1988, Julianne filed for divorce. The Springsteen/Phillips divorce was finalized on March 1, 1989.

After his wife filed for divorce in 1988, Bruce began living with Scialfa. Springsteen received much criticism for the hastiness in which he and Scialfa took their relationship. In a 1995 interview with The Advocate, Springsteen spoke about the negative publicity the couple subsequently received. “It’s a strange society that assumes it has the right to tell people whom they should love and whom they shouldn’t. But the truth is, I basically ignored the entire thing as much as I could. I said, “Well, all I know is, this feels real, and maybe I have got a mess going here in some fashion, but that’s life.” In 1990, Springsteen and Scialfa welcomed their first child, son Evan James. They were expecting their second child, daughter Jessica Rae (born December 30, 1991), when Bruce and Patti married on June 8, 1991. “I went through a divorce, and it was really difficult and painful and I was very frightened about getting married again. So part of me said, Hey, what does it matter? But it does matter. It’s very different than just living together. First of all, stepping up publicly- which is what you do: You get your license, you do all the social rituals- is a part of your place in society and in some way part of society’s acceptance of you…Patti and I both found that it did mean something.” The couple’s youngest child, Sam Ryan, was born on January 5, 1994. The family lives in Rumson, New Jersey, and owns a horse farm in nearby Colts Neck. Springsteen also owns two adjacent homes in Wellington, Florida, a wealthy horse community near West Palm Beach. His eldest son, Evan, is currently a sophomore at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, a village in Newton, Massachusetts. His daughter Jessica Springsteen is a nationally-ranked champion equestrian.

In November 2000, Springsteen filed legal action against Jeff Burgar which accused him of registering the domain (along with several other celebrity domains) in bad faith to funnel web users to his Celebrity 1000 portal site. Once the legal complaint was filed, Burgar pointed the domain to a Springsteen biography and message board. In February 2001, Springsteen lost his dispute with Burgar. A WIPO panel ruled 2 to 1 in favor of Burgar.

The October 26, 2009 show for the Working on a Dream Tour in Kansas City, Missouri was canceled an hour before its scheduled start time due to the death of Lenny Sullivan, Springsteen’s cousin and assistant road manager.

Springsteen has led a relatively quiet and private life for a well-known popular performer and artist. He moved from Los Angeles to New Jersey in the early 1990s specifically to raise a family in a non-paparazzi environment. The Super Bowl XLIII press conference regarding the halftime show took place more than 25 years since his last press conference. However, he has appeared in few radio interviews, most notably on NPR and BBC. 60 minutes aired his last extensive interview on TV before his tour to support his album, Magic.

E Street Band

Main article: E Street Band

The E Street Band is considered to have started in October 1972, even though it was not officially known as such until September 1974. The E Street Band was inactive from the end of 1988 through early 1999, except for a brief reunion in 1995.

Current members

Bruce Springsteen lead vocals, guitar, harmonica, piano

Garry Tallent bass guitar, tuba

Clarence “Big Man” Clemons saxophone, percussion, backing vocals

Max Weinberg drums, percussion (joined September 1974)

Roy Bittan piano, synthesizer (joined September 1974)

Steven Van Zandt lead guitar, backing vocals, mandolin (officially joined July 1975 after playing in previous bands; left in 1984 to go solo; rejoined in early 1995, however made appearances during the “Other Band” Tour).

Nils Lofgren guitar, pedal steel guitar, backing vocals (replaced Steve Van Zandt in June 1984; remained in group after Van Zandt returned)

Patti Scialfa backing and duet vocals, acoustic guitar, percussion (joined June 1984; became Springsteen’s wife in 1991)

Soozie Tyrell violin, acoustic guitar, percussion, backing vocals (joined 2002, occasional appearances before that)

Charles Giordano organ, accordion, glockenspiel (originally a Sessions Band member, joined the E Street Band on a temporary basis in late 2007, during the illness of Danny Federici. Continued playing with the E Street Band after Federici died in April 2008.)

Former members

Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez drums (inception through February 1974, when asked to resign)

David Sancious keyboards (June 1973 to August 1974)

Ernest “Boom” Carter drums (February to August 1974)

Suki Lahav violin, backing vocals (September 1974 to March 1975)

Danny Federici organ, accordion, glockenspiel (died on April 17, 2008, melanoma)

Jay Weinberg drums, percussion (substituting for his father during parts of the 2009 tour)


Music used in films

Springsteen’s music has long been intertwined with film. His music was first linked with the silver screen in the 1983 John Sayles’ film Baby, Its You, which featured several songs from Born to Run. The relationship Springsteen established with Sayles would re-surface in later years, with Sayles directing videos for songs from Born in the U.S.A. and Tunnel of Love. The song “(Just Around the Corner to the) Light of Day” was written for the early Michael J. Fox/Joan Jett vehicle Light of Day.

His original work has frequently been used in films and he won an Oscar for his song “Streets of Philadelphia” from the Jonathan Demme film Philadelphia (1993). He was nominated for a second Oscar for “Dead Man Walkin’”, from the movie Dead Man Walking (1995).

His song “Missing” plays during the opening credits of Sean Penn’s 1995 movie, The Crossing Guard. It was released in 2003 on “The Essential Bruce Springsteen.”

His song “Secret Garden”, which first appeared on 1995′s Greatest Hits, was used in Cameron Crowe’s 1996 film Jerry Maguire.

Although it doesn’t appear on the soundtrack album, his song “Iceman” was used in the 2007 movie In the Land of Women.

Springsteen also wrote an eponymous song for Darren Aronofsky’s 2008 film The Wrestler. The song was awarded a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song and nominated for the MTV Movie Award as “Best Song From a Movie”.

The album “The River” was also well mentioned in the movie Reign Over Me with Adam Sandler. Two songs from that very album, “Drive All Night” and “Out In The Streets”, were played as background music.

In the 1997 film Cop Land, Sylvester Stallone’s character plays the songs “Drive All Night” and “Stolen Car” from The River on his turntable.

His track, “Hungry Heart” was used as a background song in the movies “A Perfect Storm,” The Wedding Singer and Risky Business. The track, “The Fuse” from his album, The Rising, was used during the end credits of the Spike Lee film, 25th Hour.

More recently, his song, “Lucky Town” from his album of the same name was used in the Eric Bana and Drew Barrymore starring movie, Lucky You in the starting title track. The 2007 movie, In the land of women used the song, ‘Iceman’ from the album Tracks as part of its OST.

Films inspired by music

In turn, films have been inspired by his music, including The Indian Runner, written and directed by Sean Penn, which Penn has specifically noted as being inspired by Springsteen’s song “Highway Patrolman”.

Kevin Smith is an admitted fan of fellow New Jersey native Springsteen and named his film Jersey Girl after the Tom Waits song which Springsteen made famous. The song was also used on the soundtrack.


Springsteen made his first on-screen appearance as a cameo in High Fidelity and it was voted “Best Cameo in a Movie” at the MTV Movie Awards.


Main article: Bruce Springsteen discography

Major studio albums (along with their chart positions in the U.S. Billboard 200 at the time of release):

1973: Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. ()

1973: The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle ()

1975: Born to Run (#3)

1978: Darkness on the Edge of Town (#5)

1980: The River (#1)

1982: Nebraska (#3)

1984: Born in the U.S.A. (#1)

1987: Tunnel of Love (#1)

1992: Human Touch (#2)

1992: Lucky Town (#3)

1995: The Ghost of Tom Joad (#11)

2002: The Rising (#1)

2005: Devils & Dust (#1)

2006: We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions (#3)

2007: Magic (#1)

2009: Working on a Dream (#1)

Awards and recognition

Bruce Springsteen (second from right) was among the five recipients of the 2009 Kennedy Center Honors

Grammy Awards

Springsteen has won 20 Grammy Awards, as follows (years shown are the year the award was given for, not the year in which the ceremony was held):

Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male, 1984, “Dancing in the Dark”

Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male, 1987, “Tunnel of Love”

Song of the Year, 1994, “Streets of Philadelphia”

Best Rock Song, 1994, “Streets of Philadelphia”

Best Rock Vocal Performance, Solo, 1994, “Streets of Philadelphia”

Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television, 1994, “Streets of Philadelphia”

Best Contemporary Folk Album, 1996, The Ghost of Tom Joad

Best Rock Album, 2002, The Rising

Best Rock Song, 2002, “The Rising”

Best Male Rock Vocal Performance, 2002, “The Rising”

Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, 2003, “Disorder in the House” (with Warren Zevon)

Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance, 2004, “Code of Silence”

Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance, 2005, “Devils & Dust”

Best Traditional Folk Album, 2006, The Seeger Sessions: We Shall Overcome

Best Long Form Music Video, 2006, Wings For Wheels: The Making Of Born to Run

Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance, 2007, “Radio Nowhere”

Best Rock Song, 2007, “Radio Nowhere”

Best Rock Instrumental Performance, 2007, “Once Upon a Time in the West”

Best Rock Song, 2008, “Girls in Their Summer Clothes”

Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance, 2009, “Working on a Dream”

Only one of these awards has been one of the cross-genre “major” ones (Song, Record, or Album of the Year); he has been nominated a number of other times for the majors, but failed to win.

Golden Globe Awards

Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song for “Streets of Philadelphia” in 1994.

Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song for “The Wrestler” in 2009.

Academy Awards

Academy Award for Best Original Song, 1993, “Streets of Philadelphia” from Philadelphia.

Emmy Awards

The Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band: Live In New York City HBO special won two technical Emmy Awards in 2001.

Other recognition

Polar Music Prize in 1997.

Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 1999.

Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, 1999.

Inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame, 2007.

“Born to Run” named “The unofficial youth anthem of New Jersey” by the New Jersey state legislature; something Springsteen always found to be ironic, considering that the song “is about leaving New Jersey”.

The minor planet 23990, discovered Sept. 4, 1999, by I. P. Griffin at Auckland, New Zealand, was officially named in his honor.

Ranked #23 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 2004 list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

Made Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People Of The Year 2008 list.

Won Critic’s Choice Award for Best Song with “The Wrestler” in 2009.

Performed at the Super Bowl XLIII half time show.

Kennedy Center Honors, 2009.


In addition to his noted influence on music in his native New Jersey, Springsteen is also cited as an influence by Bon Jovi, Arcade Fire, Gaslight Anthem, The Constantines, The Hold Steady, The National, Kings of Leon, The Killers, U2, Johnny Cash in his later recordings, and countless others. His songs have been covered by diverse artists such as Melissa Etheridge, Johnny Cash, McFLY, Tegan and Sara, Damien Jurado, Aimee Mann, Social Distortion, Rage Against The Machine, Ben Harper, Eric Bachmann, Josh Ritter, Frank Turner, and Hank Williams III, in addition to above-noted bands like Arcade Fire and The National.

See also

List of best selling music artists

List of artists who reached number one on the U.S. Mainstream Rock chart


Alterman, Eric. It Ain’t No Sin To Be Glad You’re Alive : The Promise of Bruce Springsteen. Little Brown, 1999. ISBN 0-316-03885-7.

Coles, Robert. Bruce Springsteen’s America: The People Listening, a Poet Singing. Random House, 2005. ISBN 0-375-50559-8.

Cross, Charles R. Backstreets: Springsteen the man and his music Harmony Books, New York 1989/1992. ISBN 0-517-58929-X. Contains 15+ interviews and a complete list of all Springsteen songs including unreleased compositions. Complete lising of all concerts 19651990 most of them with tracklists. Hundreds of previously unreleased high quality color pictures.

Cullen, Jim. Born in the U.S.A.: Bruce Springsteen and the American Tradition. 1997; Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2005. New edition of 1997 study book places Springsteen’s work in the broader context of American history and culture. ISBN 0-8195-6761-2

Eliot, Marc with Appel, Mike. Down Thunder Road. Simon & Schuster, 1992. ISBN 0-671-86898-5.

Graff, Gary. The Ties That Bind: Bruce Springsteen A to E to Z. Visible Ink, 2005. ISBN 1-57859-151-1.

Guterman, Jimmy. Runaway American Dream: Listening to Bruce Springsteen. Da Capo, 2005. ISBN 0-306-81397-1.

Hilburn, Robert. Springsteen. Rolling Stone Press, 1985. ISBN 0-684-18456-7.

Knobler, Peter with special assistance from Greg Mitchell. “Who Is Bruce Springsteen and Why Are We Saying All These Wonderful Things About Him?”, Crawdaddy, March 1973.

Marsh, Dave. Bruce Springsteen: Two Hearts : The Definitive Biography, 19722003. Routledge, 2003. ISBN 0-415-96928-X. (Consolidation of two previous Marsh biographies, Born to Run (1981) and Glory Days (1987).)

Wolff, Daniel. 4th of July, Asbury Park: A History of the Promised Land. Bloomsbury, 2005. ISBN 1-58234-509-0.

Further reading

Greetings from E Street: The Story of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Chronicle Books, 2006. ISBN 0-8118-5348-9.

Days of Hope and Dreams: An Intimate Portrait of Bruce Springsteen. Billboard Books, 2003. ISBN 0-8230-8387-X.

Racing in the Street: The Bruce Springsteen Reader. Penguin, 2004. ISBN 0-14-200354-9.

Runaway American Dream: Listening to Bruce …

Mercer Mayer bibliography

List of titles

The following is a partial list of books that Mercer Mayer has written and/or illustrated. It also includes books and items that are related to Mercer Mayer and his creations (like coloring books, sticker books, lacing cards, toys, etc).

Little Critter related books

Books that feature the character Little Critter:

Little Critter main series

Published in the Golden Books “Look-Look Books” series

Individual books may also be available in special editions

Just For You (1975) ISBN 0-307-12542-4 (first hardcover printing has 5 more pages of story and artwork then all subsequent printings, including “I wanted to build a beautiful house just for you, but I hurt myself”)

Just Me and My Dad (1977)

The New Baby (1980)

All by Myself (1983)

I Was So Mad (1983)

Just Go To Bed (1983)

Just Grandma and Me (1983)

Just Grandpa and Me (1983)

Me Too! (1983)

Merry Christmas Mom and Dad (1983)

When I Get Bigger (1985) (also released as a mini-hardback book)

Just Me and My Puppy (1985)

Just Me and My Babysitter (1986)

Just Me and My Little Sister (1986)

Just a Mess (1987)

Baby Sister Says No (1987)

Happy Easter, Little Critter (1988) ISBN 0-307-11723-5

I Just Forgot (1988)

Just My Friend and Me (1988)

Just a Daydream (1989)

Just Shopping with Mom (1989) (original version featured the mother warning Little Sister she will be spanked if she does not behave, reprints since the mid-1990s replaced spanking references with “time-out”)

Just Me and My Mom (1990)

Just Going to the Dentist (1990)

Just Me and My Little Brother (1991)

Little Critter at Scout Camp (1991)

What a Bad Dream (1992) ISBN 0-307-12685-4

Just Me and My Cousin (1992; with Gina Mayer) ISBN 0-307-12688-9

This is My Family (1992; with Gina Mayer) ISBN 0-307-00137-7

Little Critter’s Joke Book (1993)

Trick or Treat, Little Critter (1993; with Gina Mayer)

A Very Special Little Critter (1993; with Gina Mayer)

Just Me in the Tub (1994; with Gina Mayer)

Just Lost! (1994; with Gina Mayer) ISBN 0-307-12844-X

Just a Bully (1999; with Gina Mayer) ISBN 0-307-13200-5

Just a New Neighbor (1999; with Gina Mayer) ISBN 0-307-13265-X

Just a Toy (2000; with Gina Mayer) ISBN 0-307-13279-X

Just a Piggy Bank (2001; with Gina Mayer) ISBN 0-307-13283-8

Just a Secret (2001; with Gina Mayer) ISBN 0-307-13287-0

Just a Snowy Vacation (2001; with Gina Mayer)

Just Not Invited (2002; with Gina Mayer) ISBN 0-307-13289-7

Just a Baseball Game (2003; with Gina Mayer) ISBN 0-307-10451-6

Just Fishing with Grandma (2003; with Gina Mayer) ISBN 0-307-10453-2

Just a Little Homework (2004; with Gina Mayer) ISBN 0-375-82745-5

The new adventures

Continuation of the main series with HarperFestival

same dimensions, may contain some stickers, or other items.

Bye-Bye, Mom and Dad (2004; with Gina Mayer) ISBN 0-06-053945-3 (with pull-out poster Family Tree)

Good for Me and You (2004; with Gina Mayer) ISBN 0-06-053948-8 (with more than 20 stickers)

Happy Halloween, Little Critter! (2004) ISBN 0-06-053971-2 (with pull back flaps)

Just a School Project (2004; with Gina Mayer) ISBN 0-06-053946-1 (with more than 20 stickers)

Just a Snowman (2004; with Gina Mayer) ISBN 0-06-053947-X (with more than 20 stickers)

Just Big Enough (2004; with Gina Mayer) ISBN 0-06-053963-1 (with Pull out growth chart) (this book can be found as an over-sized hardback)

Merry Christmas, Little Critter (2004; with Gina Mayer) ISBN 0-06-053972-0 (with pull back flaps)

My Trip to the Hospital (2005; with Gina Mayer) ISBN 0-06-053949-6 (with 5 adhesive bandages that feature Little Critter)

Happy Valentine’s Day, Little Critter (2005; with Gina Mayer) ISBN 0-06-053973-9 (with pull back flaps)

Just so Thankful (2006; with Gina Mayer) ISBN 0-06-053950-X (with four thank you cards)

It’s Easter, Little Critter! (2007; with Gina Mayer) ISBN 0-06-053974-7 (with pull back flaps)

Grandma, Grandpa, and Me (2007; with Gina Mayer) ISBN 0-06-053951-8

Happy Father’s Day! (2007; with Gina Mayer) ISBN 0-06-053965-8

The Lost Dinosaur Bone (December 2007) ISBN 0-06-053952-6

Snowball Soup (an I Can Read book) (September 2007) ISBN 0-06-083544-3 (hardcover) and ISBN 0-06-083543-5 (paperback)

It’s Earth Day (February 2008) ISBN 0-06-053959-3 (originally announced under the title My Earth Day Surprise)

The Best Teacher Ever (May 2008) ISBN 0-06-053960-7

Going to the Firehouse (an I Can Read book) (June 2008) ISBN 0-06-083546-X (hardcover) ISBN 0-06-083545-1 (paperback)

Just a Day at the Pond (July 2008) ISBN 0-06-053961-5

To the Rescue! (an I Can Read book) (September 2008) ISBN 0-06-083548-6 (hardcover) ISBN 0-06-083547-8 (paperback)

This Is My Town (an I Can Read book) (December 2008) ISBN 0-06-083550-8 (hardcover) ISBN 0-06-083549-4 (paperback)

Happy Mother’s Day! (March 2008) ISBN 0-06-053970-4

First Day of School (June 2009) ISBN 0-06-053969-0

The Fall Festival (an I Can Read book) (July 2009) ISBN 0-06-083551-6

Going to the Sea Park (an I Can Read book) (September 2009) ISBN 0-060-83553-2

Just a Little Music (December 2009) ISBN 0-060-53962-3

Just a Little Sick (December 2009) ISBN 0-060-83555-9

The Best Yard Sale (scheduled May 2010) ISBN 0-061-47799-0

Just Saving My Money (an I Can Read book) (scheduled July 2010) ISBN 0-060-83557-5

Scholastic series

Portrait shaped in different sizes

I’m Sorry (1995; with Gina Mayer)

At the Beach With Dad (1998; with Gina Mayer)

Special publications

Just a Snowy Day (1983) “Golden Touch and Feel Book” ISBN 0-307-12156-9 (republished by HarperCollins)

Little Critter In Search of the Beautiful Princess (1993) Green Frog Publishers ISBN 1-56619-449-0 (oversized hardcover book in the style of the Where’s Waldo series)

Little Critter’s Camp Out: A Golden Sound Story (1994) ISBN 0-307-70902-7

Little Critter: Just a Pirate (a “Magic Touch Talking Book” by Hasbro, Incorporated) (July 1996) ISBN 1-888-20812-0

Little Critter: Just Going to the Moon (a “Magic Touch Talking Book” by Hasbro, Incorporated (July 1996) ISBN 1-888-20811-2

Super Critter To The Rescue: A Golden Sound Story (1997) ISBN 0-307-74708-5

Just a Bubble Bath (1997) Inchworm Press, “Scrub-A-Dub Bath Book” (10 pages) ISBN 1-57719-222-2

Just My Camera and Me: Photo Fun Package (1998) Inchworm Press, ISBN 1-57719-398-9 (comes with a camera, a photo album, and the book Just My Camera and Me)

Just a Garden (1999) ISBN 1-57719-605-8 (was sold as a kit with four small plastic gardening tools and the book Just a Garden)

Little Golden Books

A numbered series. These were re-released by Scholastic and as a part of Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter Book Club

Just a Bad Day (1993; with Gina Mayer) ISBN 0-307-98873-2

Taking Care of Mom (1993; with Gina Mayer) ISBN 0-307-98880-5

Just a Little Different (1993; with Gina Mayer) ISBN 0-307-98875-9

Just Like Dad (1993; with Gina Mayer) ISBN 0-307-98876-7

Just Say Please (1993; with Gina Mayer) ISBN 0-307-96017-X

This is My Body (1993; with Gina Mayer) ISBN 0-307-96013-7

I’m Sorry (1993; with Gina Mayer)

Just A Gum Wrapper (1993; by Gina and Mercer Mayer) ISBN 0-89577-766-5

Just Me and My Bicycle (1993; by Gina and Mercer Mayer)

Just Too Little (1993; by Gina and Mercer Mayer)

Just Leave Me Alone (1995; with Gina Mayer) ISBN 0-307-96016-1

The School Play (1995; by Gina and Mercer Mayer)

The Loose Tooth (1995; by Gina and Mercer Mayer)

Just an Airplane (1995; by Gina and Mercer Mayer) ISBN 0-89577-784-3

I Was So Sick (1995; with Gina Mayer)

Little Sister (of Little Critter)

Published as Golden Books “Little Look-Look Books”

Little Sister’s Birthday (1988)

Just a Nap (1989)

Just a Rainy Day (1990)

When I Grow Up (1991)

Just Camping Out (1991)

The New Potty (1992; with Gina Mayer)

Just a Thunderstorm (1993; with Gina Mayer) ISBN 0-375-82633-5

My Big Sister (1995; with Gina Mayer)

The Magic Pumpkin (1997; with Gina Mayer)

Little Critter Storybooks featuring the “Critter Kids”

These were initially published by Scholastic publishing as accordion-style fold-out board books.

Most were republished by Random House and Green Frog as regular hardcover and softcover books.

Malcom’s Race (1983) ISBN 0-590-32808-5

Possum Child Goes Shopping (1983) ISBN 0-590-32806-9

Little Sister’s Bracelet (originally titled Too’s Bracelet) (1983) ISBN 0-590-32810-7, ISBN 0-88029-800-6, ISBN 0-517-27369-1

Bun Bun’s Birthday (originally titled SweetMeat’s Birthday) (1983) ISBN 0-590-32809-3, ISBN 0-517-27160-5, ISBN 0-679-87368-6

Bat Child’s Haunted House (1983) ISBN 0-590-32811-5, ISBN 0-88029-802-2

Gator Cleans House (1983) ISBN 0-590-32807-7, ISBN 0-517-60092-7, ISBN 0-679-87354-6


Published by Random House, McGraw-Hill Children’s Publishing, and by School Specialty Publishing

Little Critter Sleeps Over (Road To Reading adaption of Little Critter’s Staying Overnight from 1988) (1999) ISBN 0-307-26203-0

My Trip to the Zoo (2001)ISBN 1-57768-826-0 (Level 1)

Country Fair (2002) ISBN 1-57768-827-9 (Level 1)

Show and Tell (2002) ISBN 1-57768-835-X (Level 1)

Beach Day (2001) ISBN 1-57768-844-9 (Level 1)

Tiger’s Birthday (2001) ISBN 1-57768-828-7 (Level 2)

A Day at Camp (2001) ISBN 1-57768-836-8 (Level 2)

The New Fire Truck (2001) ISBN 1-57768-843-0 (Level 2)

Grandma’s Garden (2001) ISBN 1-57768-846-5 (Level 2)

Our Tree House (2001) ISBN 1-57768-833-3 (Level 3)

Goodnight, Little Critter (2001) (Level 3)

Class Trip (2001) ISBN 1-57768-845-7 (Level 3)

New Kid in Town (2001) ISBN 1-57768-829-5 (Level 3)

Helping Mom (2000)

Little Critters’ The Best Present (2000) ISBN 0-606-18923-8

Our Park (2000) ISBN 1-57768-807-4

Field Day (2000) ISBN 1-57768-813-9

Camping Out (2001) ISBN 1-57768-806-6

The Mixed-up Morning (2001) ISBN 1-57768-808-2

Our Friend Sam (2001) ISBN 1-57768-815-5

My Trip to the Farm (2001) ISBN 1-57768-817-1

No One Can Play (2001) ISBN 1-57768-804-X

Play Ball (2001) ISBN 1-57768-803-1

A Yummy Lunch (2001) ISBN 1-57768-809-0

Surprise! (2002) ISBN 1-57768-638-1

Harvest Time (2003) ISBN 1-57768-578-4

We Love You, Little Critter (2003)

The Little Christmas Tree (2003) ISBN 1-57768-583-0

Christmas for Miss Kitty (2003) ISBN 1-57768-584-9

Play It Safe (2004) ISBN 1-57768-586-5

Skating Day (2004) ISBN 1-57768-588-1


Published by Little Simon (Simon & Schuster), Random House, Golden Books, GT Publishing and HarperFestival

Little Critter’s Play with Me (1982) ISBN 0-307-12269-7

Astronaut Critter (1986) ISBN 0-671-61142-9

Construction Critter (1986) ISBN 1-57719-397-0

Cowboy Critter (1986) ISBN 0-671-61141-0

Fireman Critter (1986) ISBN 0-671-61143-7

Police Critter (1986) ISBN 0-671-61140-2

Mail Critter (1987) ISBN 0-671-61144-5

Doctor Critter (1987) ISBN 0-671-61147-X

Sailor Critter (1987) ISBN 0-671-61146-1

Little Critter’s Day (1990) ISBN 0-307-06107-8

Little Critter at Play (1990) ISBN 0-307-06106-X

Little Critter (Booktivity) ISBN 0-307-05579-5

Little Critter Colors (1992) ISBN 0-88029-830-8

Little Critter Numbers (1992) ISBN 0-679-87355-4

Little Critter Shapes (1992) ISBN 0-88029-832-4

Little Critter’s ABC’s (1993) ISBN 0-88029-831-6

Little Critter Cowboy (1996) ISBN 1-57719-258-3 (edited 10 page version of the 14 page Cowboy Critter)

Little Critter Doctor (1996) ISBN 1-57719-104-8 (edited 10 page version of the 14 page Doctor Critter)

Little Critter Astronaut (1996) ISBN 1-57719-089-0 (edited 10 page version of the 14 page Astronaut Critter)

Little Critter Policeman (1996)(edited 10 page version of the 14 page Police Critter)

Little Critter Construction (1996) (edited 10 page version of the 14 page Construction Critter, also released as a part of the Little Critter Construction Playset) ISBN 1-57719-655-4

Little Critter Sailor (1998) ISBN 1-57719-396-2 (edited 10 page version of the 14 page Sailor Critter)

Little Critter All Grown Up! (1999) ISBN 1-57719-648-1 (Collection containing the edited versions of the 4 books: Doctor, Sailor, Cowboy, and Construction)

Just a Dump Truck (2004) ISBN 0-06-053968-2

Just a Tugboat (2004) ISBN 0-06-053967-4

Lift-a-Flap Books

Published by multiple publishing houses. Some were originally released as hardcovers and then later re-released as Chunky Flap Board Books (two ISBN numbers are listed when this is the case).

Where’s Kitty (1991) ISBN 0-88029-864-2, ISBN 0-679-87343-0

Where is My Frog? (1991) ISBN 0-88029-863-4, ISBN 0-679-87344-9

Where’s My Sneaker? (1991) ISBN 0-88029-793-X, ISBN 0-679-87370-8

Little Critter Hansel & Gretel: A Lift the Flap Book (1991) ISBN 0-88029-797-2, ISBN 0-679-87369-4

Little Critter’s Jack and the Beanstalk (1991) ISBN 0-88029-798-0, ISBN 0-679-87345-7

Little Critter’s Little Red Riding Hood (1991) ISBN 0-88029-866-9, ISBN 0-679-87346-5

Just an Easter Egg (1998; written by Erica Farber and John Sansevere) ISBN 1-57719-299-0

Just a Magic Trick (1998; written by Erica Farber and John Sansevere) ISBN 1-57719-298-2

Activity books

Little Critter: My Stories: Write and Draw Your Own Stories (1991) ISBN 0-307-05830-1

Little Critter Stand Ups to Color and Share (1992) (comes with 6 stand ups and stickers)

Little Critter Favorite Things (1994) ISBN 0-307-08573-2 (a coloring book)

Little Critter’s Day at the Farm (with reusable stickers) (1994) ISBN 0-590-48641-1 (and ISBN 0-590-32804-2)

Little Critter’s Holiday Fun Sticker Book (1994) ISBN 0-590-48640-3

Little Critter Shapes & Colors Coloring Book

Little Critter Dots and Mazes (Golden First Fun)

Little Critter’s Song and Activity Book (1996)

Little Critter’s Halloween: A Coloring and Activity Book (1997) (also came with Spooky Halloween Kit which included the book The Magic Pumpkin (Little Sister), a Flashlight, and a Trick-Or-Treat Bag). ISBN 1-57719-236-2

Little Critter’s Christmas: A Coloring and Activity Book (1997) ISBN 1-57719-230-3

Little Critter’s Backseat Busy Book (1999)

Painting the Seasons with Little Critter (2003) HarperCollins, ISBN 0-06-053956-9

Fun at School with Little Critter (2004)


Little Critter’s Bedtime Storybook (1987) (includes: The Fussy Princess, The Grumpy Old Rabbit, The Day the Wind Stopped Blowing, The Bear Who Wouldn’t Share, and some bumper “Bedtime” segments)

Two-minute Little Critter Stories: Eight favorite stories (1990) ISBN 0-307-12192-5 (Includes: Just A Mess, Just Me and My Babysitter, I Just Forgot, Just Me and My Puppy, I Was So Mad, Just My Friends and Me, When I Get Bigger, and Just Go to Bed)

Thrills and Spills (1991) (Early Bird Series Big Books: 19.5 x 16.2) ISBN 0-8273-4120-2 (Contains four stories: Just for You by Mercer Mayer, Jamberry by Bruce Degen, The Gingerbread Boy by Paul Galdone, and Baby Days)

Just Me and My Family (1997) (A box set of four separate Golden Look Look books)

Just Me and My Family: Six Story Books in One (1999) ISBN 0-307-34094-5 (contains: Just Me and My Mom, Just Me and My Dad, Just Me and My Little Brother, Just Grandpa and Me, Just Grandma and Me, and Just Me and My Puppy)

Little Critter Read-It-Yourself Storybook: Six Funny Easy to Read Stories (2000) ISBN 0-307-16840-9 (contains: Little Critter’s This Is My House, Little Critter’s These Are My Pets, Little Critter’s Little Sister’s Birthday, Little Critter’s This Is My School, Little Critter’s This Is My Friend, and Little Critter’s Staying Overnight).

Growing Every Day (A Little Critter Collection) (2002) ISBN 0-9654579-6-6 (Contains: Just Go to Bed, When I Get Bigger, Just a Mess, Just Going to the Dentist, Just Lost and Just Me in the Tub)

Feelings and Manners (2002) ISBN 0-9654579-5-8 (Contains: All by Myself, I was So Mad, Me Too!, I Just Forgot, I’m Sorry, and Just a Bully)

Little Critter Storybook Collection (2005) ISBN 0-06-082009-8 (Contains 7 stories)

Just a Little Critter Collection: 7 Books Inside (2005) ISBN 0-375-83255-6 (contains: Just For You, When I Get Bigger, I Was So Mad, All By Myself, Just Go To Bed, Just A Mess, and I Just Forgot)

Little Critter workbooks

By Spectrum & Brighter Child (for Homeschool)

Little Critter Math: Grade Pre K (2001) ISBN 0-7696-3009-X or 1577685792

Little Critter Math: Grade K (2001) ISBN 0-7696-3010-3 or 1577688007

Little Critter Math: Grade 1 (2001) ISBN 0-7696-3011-1

Little Critter Math: Grade 2 (2001) ISBN 0-7696-3012-X

Little Critter Phonics: Grade Pre K (2002) ISBN 0-7696-3029-4

Little Critter Phonics: Grade K (2002) ISBN 0-7696-3030-8

Little Critter Phonics: Grade 1 (2002) ISBN 0-7696-3031-6

Little Critter Phonics: Grade 2 (2002) ISBN 0-7696-3032-4

Little Critter Reading: Grade Pre K (2002) ISBN 0-7696-3022-7

Little Critter Reading: Grade K (2002) ISBN 0-7696-3020-0

Little Critter Reading: Grade 1 (2002) ISBN 0-7696-3019-7

Little Critter Reading: Grade 2 (2002) ISBN 0-7696-3021-9

Little Critter Language Arts: Grade Pre K (2002)

Little Critter Language Arts: Grade K (2002)

Little Critter Language Arts: Grade 1 (2002)

Little Critter Language Arts: Grade 2 (2002)

Little Critter Beginning Writing: Grade Pre K (2002)

Little Critter Beginning Writing: Grade K (2002)

Little Critter Beginning Writing: Grade 1 (2002)

Little Critter Beginning Writing: Grade 2 (2002)

Little Critter Basic Concepts: Grade Pre K (2002)

Little Critter Basic Concepts: Grade K (2002)

Little Critter Basic Concepts: Grade 1 (2002)

Little Critter Basic Concepts: Grade 2 (2002)

Critters of the Night

AKA Creepy Critters, all written by Erica Farber and J. R. Sansevere (illustrated by Mercer Mayer)

Werewolves for Lunch (1995)

No Howling in the House (1996)

The Headless Gargoyle (1996)

To Catch a Little Fish (1996)

If You Dream a Dragon (1996)

Purple Pickle Juice (1996)

Zombies Don’t Do Windows (1996)

The Vampire Brides (1996) ISBN 0-679-87360-0

The Goblin’s Birthday Party(1996) ISBN 0-679-87373-2

Old Howl Hall Big Lift-And-look Book (1996) ISBN 0-679-88019-4

Pirate Soup (Pictureback Shape Books) ISBN 0-679-87364-3

Night of the Walking Dead Part 1 ISBN 0-679-87371-6 (1997)

Night of the Walking Dead Part 2 ISBN 0-679-87372-4 (1997)

Love You to Pieces: (24 Spooky Punch-out Valentines) (1997) ISBN 0-679-88709-1

Critters of the Night Glow-In-The-Dark Book (1997) ISBN 0-679-88707-5

Chomp Chomp! (1998)

Ooey Gooey (1998)

Roast and Toast (1998)

Midnight Snack (1999)

Kiss of the Mermaid (1999)

Mummy Pancakes (Tattoo Tales) (with over 20 tattoos) (1997) ISBN 0-679-87378-3

Zoom on My Broom (2001)

Mercer Mayer’s LC + the Critter Kids

All written by Erica Farber and J. R. Sansevere (illustrated by Mercer Mayer)

My Teacher Is a Vampire (1994)

The Secret Code (1994)

The Purple Kiss (1994)

The Mummy’s Curse (1994)

Top Dog (1994)

Surf’s Up (1994)

Pizza War (1994)

The Cat’s Meow (1994)

Showdown at the Arcade (1994)

The Ghost of Goose Island (1995)

Mystery at Big Horn Ranch (1995)

The E-Mail Mystery (1995)

The Swamp Thing (1995)

Backstage Pass (1995)

The Alien (1995)

The Prince (1995)

The Haunted House (1995) ISBN 0-307-66180-6

Jaguar Paw (1995)

Golden Eagle (1995)

Octopus Island (1996)

Blue Ribbon Mystery (1996)

Circus of Ghouls (1996)

Lil Shop of Magic (1996)

Kiss of the Vampire (1996)

Other Little Critter titles

I am Hiding (1992) ISBN 0-88029-980-0

I am Helping (1992) ISBN 0-88029-978-9

I am Playing (1992) ISBN 0-88029-979-7

I am Sharing (1992) ISBN 0-88029-981-9

I Smell Christmas: A Nose Tickler (1997) ISBN 1-57719-221-4

Little Critter’s These Are My Pets (1988)

Little Critter’s The Trip (1988) (Originally published as an ABC style book, and then as an edited story with less pages in 1997).

Little Critter’s The Picnic (1988)

Little Critter’s Staying Overnight (1988)

Little Critter’s This Is My Friend (1989) ISBN 0-307-61685-1

Little Critter’s This Is My School (1990)

Little Critter’s Christmas Book (1989) ISBN 0-307-15849-7

Little Critter’s Spooky Halloween Party (1999)

Little Critter’s The Night Before Christmas (1995) ISBN 0-679-87352-X

The Grumpy Old Rabbit: Little Critter’s Bedtime Storybook (1987) (Taco Bell Promotional Book)

The Bear Who Wouldn’t Share: Little Critter’s Bedtime Storybook (1987) ASIN B00072HVVC (published by Western Publishing)

The Fussy Princess: Little Critter’s Bedtime Storybook: (1989) ISBN 0-307-62090-5

Little Critter’s Picture Dictionary (2001) ISBN 1-57768-839-2

Little Critter’s Favorite Things (1994)

I Didn’t Know That (by Gina and Mercer Mayer)

Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter Lacing Cards (1992) (toy)

Little Monster series

Books that feature the character Little Monster:

Little Monster’s Word Book (1977) ISBN 0-307-65766-3

Little Monster’s Alphabet Book (1978) ISBN 0-307-61847-1

Little Monster’s Counting Book (1978) ISBN 0-307-61844-7

Little Monster’s Neighborhood (1978) ISBN 0-307-61849-8

Little Monster at School (1978) ISBN 0-307-61845-5

Little Monster at Home (1978) ISBN 0-307-61846-3

Little Monster at Work (1978) ISBN 0-307-13736-8

Little Monster’s Bedtime Book (1978) ISBN 0-307-61848-X

Little Monster’s You Can Make It Book (1978) ISBN 0-307-15802-0

Little Monster’s Mother Goose (1979) ISBN 0-307-13742-2

Little Monster’s Scratch and Sniff Mystery (1980) ISBN 0-307-13546-2

Little Monster’s Sports Fun Sticker Book (with reusable stickers) (1985) ISBN 0-590-48644-6

Little Monster’s Moving Day Sticker Book (with reusable stickers) (1995) ISBN 0-590-48643-8

Little Monster Private Eye: The Smelly Mystery (1998) ISBN 1-57719-319-9 (re-release edited version of Scratch and Sniff Mystery without Scratch and Sniff Spots, all dialogue balloons removed, major text changes, and 5 pages less in length) (also released as part of a Detective Kit gift set ISBN 1-57719-259-1)

Little Monster Private Eye: The Lost Wish (by Erica Farber and J. R. Sansevere) (1998) ISBN 1-57719-318-0

Little Monster Private Eye: How The Zebra Lost His Stripes (by Erica Farber and J. R. Sansevere)(1998) ISBN 1-57719-317-2 (also released with the Little Monster Private Eye Goes on Safari gift set ISBN 1-57719-306-7)

Mercer Mayer’s Little Monster Private Eye: The Mummy Mystery (by Erica Farber) (also released with The Treasure of the Nile gift set ISBN 1-57719-661-9)

Mercer Mayer’s Little Monster Private Eye: 101 Penguins (by Erica Farber and J. R. Sansevere) (1998) (also came in a 101 Penguins A Polar Adventure gift set with a Snow Globe that has two penguins in it) ISBN 1-57719-395-4

Mercer Mayer’s Little Monster Private Eye: The Bubble Gum Pirates (by Erica Farber and J. R. Sansevere) (1998) ISBN 1-57719-604-X (also came as part of a pirate themed gift set featuring a sword and other items)

Mercer Mayer’s Little Monster Treasury Book (contains 11 previously released Little Monster stories, some edited)

Professor Wormbog series

Creatures in the Professor Wormbog series tend to also appear in the Little Monster series of books.

Professor Wormbog in Search for the Zipperump-A-Zoo (1976)

Professor Wormbog’s Gloomy Kerploppus: A Book of Great Smells (and a Heart-Warming Story, Besides) (1977)

Professor Wormbog’s Cut It, Glue It, Tape It, Do It (1980)

Professor Wormbog’s Crazy Cut-Ups (1980) ISBN 0-307-15807-1

Other Little Monster related books

Books that feature characters that also appear in the Little Monster and Professor Wormbog series.

One Monster After Another (1974)

How the Trollusk Got His Hat (1979)

Mercer’s Monsters (a “Golden Book of Picture Postcards” with verses by Seymour Reit) (1977) ISBN 0-307-11105-9

Boy, Dog, Frog series

A series of 6 wordless books. These have been re-released in many formats, but they are usually smaller in size.

A Boy, a Dog and a Frog (1967)

Frog, Where Are You? (1969)

A Boy, a Dog, a Frog, and a Friend (1971)

Frog on His Own (1973)

Frog Goes to Dinner (1974)

One Frog Too Many (1975)

Four Frogs In a Box (1976) (collection of the first four “Frog” mini-books in a box set) ISBN 0-8037-2776-3

Tink Tonk series

AKA A Tiny Tink! Tonk! Tale series published by Bantam Books. Also see the Mercer Mayer Computer Software section for the video game titles related to this series that were developed by Mercer Mayer.

Tinka Bakes a Cake (1984) ISBN 0-553-15295-5

Tink Goes Fishing (1984) ISBN 0-553-15297-1

Tuk Takes a Trip (1984) ISBN 0-553-15296-3

Tonk Gives a Magic Show (1985) ISBN 0-553-15313-7

Teep and Beep Go to Sleep (1985) ISBN 0-553-15298-X

Zoomer Builds a Racing Car (1985) ISBN 0-553-15314-5

“There’s a…” series

There’s a Nightmare in My Closet (AKA There’s a Nightmare in my Cupboard – Australia) (1968)

There’s an Alligator Under My Bed (1987)

There’s Something in My Attic (AKA There’s Something Spooky in My Attic) (1988)

There’s Something There: Three Bedtime Classics (1998) ISBN 0-7607-1173-9 (Re-prints Nightmare, Alligator, and Attic)

There Are Monsters Everywhere (2005) ISBN 0-8037-0621-9

One word series

A series of virtually wordless books featuring a male and a female anthropomorphic hippopotamus or elephant and the word that is in the title.

Hiccup (1976)

Ah-choo (1976)

Oops (1977)

Liverwurst series

Both books in this series are written by Mercer Mayer, but illustrated by Steven Kellogg:

Appelard and Liverwurst (1978)

Liverwurst is Missing (1981)

Fairy tale and classic story re-telling

Beauty and the Beast (with Marianna Mayer) (1978) ISBN 1-58717-017-5

East of the Sun & West of the Moon (1980)

Favorite Tales from Grimm (Retold by Nancy Garden) (1982)

The Sleeping Beauty (1984) ISBN 0-02-765340-4

A Christmas Carol (1986) (retold with mice, originally by Charles Dickens) ISBN 0-02-730310-1

The Pied Piper of Hamelin (1987)

Moral Tales series

Wordless flip-books featuring two stories

Two Moral Tales (1974) featuring:

“Bird’s New Hat”

“Bear’s New Clothes”

Two More Moral Tales (1974) featuring:

“Sly Fox’s Folly”

“Just a Pig at Heart”

Other Mercer Mayer books

Terrible Troll (1968) (re-released as The Bravest Knight in May, 2007 with ISBN 0-8037-3206-6)

If I Had (1968) (re-released as If I Had a Gorilla)

I Am a Hunter (1969)

A Special Trick (1970)

Mine! (with Marianna Mayer) (1970)

Me and My Flying Machine (1971)

The Queen Always Wanted to Dance (1971)

A Silly Story (1972)

Bubble Bubble (1973)

Mrs. Beggs and the Wizard (re-released as The Wizard Comes to Town) (1973) ISBN 1-57768-388-9

Walk, Robot, Walk (1974)

You’re the Scaredy-Cat (1974)

What Do You Do with a Kangaroo? (1974)

The Great Cat Chase: A Wordless Book (1975) (originally released with black and white illustrations, it was re-released as just The Great Cat Chase in the 1990s with added words and in color)

Liza Lou and the Yeller Belly Swamp (1976) ISBN 0-8193-0801-3

Herbert the Timid Dragon (1980) ISBN 0-307-13732-5

Whinnie the Lovesick Dragon (illustrated by Diane Dawson Hearn) (1986)

Mercer Mayer’s a Monster Followed Me to School (1991) ISBN 0-307-61466-2

Rosie’s Mouse (1992) ISBN 0-307-11468-6

Shibumi and the Kitemaker (1999) ISBN 0-7614-5145-5

The Rocking Horse Angel (2000) ISBN 0-7614-5072-6

The Little Drummer Mouse (2006) ISBN 0-8037-3147-7 (Mercer Mayer also narrates the audio version, and he wrote the music)

Illustrations for other author’s books

The Master and Margarita – by Mikhail Bulgakov (1967 English edition by Harper & Row) (features a winking cat holding a gun on the front cover)

Logan’s Run – by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson (Dial Press, 1967 first printing hardcover)

Outside My Window – by Liesel Moak Skorpen (1968) (re-issued 2004) ISBN 0-06-050774-8

The Boy Who Made A Million – by Sidney Offit (1968)

Golden Butter – by Sheila LaFarge (1969)

Boy Was I Mad – by Kathryn Hitte (1969) ISBN 0-8193-0273-2

The Mousechildren and the Famous Collector – by Warren Fine (1970)

Jack Tar – by Jean Russell Larson (1970) ISBN 0-8255-5200-1

The Bird of Time – by Jane Yolen (1971) ISBN 0-690-14425-3

Altogether, One At a Time – by E.L. Konigsburg (1971) ISBN 0-689-71290-1

Good-bye Kitchen – by Mildred Kantrowitz (1972) ISBN 0-8193-0542-1

Kim Ann and the Yellow Machine – by Candida Palmer (1972) ISBN 0-663-22972-3

While the Horses Galloped to London – by Mabel Watts (1973) ISBN 0-8193-0652-5

The Greenhouse – by Antonia Lamb (1974 paperback version)

The Figure In the Shadows – by John Bellairs (1975) (Re-released in 2004 as A John Bellairs Mystery Featuring Lewis Barnavelt: The Figure in the Shadows) ISBN 0-14-240260-5

A Poison Tree and Other Poems – written by various poets, poems selected by and llustrated by Mercer Mayer (1977)

A Book of Unicorns – by Welleran Poltarnees (various illustrators including a Mercer Mayer’s Unicorn illustration from Amanda Dreaming) (1978)

Illustrations for George Mendoza’s books

Books written by George Mendoza that Mercer Mayer illustrated:

The Crack in the Wall & Other Terribly Weird Tales (1968) ISBN 0-8037-1547-1

The Gillygoofang(1968) ISBN 0-8037-2899-9

Illustrations for Jan Wahl’s books

Book by Jan Wahl that Mercer Mayer illustrated:

Margaret’s Birthday (1971)

Grandmother Told Me (1972) ISBN 0-316-91744-3

Illustrations for Jay Williams’ books

Book by Jay Williams that Mercer Mayer illustrated:

Everyone Knows What a Dragon Looks Like (1976)

The Reward Worth Having (1977)

Illustrations for John D. Fitzgerald’s The Great Brain series

Books from John D. Fitzgerald’s The Great Brain series that were originally illustrated by Mercer Mayer. Some later releases had new front covers by a different illustrator, but were still illustrated by Mercer Mayer on the inside. The Great Brain series by John D. Fitzgerald

The Great Brain (1967) (by John D. Fitzgerald)

More Adventures of the Great Brain (1969) (by John D. Fitzgerald) ISBN 0-8037-5819-7

Me and My Little Brain (1971) (by John D. Fitzgerald) ISBN 0-8037-5531-7

The Great Brain at the Academy (1972) (by John D. Fitzgerald) ISBN 0-8037-3039-X

The Great Brain Reforms (1973) (by John D. Fitzgerald) ISBN 0-8037-3067-5

The Return of the Great Brain (1974) (by John D. Fitzgerald) ISBN 0-8037-7403-6

The Great Brain Does it Again (1975) (by John D. Fitzgerald) ISBN 0-8037-5065-X

Illustrations for Barbara Wersba’s books

Books by Barbara Wersba that Mercer Mayer illustrated:

Let Me Fall Before I Fly (1971)

Amanda Dreaming (1973)

Magazine appearances

Harper’s Magazine, April 1967. Vol. 284. No. 1403. – features, The War with the Birds by Philip Wagner with drawings by Mercer Mayer)

Harper’s Magazine, June 1967. Vol. 234. No. 1405. – features, The Riddle of the Dangerous Bean: A Scientific Detective Story by Judith R. Marcus and Gerald Cohen with a drawing by Mercer Mayer)

Harper’s Magazine, August 1967. Vol. 235. No. 1407. – features, What Keeps Nixon Running by Stephen Hess and David S. Broder with a drawing by Mercer Mayer)

Children’s Digest, December 1968 – front cover illustration

Cricket Magazine, Vol. 4 No. 9 (May, 1977) – reprints Ah-Choo.

Mercer Mayer Recordings (Audio Books and Other)

Audio Books

From Disneyland Records and Little Golden Books (usually labeled as a “Little Golden Book & Cassette” or “Little Golden Book & Record”). These are books that came with a word for word audio recording on record (speed = 33 1/3, size = 7″) or cassette tape of someone reading the story. They usually included music, sound effects, and original songs too. Sometimes the cassettes were labeled “Record your own story” on the B-side (with the original recording on the A-side. “SEE the pictures HEAR the record READ the book”, was a catch phrase that was written on most of these books.

Just For You (1984) ASIN B000JFJCIM

Just Me and My Dad

Merry Christmas Mom & Dad (Includes the original songs “Merry Christmas Mom and Dad” and “Dear Santa”) Series # 226 (1983) ISBN per Amazon was 9-9963-6247-7 (out of print)

Just Go To Bed (1986) ISBN 0-307-13798-8

Just Grandpa and Me (1986) ISBN 0-307-13942-5

Just Grandma and Me (1986) ISBN per Amazon was 9-9988-8357-1

Just Me and My Babysitter (1986) ISBN 0-307-13943-3

When I Get Bigger (1986) ISBN 0-307-13799-6

Mercer Mayer recordings

Audio CDs that are available on Mercer Mayer’s official site.

Mercer Mayer Alligator Under My Bed and Other Story Songs CD (Featuring the songs: “What Do You Do With A Kangaroo,” “Critters Of The Night (Theme),” “Alligator Under My Bed,” “Let’s Go Camping,” “Me And My Mom,” “If I Had A Gorilla,” “Big Paw’s Coming,” “The World Goes Around”)

The Little Drummer Mouse A Christmas Story CD (Featuring the story read by Mercer Mayer and the songs: “Three Kings From Far Away,” “I Wish,” “The New Baby King,” “Me And My Drum,” “The Blessing,” “You Must Be From The City”)

Other Known Mercer Mayer songs

These songs are either mentioned on the official Mercer Mayer website or featured on it, but are not currently available otherwise.

“Sunshine” (AKA “Sunshine Makes You Sneeze”)

“My Momma Said” (AKA “Clean Up Your Room”)

“Clean up My Doggie” (AKA “My Doggie Lies in a Mud Puddle”)

Mercer Mayer Computer Software

The CD-Roms usually included the original story and additional material (animations, audio) for fun and educational purposes (they were produced in association with Mercer Mayer’s company Big Tuna New Media, LLC).

The Tink! Tonk! series of games were educational and action video game style.

Mercer Mayer’s Just Grandma and Me CD-Rom (part of the Living Books series) (1993) ISBN 1-57135-002-0

Mercer Mayer’s Little Monster at School (part of the Living Books series) CD-Rom (1994) ISBN 1-57135-037-3

Mercer Mayer’s Just Me and My Dad CD-Rom (1996)

Mercer Mayer’s Just Me and My Mom CD-Rom (1996)

The Smelly Mystery Starring Mercer Mayer’s Little Monster, Private Eye CD-Rom (1997) ISBN 1-56893-402-5

The Mummy Mystery Starring Mercer Mayer’s Little Monster, Private Eye CD-Rom (2001)

Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter and the Great Race CD-Rom (2001)

Tink! Tonk! Tink’s Adventure Atari / Commodore 64 /Apple II (C64) (Sprout Software)

Tink! Tonk! Tonk in the Land of Buddy Bots Atari / C64 /Apple II (Sprout Software)

Tink! Tonk! Tinka’s Mazes Atari / C64 / Apple II (Sprout Software)

Tink! Tonk! Tuk Goes to Town Atari / C64 / Apple II (Sprout Software)

Tink! Tonk! Tink’s Subtraction Fair Atari / C64 / Apple II (Sprout Software)

Tink! Tonk! Castle Clobber Atari / C64 / Apple II (Sprout Software)

Forbidden Castle PC booter / Apple II (Mindscape, Inc.) (1985)

Announced but unreleased books

Critter Kids

This is a list of Critter Kids books with dates originally scheduled for late 2006 but they have yet to be released:

Danger Down Under (by Erica Farber and Mercer Mayer) (Date unknown) ISBN 0-7696-4774-X

The Return of the Dinosaurs (by Erica Farber and Mercer Mayer) (Date unknown) ISBN 0-7696-4772-3

Canyon River Camp (by Erica Farber and Mercer Mayer) (Date unknown) ISBN 0-7696-4773-1

The Secrets of Snowy Mountain (by Erica Farber and Mercer Mayer) (Date unknown) ISBN 0-7696-4776-6

The Critter Kids Talent Show (by Erica Farber and Mercer Mayer) (Date unknown) ISBN 0-7696-4777-4

The Mystery of the Missing Vase (by Erica Farber and Mercer Mayer) (Date unknown) ISBN 0-7696-4775-8

External links

Mercer Mayer bibliography in libraries (WorldCat catalog)

Little Critter, Mercer Mayer’s official website

Categories: Bibliographies by author | American children’s writers | American illustrators

William Gillette


The neighborhood where William Gillette was born, Nook Farm in Hartford, Connecticut, was a literary and intellectual center, with such residents as Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Charles Dudley Warner.

Gillette’s father was Francis Gillette, a former United States Senator and crusader for the abolition of slavery, public education, temperance and women’s suffrage. His mother was Elisabeth Daggett Hooker, a descendant of the Reverend Thomas Hooker, the Puritan leader who founded the town of Hartford and either wrote or inspired the first written constitution in history to form a government. In the Gillette home, young Will grew up with his three brothers and a sister. One other sister, Mary, died as a small child. Another brother, Edward H. Gillette, later became a farmer, newspaper editor and congressman from Iowa.

His oldest brother, Frank Ashbell, went to California and died there in 1859 from consumption (tuberculosis). The next brother, Robert, joined the Union army and served in the Antietam campaign, was invalided home sick, recovered, and joined the Navy. Assigned to the U.S.S. Gettysburg, Robert took part in both assaults on Fort Fisher, but was tragically killed the morning after the surrender of the fort when the powder magazine exploded. When brother Edward went west to Iowa, and sister Elisabeth married George Henry Warner, both in 1863, William was left as the only child in the household.

As a student, Gillette specialized in oratory and engineering. But he had always wanted to be an actor and, at age 20, left Hartford to begin his apprenticeship. He briefly worked for a stock company in New Orleans and then returned to New England where, on Mark Twain’s own recommendation, he debuted at the Globe Theater of Boston with Twain’s stage-play The Gilded Age, in 1875. Afterward, Gillette was a stock actor for six years through Boston, New York and the Midwest.

During these years, Gillette irregularly attended classes at a few institutions, although he never completed their programs. His family was not overly happy about his chosen profession, but (contrary to many sources) he was not disinherited. In fact, his father, Francis, who had held the strongest objections to the theater in general, offered the least resistance, and drove him to the train station, telling his son that he had driven two other sons to this same station and they had never returned; William was to make sure he was the exception. Francis supplied him with an allowance on which to subsist (his apprenticeship was without pay). And, when the old Senator’s health went downhill late in 1878, William forsook the stage for more than a year to care for his father in his final illness. Upon the old Senator’s death, Will and George Henry Warner were named executors of Francis’ estate, and they, Elisabeth and Edward shared in the inheritance.

In 1882 Gillette married Helen Nichols of Detroit. They were blissfully happy. She died in 1888 from peritonitis, caused by a ruptured appendix. He was grief-stricken for years and in the Spring of 1890 was struck down with tuberculosis. He did not act again for four years, and he never remarried.

Playwright, Director and Actor

Gillette in Secret Service.

In 1881, while performing at Cincinnati, Gillette was hired as playwright, director and actor for per week by two of the Frohman brothers, Gustave and Daniel. The first play he wrote and produced was The Professor. It debuted in the Madison Square Theater, lasting 151 performances, with a subsequent tour through many states (as far west as St. Louis, Missouri). That same year, he produced Esmeralda, written together with Frances Hodgson Burnett.

Early in his career, Gillette figured out that it would be in the triple role of playwright, director and actor that he would make the most money, and he also figured out that the best way to fill theaters was by giving the public what it wanted: clear, wholesome entertainment focusing on issues of love, honor, integrity and nobility. He also realized, and his mechanical and engineering inclinations helped, that special effects in sound, lighting, and stage settings would bring the customers out. When he was starring in Held by the Enemy, he invented a manner in simulating the sound of a horse’s hoofs, and for Sherlock Holmes he developed the rising and lowering of the curtain in total darkness at the beginning and the end of each act.

Among the premier matinee idols of his day, he was described by Amy Leslie as ne of Gibson notables materialized.” He stood six feet, three inches tall, slender but well-proportioned, with an aristocratic face and a quietly dignified and manly demeanor. He belonged to the “heroic school,” standing strong and silent in the midst of chaos. His typical quiet “he-man” role would later be taken over by such stalwarts as Gary Cooper, Clint Eastwood and John Wayne. Never bombastic, neither an orator nor a declaimer, his acting was understated, always spontaneous and natural, subtle, and quiet, his effects achieved by suggestion rather than overt action. Lewis Strang observed that “he rarely gesticulates, and his bodily movements often seem purposely slow and deliberate. His composure is absolute and his mental grasp of a situation is complete.15]

He moved with skill and a commanding dignity, all eyes riveted to his stark, spare frame, his piercing eyes, and his metallic voice. Tall, dignified, impassive, and imperturbable, he was one of those actors whose own personality dominated every role he played, varying only in relation to which part of him the role demanded the whimsical and witty, or the strong and heroic. He believed that the actor whose personality best fits a role will perform it well; and the roles he created for himself were fashioned to fit his own personality and acting skills. On stage he was mesmerizing and profound, but not versatile. He was by all accounts a superior actor in every respect, but only within a limited range of roles.

He could mesmerize an audience simply by standing motionless and in complete silence, or by indulging in any one of his grand gestures or subtle mannerisms. He did not gesture often but, when he did, it meant everything. He would steal a scene with a mere nod, a shrug, a glance, a twitching of the fingers, a compression of his lips, or a hardening of his face. Slight inflections in his voice spoke wonders. ccasionally, Georg Schuttler pointed out, hen it was least expected, he gestured or moved his body so quickly that the speed of the action was compared to the swift opening and closing of a camera shutter.16]

He used his mind rather than his emotions, and carefully calculated every move, every nuance, every twitch, every change of expression, in order to produce the best effect. S. E. Dahlinger summed him up: ithout seeming to raise his voice or ever to force an emotion, he could be thrilling without bombast or infinitely touching without descending to sentimentality. One of his greatest strengths as an actor was the ability to say nothing at all on the stage, relying instead on an involved, inner contemplation of an emotional or comic crisis to hold the audience silent, waiting for the moment when he would speak again.17]

He was an unemotional actor, unable to emote, even in love scenes, about which Montrose Moses commented, e made appeal through the sentiment of situation, through the exquisite sensitiveness of outward detail, rather than through romantic attitude and heart fervor.”

His performances were renowned for the halting, even stumbling way he went about it. Life elements had entered acting, he declared, so to him each performance was a “life-simulation.” Therefore, it was important for actors and actresses to speak their lines lines already written and learned as if they are making them up as they go along, which of course is how real people talk in real life. The actor, Gillette said, must speak each line as if this was the first time those words were being said, and enter each room as if it was the first time he had done it, not the one hundredth. Thus, he would hesitate at times, stumble over words, and act as if he was truly making it up as he went along and not repeating lines he had been reciting over and over again in previous performances. Therefore, his performances were not smooth and seemingly effortless. He looked as if he hadn learned his part, as if he was ad-libbing or struggling to remember lines, or even making it up as he went along which was precisely the impression he wished to create, precisely the effect he was trying to achieve.

His repressed style also helped him to accommodate a voice that was really not strong to begin with. It was thin and light, crisp and clear, with a head-tone quality and a limited range. Morehouse described it as “dry, crisp, metallic, almost shrill.” Gretchen Finletter recalled that it was “a dry, almost monotonous voice admirably suited to the great Holmes.” Monotonous, Dennis Sherk pointed out, is ardly a complimentary term for an actor of Gillette stature, but it would appear that this monotonous delivery was deliberately effected. The ruse was evidently successful, for it was reported the monotone of his voice ad magic in it and lent quality to other voices speaking against it.21]

Most of all, his acting remained contemporary and modern. The Times noted in 1937 that, “it would be hard to convince that portion of the American public that knew and followed him that any better actor had ever trod the American stage. And it might be impossible to find any other actor who at 76 could revive a role from the Nineties and make a smashing tour with it through two seasons over the length and breadth of the country. It would be conservative to say that Mr. Gillette was the most successful of all American actors.”

In spite of his superior talent as an actor, however, Gillette left his original impact on the Western theater as a dramatist. His plays were known for their unity and tight construction at a time when most plays were not. And it was Gillette who led the way in providing realism in stage setting. He brought exquisite and authentic detail to his sets, realistic sound effects and startling lighting effects to all of his productions. He contributed technical and mechanical ideas that improved stage effects, his greatest single effect being the raising and the lowering of the curtain in total darkness so as to hide scene changes and, at the rising of the curtain, to reveal in the dawning light the set for the next scene. This, and eliminating between-act curtain calls and speeches, helped maintain the illusion the actors were trying to create. And the curtain effect was one of the means by which he not only maintained but actually emphasized the fourth wall separating the audience from the make-believe world on the stage. His dialogue was realistic and his characters, within the realms of farce and melodrama, were natural in both their behavior and their mannerisms. This made them easier to identify with and it made the dramatic scenes all the more dramatic.

He had a heightened sense of the dramatic, and his two most riveting scenes the hospital scene in Held by the Enemy and the Telegraph Office scene in Secret Service are still considered to be among the most dramatic scenes in the history of the American theater. Add to these the Stepney Gas Chamber scene in Sherlock Holmes and the blackout scene in Electricity, and you have a dramatist with an astounding knack for spine-tingling excitement.

He was creative in the way he developed his characters, and this really first came out in Held by the Enemy in which he did away with the traditionally clear-cut distinction between hero and villain, introduced characters who were sometimes a mixture of both, and made a spy the sympathetic hero of the play. Cousin Richard Burton wrote that illette has from the first been daring in his treatment of character. He hates the conventional as the devil holy water, and sometime puzzles his audience a bit by portraying a person who refuses to go into a category and be labeled villain or hero.24]

What made Gillette two Civil War plays unique and popular was that he refused to take sides. He treated North and South equally, bestowing integrity, loyalty and honor on both, even as he made a spy each play sympathetic hero. Yet, what set Gillette apart from all the rest was not simply his reliance on realism, his imperturbable naturalistic acting, or his superior sense of the dramatic. At a time when American art of all kinds was held by the British in very low esteem, he as also a pioneer in making American drama merican, rejecting what had been up until that time a pervasive European influence on American theater.25]

He was, in fact, the first American playwright whose authentically American plays were not only accepted but highly regarded on both sides of the Atlantic. This was no small achievement when, since his country founding, actors from both countries preferred only British plays to perform in, audiences in both countries wanted only British plays to watch, and American plays exported to England had to be converted by British play-doctors into British-flavored productions to even be staged. Gillette changed all that with Held by the Enemy. By the time Secret Service hit the sceptered isle, the conquest was history.


During an 1886-87 production of Held by the Enemy, Gillette introduced a new method of his own devising which simulated the galloping of a horse. Where men had slammed halves of coconut shells on a slab of marble to simulate the sound, Gillette found this clumsy and unrealistic. Applied for on June 9, Letters Patent No. 389,294 was issued to him on September 11. It title is ethod of Producing Stage Effects. It was a method, not a mechanical device, so there were no illustrations in the two-page document. And the patent was very broad, introducing new and useful method of imitating the sound of a horse or horses approaching, departing, or passing at a gallop, trot, or any other desired gait, the same to be used in producing stage effects in theatrical or other performances or entertainments, exhibitions, &c.

His method consisted in eating with clappers, that represent the hoofs of a horse, upon some material that serves to represent the road-bed over which the horse is supposed to be traveling as well as tamping, pawing, or jumping about in a restive manner while the rider is mounting, and then starting off, first at a trot, then a gallop, and finally a run, or at any gait desired, in any order. He could also imitate the sounds of the hoofs pounding on different surfaces: tone, brick, clay, gravel, greensward, or when crossing bridges.26]

It was not the first patent he had applied for and received. In 1883 he filed the first of four patent requests with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a Time-Stamp “as stamps upon the upper surface of papers a dial and one or more dial-pointers, representing the time of day at which the papers stamped by it were respectively so stamped.” All four requests were granted.


Charles Frohman was a young Broadway producer who had been successful with the exchanging of theater productions between the USA and the UK. After he produced some of Gillette’s plays, the two formed a greater partnership. Their productions had great success, sweeping Gillette into London’s society spot, which had been historically reluctant to accept American theatre. With Held by the Enemy in 1887, Gillette became the first American playwright to achieve true success on British stages with an authentic American play.

Secret Service

Gillette finally came fully out of retirement in October 1894 in Too Much Johnson, adapted from the French farce, La Plantation Thomassin, by Maurice Ordonneau. Following its debut at the Park Theatre in Waltham, Massachusetts, it opened on October 29 at the Columbia Theatre in Brooklyn. This farce was extremely popular, and has been produced on stage several times in the century since its debut.

In 1895 he brought forth the greatest play he would ever write, Secret Service. It was the absolute best of the many Civil War plays produced after the war, and it was the literary apex of his career as a playwright and dramatist. His approach was even-handed and wholly nonpartisan, bestowing on characters from both sides of the conflict all the finer qualities of patriotism, courage and honor that good melodrama demanded. He never got into the reasons for the war. The only motivation he allowed his characters was their allegiances to their respective causes, and the allegiances of both sides were given equal honor and nobility of purpose and action. Also, as he had in Held by the Enemy, Gillette turned a spy into the sympathetic hero of the play, and he made a romance the main focus of the play rather than the military conflict in which the protagonists were involved.

Secret Service was first performed in the Broad Street Theatre in Philadelphia for two weeks beginning on May 13, 1895, with Maurice Barrymore in the lead role. Gillette rewrote some of the script and starred in the play when it opened at the Garrick Theatre on October 5, 1896. It was the first time he had taken on the role of the romantic hero in one of his own plays. The production ran until March 6, 1897, and was an enormous critical and popular success.

Following its American success, Frohman booked Secret Service to open at the Adelphi Theatre on the West End in London on May 15, 1897, and it became the cornerstone of Frohman achievements in England.

Sherlock Holmes

Meanwhile Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, feeling that Holmes was stifling him and keeping him from more worthy literary work, had finished his Sherlock Holmes saga and killed Holmes off in The Final Problem, published in 1893. Afterwards, however, Doyle found himself in need of further income, as he was planning to build a new home. He decided to take his character to the stage, and wrote a play. Holmes had appeared in two earlier stage works by other authors, Charles Brookfield’s skit Under the Clock (1893) and John Webb’s play Sherlock Holmes (1894); nevertheless, Doyle now wrote a new 5-act play with Holmes and Watson in their freshmen years as detectives.

Doyle offered the role first to Henry Irving and then to Beerbohm Tree. But Irving turned it down and Tree demanded that Doyle readapt Holmes to his peculiar acting profile; he also wanted to play both Holmes and Professor Moriarty. Doyle turned down the deal, considering that this would debase the character.

Noting that the play needed a lot of work, literary agent A. P. Watt sent the script to Charles Frohman who traveled to London to meet Doyle. There, Frohman suggested the prospect of an adaptation by Gillette. Doyle endorsed this and Frohman obtained the staging-copyright. Doyle insisted on only one thing: there was to be no love interest in “Sherlock Holmes.” Frohman uttered a Victorian rendition of “Trust me!”

Gillette, who then read the entire collection for the first time, liked the idea and started the piece’s outlining in San Francisco, while still touring in Secret Service. Both artists became confident. On one occasion, after they had exchanged numerous telegrams about the play, Gillette telegraphed Doyle: “May I marry Holmes?” The unwavering Doyle responded: “You may marry him, or murder or do what you like with him.”

The love interest was in keeping with the melodramatic style of the time, which centered on romance and happy endings. Gillette always gave his audiences some degree of romance, and always happy endings.

Coins Famous Phrase

Gillette’s version consisted of five scenes in two acts. Combining elements from several of Doyle’s stories, he mainly utilized the plots “A Scandal in Bohemia” and “The Final Problem”. Also, it had elements from A Study in Scarlet, The Sign of Four, The Boscombe Valley Mystery and The Greek Interpreter. However, with the exception of Holmes, Watson, Moriarty and Billy the Pageboy, all the other characters were his own inventions.

Different from the intellectual-only original, “a machine rather than a man,” Gillette portrayed Holmes as brave and open to express his feelings. He wore the deerstalker cap on stage, which was originally featured in illustrations by Sidney Paget in the 1890s. Gillette also introduced the curved or bent briar pipe, instead of the straight pipe pictured by illustrators, supposedly so that Gillette could pronounce his lines more easily; actually, it’s as difficult to pronounce lines clearly whether the pipe is bent or straight, and it may have been that Gillette’s face was easier to see from the seats with a bent briar in his mouth. Gillette also made use of a magnifying-glass, a violin and a syringe, which all came from the Canon and which were all now established as “props” to the Sherlock Holmes character.

Gillette formulated the complete phrase: “Oh, this is elementary, my dear fellow”, which was later reused by Clive Brook, the first spoken-cinema Holmes, as: “Elementary, my dear Watson”, Holmes’ best known line and one of the most famous expressions in the English language.

Irene Adler, The Woman of the series, was replaced by Alice Faulkner, young and beautiful lady who was planning to avenge her sister’s murder but eventually falls in love with Holmes; and the pageboy, nameless in the Canon, was given the name Billy by Gillette, a name he carried over into the Basil Rathbone films and has retained ever since.

Sherlock Holmes, or The Strange Case of Miss Faulkner (later renamed Sherlock Holmes – A Drama in Four Acts) was finished. Then, one night as the Secret Service company was playing in San Francisco and staying in the Baldwin Hotel. The script was in the possession of his secretary, William Postance, in his room at the Baldwin when fire swept from the property room of the Baldwin Theatre through the hotel in the early morning hours of November 23. The financial loss was estimated at nearly ,500,000. Only two deaths were known at first, though several people were missing; and, while the flames were confined to the Baldwin, smoke and water damaged the adjoining structures.

Postance barely escaped, but the entire script was reduced to ashes. Postance went to the Palace Hotel, where Gillette was sound asleep, and awakened him at 3:30 in the morning to break the bad news. Not overly happy about being disturbed in the middle of the night, Gillette simply asked, s this hotel on fire? Assured that it was not, he told Postance, ell, come and tell me about it in the morning.31]

With both original scripts — Doyle’s and Gillette’s adaptation — destroyed, Gillette rewrote the piece, either from notes or an extra copy, in a month.

Doyle and Gillette had never met. So Doyle’s shock was understandable when the train came to a halt and Sherlock Holmes himself stepped onto the platform. Yet, there he was, the long spare figure with the aquiline features and deep-set eyes. Sitting in his landau, Doyle contemplated the apparition with open-mouthed awe until the actor whipped out a magnifying lens, examined Doyle’s face closely, and declared (precisely as Holmes himself might have done), “Unquestionably an author!”

Doyle broke into a hearty laugh and the partnership was sealed with the mirth and hospitality of the weekend at Undershaw. The two became lifelong friends.

Holmes Tour

Wiliam Gillette as Sherlock Holmes

Lithograph – 1900

Library of Congress Collection

After a copyright performance in England, Sherlock Holmes debuted on October 23, 1899, at the Star Theatre in Buffalo. Following appearances in Rochester and Syracuse, and Scranton and Wilkes-Barre in Pennsylvania, Sherlock Holmes made its Broadway debute at the Garrick Theater on November 6, 1899, performing until June 16, 1900. It was an instant success. Gillette applied all his dazzling special effects over the massive audience.

But he faced sharp, even derisive, criticism from the newspapers, especially about Holmes falling in love. In Conan Doyle’s original novels, Holmes was said to have an “aversion to women.” As a matter of fact, throughout 34 years, the critics nearly always praised the acting and the special effects, but not the play itself.

The company also toured nationally, along the western United States, from October 8, 1900, to March 30, 1901. This was bolstered by another company also, with Cuyler Hastings, through minor cities and Australia.

After a pre-debut week in Liverpool, the company debuted in London (September 9, 1901), at the Lyceum Theatre, performing in Duke of York’s Theatre later.

It was another hit with its audience, despite not convincing the critics. The 12 weeks originally appointed were at full-hall. The production was extended until April 12, 1902 (256 presentations), including a gala for King Edward VII on February 1. Then it toured England and Scotland with two ancillary groups: North (with H.A. Saintsbury) and South (with Julian Royce). At the same time, the play was produced in foreign countries (such as Australia, Sweden, and South Africa).

The dean of British actors, Sir Henry Irving, was touring America when Sherlock Holmes opened at the Garrick Theatre, and Irving saw Gillette as Holmes. The two actors met and Irving concluded negotiations for Sherlock Holmes to begin an extended season at the Lyceum Theatre in London beginning in early May. Gillette was the first American actor ever to be invited to perform on that illustrious stage, which was an enormous honor. Irving was the dean of British actors, the first ever to be knighted, and the Lyceum was his theater.

Sherlock Holmes made its British debut at the Shakespeare Theatre in Liverpool on September 2, 1900. It was the beginning of a major triumph. Gillette then opened Sherlock Holmes at the Lyceum in London on September 9. The Lyceum tour alone netted Gillette nearly 0,000, and it made the most money of all the productions in the final years of Irving tenure at the Lyceum.

In the USA, Gillette toured again from 1902 to 1903, until November 1903, when Gillette starred in The Admirable Crichton by James M. Barrie, requested personally by Barrie. His own play, Electricity, appeared in 1910, and he starred in Victorien Sardou’s Diplomacy in 1914, Clare Kummer’s A Successful Calamity in 1917, Barrie’s Dear Brutus in 1918, and his own The Dream Maker in 1921. A brief revival of Sherlock Holmes in early 1923 did not generate enough interest to return to Broadway, so he retired to his Hadlyme estate.

Worldwide Fame

In his lifetime, Gillette presented Sherlock Holmes approximately 1,300 times (third in the historical stage-record), before American and English audiences. He was also shown widely, through appearances in many magazines, by way of photographs or illustrated caricatures, and was also well represented on the covers of theater programs.

Meanwhile, around the world, other productions took place, based on Gillette’s Sherlock Holmes. These were either satiric, which were very successful, and/or undue; some lasted several seasons. Frohman’s lawyers tried to curb the illegal phenomenon exhaustedly, traveling overseas, from court to court.

Even Gillette parodied it once. The Painful Predicament of Sherlock Holmes the first of a handful of one-act plays he would write was written for two benefits, and was performed for the first time at the Joseph Jefferson Holland Benefit at the Metropolitan Opera House on March 24. Holland was an actor who had been forced to retire the year before due to illness. The skit was titled The Frightful Predicament of Sherlock Holmes, and there were but five characters in the entire skit: Holmes, Billy the pageboy, the madwoman Gwendolyn Cobb (who had nearly all of the dialogue), and the two aluable assistants who come to take the madwoman away. Its original title was A fantasy in about one-tenth of an act, and the entire scene transpires in Holmes Baker Street room omewhere about the date of day before yesterday.34]

Retitled The Harrowing Predicament of Sherlock Holmes, it was performed again on April 14 for the benefit of the Actors Society of America at the Criterion Theatre, and again at the Duke of York Theatre in London when Gillette inserted it on October 3 as a curtain-raiser for Clarice. Playing Billy in the curtain-raiser, as well as in Clarice, was young Charles Chaplin.

Models for Holmes’ portrait

The magazines Collier’s Weekly (USA) and The Strand (UK) pushed Conan Doyle avidly, offering to continue the Sherlock Holmes series for a generous salary. The new chapters were first published in 1901, first with a prequel and later with Holmes revived definitively (1903). It continued for another quarter-century.

Gillette was the model for pictures by the artist Frederic Dorr Steele, which were featured in Collier’s Weekly then and reproduced by American media. Additionally, Steele contributed to Conan Doyle’s book-covers, Gillette’s short stories (Baker Street Irregulars) and, later, doing marketing when Gillette made his farewell performances.

As international copyright did not yet exist, Conan Doyle’s series were widely printed throughout the USA, mostly with pictures of Gillette on stage. P. F. Collier & Son owned the copyrights of Steele’s illustrations and issued drawings in many editions.

In 1907 he was caricatured on the cover of Vanity Fair Magazine by the famous Sir Leslie Ward (who signed his work “Spy”), and later became the subject of such famous American caricaturists as Pamela Coleman Smith, Ralph Barton and Al Freuh.

By means of such international exposure, Gillette became the image of Holmes for decades, created the very image of Holmes that remains to this day, and made the detective so real that many, both then and now, believe the detective really lived.

Gillette Castle

Gillette Castle.

While most of Gillette work has long been forgotten, his last great masterpiece is still well known today: his castellated etirement home.

The Washington Post called it he acme of his dreams.38] He once called it his “Hadlyme stone heap. Others called it he rock pile or illette’s folly.” Today, we call it simply Gillette Castle.

Ironically he never referred to it as a castle, although his neighbors often did, but it ummarizes the success upon which all his dreams were built, dreams that urned his picturesque estate into a small boy dream of paradise.38]

In 1913, while sailing up the Connecticut River in his houseboat, Gillette spotted a hill, part of the Seven Sisters, over a ferry’s pier in Hadlyme. He docked, disembarked and climbed up. He was so amazed by the view that he purchased 115 acres (0.47 km2) of land, the next month. He decided to build up a castle at this location, supposedly inspired by or modeled loosely after the Chteau de Moulineaux, a French feudal castle built during the era of the Dukes of Normandy and associated in folklore with Robert Le Diable (Robert the Devil). The design of the castle and its grounds features numerous innovative designs, and the entire castle was designed, to the smallest details, by Gillette himself.

During the five years of construction, Gillette lived aboard his houseboat, the Aunt Polly, named after a mountain woman in South Carolina who tended to him when he was sick, or at a home he had purchased in Greenport, Long Island. The material for the castle was carried up by an aerial-trolley designed by him. The castle’s walls tapered from 5 feet (1.5 m) thick at the base to 3 feet (0.91 m) at the upper levels. The castle possessed 24 rooms and 47 doors, with hand-carved puzzle locks, which were also devised by Gillette. The main salon measured 30 by 50 feet (15 m) and was 19 feet (5.8 m) in height, featuring a complex mirrored system of surveillance of the castle’s public rooms from his bedroom. He explained this as a means “to make great entrances in the opportune moment.”

The mansion was finished in 1919, at a cost of 1 million US dollars. Gillette called it Seven Sisters. Its small train was his personal pride. The train’s layout was 3 miles (4.8 km) long, and it traveled all around the property, crossing several bridges and going through one tunnel designed by Gillette. Gillette also enjoyed strolls on his property in company of his guests, who included the noted physicist Albert Einstein, former U.S. President Calvin Coolidge, and former Mayor of Tokyo Ozaki Yukio, whose 1912 gift of the Yoshino cherry blossoms still beautifies the nation’s capital.

After Gillette died with no wife or children, his will stated

I would consider it more than unfortunate for me should I find myself doomed, after death, to a continued consciousness of the behavior of mankind on this planet to discover that the stone walls and towers and fireplaces of my home founded at every point on the solid rock of Connecticut; that my railway line with its bridges, trestles, tunnels through solid rock, and stone culverts and underpasses, all built in every particular for permanence (so far as there is such a thing); that my locomotives and cars, constructed on the safest and most efficient mechanical principles; that these, and many other things of a like nature, should reveal themselves to me as in the possession of some blithering saphead who had no conception of where he is or with what surrounded.

In 1943, Connecticut’s government took the property, re-baptizing it Gillette’s Castle and Gillette Castle State Park.

Located in 67 River Road, East Haddam, Connecticut, it was reopened in 2002. After a four years of restoration, costing 11 million dollars, it now includes a museum, park, and many theatrical celebrations. It receives 100,000 annual visitors, who can hike or picnic there.

The castle is now No. 86002103 on the National Register of Historic Places., and it remains a distinctive feature of the view from the Connecticut River.

Last Years and Farewell Tour

Gillette announced his retirement many times throughout his career, despite not actually accomplishing this until just after his death. The first announced retirement took place after the turn of the century, after he purchased the boat Aunt Polly which was 144 feet (44 m) in length and weighed 200 tons.

Naturally, Sherlock Holmes was Gillette’s foremost production with 1,300 performances (in 1899-1901, 1905, 1906, 1910, 1915, 1923, and 1929-1932). While performing on other tours, he was always forced by popular demand to include at least one extra performance of Sherlock Holmes.

In 1929, at the age of 76, Gillette started the farewell tour of Sherlock Holmes, in Springfield, Massachusetts. Scheduled for two seasons, it was eventually extended into 1932. The first run of the tour included in the cast Theatre Guild actress Peg Entwistle as Gillette’s female lead. Entwistle was the young ingenue who committed suicide by jumping from the Hollywoodland sign in 1932.

In the New Amsterdam Theater of New York, on November 25, 1929, a great ceremony took place. Gillette received a signature book, autographed by 60 different world eminences. There, in his speech, Arthur Conan Doyle stated: “I consider the production a personal gratification… My only complaint is that you made the poor hero of the anemic printed page a very limp object as compared with the glamour of your own personality which you infuse into his stage presentment.” Former President Calvin Coolidge commented that the production was a “public service”. And Booth Tarkington told him, “I would rather see you play Sherlock Holmes than be a child again on Christmas morning.” On the same occasion, the critics concurred, praising the performance’s sentimentally. His final appearance on stage as Sherlock Holmes took place on March 19, 1932, in Wilmington, Delaware.

His last appearance on stage was in Austin Strong Three Wise Fools in 1936, co-starring with Charles Coburn, James Kirkwood, Brandon Tynan, Isabell Irving, and Mary Rogers, daughter of comedian Will Rogers.

Gillette died on April 29, 1937, in Hartford, due to a pulmonary hemorrhage. He was buried in the Hooker family cemetery, at Farmington, Hartford County, Connecticut, next to his wife.


In his life, Gillette wrote 13 original plays, 7 adaptations and some collaborations, encompassing farce, melodrama and novel adaption. Two pieces about the Civil War remain his greatest works: Held by the Enemy (1886) and Secret Service (1896). Both were successful with both the public and the critics, and Secret Service remains the only one of his plays available today on commercial VHS and DVD from a 1977 Broadway Theater Archive production starring John Lithgow and Meryl Streep. He reaped more than million dollars in gaining, most of it from his own and other touring productions of Sherlock Holmes.

Bullywingle the Beloved (performed in Hartford, Connecticut, October 3, 1892, again in March 1873).

The Twins of Siam (July 1879, never produced).

The Professor (Summer 1879, tryout in Columbus, Ohio).

Esmeralda (adapted from short story by Frances Hodgson Burnett, October 29, 1881, Madison Square Theatre, New York; published by the Madison Square Theatre in 1881).

Digby Secretary (adapted from Gustave Von Moser’s Der Bibliothekar, September 29, 1884, New York Comedy Theatre, New York).

The Private Secretary (adapted from Gustave Von Moser’s Der Bibliothekar, February 9, 1885, Madison Square Theatre, New York).

Held by the Enemy (February 22, 1886, Criterion Theatre, Brooklyn, New York; published by Samuel French Ltd. in 1898).

She (Dramatization of novel by Rider Haggard, November 29, 1887, Niblo Garden, New York).

A Legal Wreck (August 14, 1888, Madison Square Theatre, New York; published by the Rockwood Publishing Company in 1890).

A Legal Wreck (Novelization, Rockwood Pub. Co., 1888).

A Confederate Casualty (1888, Never produced).

Robert Elsmere (Partial dramatization of novel by Mary Augusta Ward; unable to obtain Mrs. Ward’s permission, Gillette discontinued work on the project, and it was dramatized by other playwrights and produced without his participation).

“Mr. William Gillette Surveys the Field, Harper Weekly, Vol. XXXIII, No. 1676, February 2, 1889, Supplement, pp. 98-99.

All the Comforts of Home (adapted from Carl Lauf’s Ein Toller Einfall, March 3, 1890, Boston Museum, Boston, Massachusetts; published by H. Roorbach in 1897).

Maid of All Work (1890, never produced).

Mr. Wilkinson Widows (adapted from Alexandre Bisson Feu Toupinel, March 23, 1891, National Theatre, Washington, D.C.).

Settled Out of Court (adapted from Alexandre Bisson La Famille Pont-Biquet, August 8, 1892, Fifth Avenue Theatre, New York).

The War of the American Revolution (January 1893, ine scenes with historical commentary, written for the arnum & Baily people, for a libretto to use with their ast Episodic Drama of the Revolution).

Ninety Days (February 6, 1893, Broadway Theatre, New York).

Too Much Johnson (adapted from Maurice Ordonneau La Plantation Thomassin, November 26, 1894, Standard Theatre, New York; published in 1912).

Secret Service (May 13, 1895, Broad Street Theatre, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; published in 1898; published by Samuel French Ltd. in 1898).

“The Tale of My First Success, New York Dramatic Mirror, The Christmas Number 1886, December 26, 1896, p. 30.

Because She Loved Him So (October 28, 1898, Hyperion Theatre, New Haven, Connecticut).

Sherlock Holmes (with Arthur Conan Doyle, October 23, 1899, Star Theatre, Buffalo, New York; published by Samuel French, Ltd., in 1922, by Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc., in 1935, and by Doubleday in 1976 and 1977).

“The House-Boat in America, The Outlook Magazine, Vol. 65, No. 5, June 2, 1900.

The Frightful Predicament of Sherlock Holmes (March 24, 1905, Joseph Jefferson Holland Benefit, Metropolitan Opera House; later retitled The Harrowing Predicament of Sherlock Holmes and finally The Painful Predicament of Sherlock Holmes, published by B. Abramson in 1955).

Clarice (September 4, 1905, Liverpool, England).

Ticey, or That Little Affair of Boyd (June 15, 1908, originally retitled A Private Theatrical, then retitled A Maid-of-All Work, later retitled That Little Affair of Boyd, Columbia Theatre, Washington, D.C.

Samson (adapted from Henri Bernstein Samson, October 19, 1908, Criterion Theatre, New York).

The Red Owl, originally titled he Robber (One-Act Play, August 9, 1909, London Coliseum; published in One-Act Plays for Stage and Study, Second Series, Samuel French, Ltd., 1925, pp. 47-80.

Among Thieves (One-Act Play, September 6, 1909, Palace Theatre, London; published in One-Act Plays for Stage and Study, Second Series, Samuel French, Ltd., 1925, pp. 246-267.

Electricity (September 26, 1910, Park Theatre, Boston, Massachusetts; published by Samuel French Ltd. in 1924).

Secret Service: Being the Happenings of a Night in Richmond in the Spring of 1865 (Novelization, Dodd, Mead and Company, New York, and Kessinger Publishing in the United Kingdom, 1912).

Butterfly on the Wheel (1914, never produced).

Diplomacy (adapted from Victorien Sardou Dora, October 20, 1914, Empire Theatre, New York).

William Hooker Gillette: The Illusion of the First Time in Acting (The Dramatic Museum of Columbia University in Papers on Acting, Second Series, Number 1, 1915).

hen a Play Is Not a Play, Vanity Fair, Vol. 5, Nos. 5-7 – vol. 6, Nos. 2-4, January-June 1916, pp. 53.

Introduction to How to Write a Play, edited by Miles Dudley, Papers on Playmaking II (Dramatic Museum of Columbia University, 1916), pp. 1-8.

How Well George Does It (1919, never produced; published by Samuel French Ltd. in 1936).

merica Great Opportunity, in The World War: Utterances Concerning Its Issues and Conduct by Members of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Printed for It Archives and For Free.

The Dream Maker (November 21, 1921, Empire Theatre, New York).

Sherlock Holmes, A Play (Samuel French, Ltd., 1922).

Winnie and the Wolves (dramatized from Bertram Atkey stories in the aturday Evening Post, May 14, 1923, Lyric Theatre, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania).

The Astounding Crime on Torrington Road (Novel, Harper & Brothers, 1927).

The Crown Prince of the Incas (1932-36, never completed).

Sherlock Holmes, A Play (Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc., 1935).

In-life Published Editions of Sherlock Holmes

1922. First publication by Samuel French.

1935. Published by Doubleday, Doran & Co. It was a pricey edition, containing Gillette’s foreword, multi-paged feature on trivial data and illustrations by Frederic Dorr Steele.


In 1916, Gillette starred the first cinema-adaptation of his Sherlock Holmes, albeit it was not the first film about Holmes. It was a seven-reel silent film by Essanay Film Manufacturing Co. directed by Arthur Berthelet. Marjorie Kay played Alice Faulkner and Ernest Manpani was Moriarty. One acid critic noted that Gillette was “about to lose his physical strength to perform the character” since then, insisting that he would not be able to repeat it over the 60 years old. No copy of the film has survived.

In 1922, Goldwyn Pictures filmed another version of Gillette’s play. It was directed by Albert Parker and John Barrymore played Holmes. This has recently been restored by the George Eastman House.

Secret Service was filmed in 1919 by Paramount Pictures, directed by Hugh Ford with Robert Warwick in Gillette’s role and Shirley Mason as the female lead.

Secret Service was filmed again in 1931 by Radio Pictures. It was directed by J. Walter Ruben and Richard Dix was the Union’s spy.

In 1977, as part of the Broadway Theatre Archive, a production of Secret Service was filmed starring a pair of young unknowns John Lithgow as Captain Thorne and, as Edith Varney in her very first appearance in a full-length film, Meryl Streep. This is the only play by Gillette still available on commercial VHS or DVD.

In 1981, Gillette play Sherlock Holmes was produced by Home Box Office, in only its second theater production, in collaboration with the Williamstown Theater Festival and artistic director Nikos Psacharopoulos, and was broadcast on November 19, 1981, with repeats on November 23, 27, 29, and December 1 and 5. This production starred Frank Langella as Holmes, Stephen Collins as Larrabee, Susan Clark as Madge Larrabee, Richard Woods as Dr. Watson, and 12-year-old Christian Slater as Billy the Pageboy. This production is not available on commercial VHS or DVD.


On October 20, 1930, Gillette performed the first serial radio-version of Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Speckled Band. It was based on the original theater version by Conan Doyle, re-adapted by Edith Meiser, and was the first time Holmes was portrayed on radio as part of a continuing series. It was transmitted by WEAF-NBC (New York) and sponsored by G. Washington Coffee Co.. This show became the pilot of a series and, after Gillette, Richard Gordon took over the part for the remaining 34 programs in the series.

On November 18, 1935, Gillette, now 82 years old, performed his own Sherlock Holmes on WABC radio of New York. His play was again re-adapted by Edith Meiser. Reginald Mason played Dr. Watson and Charles Bryant played Professor Moriarty. Its duration was 50 minutes. This play too was the pilot for a new Holmes series by Lux Radio Theater. The New York Times said that Gillette was “still the best, with all his shades and improvisation.”

As Novelist

1927, The Astounding Crime on Torrington Road. Only mystery novel.


Tryon, North Carolina

In 1891, after his first visiting of Tryon, North Carolina, Gillette began building his bungalow, which he later enlarged into a house. He named it Thousand Pines and it is privately owned today. In past years, in November, the town of Tryon celebrated the William Gillette Festival, honoring Gillette.

Read about Tryon’s 1998 Festival (External Link)

New York City

On December 7, 1934, Gillette attended the first dinner meeting of the Baker Street Irregulars in New York. To this day, the BSI honors him with the William Gillette Memorial Luncheon on the Friday afternoon of their annual January meeting in New York City.

Baker Street Irregulars Weekend, The Annual Gathering of the oldest Literary Society dedicated to Sherlock Holmes (External Link)

The Illusion of the First Time

As a theorist, Gillette is remembered for The Illusion of the First Time in Acting, a paper containing nothing new but all that was important to performance on the stage, collected for the first time into one expression. While all of it is common knowledge today, it was revolutionary when he wrote it, and it was a major departure from theatrical tradition and practice. Booth, Macready, Kean, Forrest, and Boucicault would have rejected it outright. Naturalness and realism, while expected today, and the norm, were not within the old school grasp.

Yet, up into the twenty-first century, there is hardly a concept referred to more often than the Illusion of the First Time. It is referred to over and over again in one school or another, in one writeup or another; and, in the year 2001, specific references, by his name, to his description of it were applied to two of the finest actors of the new generation.

D. K. Holm wrote of Johnny Depp in the Portland Mercury, merican playwright/actor William Gillette called good acting he illusion of the first time. This is Depp’s strong suit.46]

And, Steve Vineberg wrote of Robert Downey, Jr., at that time appearing in the hit Fox television sitcom, Ally McBeal and most recently the latest actor to play Sherlock Holmes, that here’s a mysterious beauty to Mr. Downey’s reading of (his lines), not only in his application of what William Gillette called he illusion of the first time the actor’s trick of making the lines sound as if they were newly minted but more movingly in Larry’s struggle to admit to feelings that he tends to submerge because they call up so much loss.47]


“Elementary, my dear fellow! Elementary!”

“There isn any reason in the world why we can do as well in this farewell business as any other country on the face of the globe. We have the farewellers and the people to say farewell to. If I can only keep it up I will be even with my competitors by the Spring of 1922, and by the Winter of 1937 I will be well in the lead.”

“It just seems, somehow, that every five years finds me back again, so you can expect me back at it again once more in 1941. Probably in 1976, when they are celebrating the two-hundredth anniversary of the beginning of the Declaration of Independence, or what ever it is, 40 years from now, I’ll still be farewelling. I should apologize for being here, but I am a man among Yankees, and they take promises with a grain of salt in fact they usually take them home and pickle them in brine, so they probably knew I’d be back. Besides I have several good excuses but they really don’t count. And besides and you men who follow horse racing will know what I mean I’m not running against anyone, they’re merely letting me trot around the track.”

“Farewell, Good Luck, and Merry Christmas.”


^ Short biography on Henry Zecher website –

^ Riley, Dick; Pam McAllister (2005). The Bedside Companion to Sherlock Holmes. Barnes & Noble Books. pp. 5960. ISBN 978-0-7607-7156-3. ; Short biography on Henry Zecher website –

^ See Andrews, Kenneth R., Nook farm, Mark Twain’s Hartford Circle (Harvard University Press, 1950) and Van Why, Joseph S., Nook Farm (Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, Hartford, CT, 1975).

^ Andrews, Kenneth R., Nook Farm, Mark Twain’s Hartford Circle (Harvard University Press, 1950).

^ Hooker, Edward W., The Descendants of Rev. Thomas Hooker: Hartford, Connecticut, 1586-1908 (Edited by Margaret Huntington Hooker and printed for her at Rochester, N.Y., 1909; Legacy Reprint Series, Kessinger Publishing, LLC, 2007).

^ Sacramento Daily Union, August 8, 1859, notice, compiled by David Murray, Superintendent of the City Cemetery, reads: Mortality of the City. In the 1860 Mortality Schedule Index at the California State Library in Sacramento is an entry under Gillett, Frank A.; age 23; male; CT listed for state of birth; died Aug; listed as Farmer for occupation; died Sacramento County; enumeration district 2; township Sacramento City.

^ Burton, Nathaniel J., A Discourse Delivered January 29th, 1865, in Memory of Robert H. Gillette (Press of Wiley, Waterman & Eaton), 1865.

^ Robinson, Charles M., III, Hurricane of Fire, the Union Assault on Fort Fisher (Naval Institute Press, 1998), p. 184; Gragg, Rod, Confederate Goliath, the Battle of Fort Fisher (Harper Collins, 1991), p. 235; Hartford Courant, “Death of Paymaster Gillette,” January 21, 1865, p. 2; Burton, Nathaniel J., A Discourse Delivered January 29th, 1865, in Memory of Robert H. Gillette.

^ Duffy, Richard, “Gillette, Actor and Playwright,” Ainslee Magazine, Vol. VI, No. 1, August 1900, p. 54.

^ Letter to George Warner, Gillette Correspondence, Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, Hartford, Connecticut.

^ Last Will of Francis Gillette, Signed October 12, 1877, City of Hartford Probate Records, 1876-1880, Microfilm #LDS1314362, CSL #986, continued on LDS #987,Pages 435-436, and 539-541.

^ Helen Gillette Death Certificate, Office of Vital Statistics, Office of the Town Clerk, Town Hall, Greenwich, Connecticut, September 1, 1888.

^ Frohman, Daniel, Daniel Frohman Presents An Autobiography (Claude Kendall & Willoughby Sharp, 1935), p. 51; Gerzina, Gretchen, Frances Hodgson Burnett (Chatto & Windus,2004), p. 89, 93-95, 99; Gillette, William, Esmeralda in The Century Magazine, Vol. XXIII, New Series VOL I, November 1881 to April 1882 (The Century Co., 1882), pp. 513-531; Hartford Courant, musements, smeralda, November 6, 1882, p. 3; New York Times, rs. Burnett New Play, October 30, 1881, p. 8.

^ Leslie, Amy, Some Players (Hebert S. Stone & Company, 1899), p. 302.

^ Strang, Lewis C., Famous Actors of the Day in America (L.C. Page and Company, 1900), p. 178.

^ Schuttler, George William, William Gillette, Actor and Director (An unpublished thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Speech Communication in the Graduate College of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1975), p. 97; Schuttler, Georg William, (1983) “William Gillette: Marathon Actor and Playwright,” The Journal of Popular Culture, Vol. 17, Issue 3, Winter 1983, pp. 115129. doi:10.1111/j.0022-3840.1983.1703_115.x, p. 124-125.

^ Dahlinger, S. E., he Sherlock Holmes We Never Knew, Baker Street Journal, Vol. 49, No. 3, September 1999, p. 10.

^ Moses, Montrose J., The American Dramatist (Little, Brown, and Company, 1925), p. 369.

^ Morehouse, Ward, Matinee Tomorrow (Whittlesey House, 1949), p. 23.

^ Finletter, Gretchen, From the Top of the Stairs (Little, Brown, 1946), p. 44.

^ Sherk, H. Dennis, William Gillette: His Life and Works, (An unpublished thesis in English submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Graduate School, Department of English, at the Pennsylvania State University, June 1961), pp. 199-200.

^ New York Times, illiam Gillette, Actor, Dead at 81, April 30, 1937, p. 21.

^ Murphy, Brenda, American Realism and American Drama, 1880-1940 (Cambridge University Press, 1987), p. 162; Dithmar, Edward, ecret Service, Harper Weekly, October 10, 1896, p. 215.

^ Burton, Richard, illiam Gillette, The Book Buyer, February 1898, p. 28.

^ Films for the Humanities & Sciences

^ Letters Patent No. 389,294, ethod of Producing Stage Effects, September 11, 1887, U.S. Patent Office.

^ United States Patent and Trademark office, Letters Patent No. 289,404, Filed April 25, 1883, granted December 4, 1883; Letters Patent No. 300,966, filed May 2, 1883, granted June 24, 1884; Letters Patent No. 302,559, filed on May 14, 1883, and approved July 29, 1884; and Letters Patent No. 309,537, filed December 5, 1883, and issued December 23, 1884.

^ New York Sun Journal, September 11, 1887, quoted in Schuttler, Georg William, William Gillette, Actor and Playwright, p. 11; Price, E. D., FGS, Editor, Hazell’s Annual Cyclopedia (London: Hazell, Watson, and Viney, 1888), p. 191; Deshler, Welch, Editor, The Theatre, Vol. III, No. 6, April 25, 1887, Whole No. 58, in The Theatre (Theatre Publishing Company, 1888), p. 107; London Times, “Princess’s Theatre,” April 4, 1887, p. 5; London Daily Telegraph, “Princess’s Theatre,” April 4, 1887, p. 3.

^ Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan, Memories and Adventures (Wordsworth Editions Limited, 2007), p. 87; Starrett, Vincent, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes(The MacMillan Company, 1933), p. 139.

^ New York Times, an Francisco Hotel Fire, ucky Baldwin House Laid in Ruins by Flames, Loss of Life May Be Great, Only Two Victims Bodies So Far Recovered Theatre in the Building Also Burned, November 24, 1898, p. 1.

^ Shepstone, Harold J., “Mr. William Gillette as Sherlock Holmes,” The Strand Magazine, April 1901, p. 615.

^ Higham, Charles, The Adventures of Conan Doyle, the life of the creator of Sherlock Holmes (W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1976), pp. 153-154; Encyclopedia Sherlockiana, illette, William (MacMillan, 1994), p. 90.

^ Cullen, Rosemary, & Don B. Wilmeth, Plays by William Hooker Gillette (Cambridge University Press, 1983), p. 16 Plays by William Gillette, Rosemary Cullen, Don B. Wilmeth.

^ Gillette, William H., The Painful Predicament of Sherlock Holmes (Ben Abramson, 1955).

^ Vanity Fair Magazine, “Sherlock Holmes,” February 27, 1907, Front Cover.

^ Smith, Pamela Coleman, William Gillette As Sherlock Holmes (R. H. Russell, 1900).

^ Celebrity Caricature in America,

^ a b Washington Post, “Gillette’s Castle,” February 2, 1936, p. B6.

^ Monagan, Charles A., Connecticut icons: 50 Symbols of the Nutmeg State, illette Castle (Globe Pequot, 2006), p. 77; Ojeda, Miguel, Circulo Holmes, (Harold Stackhurst) martes, 20 de mayo de 2008 (Tuesday, May 20, 2008).

^ Van Name, Fred, Gillette Castle at Hadlyme, A State Park (Connecticut Vignettes, Copyright by Fred Van Name, 1956).

^ Gillette, William, Last Will and Testament, 1/27/37; Hartford ourant, illette Will Requests His Home Not Be Sold To lithering Saphead, May 4, 1937, p. 1.

^ 9 National Register of Historic Places www.nationalregisterof

^ Letters of Salutation and Felicitation Received by William Gillette on the Occasion of His Farewell to the Stage in Sherlock Holmes (1929).

^ William Gillette Medical Certificate of Death, Connecticut State Department of Health, signed by Dr. John A. Wentworth, April 29, 1937.

^ Oonnor, John J., V: H.B.O. Offers herlock Holmes, New York Times, November 19, 1981.

^ Holm, D.K., Nose for Movies Johnny Depp is Really the Best Actor in Hollywood, The Portland ercury, Vol. 1, No. 44, April 5 – Apr 11 2001,

^ Vineberg, Steve, elivering Something Real To ‘Ally McBeal’, New York imes, Sunday TELEVISION/RADIO, March 18, 2001

^ Gillette, William, Sherlock Holmes, A Play, Wherein is set forth The Strange Case of Miss Alice Faulkner (Doubleday, Doran & Company, 1935), p. 82.

^ New York Times, “The Au Revoir Tour,” October 17, 1915, Fashions Society Queries Summer White House Music & Drama Pages Hotels & Restaurants, p. X8.

^ a b Hartford Courant, “Death Seals Last Gillette Retirement,” April 30, 1937, pp. 1, 6.

“Sherlock Holmes: The Published Apocrypha”, compiled by Jack Tracy.

“The Final Adventures of Sherlock Holmes”, compiled by Peter Haining.

Most of this information is from the full-length biography of William Gillette by Henry Zecher, soon[when?] to be published by the Mountainside Press in Shaftsbury, Vermont.

External links

William Gillette at the Internet Movie Database

William Gillette Introduction

The Baker Street Journal – writings about Sherlock Holmes

Gillettes Castle at Connecticut

Website of Gillette biographer Henry Zecher, whose full-length biography is soon to be published by the Mountainside Press in Shaftsbury, Vermont

William Gillette at Find a Grave

Categories: American actors | American dramatists and playwrights | People from Hartford, Connecticut | Sherlock Holmes | 1853 births | 1937 deaths | Deaths from pulmonary hemorrhageHidden categories: Articles with unsourced statements from March 2008 | All articles with unsourced statements | Vague or ambiguous time

Robin Williams

Early life

Williams was born in Chicago, Illinois. His mother, Laura (ne Smith, 19222001), was a former model from New Orleans, Louisiana. His father, Robert Fitzgerald Williams (September 10, 1906  October 18, 1987) was a senior executive at Lincoln-Mercury Motorship in charge of the Midwest area. Williams was raised in the Episcopal Church, though his mother practiced Christian Science. He grew up in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where he was a student at the Detroit Country Day School, and Marin County, California, where he attended the public Redwood High School. Williams also attended Claremont McKenna College (then called Claremont Men’s College) for four years.

He has two half-brothers: Todd (who died August 14, 2007) and McLaurin.

Williams has described himself as a quiet child whose first imitation was of his grandmother to his mother. He did not overcome his shyness until he became involved with his high-school drama department.

In 1973, Williams was one of only 20 students accepted into the freshman class at the Juilliard School, and one of only two students to be accepted by John Houseman into the Advanced Program at the school that year, the other being Christopher Reeve. In his dialects class, Williams had no trouble mastering all dialects quickly. WIlliams left Juilliard in 1976.

Television career

After appearing in the cast of the short-lived The Richard Pryor Show on NBC, Williams was cast by Garry Marshall as the alien Mork in the hit TV series “Happy Days”. As Mork, Williams improvised much of his dialogue and devised plenty of rapid-fire verbal and physical comedy, speaking in a high, nasal voice. Mork’s appearance was so popular with viewers that it led to a spin-off hit television sitcom, Mork and Mindy, which ran from 1978 to 1982. Although playing the same character as in his appearance in Happy Days, the show was set in the present day, in Boulder, Colorado, instead of late ’50s in Milwaukee. Mork was an extremely popular character, featured on posters, coloring books, lunchboxes, and other merchandise.

Starting in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, Williams began to reach a wider audience with his standup comedy, including three HBO comedy specials, Off The Wall (1978), An Evening with Robin Williams (1982), and Robin Williams: Live at the Met (1986). Also in 1986, Williams reached an ever wider audience to exhibit his style at the 58th Academy Awards show; noting the Hollywood writers strike that year he commented that the Hollywood writer… “is the only man in the world that can blow smoke up his own ass.” As a result, Williams has never hosted the Academy Awards again.

His standup work has been a consistent thread through his career, as is seen by the success of his one-man show (and subsequent DVD) Robin Williams Live on Broadway (2002). He was voted 13th on Comedy Central’s list “100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time” in 2004.

After some encouragement from his friend Whoopi Goldberg, he was set to make a guest appearance in the 1991 Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, “A Matter of Time”, but he had to cancel due to a scheduling conflict; Matt Frewer took his place as a time-traveling con man, Professor Berlingoff Rasmussen.

Williams also appeared on an episode of the American version of Whose Line Is It Anyway? (Season 3, Episode 9: November 16, 2000). During a game of “Scenes from a Hat”, the scene “What Robin Williams is thinking right now” was drawn, and Williams stated “I have a career. What the hell am I doing here?”

Cinema career

Most of Williams’ acting career has been in film, although he has given some performances on stage as well (notably as Estragon in a production of Waiting for Godot with Steve Martin). His performance in Good Morning, Vietnam (1987) got Williams nominated for an Academy Award. Many of his roles have been comedies tinged with pathos, for example The Birdcage and Mrs. Doubtfire.

His role as the Genie in the animated film Aladdin was instrumental in establishing the importance of star power in voice actor casting. Williams also used his voice talents in Fern Gully, as the holographic Dr. Know in the 2001 feature A.I. Artificial Intelligence, the 2005 animated feature Robots, the 2006 Academy Award winning Happy Feet, and an uncredited vocal performance in 2006′s Everyone’s Hero. Furthermore, he was the voice of The Timekeeper, a former attraction at the Walt Disney World Resort about a time-traveling robot who encounters Jules Verne and brings him to the future.

Williams has also starred in dramatic films, which got him two subsequent Academy Award nominations: First for playing an English teacher in Dead Poets Society (1989), and later for playing a troubled homeless man in The Fisher King (1991); that same year, he played an adult Peter Pan in the movie Hook. Other acclaimed dramatic films include Awakenings (1990) and What Dreams May Come (1998). In the 2002 dramatic thriller Insomnia, Williams portrays a writer/killer on the run from a sleep-deprived Los Angeles policeman (played by Al Pacino) in rural Alaska. And also in 2002, in the psychological thriller One Hour Photo, Williams played an emotionally disturbed photo development technician who becomes obsessed with a family for whom he has developed pictures for a long time.

In 1998, he won an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor for his role as a psychologist in Good Will Hunting. However, by the early 2000s, he was thought by some to be typecast in films such as Patch Adams (1998) and Bicentennial Man (1999) that critics complained were excessively maudlin. In 2006 Williams starred in The Night Listener, a thriller about a radio show host who realizes he has developed a friendship with a child who may or may not exist.

He is known for his improvisational skills and impersonations. His performances frequently involve impromptu humor designed and delivered in rapid-fire succession while on stage. According to the Aladdin DVD commentary, most of his dialogue as the Genie was improvised.

In 2006, he starred in five movies including Man of the Year and was the Surprise Guest at the 2006 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards. He appeared on an episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition that aired on January 30, 2006.

At one point, he was in the running to play the Riddler in Batman Forever until director Tim Burton dropped the project. Earlier, Williams had been a strong contender to play the Joker in Batman. He had expressed interest in assuming the role in The Dark Knight, the sequel to 2005′s Batman Begins, although the part of the Joker was played by Heath Ledger, who went on to win, posthumously, the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

He was portrayed by Chris Diamantopoulos in the made-for-TV biopic Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Mork & Mindy (2005), documenting the actor’s arrival in Hollywood as a struggling comedian.

Disputes with Disney

In gratitude for his success with the Disney/Touchstone film Good Morning, Vietnam, Robin Williams voiced the Genie in the Disney animated film Aladdin for SAG scale pay (,000), on condition that his name or image not be used for marketing, and his (supporting) character not take more than 25% of space on advertising artwork, since Toys was scheduled for release one month after Aladdin’s debut. The studio went back on the deal on both counts, especially in poster art by having the Genie in 25% of the image, but having other major and supporting characters portrayed considerably smaller. Disney’s Hyperion book, Aladdin: The Making Of An Animated Film, listed both of Williams’ characters “The Peddler” and “The Genie” ahead of main characters, but was forced to refer to him only as “the actor signed to play the Genie”.

Williams and Disney had a bitter falling-out, and as a result Dan Castellaneta voiced the Genie in The Return of Jafar, the Aladdin animated television series, and had recorded his voice for Aladdin and the King of Thieves. When Jeffrey Katzenberg was fired from Disney and replaced by former 20th Century Fox production head Joe Roth (whose last act for Fox was greenlighting Williams’ film Mrs. Doubtfire), Roth arranged for a public apology to Williams by Disney. Williams agreed to perform in Hollywood Pictures’ Jack, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, and even agreed to voice the Genie again for the King Of Thieves sequel (for considerably more than scale), replacing all of Castellaneta’s dialogue.

When Williams re-teamed with Doubtfire director Chris Columbus for 1999′s Bicentennial Man, Disney asked that the budget be cut by approximately  million, and when the film was released on Christmas Day, it flopped at the box office. Williams blamed Disney’s marketing and the loss of content the film had suffered due to the budget cuts. As a result, Williams was again on bad terms with Disney, and Castellaneta was once again recruited to replace him as Genie in the Kingdom Hearts video game series and the House of Mouse TV series. The DVD release for Aladdin has no involvement whatsoever from Williams in the bonus materials, although some of his original recording sessions can be seen.

Robin Williams has recently made peace with the Walt Disney Company and in 2009 agreed to be inducted into the Disney hall of fame, designated as a Disney Legend.

Stand-up career

Robin Williams has done a number of stand-up comedy tours since the early 1970s. Some of his most notable tours include An Evening With Robin Williams (1982), Robin Williams: At The Met (1986) and Robin Williams LIVE on Broadway (2002). The latter broke many long held records for a comedy show. In some cases, tickets were sold out within thirty minutes of going on sale.

After a six-year break, in August 2008 Williams announced a brand new 26-city tour titled “Weapons of Self Destruction”. He was quoted as saying that this was his last chance to make cracks at the expense of the current Bush Administration, but by the time the show was staged only a few minutes covered that subject. The tour started at the end of September 2009, finishing in New York on December 3, and was the subject of an HBO special on December 8, 2009.


Robin Williams gained a reputation for stealing material from other comics to the extent that David Brenner claims that he confronted Williams personally and threatened him with bodily harm if he heard Williams utter another one of his jokes.

Personal life

Robin Williams’ first marriage was to Valerie Velardi on June 4, 1978, with whom he has one child, Zachary Pym (Zak) (born April 11, 1983). During Williams’ first marriage, he was involved in an extramarital relationship with Michelle Tish Carter, a cocktail waitress whom he met in 1984. She sued him in 1986, claiming that he did not tell her he was infected with the herpes simplex virus before he embarked on a sexual relationship with her in the mid-1980s, during which, she said, he transmitted the virus to her. The case was settled out of court.

On April 30, 1989, he married Marsha Garces, his son’s nanny who was already several months pregnant with his child. They have two children, Zelda Rae (born July 31, 1989) and Cody Alan (born November 25, 1991). However, in March 2008, Garces filed for divorce from Williams, citing irreconcilable differences.

During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Williams had an addiction to cocaine; he has since quit. Williams was a close friend and frequent partier alongside John Belushi. He says the death of his friend and the birth of his son prompted him to quit drugs: “Was it a wake-up call? Oh yeah, on a huge level. The grand jury helped too.”

On August 9, 2006, Williams checked himself in to a substance-abuse rehabilitation center (located in Newberg, Oregon), later admitting that he was an alcoholic. His publicist delivered the announcement:

“After 20 years of sobriety, Robin Williams found himself drinking again and has decided to take proactive measures to deal with this for his own well-being and the well-being of his family. He asks that you respect his and his family’s privacy during this time. He looks forward to returning to work this fall to support his upcoming film releases.”

On August 20, 2007, Williams’ elder brother, Robert Todd Williams, died of complications from heart surgery performed a month earlier.

Williams is a member of the Episcopal Church. He has described his denomination in a comedy routine as “Catholic Lite ; same rituals, half the guilt.”

While studying at Juilliard, Williams befriended Christopher Reeve. They had several classes together in which they were the only students, and they remained good friends for the rest of Reeve’s life. Williams visited Reeve after the horse riding accident that rendered him a quadriplegic, and cheered him up by pretending to be an eccentric Russian doctor (similar to his role in Nine Months). Williams claimed that he was there to perform a colonoscopy. Reeve stated that he laughed for the first time since the accident and knew that life was going to be okay.


Williams was hospitalized in March 2009 due to heart problems. Williams postponed his one-man tour in order to undergo surgery to replace his aortic valve. The surgery was successfully completed on March 13, 2009, at the Cleveland Clinic.

Other interests

Williams speaking at the 2008 BBC World Debate

Williams is an avid enthusiast of games (even naming his daughter after Princess Zelda from The Legend of Zelda video game series), enjoying pen-and-paper role-playing games and online video games, recently playing Warcraft 3, Day of Defeat, Half-Life, and the first-person shooter Battlefield 2 as a sniper. On January 6, 2006, he performed live at Consumer Electronics Show during Google’s keynote. In the 2006 E3, on the invitation of Will Wright, he demonstrated the creature editor of Spore while simultaneously commenting on the creature’s look: “This will actually make a platypus look good.” He also complimented the game’s versatility, comparing it to Populous and Black & White. Later that year, he was one of several celebrities to participate in the Worldwide Dungeons & Dragons Game Day.

Williams has gone on record as a fan of the anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion, and incorporated a scene referencing it in One Hour Photo where he purchases a model kit from it as a gift.

A fan of professional road cycling, he was a regular on the US Postal and Discovery Channel Pro Cycling team bus and hotels during the years Lance Armstrong dominated the Tour de France. He owns over 50 bicycles.

He also enjoys rugby union and is a big fan of former All Black, Jonah Lomu.

Williams is a supporter of eco-friendly vehicles. He currently drives a Toyota Prius, but is on the waiting list to be an early adopter of the Aptera 2-series electric vehicle.

Charity work

Williams and his former wife, Marsha, founded the Windfall Foundation, a philanthropic organization to raise money for many different charities. Williams devotes much of his energy doing work for charities, including the Comic Relief fund-raising efforts. In December 1999, he sang in French on the BBC-inspired music video of international celebrities doing a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “It’s Only Rock & Roll” for the charity Children’s Promise.

Williams has performed with the USO for U.S. troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan.







Can I Do It ‘Till I Need Glasses?






The World According to Garp

T.S. Garp


The Survivors

Donald Quinelle


Moscow on the Hudson

Vladimir Ivanov

Nominated  Golden Globe Award for Best Actor Motion Picture Musical or Comedy


Seize the Day

Tommy Wilhelm

Club Paradise

Jack Moniker

The Best of Times

Jack Dundee


Good Morning, Vietnam

Adrian Cronauer

Golden Globe Award for Best Actor Motion Picture Musical or Comedy

Nominated  Academy Award for Best Actor

Nominated  BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role


The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

King of the Moon

Credited as Ray D. Tutto

Portrait of a White Marriage

Air Conditioning Salesman

Rabbit Ears: Pecos Bill




Dead Poets Society

John Keating

Nominated  Academy Award for Best Actor

Nominated  BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role

Nominated  Golden Globe Award for Best Actor Motion Picture Drama

I’m from Hollywood




Dr. Malcolm Sayer

Nominated  Golden Globe Award for Best Actor Motion Picture Drama

Cadillac Man

Joey O’Brien

Back to Neverland




Peter Banning / Peter Pan

The Fisher King


Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy

Nominated  Academy Award for Best Actor

Dead Again

Doctor Cozy Carlisle

“Rabbit Ears: The Fool and the Flying Ship”





Leslie Zevo





The Timekeeper

The Timekeeper

FernGully: The Last Rainforest

Batty Koda


Shakes the Clown

Mime Class Instructor


Mrs. Doubtfire

Daniel Hillard/Mrs. Doubtfire

Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy

Being Human



In Search of Dr. Seuss



Aladdin and the King of Thieves




Alan Parrish

To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar

John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt

Nine Months

Dr. Kosevich




The Secret Agent

The Professor


Jack Powell

The Birdcage

Armand Goldman

Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture


Good Will Hunting

Sean Maguire

Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor

Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

Nominated  Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor Motion Picture

Nominated  Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture


Professor Philip Brainard

Deconstructing Harry

Mel/Harry’s Character

Fathers’ Day

Dale Putley


Patch Adams

Hunter “Patch” Adams

Nominated  Golden Globe Award for Best Actor Motion Picture Musical or Comedy

Junket Whore


What Dreams May Come

Chris Nielsen


Bicentennial Man

Andrew Martin

Jakob the Liar

Jakob Heym/Narrator

Get Bruce



Model Behavior



A.I. Artificial Intelligence

Dr. Know



The Rutles 2: Can’t Buy Me Lunch

Hans Hnkie


Walter Finch

Death to Smoochy

‘Rainbow’ Randolph Smiley

One Hour Photo

Sy Parrish



Charlie Boyd/The Priest

House of D


The Final Cut

Alan W. Hakman


The Big White

Paul Barnell




The Aristocrats



Man of the Year

Tom Dobbs

Night at the Museum

Theodore Roosevelt

Happy Feet



Everyone’s Hero

Napoleon Cross



Bob Munro

The Night Listener

Gabriel Noone


License to Wed

Reverend Frank

August Rush

Maxwell “Wizard” Wallace




World’s Greatest Dad

Lance Clayton

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

Theodore Roosevelt

Old Dogs

Dan Rayburn


Wedding Banned

John Fischer

In development


Happy Feet 2 in 3D


Voice role








Richard Pryor Show



“Man with Bad Arm,” “John Brownstein, Defense Attorney/Archeologist/Shopper,” “Himself,” “Himself/Titanic Survivor/Voice of Gun”


Eight is Enough

Episode: “The Return of Auntie V”


Happy Days


Episode: My Favorite Orkan

America 2-Night

Jason Shine

Episodes: “Jason Shine” and “Olfactory Distosis Telethon”


Mork & Mindy


Appeared in 92 episodes


Happy Days


Episode: “Mork Returns”

Out of the Blue

Episode: “Random’s Arrival”


Saturday Night Live




The Billy Crystal Comedy Hour


Episode: #1.1

Faerie Tale Theatre

Frog/Prince Robin

Episode: “Tale of the Frog Prince”

SCTV Network 90


Episode: “Jane Eyrehead”


Saturday Night Live



Pryor’s Place


Episode: “Sax Education”


Saturday Night Live



The Max Headroom Show


Episode: “Max Headroom’s Giant Christmas Turkey”


Saturday Night Live









The Larry Sanders Show


Episode: “Hank’s Contract”


Homicide: Life on the Streets

Robert Ellison

Episode: “Bop Gun”

Live & Kicking


The Larry Sanders Show


Episode: “Montana”



Episode: “Filmen ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ svensk premir”

In the Wild


Episode: “In the Wild: Dolphins with Robin Williams”


Primer Plano



American Masters


Episode: “Take Two: Mike Nichols and Elaine May”

Primer Plano





HBO First Look


Episode: “Fathers Day”



Himself/Sean Maguire

Episode: “Filmen ‘Good Will Hunting”

Hollywood Squares


Guest appearance

Noel’s House Party


Episode: #8.10


L.A. Doctors

Hugo Kinsley

Episode: “Just Duet”


Whose Line Is It Anyways?


Episodes: #3.4 and #3.9


Comedy Central Canned Ham


Episode: “Death to Smoochy”

Leute heute


Supermarket Sweep





Episodes: “E3 03, Playa;” “Players Halloweenie Televizzie”

Freedoom: A History of Us

Josiah Quincy/Ulysses S. Grant/Missouri Farmer/Wilbur Wright/Orville Wright

Episodes: “Wake Up America,” “A War to End Slavery,” “Liberty for All,” and “Safe for Democracy”

Life With Bonnie

Kevin Powalski

Episode: “Psychic”


This Hour Has 22 Minutes



Just For Laughs



Extreme Makeover: Home Edition


Mind of Mencia


Episode: “That’s F**king Historical”



Episode: #15.15


American Idol: The Search for a New Superstar

Ivan “Bob” Poppanoff the “Russian Idol”/Himself

Episodes: “Idol Gives Back” and “Live Results Show: One Contestant Eliminated”

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Merrit Rook

Episode: “Authority”


SpongeBob SquarePants


Episode: “Truth or Square”

TV Land Moguls


Episode: “The 80s”


Williams sings a version of “Come Together” with Bobby McFerrin on In My Life, a Beatles tribute album produced by George Martin. He also sings “A Mi Manera (My Way)”, on the Happy Feet soundtrack. For the 1993 soundtrack of Mrs. Doubtfire, and the film, he sings a rendition of a fragment of Gioachino Rossini’s “Largo al factotum” from The Barber of Seville.

Williams appeared in the music video of Bobby McFerrin’s hit song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”.

Reality…What a Concept (1979)

Throbbing Python of Love (1983)

A Night at the Met (1986)

Pecos Bill (1988)

Live 2002 (2002)

DVDs and videos

An Evening with Robin Williams (1982, VHS)

Robin Williams: Live at the Met (1986, VHS)

Robin Williams: Live on Broadway (2002)

Robin Williams: Raul’s House 2 (2009)[citation needed]

Robin Williams: Weapons of Self Destruction (TBA)


^ Thomas, Mike (2002-02-24). “A nose for laughs”. Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2009-12-14. 

^ McMullen, Marion (2002-10-05). “Article: WEEKEND TV: STAR PROFILE.(Features)”. Coventry Evening Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-12-14. 

^ Sources conflict. The print biographies The Life and Humor of Robin Williams: A Biography and Robin Williams: A Biography give his birth year as 1952. The Robin Williams Scrapbook also gives a birth year as 1952, as does Encyclopedia Britannica. Williams refers to himself as being “55″ in an interview published July 4, 2007. Monk, Katherine (2007-07-04). “Marriage 101 with Robin Williams”. StarPhoenix.  He also verifies his date of birth as July 21, 1951 in a fansite interview: Stuurman, Linda. RWF talks with Robin Williams: Proost!, May 25, 2008.

^ “If Robin Williams’ comedies are inspired by his life no wonder he’s been in therapy”. Sunday Herald. 1999-03-14.,+1999&author;=&pub=Sunday+Herald&desc=If+Robin+Williams’+comedies+are+inspired+by+his+life+no+wonder+he’s+been+in+therapy&pqatl=google. Retrieved 2009-12-14. 

^ Gristwood, Sarah (1998-06-18). “Bobbin’ Robin”. Mail & Guardian Online. Retrieved 2007-12-26. 

^ Topel, Fred (2007-07-03). “Robin Williams on License to Wed”. CanMag. Retrieved 2007-12-26. 

^ Detroit Country Day: Frequently Asked Questions

^ McLellan, Dennis (2007-08-18). “R. Todd Williams, 69; winery founder, comic’s brother” (pdf). Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 

^ “Robin Williams: ‘The Night Listener’”. Terry Gross (host). Fresh Air from WHYY. National Public Radio. 2006-08-03.

^ a b Reeve, Christopher (1998). Still Me. New York: Random House. pp. 167172. ISBN 978-067945235-5. 

^ YouTube – Happy Days – Richie Meets Mork

^ “Comedy Central Presents: 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time”. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-12-26. 

^ “Biography for Robin Williams”. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2008-04-13. 

^ “Episode 9″. Whose Line Is It Anyway?. 2000-11-16.

^ a b c “Robin Williams”. James Lipton (host). Inside the Actors Studio. Bravo. 2001-06-10. No. 710, season 7.

^ Otto, Jeff (2006-06-26). “Robin Williams, Joker?”. IGN. Retrieved 2007-12-26. 

^ “DISNEY’S GOT A BRAND-NEW BAGHDAD”. Entertainment Weekly. 1992-09-04.,,312562,00.html. Retrieved 2007-03-16. 

^ Hill, Jim (April 2000). “Be Careful What You Wish For”. Jim Hill Media. Retrieved 2008-03-15. 

^ “2009 Disney Legends Award Recipients to Be Honored During D23 Expo in Anaheim”. PR Newswire. 2009-09-01.;=/www/story/09-01-2009/0005086237. Retrieved 2009-09-01. 


^ Richard Zoglin (2008). Comedy at the Edge. Bloomsbury USA. ISBN 978-1582346243. 

^ Hoffman, Jan (1992-08-09). “THE SEXES; Pillow Talk”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-12-26. 

^ Robin Williams’ wife files for divorce after nearly 19 years


^ “Robin Williams Enters Rehab for Alcohol”. People. August 9, 2005.,26334,1224730,00.html. Retrieved 2007-04-28. 


^ Johnson, Caitlin A. (2007-07-03). “A “License” to Laugh”. CBS News. Retrieved 2009-03-27. 

^ “Robin Williams in South Florida hospital”. The Miami Herald. 2009-03-04. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 

^ Jones, Kenneth.”Robin Williams’ Spring Broadway Bow Postponed Due to Heart Surgery”,, March 5, 2009

^ “Robin Williams’s Heart Surgery Called a Success”. http://www.peop/,,20267281,00.html. 

^ “Robin Williams’ heart surgery goes ‘extremely well’”. 


^ Interview at

^ “Mork & Me”. The Archies. 2005-12-05. 


^ Robin Williams plays Spore

^ Dungeons and Dragons Game Day at London Dungeon,

^ Murphy, Brian. “Tour de Lance: 100 percent pure”. ESPN. Retrieved 2007-06-29. 





^ “Stones cover enters festive race”. BBC NEWS. 1999-12-10. 

^ “Good Morning, Iraq”. San Francisco Chronicle. 2005-02-09. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 

^ World Entertainment News Network. “Williams rekindles failed marriage on film”, San Francisco Chronicle, August 28, 2009. Retrieved August 29, 2009.

^ Bobby McFerrin Homepage

“Road Trip with Robin”

“Robin Williams mimic ends ‘fraud’” (BBC News)

“Robin Williams’ impersonator stopped” (

“Robin Williams Enters Rehab”, August 9, 2006 (Access Hollywood)

Lovece, Frank, New York Newsday (April 27, 2006)


Jay David (1999). The Life and Humor of Robin Williams: A Biography. New York: Quill. ISBN 978-068815245-1. 

Andy Dougan (1999). Robin Williams: A Biography. Thunder’s Mouth Press. ISBN 978-156025213-9. 

Stephen J. Spignesi (1997). The Robin Williams Scrapbook. Secaucus, NJ: Carol Pub.. ISBN 978-080651891-6. 

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Robin Williams

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Robin Williams

Robin Williams at the Internet Broadway Database

Robin Williams at the Internet Movie Database

Robin Williams at the TCM Movie Database

Robin Williams at

Robin Williams at Yahoo! Movies


Awards for Robin Williams

v  d  e

Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor

John Gielgud (1981)  Louis Gossett, Jr. (1982)  Jack Nicholson (1983)  Haing S. Ngor (1984)  Don Ameche (1985)  Michael Caine (1986)  Sean Connery (1987)  Kevin Kline (1988)  Denzel Washington (1989)  Joe Pesci (1990)  Jack Palance (1991)  Gene Hackman (1992)  Tommy Lee Jones (1993)  Martin Landau (1994)  Kevin Spacey (1995)  Cuba Gooding, Jr. (1996)  Robin Williams (1997)  James Coburn (1998)  Michael Caine (1999)  Benicio del Toro (2000)

Complete list  (19361940)  (19411960)  (19611980)  (19812000)  (2001-present)

v  d  e

Primetime Emmy Award for Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program

Harvey Korman / Brenda Vaccaro (1974)  Jack Albertson / Cloris Leachman (1975)  Chevy Chase / Vicki Lawrence (1976)  Tim Conway / Rita Moreno (1977)  Tim Conway / Gilda Radner (1978)  George Hearn (1985)  Whitney Houston (1986)  Robin Williams (1987)  Robin Williams (1988)  Linda Ronstadt (1989)  Tracey Ullman (1990)  Billy Crystal (1991)  Billy Crystal (1992)  Dana Carvey (1993)  Tracey Ullman (1994)  Barbra Streisand (1995)  Tony Bennett (1996)  Bette Midler (1997)  Billy Crystal (1998)  John Leguizamo (1999)  Eddie Izzard (2000)

Complete list: (19742000)  (2001resent)

v  d  e

Golden Globe Award for Best Actor Motion Picture Musical or Comedy

Dudley Moore (1981)  Dustin Hoffman (1982)  Michael Caine (1983)  Dudley Moore (1984)  Jack Nicholson (1985)  Paul Hogan (1986)  Robin Williams (1987)  Tom Hanks (1988)  Morgan Freeman (1989)  Grard Depardieu (1990)  Robin Williams (1991)  Tim Robbins (1992)  Robin Williams (1993)  Hugh Grant (1994)  John Travolta (1995)  Tom Cruise (1996)  Jack Nicholson (1997)  Michael Caine (1998)  Jim Carrey (1999)  George Clooney (2000)

Complete List  (19501960)  (19611980)  (19812000)  (2001resent)

v  d  e

Golden Globe Award for Best Actor Television Series Musical or Comedy

Flip Wilson (1970)  Carroll O’Connor (1971)  Redd Foxx (1972)  Jack Klugman (1973)  Alan Alda (1974)  Alan Alda (1975)  Henry Winkler (1976)  Henry Winkler (1977)  Robin Williams (1978)  Alan Alda (1979)  Alan Alda (1980)  Alan Alda (1981)  Alan Alda (1982)  John Ritter (1983)  Bill Cosby (1984)  Bill Cosby (1985)  Bruce Willis (1986)  Dabney Coleman (1987)  Michael J. Fox/Judd Hirsch/Richard Mulligan (1988)  Ted Danson (1989)

Complete List  (1970-1989)  (1990resent)

v  d  e

Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

Martin Landau (1994)  Ed Harris (1995)  Cuba Gooding, Jr. (1996)  Robin Williams (1997)  Robert Duvall (1998)  Michael Caine (1999)  Albert Finney (2000)

Complete list  (1994-2000)  (2001-present)

v  d  e

MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance

Billy Crystal (1992) Robin Williams (1993) Jim Carrey (1994) Jim Carrey (1995) Jim Carrey (1996) Jim Carrey (1997) Jim Carrey (1998) Adam Sandler (1999) Adam Sandler (2000) Ben Stiller (2001) Reese Witherspoon (2002) Mike Myers (2003) Jack Black (2004) Dustin Hoffman (2005) Steve Carell (2006) Sacha Baron Cohen (2007) Johnny Depp (2008) Jim Carrey (2009)

v  d  e

Hosts of the Academy Awards ceremonies

Johnny Carson (1981)  Johnny Carson (1982)  Liza Minnelli / Dudley Moore / Richard Pryor / Walter Matthau (1983)  Johnny Carson (1984)  Jack Lemmon (1985)  Alan Alda / Jane Fonda / Robin Williams (1986)  Chevy Chase / Goldie Hawn / Paul Hogan (1987)  Chevy Chase (1988)  None (1989)  Billy Crystal (1990)  Billy Crystal (1991)  Billy Crystal (1992)  Billy Crystal (1993)  Whoopi Goldberg (1994)  David Letterman (1995)  Whoopi Goldberg (1996)  Billy Crystal (1997)  Billy Crystal (1998)  Whoopi Goldberg (1999)  Billy Crystal (2000)

Complete List  (19291940)  (19411960)  (19611980)  (19812000)  (2001-present)



Williams, Robin


Williams, Robin McLaurim


Academy Award-winning American actor and comedian




Chicago, Illinois, United States



Categories: 1951 births | Living people | Actors from California | Actors from Chicago, Illinois | 20th-century American Episcopalians | 21st-century American Episcopalians | American film actors | American impressionists (entertainers) | American stand-up comedians | American television actors | American voice actors | Best Musical or Comedy Actor Golden Globe (film) winners | Best Musical or Comedy Actor Golden Globe (television) winners | Best Supporting Actor Academy Award winners | MTV Movie Award winners | Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Screen Actors Guild Award winners | California Democrats | People self-identifying as alcoholics | Grammy Award winners | Juilliard School alumni | People from Marin County, CaliforniaHidden categories: Wikipedia indefinitely semi-protected biographies of living people | All articles with unsourced statements | Articles with unsourced statements from November 2009

Erick Morillo

Early life and career

Morillo was raised in Dominican Republic and Union City, New Jersey, where he attended grammar school at Saint Joseph and Michael School, a private Catholic school, graduating in 1985. He graduated from Emerson High School in Union City in 1989. His childhood musical influences include exposure to Latin rhythms, reggae, and hip hop.

Morillo began his DJ career at age eleven, DJing on the local party circuit, and paying his dues by pinning at weddings for family and friends. After seeing television commercial ad for New York City Center for the Media Arts, Morillo enrolled at the school to learn audio engineering. While working at a club in nearby Weehawken, Morillo met Latin reggae star El General, with whom Morillo became friends. The two collaborated in 1992 on the single, uevelo, a mixture of reggae, house music, and a sample of T99 techno single nasthasia. The single went platinum, and Morillo records and remixes became familiar staples of Latin club music.

Morillo decided to branch out musically, and became friends with a then-unknown singer-songwriter Marc Anthony, who introduced Morillo to his partner on the 1992 house anthem ide On The Rhythm, Little Louie Vega, who advised Morillo to focus on vocals.

Reel to Real and Like to Move It

Morillo created a new act, Reel 2 Real, which was signed by the label Strictly Rhythm. Morillo first release for Strictly Rhythm was he New Anthem, which fared well in the music charts and in clubs, and garnered Morillo considerable attention.

Morillo would surpass this success with the 1993 hit Like to Move It, latin house with ragga vocals by native Trinidad and Tobago rapper Mark Quashie (also known as he Mad Stuntman). Like to Move It became an international smash, enjoying mainstream radio airplay, reaching #89 on the Hot 100, #5 on the UK Singles Chart, and made Morillo a millionaire. Both I Like To Move It and House Of Love (a song he released as part of Smooth Touch) hit #1 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart, and Morillo became a world traveler, often traveling between Europe, where he would tape for MTV Europe, and The United States, where he would return for promotional work.

In 1994, Like to Move It was used in a series of promotional television advertisements for the Australian National Basketball League. It was a montage of various players slam dunking with the song played over the top of it, to highlight the game’s fast pace. In the late 1990s, the song was used in adverts for the confectionery Chewits, with the lyrics changed from “I like to move it” to “I like to chew it”. The song would later be used in DreamWorks’ 2005 animated film Madagascar, making it a hit once again. The song was covered by the Crazy Frog that same year, and released both as a ringtone (with an accompanying ad) and on the album Crazy Frog Presents Crazy Hits.

Reel 2 Real’s other top 10 dance hits, which featured vocals by The Mad Stuntman, Barbara Tucker, Charlotte Small and Proyecto Uno. Estimates are that Morillo made over million from Reel 2 Real two albums.

From Reel to Real to Subliminal

Fearing that his financial success from Real 2 Real may have hurt both his creative drive and his street credibility. Morillo abandoned the Reel 2 Real alias in 1996, after which he spent a few years establishing himself as an underground DJ, of which he is one of the top-five highest-paid in the world.

His desire to produce respectable house music, and to distance himself from Reel to Real pop music past resulted in the successful azz It Up which he produced under the he Erick Morillo Project. He and Louie Vega collaborated as Lil Mo Ying Yang and released the 1995 single each. Morillo intended a third album for Reel to Real, but his relationship with the Mad Stuntman soured, which derailed the project.

Finishing his relationship with Strictly Rhythm, Morillo took the advice of Strictly Rhythm owner Mark Finkelstein, whom Morillo calls fair person and a business mentor, and decided to the launch the Double Platinum management company in 1997 with fellow DJs and producers Jose Nunez, Harry Choo Choo Romero, Carlos Sosa (aka J Sneak), and Junior Sanchez, and his own imprint, Subliminal Records. Its first single was 1998 un which featured Chicago diva Dajae, which drew positive response via test pressings and buzz across the Atlantic. Dajae refused to sign the contract with Subliminal, and vocalist Jocelyn Brown was brought in to re-record the vocals. Brown collaboration with Subliminal is known as a Mob, and their version of un became a #1 Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play hit. Soon after, however, DJ Sneak left the group for Toronto to start his own management company, and Junior Sanchez united with Roger S. to start one of their own. The remaining trio of Morillo, Romero and Nunez formed the finalized core of Subliminal, and are also known as the remix team The Dronez. With the Subliminal label, which is based in Weehawken, New Jersey, Morillo managed to find the balance between “underground” respectability and financial success. The trio won the Muzik Magazine Remixer of the Year award in 1999. In 2004, he released his first album under his real name, My World, which features collaborations with such artists as Sean iddy Combs, who collaborated with Morillo on three tracks. The label has also spawned other labels, such as Sondos, Subliminal Soul, Bambossa and SUBUSA. The label was distributed by Strictly Rhythm until that label ceased operations in 2002. Today, Subliminal is independently distributed, although Strictly Rhythm reopened its doors in 2007.

Club nights

In the fall of 1999, Morillo completed a U. S. tour and his club night, dubbed ubliminal night, is credited with single-handedly resuscitating New York City ailing club scene[citation needed], a feat he accomplished by signing up Danny Tenaglia, Darren Emerson, Bob Sinclar, Derrick Carter, Tiger Tim Stevens, Mark Farina and Tony Humphries in guest spots. Morillo has also hosted various other club nights across the globe, such as his weekly essions parties in New York, the annual Crobar party in Miami(ULTRA), and his legendary Subliminal Sessions parties at Pacha in Ibiza, which was named “Best International Club” of 2002 and “Best Ibiza Party” of 2001 by Muzik magazine. Ibiza is also where Morillo was crowned “Best International DJ” in 2002 and “Best House DJ” in 1999 and 2001 at the Pacha Ibiza awards. He has been known to play up to 30 gigs a month in locations including Greece, Malta, Amsterdam, London, Madrid, Belfast, and Russia. According to Morillo, his most memorable job was on Ibiza White Isle after the September 11 attacks:

“I was playing the closing party of the Space Terrace straight after September 11th. I ended the night with Frank Sinatra’s ew York, New York. People were crying and waving American flags, everybody was singing. It’s my most emotional memory as a DJ.”

In addition to his MTV UK appearances, Morillo has also hosted MTV Ibiza for two years, and presented the UK Dancestar Awards and starred in a seven-part Channel 4 series documenting his world travels as a party DJ.

Legal troubles

While touring in December 2008, he was arrested for possession of cocaine in Glasgow Airport. He pleaded not guilty in court on December 22. Morillo was released on bail and ordered to return to Scotland for trial in March 2009.


Singles e EP

1992 The New Anthem (Funky Budda) (Reel 2 Real)

1992 Muevelo (Reel 2 Real)

1992 Te Ves Buena (Reel 2 Real)

1993 I Like To Move It (Reel 2 Real)

1993 Latin Flavor (R.B.M.)

1993 Gettin’ Me Hot (Platinum Crew)

1993 Carnival ’93 (Club Ultimate)

1993 The Boy (R.B.M)

1993 Rhythmz (Deep Soul)

1993 Unbe (R.A.W.)

1993 House Of Love In My House (Smooth Touch)

1993 Go On Move (Reel 2 Real)

1995 Carnival ’95 (Club Ultimate)

1995 Reach (Lil Mo’ Yin Yang)

1995 Conway (Reel 2 Real)

1996 Dime Si Son Latinos (Reel 2 Real feat. Proyecto Uno)

1996 Mueve La Cadera (Reel 2 Real feat. Proyecto Uno)

1996 Jazz It Up (Reel 2 Real)

1996 Are You Ready For Some More (Reel 2 Real)

1997 Fun (Da Mob feat. Jocelyn Brown)

1997 Partay Feeling (B-Crew)

1997 Tripping (Smooth Touch)

1998 It’s All Good (Da Mob feat. Jocelyn Brown)

1998 Distortion (Pianoheadz)

1999 Believe (Ministers De-La-Funk feat. Jocelyn Brown)

2002 Come Make Me Over

2003 Dancin’ (Erick Morillo feat. {Harry “Choo Choo” Romero & Jose Nunez)

2004 Refresher (Time Of Your Life)

2004 My World (Erick Morillo feat. P. Diddy)

2005 Break Down The Doors (Erick Morillo feat. Audio Bullys)

2005 What Do You Want (Erick Morillo feat. Terra Deva)

2005 Waiting In The Darkness (Erick Morillo feat. Leslie Carter)

2006 Jazz In Your Face

2006 Call Me (The Dronez feat. Shawnee Taylor)

2006 Tonite (MNM feat. Shawnee Taylor)

2006 Dance I Said (Erick Morillo feat. P. Diddy)

2007 Life Goes On (Richard Grey vs. Erick Morillo feat. Jose Nunez & Shawnee Taylor)

2008 Make A Move {Harry “Choo Choo” Romero feat. Erick Morillo & P. Diddy)

2008 Where Are You Now? (DJ DLG feat. Erick Morillo)


1993 Yolanda – Reality

1993 Whoomp There It Is – Tag Team

1995 One Moment In Time – Stex

1995 What I Need – Crystal Waters

1996 Keep It Up – Hipgrinders

1997 Dreams – Smokin’ Beats

1997 Fly Life – Basement Jaxx

1998 She Wants You – Billie

1998 Found A Cure – Ultra Nat

1998 In My Life – Jos Nuez

1998 Good Love – Richard F.

1998 Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Jocelyn Brown

1999 Don’t Call Me Baby – Madison Avenue

1999 Bailamos – Enrique Iglesias

1999 Not Over You Yet – Diana Ross

1999 Red Alert – Basement Jaxx

1999 Big Love – Pete Heller

1999 Hold On – Jos Nuez

2000 Welcome To The Jungle – Thick Dick

2000 My Only Love – Bob Sinclar

2000 Scream & Shout – The Committee

2000 I Feel For You – Bob Sinclar

2000 Brasil Over Zurich – Tanga Chick

2000 Sunday Shouting – Johnny Corporate

2000 I’m Your Baby Tonight – Whitney Houston

2001 Sexual Revolution – Macy Gray

2001 I’m So Crazy – Par-T-one

2001 Keep On Touchin’ Me – Jaimy & Kenny D.

2001 Keep The Love – Money Chocolate

2001 Austin’s Groove – Kid Crme

2001 You & Me – LL Cool J

2001 Close to My Heart (Ano Natsu no Mama de) – Misia

2001 Last Dance – Superfunk

2002 Air Race – Jos Nuez

2002 Thrill Me – Junior Jack

2002 Lady – Modjo

2003 Born Too Slow – Crystal Method

2004 What Happened – Harry “Choo Choo” Romero

2005 Father – Anthony Rother


^ 1989 Altruist: A Classic Year The Emerson High School yearbook for 1989

^ Toni Wry. “ERICK MORILLO: THE GLOBE-TROTTING DJ” Event Orb; January 13, 2009

^ “Double honours for dance stars”. BBC News. 1999-10-16. Retrieved 2009-01-03. 

^ “Superstar DJ denies drugs charge” BBC; December 22, 2008

Ressler, Darren; rick Morillo Shakes Up New York; Mixer magazine; April 2000.

See also

List of number-one dance hits (United States)

List of artists who reached number one on the US Dance chart

External links

Official Site




Categories: Living people | 1971 births | Club DJs | American DJs | American dance musicians | American house musicians | American electronic musicians | Colombian-Americans | Colombians of Black African descent | People from Union City, New JerseyHidden categories: BLP articles lacking sources | Articles lacking reliable references from February 2007 | All articles lacking sources | All articles with unsourced statements | Articles with unsourced statements from December 2008

Haiti:the Magic Land


By Alejandro Guevara Onofre


In 1492 Christopher Columbus wrote about Haiti: “The most beautiful in the world”. Certainly, Haiti is a wonderful country in the Caribbean. I think that has a special beauty, with a geography and traditional culture that is totally different from all the other countries in Latin America.

Now, this essay is a historical information about Haiti, the first black republic in the modern history and one of the poorest nations on Earth. Each chapter provides details on history, economy, biographies, sport, awards, foreign relations, culture and other important aspects of Haiti. The people that don’t know Haiti very much think that Haiti is only one of the world’s poorest countries, but the Island is known for its traditional culture, hospitality, superstitions, history. Furthermore, Haiti is the home to National Park History, one of the ancient wonders of the world, and renowned women such as Edwidge Danticat and Michaëlle Jean were born there.

Since then, the dictatorships have destroyed Haitian society, economy, ecology and sport. Since 1950, two million Haitian people emigrated to the United States and other countries. Haitian-American arrived from Haiti with nothing more than their clothes. If we compare the Haiti of today to Haiti of thirty years ago, we see a change: a new multiparty democracy. Today, a vast part of the Third World and more than a billion people are under dictatorships.

Eventually, I would like to finish my introduction with a message by Albert Mangones: “Haiti is unique in history, going directly from slavery to nationhood”.


1492: Columbus discovered Haiti in the 15th Century.

1520-1697: Haiti is a Spanish territory. In the late 1500 and early 1600, African slaves flocked to Island.

1697-1790: Haiti is a French colony. After 16th Century, Haiti became the most important French colony in the Americas. Island´s export to Europe included sugar, coffee and corn. The beauty of Haiti is recognized by the French in the mid-1700 Century, when they called it “Pearl the Caribbean”.

1790-1803: During the French colonization slaves suffers from maltreatment. By the late 1790, pro-independence demonstrations. An Anti-slavery movement under Toussaint L´Ouverture began. L´Ouverture is one of the most important black leaders in the history.During this period of time, Haitian slaves attack villages. Anti-French protests riots brutally suppressed. By the late 1803, under leadership of Jean Jacques Dessalines, Haiti army defeated the French forces at the Battle of Vertieres.

1804-1806:A French colony for more than hundred years, Haiti becomes independent, one of the most important events in the history. Jean Jacques Dessalines became the first president of new republic of Haiti, the first black republic in the modern history. Dessalines is the “Father of Modern Haiti”. Haiti occupies the Western third of Hispaniola, the second-largest Island in the Caribbean.

1804-1820: Unfortunately; Haiti is divided into two zones. Northern Haiti is occupied by Henri Christopher, who is named Emperor, while the north is occupied by Alexander Petion. Petion is probably the greatest Haitian politician who ever lived.

1880: Haiti has one of the richest ecosystems in the Caribbean.

1900: Haiti´s modern political has been tumultuous, marked by dictatorships

1915-1934: Haiti has not had an effective national government Invasion by United States forces. US troops sent to Haiti during civil sub-war.

1918: The Presidential Palace, one of the best national palaces in the world, is originally designed by the Haitian Georges Bassan. Bassan is inspired to White House Washington.

1926: Emily Greene Balch, a human rights activist, went to Haiti.

1928: Cator is the only Haitian ever to win olympic silver medal. After, Haitian athlete Sylvio Cator breaks the men’s long jump record in Paris. Cator was given a hero’s welcome when he returned to his country.

1937: In the Dominican Republic, Rafael Leonidas Trujillo ordered national troops to massacre of 20000 Haitian emigrants.

1940-1950: Haiti is one of the most popular travel destinations in the Caribbean.

1944: Dewitt Peters, an American school-teacher, founded the Centre d’Art in Port -au-Prince Since 1944, Centre d’Art became the centre of the Haitian painting. It is now one of Haiti´s biggest tourist attractions, and every year thousands of people came to see the paintings and other work of Haitian art.

1945: Haiti becomes the 26th member of the United Nations in October.

1956: Haiti establishes diplomatic relations with the Republic of China (Taiwan).

1956: Daniel Fignolé is President of the Provisional Council and Head of State of Haiti

1957-1971:After working for a time as a traditional doctor, Francois Duvalier became one of Haiti’s most famous doctors. In 1957, Duvalier is elected President of the Republic of Haiti. President Duvalier announced: “My government will guarantee the exercise of liberty to all Haitians”. Francois Duvalier, also known for his nickname “Papa Doc”, emerged as Head of State and quickly gained nearly absolute power. In 1961 “Papa Doc” rewrote the National Constitution. After, he became the first “President for Eternity of Haiti”. In the 1960s and 1970s “Papa Doc” popularizes superstitions ideas to Haiti through a series of important voodoo rites. The Duvalier dictatorship instituted rig press censorship. International agencies accuse government of grave human rights abuses. His regime of terror resulted in the deaths of least 30000 Haitian. The Island is one of the most dangerous countries in the Third World.

1957-1981: Haitian First Lady Simone Ovide became one of the most dominant women in the history of Haiti. Simone, wife of the most famous dictator of Haiti, gained in influence and power through corruption and crime.

1957-1989: For many decades, Haiti does not have diplomatic relations with the USSR, People’s Republic of China, Cuba, Hungary, South Africa and East Germany.

1960: The Tonton Macoutes, the brutal secret police, initiated a “Haitian genocide” in which political prisoners were tortured and executed.

1964: Joseph Eduard Gaetjens, the idol of millions of Haitians, is arrested and killed by the Tonton Macoutes, the sinister Haitian secret police. Like John Barnes (Jamaica) and Everald “Gally” Cummings (Trinidad Tobago), he was a great footballer in the Caribbean. After, Gaetjens become a world symbol of the struggle against dictatorship in the Third World. He had dual Haitian and American nationality and played at 1950 World Cup for the United States. Son of Haitian mother and Belgium father, he played for many clubs in the United States. The year 1950 was a very important year for Gaetjens: the United States beat England 1-0, the birthplace of the modern football.

1964: Francois Duvalier changed the national flag. Black and red are the colors chosen by Duvalier. Black, which is similar to the Angolan flag, represents the descendants of the patriot Francois Toussaint L’Ouverture and is also the traditional color of the Haitian people. While, red symbolizes the country`s independence. But the original flag, used since 1803, was removed in 1986 by order of the new government.

1966: Haile Selassie, the Emperor of Ethiopia, arrives in Port-au-Prince. Under the leadership of Dictator Francois Duvalier, many African countries maintain official diplomatic relations with Haiti.

1967: The Comedians, a film by British director Peter Glenville, inspired in the cruel Haitian dictatorship by the Duvalier family.

1971: After Duvalier’s death, power passed to his son Jean Claude Duvalier, the man who became known throughout the world as “Baby Doc”. Baby Doc is as dictatorial as his father. Haiti is ruled by iron hand. Duvalier, best known for his anticommunist political, is omnipresent. Many opposition leaders were arrested. He is accused of human rights abuses. Thousand of Haitian people fled the country. Corruption is prevalent at all levels of government. The health system is one of the worst in the Americas.

1974: The sporting system is one of the worst in the Third World, but Haiti qualified for the 1974 FIFA World Cup. Haiti beat Trinidad-Tobago in the World Cup qualifiers. Is one of the greatest sporting moment, in the chronology, comparing it to something like Sylvio Cator, who won a silver medal in long jump in the 1928 Olympics Games in Holland.

1975: In El Salvador, Miss Haiti, Gerthie David, is named first runner up at Miss Universe Pageant… transmitting live to millions by CBS. After, Gerthie David is acclaimed in Port-au-Prince as a national heroine. Miss Haiti competed with 71 other women from around the world for the title of Miss Universe, including Miss USA, Summer Barthollomew.

1980: Like Canada, West Germany South Korea and Kenya, Haiti boycott the Moscow Olympic Games in protest for Soviet invasion of Afghanistan

1980-1986: Jean-Claude Duvalier, Haiti’s longtime dictator, married Michelle Bennett, an aristocratic lady. A little more than three months later, Bennett-Duvalier becomes First Lady of Haiti. Like Eva Peron (Argentina) or Jiang Qing (People’s Republic of China), she was a woman with great power. Michelle Bennett promoted her mulatto countrymen to positions of leadership in the dictatorship at his expense of the African-Haitians.

1982: The National History Park (La Citadelle Laferriere, Sans Souci Palace and Ramiers) is designated as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. Like Machu Picchu (Peru) and Angkor What (Cambodia), the National History Park is considered among the wonders of the world.

1982: Ronald Agenor wins a gold medal in men’s tennis singles at the Central American and Caribbean Sports Games La Havana. He captures the hearts of the Island.

1983: Pope John Paul arrives in Haiti for a visit. “Things most change here”, said John Paul II.

1986: As Jean-Claude consolidated his power, he consistently refused to consider constitutional reform. The insurrection against the dictator Jean Claude Duvalier began…Antigovernment protesters in the capital. Many deaths, injuries and arrests. Seeming end to long Haitian dictatorship with fall of Duvalier regime.

1987: Haiti has one of the America’s rates of HIV infection

1987: The New Constitution restored many of the liberties abolished by the Duvalier family. The National Constitution recognizes both French and Creole as official languages. A new opposition emerged under Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

1988: Writer Rene Depestre wins the Prix Ranandot. Depestre, a Haitian dissident now living in France, was cited his novel Hadriana dans tous mes reves. By the mid-1980s Rene Depestre had become well known in literacy circles outside Haiti.

1990: Ertha Pascall-Trouillot becomes the first black woman elected of head of state in the world.

1990: First multi-party elections. Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a charismatic black leader, was elected president of Haiti. Aristide is the first democratic president since 1804.He was elected with the most popular support of any Haitian presidential candidate in the history.

1991: Military coup in the country. Raoul Cedras, leader of the coup, emerged as head of the new government. This year marked the end of eight months of democracy. Under new government, all political parties were dissolved.

1991-1995: Like Equatorial Guinea, Cuba and North Korea, Haiti has one of the most serious human rights problems in the Third World.

1993: United Nations imposed economic sanctions on Haiti, one of the most densely populated nations in the Americas.

1994: Peaceful occupation by United States forces to restore democratic electoral system. Raoul Cedras and his family went into exile in Panama City. Aristide was restored to power.

1995: In Port-au-Prince, sub-war violence includes assassination of Meireille Durocher Bertin.

1995: In Beijing, the capital of city of the People’s Republic of China, Haiti participated in the UN`s Fourth World Conference on Women

1996:More than 5,000 Haitians had been killed and miles more fled to abroad, United States, Canada, Bahamas and Dominican Republic, since 1991.

1998: Haitian president Renè Garcia Preval arrives in Taipei (Taiwan) for a four-day state visit. He and President Lee will sign a communiqué to strengthen bilateral friendship and cooperation.

1999: Dominican president Leonel Fernandez visit to Haiti as part of a new diplomacy.

2002: In Paris, Dudley Dorival finished 3rd in the 110 hurdles at the World Championships. He becomes the 1st Haitian to win an individual international medal since 1928.Dorival was born in New Jersey, United States, to Haitian parents on 1 September 1975. He in 2000 officially became a citizen of Haiti.

2000: Haiti is one of the thirty poorest countries in the Third World.

2000-2001: The elections were boycotted by the main opposition political parties. Aristide was again elected President. Widespread violent in Haiti allege that Aristide’s election victory is fraudulent. Total political censorship exists in national media.

2004: This year Haiti is celebrating the 200th Anniversary of their National Independence. President Jean-Bertrand Aristide of Haiti flees to Central African Republic following anti-government demonstrations. Haiti has one of the most violent conflict areas in the Americas. After, UN troops sent to Haiti during civil sub-war.

2006: Rene Preval is sworn in as President of Haiti. Since the peaceful transfer of power in February, Haiti is the newest democracy in the Third World.


Like Bangladesh, Uganda or Tanzania, Haiti is one of the poorest countries on Earth. In 1997, the Haiti’s economic growth rate (real GDP) per capita was U$ 1,300. GDP per capita for Namibia, Botswana and Equatorial Guinea are higher than for Haiti. In the country 4 million people living on less than U a day. More than 6 million of the Haiti’s population still does not have access to potable water and electricity. For years of dictatorships had left the country’s economy in ruins. The country dependent on international aid. Several hundred thousand farm workers migrate each year to Dominican Republic.

In 1997, total exports for the year were U0 million, while total imports were US$ 486 million. Since 1804, the US market has been the most important export destination for Haiti. Nearly 80 percent of Haiti’s total exports are destined for the United States. Haiti’s exports include sisal, mangoes, coffee, cotton, bauxite, and sugar. The Island’s imports from the United States include cement, oil, food, machinery and transport equipment. France has been the second largest exports destination for Haitian products.

In the past, the tourism industry occupied an eminent place in the Haitian economy, but several political problems have blocked tourism. Haiti was the first country in the Caribbean to promote tourism in an accelerated form. Haiti is a small country with vast mountains, tropical beaches and beautiful historic buildings.


Like Katherine Dunham, Lillian Hellman, W.B. Seabrook, Erik Leonard Ekman, Alejo Carpentier, Selden Rodman, Noel Coward and Angeline Jolie, many people say that Haiti is the most beautiful country in the Caribbean. Known as the “Magic Land”, Haiti is famous for its culture. Certainly, Haiti its culture, its superstitions and its music. The superstitions or voodoo plays a profound role in the lives of many Haitians. The voodoo was introduced into Haiti in the late 16th Century. Haiti is also famous for its painting, and finally for its ruins…for example the Sans Souci Palace, the most famous ruins in the Caribbean. Exactly, this enigmatic palace is considered a Cultural Heritage for Humanity by UNESCO. Originally constructed by black slaves, now Sans Souci is one of Haiti’s main tourist attractions.

Since the late 1940s, Haitian painting, best known as “naïve art” or “intuitive art”, is famous all around the World. The most important figure was Hector Hyppolite. His work made its biggest splash in the United States in the 20th Century. Other artists known internationally include Rigaud Benoit, Castera Bazile, Joseph Jean-Giles and Jean-Baptista Bottlex.Haiti is famous for its traditional sculpture. The best Haitian sculptor is Albert Mangoes.


Nelust Wyclef Jean (singer/Haitian-American): Original member of 1990s hip hop group The Fugees. Wyclef Jean is probably the most popular Haitian singer of all time. Jean was born in Croix des Bouquets (Haiti) on October 17, 1972. When he was just ten years old, he moved to the United States. Under leadership of Wyclef Jean and Lauryn Hill, The Fugees had several hits in the 1990s, including The Score (The Score album sold 6 million copies). Since 1997, Wyclef Jean, as soloist, became well-known on the international music scene. Like songwriter and producer, Jean collaborated with superstars as Santana, Withney Houston, Mick Jagger,Bono,Tevin Cambpell, Bounty Killer, Eric Benet, Sarah Connor, Claudette Ortiz, Tarkan, Michael Jackson, Youssou N´Dor, Shakira, Olga Tañon, Carlos Ponce and Julio Voltio. During the last seven years, he has sold more than 10 millions albums worldwide. In 2002, his single Masquerade was a great success.

Since then, Wyclef Jean is a man that always works with love for Haiti, one of the World’s poorest countries. Recently, he makes perhaps his best work: “Yele Haiti”, a foundation which works for the human development in the Island. Like Miriam Makeba in South Africa or Bianca Jagger in Nicaragua, Jean loves his roots. In an interview for Magazine, Wyclef Jean discussed about Haitian roots: “I am 100% Haitian. I am proud to be Haitian. I still have my Haitian passport. I represent Haiti in everything that I do. Every head in the industry knows that I am Haitian…they know what I’m about. I was Haitian forst. Haitian till die!”, said Jean.

Discography: Wyclef Jean Present the Carnival Featuring the refugee All-Stars (1997) / The Ecleftic:2 Sides II a Book/ Masquerade (2002) / The Preacher’s (2003)/ Sak Pasé Presents: Creole 101( 2004) /Hips Don’t Lie (with Shakira, 2006).


Gerthie David “The Black Goddess”

In 1975, many Haitian people were shocked to open their newspapers and see photographs of Gerthie David Miss Haiti in El Salvador. On the night of July 19th 1975, in San Salvador, Gerthie David, Miss Haiti, was the second black woman to first runner-up in the history of Miss Universe Pageant. After winning the Miss Haiti title, Gerthie went to San Salvador, the capital city of El Salvador, to enter the Miss Universe Contest. The competence was exhausting, very hard, for example Miss Bolivia, Jackeline Gammarra, great favorite, was eliminated. This day, Miss Haiti looks like a black goddess. Her exotic beauty and charming personality are amazing! At 1,72m in height, she was the best in the evening gown competition, but her speech about the Haitian superstitions swayed thousands of applauses in the 25th Edition of the Contest. Certainly, Miss Haiti captive to the judges Sarah Vaughan (American black singer), Maribel Arrieta (Miss El Salvador 1955 and First runner-up at Miss Universe 1955), Jean Claude Killy (French sportsmen) and Leon Uris(American writer ).

When Bob Barker, the host this pageant, announces the final placements, Gerthie was cheered by the entire auditorium. Suddenly, her pulse rate beats at thousand per minute… “First runner-up is Miss Haiti!”, said Barker. She was one of the most exotic delegates in all history of Miss Universe. In the 1970s, Gerthie David was a model from Port-au Prince and she became a symbol to the Haitian youth. Next months, in London, Joelle Apollon, Miss Haiti-World, came in sixth place at Miss World 1975.After sixteen years, Marjorie Vincent, formerly Miss Illinois 1991,won the title of Miss America Pageant. The first Miss America to originate from the Caribbean. In other words, Marjorie Vincent has Haitian roots. Furthermore, she was the second black woman to win the pageant.


Like in Brazil or Italy, the football is the most popular sport in Haiti. Certainly, the national pastime is the football. A different of the Dominican Republic or Puerto Rico, the Haitian people don’t like the baseball. In the 20th Century, football became the most popular sport in the Island, thanks to such heroes as Sylvio Cator, Joseph Gaetjens and Emmanuel Sanon. In 1974 Haiti qualified for the World Cup in Germany.

Emmanuel Sanon was one of the Haiti’s most popular players and played at the 1974 World Cup. Sanon made a great contribution to Haitian football because he played in more World Cup qualifiers any other Haitian. He is still very popular with local fans. Other phenomenal talent was Joseph Eduard Gaetjens. He represented both Haiti and the United States. He made FIFA World Cup History: When scored United States opening goal in the 1950 World Cup against England. Joseph came to the United States in the 1940s to play in the American Soccer League. His beautiful play in the Brookhattan Club made in a national star. In 1953, he played for Haiti for the first time.

It’s practically impossible to talk about Haitian athletes without mentioning Sylvio Cator. He is a legend in this sport. Cator won the silver medal in the long jump at 1928 Amsterdam Olympics. Cator returned home to a hero’s welcome. From 1928 to 1930, he was record man in the long jump. Cator was a marvelous jumper and footballer. He also played an important role in popularizing football in the Island (it was the captain of Haitian National Team).

Since then, he is an example for young people in Haiti. He died in November 1938, but today the people of Haiti still think of him with respect. Many years after Cator’s death, the National Stadium in Por-au-Prince was renamed in his honor. Cator was the first of the great Caribbean sportsmen that would come to dominate world track and field.


Bruny Surin (Canada-Haiti/track field)/ Edrick Floreal (Canada-Haiti/track field)/ Samuel Dalembert ( USA-Haiti/basketball) / Ronald Agenor (USA-Haiti/tennis)/ Sylvio Cator (track and field)/ Yves Jeudy (Box)/ Dieudonne Lamothe (marathon)/ Ludovic Augustin (shooting)/ Ludovic Volborge (shooting)/ Joseph Eduard Gaetjens (Haiti-USA/football)/ Dudley Dorival (track field)/ Fitz Plantin Andre (football)/ Emmanuel Sanon (football)/ Josmer Altidore (Haitian-American/football).

Dudley Dorival (track and field): Dudley Dorival was born on 1 September 1975 in Elizabeth (New Jersey, USA). Dorival is the son of Haitian parents and got Haitian nationality just in time for the XXVII Summer Olympics Games. Since the 2000 Olympics, Dudley Dorival has competed in international competitions under the banner of Haiti. In Sydney (Australia) Dorival finished 7th in the 110m hurdles. He became the first Haitian to Olympic finalist since Yves Jeudy (boxer) in 1976. He won the silver medal at the 1994 World Junior Championship, the bronze at the 2001 World Chanpionship and the gold medal at the 2002 Central American and Caribbean Games El Salvador. Dorival is one of the best sportsman in the history of Haiti.


Michaëlla Jean (Governor-General of Canada)/ Yvonne Neptune (former Prime Minister)/Claudette Werleigh (Prime Minister 1995-1996)/Lina Blanchet (singer)/ Edwidge Danticat (writer)/ Michelle Bennett Duvalier(First Lady of Haiti 1981-1986)/ Luce Turnier (painter)/ Ertha Pascal-Trouillot (Head of State 1990-1991)/ Marie Casimir (journalist) / Sonia Sekula (Painter) / Marie Chauvet (writer)/ Suzanne Comhaire-Sylvain (writer)/ Carmen Brouard (singer)/Dayana Bennett (journalist and actress) / Elie Price (singer)/ Blanche Bosselman (singer)/ Lina Mathon (singer)/ Georgette Moliere (singer)/ Simone Ovide Duvalier (First Lady of Haiti 1957-1981)/ Marleine Bastien (human rights leader)/ Garcelle Beauvais (actress and model)/ Deborah Saint-Phard (track and field)/ Antoinette Gauthier (track and field), Louise Pierre (track and field)/ Rose Gauthier (track and field)

Edwidge Danticat (writer): One of the Caribbean’s most famous writers in the 21st Century. She has written several novels and collections of shore stories, including Kri? Kra!, nominated for a National Book Award. Danticat attracted international attention in 1997 when she wrote perhaps her most famous novel Farming of the Bones, a story about genocide Haitians under the repressive dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo.

Garcelle Beauvais (actress): She is the first Haitian actress to star on television. Although she has lived in the United States for many years, the actress and former fashion model Garcelle Beauvais was born in Saint Marc, a city in Haiti, in 1966. She is perhaps best known for her role as Francesca Monroe on TV’s the Jamie Foxx Show. Like Gerthie David, Joelle Apollon, Evelyn Miot, and Marjorie Vincent, she has the classic beauty of the Haitian black woman


-Bennet Patterson, Carolyn.”Haiti: Beyond mountains, more mountains”, National Geographic, Washington DC, January 1976

-Bishop,Randa. “Imponentes monumentos haitianos”, Americas, Washington DC, enero-febrero 1987

-Cobb,Charles. “Haiti against all odds”, National Geographic, November 1987

-Encyclopaedia Britannica Book of the Year 1981, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Chicago, 1980

-Encyclopaedia Britannica Almanac 2003, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Chicago, 2002

-Guevara Onofre, Alejandro. Enciclopedia Mundototal 1999, Editorial San Marcos, Lima, 1998

-Hunter, Brian. The Statesman’s Year-Book 1991-92, The Macmillan Press, 1991

-Moritz, Charles. Current Biography Yearbook 1972, H.W Wilson Company, NY

-Sconfield, John. “Haiti-West Africa in the West Indies”, National Geographic, Washington DC, February 1961

-The International Who’s Who 1996-97, Europe Publications, London, 1996

-The World Almanac 2001, World Almanac Books, New Jersey, 2001

-Tibballs, Geoff. The Olympics´ strangest moments, Robson Books, London, 2004

-Vargas Llosa, Mario. “Haití: la muerte”, El Comercio, Lima, 25.4.1994

-Visión. “Imperio del Poder Vitalicio”, Santiago de Chile, 17 de marzo de 1967

-Wallechinsky, David. The complete Book of the Olympics, Aurum Press, London, 2004

-Wallechinsky, David-Wallace, Irving. The People’s Almanac2, Batam Book Inc “1975 El Salvador Miss Universe” (video)

Poem Translation

Translation of poetry is one of the most difficult and challenging tasks for every translator. According to Robert Frost’s definition, “Poetry is what gets lost in translation”. This statement could be considered as a truthful one to a certain extent because there is no one-to-one equivalent when comparing two languages. Even if the translators possess a profound knowledge in the source language they would not be able to create a replica of the original text. What should be preserved when translating poetry are the emotions, the invisible message of the poet, the uniqueness of the style in order to be reached the same effect in the target language as it is in the source. When talking about the translation of poetry we could not but mention some of the numerous problems encountered during this process. The essential problem with translation is an obvious one. A word has more qualities than just its denotation. For one, a word has a sound, an attribute which has great importance in poetry (though we should not underestimate its significance in prose, as well). Also, a word consists of various connotations, meanings which only rarely cross over from language to language. Complicating matters is the nature of literature itself. Writers and poets put pressure on the language; they often choose words because of their rich variety of meanings, complicating rather than clarifying their subjects. Unfortunately, then, for the translator of literature, the currency of words is not as easy to exchange as the other kind of currency. Italian has a saying, “traduttore-traditore” (translator-betrayer). The phrase reveals at once the problem of all translators – words don’t have literal equivalents in different languages. To say “translator-traitor” in English would be unduly dramatic!
But, as Christopher Caudwell notes in his “Illusion and Reality”, while the qualities of great novels can survive translation, those of poetry cannot. Surprisingly enough, this is not due to the difficulty of translating metrical pattern, but to the nature of poetry itself. The usefulness of the debate on translating is that it compels us to look more critically at the task of the poet and the function of poetry. Poetry is neither just words, nor just metre. It is a music of words, and is a way of seeing and interpreting the world and our experience of it, and of conveying to the listener a heightened awareness of it through an intense concentration of metaphor and words in which the natural flow of speech sounds is moulded to some kind of formal pattern. Such patterns can never be the same after the act of translation. Pattern, obviously, is governed by the rules of syntax and prosody that language has inherited from the historical and social pressures that shaped it. Poets may accept or reject these rules, but this is also determined by historical and social tensions. Some who choose to modify the rules may, like Lear or Carroll, for example, or Edith Sitwell, do so by writing “sound poems” or nonsense verse, musical but meaningless. Emerging from the same social tensions, poetic “movements” have expressed widely divergent views on what should be the purpose and the structure of poetry. What, then, is a translator to do? Which of the many threads of which poetry is made must he capture in his translation? Luckily, we don’t have to answer that question. He answers it for us. He responds to his own poetic instincts. He chooses which of the poems many threads he will seek to interpret. If he aims at literal translation, he will not necessarily expect a “poetic” result. He may aim to translate a poem’s “music” or “mood”. But the sounds of words and the norms of prosody make of every language a fortified compound, as hard to escape from as to access. E. V. Rieu recognizes the inherent difficulty of translation. Perfect translation may be impossible, so the best we can hope for, he writes in the following, is a translation of the spirit of the work: “I call it the principal of equivalent effect and regard it as signifying that that translation is the best which comes nearest to creating in its audience the same impression as was made by the original on its contemporaries” (55). Rieu criticizes the translators of the King James Version of the Bible for remaining stubbornly faithful to the original language. Here he presents a parable, the moral of which is undoubtedly weakened by awkward translation. St. Luke in (xvii 8) reports Jesus as imagining a scene in which a master says to his slave, “Get something ready for my supper.” The Greek is colloquial and the master is not represented as speaking politely. Yet the authorized translators put into his mouth the words: “Make ready wherewith I may sup.” (55) In that example the superiority of Rieu’s plain-spoken translation is obvious, but it begs the question of how much freedom does one give a translator. Rieu’s ideal that a translated work must cause “the same impression” as the original seems to give scholars license to embellish. Werner Winter believes that, regardless of the degree of embellishment, translation cannot avoid altering the work. Try as we might, Winter writes, “Meaning and form cannot be dissociated from one another” (70). That is, just the basic look and sound of a group of words lined up together is tied up with their meaning, and the differences between languages make impossible their unaltered, undefiled translation. He compares the translator to a sculptor who attempts to replicate a marble statue without the benefit of marble. “Whatever his material,” Winter writes, “if he is a good craftsman, his work may be good or even great; it may indeed surpass the original, but it will never be what he set out to produce, an exact replica of the original” (65). Words, like marble, have certain intrinsic qualities that are indivisible from the form they take. If perfect translation is impossible, as Winter regards it to be, how much imperfection do we allow before we give up the whole thing? There arise certain difficulties in poetic translation process; the losses are the result of the existing divergences in the grammatical structure or in the means of expression in the two languages, first of all in the greater number of syllables in the same words in Persian, which is a tangible obstacle for the translators of poetry. That is why in order to maintain the poetic metre of the lines in the original stanza above the translator had to transform them. By studying and analyzing Robert Frost’s heritage and translating his poems into the target language in the light of his own understanding, the translator made an attempt to make an adequate contribution into literary translation development and transform the values of the source culture into the target culture through the subjective innovative perception of the translator, tried to achieve the “translation of full value”, to find the core of translation and tried to create the version of translation in the target language so that it should make sense and bring aesthetic and emotional pleasure to the target reader with minimum losses in perception and created a more precise and detailed translation, enriching it with his own vision preserving details and subtle shades of the source poem with minimized losses in its form and content in comparison with other versions of translation. In her essay “The Politics of Translation,” Gayatri Spivak writes about the responsibilities that we have as Western readers and writers to question our position and privileged identity over, in particular, third-world translated texts. “Translation is the most intimate act of reading,” she writes. “I surrender to the text when I translate (398).” Surrendering to the text means careful attention and awareness of both the logic and the rhetoric of the original language–an attention that would be difficult to master without doing the hard work of actually immersing oneself in the culture and language of the text being translated. Ammiel Alcalay, in an interview with Benjamin Hollander, writes that learning another language is crucial in the agenda to “stretch the American context to engage with experiences that are not made to fit existing models”(184). To Alcalay it is crucial to resist mono-lingualism and to “give permission to other languages, literatures, and cultures to come into the space of the language you happen to be writing in (194).” Shafi’ee Kadkani (2001) believes that “good poetry, ranging from the most modern to the most traditional types, is one which would sediment totally or partially in the memory of serious readers of poetry…” (p.23).This ‘sedimentary’ aspect of poetry among Persian speakers can be traced in their appreciation of their great poets such as Ferdowsi, Rumi, Sa’di, and Hafiz. Among these great figures, Sa’di was the one who, according to Arberry (1945), “brought the high style down to the understanding of the masses, but without sacrificing either purity or elegance.” (p. 22). Among the huge bulk of Sa`di’s masterpieces a very short but universally known piece has been selected for this study, i.e. “Oneness of Mankind.” This has been done for two reasons: First, Sa`di’s style is a model of ‘elegant simplicity,’ i.e. while his poems are not devoid of the artificial aids of such figures of speech as puns, allusions, and metaphors, he nevertheless keeps a tight rein upon his exuberant fancy and avoids the pitfalls of becoming precious and obscure, of overloading his matter with too great a burden of learning (Arberry 1945). Thus, it seems that one who wants to translate Sa`di would not have to tread a ‘thorny’ road. Second, the availability of different English translations of the selected piece persuaded the researchers to examine it through a comparative analysis, with the purpose of coming up with a clear understanding of the rhetorical diversities involved in translating poetry. Most translation authorities believe in some sort of stylistic loss in translating poetry into prose, let alone for rendering a poem into its equivalent verse. This is partly true for Sa`di, where the intended meaning and the whole beauty of his style lies in the beautiful wording of his poems and the application of ‘art prose’ (Saj’). This will be better clarified by taking a look at the prose version of Rehatsek (1964) below: All men are members of the same body, Created from one essence. If fate brings suffering to one member, The others cannot stay at rest. You who remain indifferent To the burden of pain of others, Do not deserve to be called human. (p. 85) Although faithful to the meaning of the original poem, this rendering has not been able to create its aesthetic effect. Sa`di’s art is to put the most manifest truths into the most memorable words. But Rehatsek’s version has just considered the first part of this reality, i.e. putting the simplest truths into the simplest words. Moreover, he has not been able to show the sense of religiosity characterizing Sa`di’s poetry. At the same time, the last two-three lines are so pedantic and laborious that one may feel the translator is not a native speaker of English. Theodore Savory regards translation as a worthwhile enterprise, despite the built-in flaws. As the following passage suggests, Savory does not regard these flaws as terribly serious ones: “… losses in translation occur only when the original words contain something more than their plain meaning. In Savory’s view, prose offers little problem to the translator, since the complications making the translation of poetry difficult reside solely in the domain of poetry and are in fact what elevates poetry above prose (78). One wonders what Savory would make of the translation of an especially poetic bit of prose–the last paragraph in James Joyce’s “The Dead,” for instance–but his point is clear. Poetic devices, then, are “characteristics which cannot be translated” (78). What can be translated is the poet’s vision; Savory writes, “The poet has seen or heard or otherwise experienced something that we might never have known but for his poetry; and these experiences can be expressed in another tongue by simple and faithful translation” (88). In other words, although alliteration, assonance, consonance, punned expressions, rhyme and meter may be lost in translation, the poet’s unique vision will remain, if translated simply and faithfully, and that alone makes translation worthwhile. Your job as a translator is not only to pass the meaning of the poem into another language but to respect and honor its spirit. I don’t mean you need a séance with a thousand candles, begging the poem to breathe your page. I mean that there are some rules to respect when you translate a poem. 1. Stay Close to the Poem. Read the poem again and again until the words become second nature on your tongue. By doing this, you will be able to feel the rhythm of the poem. You will recognize the pace, the pauses, the beats, the swirls of energy. Write the poem in longhand and make ten copies. Stick these where you can see and read them. Try the bathroom, the kitchen cabinet, or the freezer door, leading to the Ben & Jerry’s. These copies will familiarize you with the poem’s grammatical structure: Where the adjectives are, where there is a break in tenses. Plus, if you put them on that package of Oreo’s, it’ll take you longer to gobble the bag down. You will have to read the poem first! 2. Know the poet. If you are lucky enough to pick a living poet to translate, write to him or her. Get to know the person; ask him or her questions about the poem. What was the poet thinking when writing the poem? What does the poet think the poem means? Is there any imagery or language that is repeated? Is there anything symbolic from his or her life? What does the poet think of poetry? The more you know about the poet and his or her life, the better able you are to understand the nuances of the poem. Be courteous and grateful. The poet is answering your questions to help you with your translation. If, however, you choose a poet who has passed on, your job is a little harder. Try and find out as much as you can about the poet’s life. Most countries have national writer’s associations. If they don’t, check the web and university libraries and language departments. Maybe from there you can find other people who knew the poet or can help guide you. Build as many contacts as you can. Be familiar with the poet and you will get a sense for the poem. 3. Go for Grace. When you translate a poem, your job is to stay as close to the meaning as possible. That said, you also have artistic license to use (not abuse) the meaning to make a clear and graceful translation. Translating slag is an excellent example of when to use artistic license. Some slang has absolutely no meaning in another language. In fact, a direct translation would make the poem fail. In that case, turn the meaning of the slang into its equivalent. Remember, you want readers in your language to enjoy the poem, not marvel at how well you can directly translate words. 4. Be Wary. This tip is for those of you who think translating takes a few minutes’ tops. There are some great computer programs that are designed for translation. There are also some excellent dictionaries and phrase books. But do not rely on them to give you the end-all-be-all translation. You must do the footwork. You can use these computer programs and dictionary translations as a guide. They may help get to the bones of the poem but your job is to put heart and live language on those bones. 5. Take a Deep Breath. When you finish a translation, sit tight for a few days, maybe even a week, before you go over it. Take some time to think about something else, in your own language. Then come back and see where the gaps and the goodies are. 6. Have a Self- Confidence in Translating of Poem You as a translator should have courage and dare to translate every text specially the poetry texts which have many complexities of meaning per itself. Do not worry about the misunderstanding and comprehension of the readers or poem translating well. More exercise over and over makes you perfect translator. We still must ask, however, what can be left of poetry after its passage, whether in literal or in free translation, across so forbidding a frontier? How can even the most talented of translators presume to take it across undamaged? Poetry has deeper roots in our consciousness that most of us are aware. From our earliest days we are nourished with nursery rhymes. Rhymes at school help us remember rules of grammar and arithmetic. Rhymes help drivers remember the rules of the road, and pilots their take-off checks. Poetry read, or sung, has helped man face heavy labour and adversity. And chanted patterns of words assisted – and still assist – the performance of physical labour.
The origins of poetry pre-date written literature. Speech rhythms fitted to metrical designs assisted memory in distant ages when learning existed but writing did not. Some of the earliest written languages were hieroglyphic, and what are hieroglyphs if not metaphors, the images from which poetry is constructed? Poetry is, indeed, deep in our roots. It is not uncommon to find illiterate people who may not normally be articulate, who can and often do, when stirred by emotion, lapse into rhythmic, poetic speech.
A “gooseflesh reaction” then tell you that you are listening to poetry. Is it justifiable to think that stirring such emotions – that we believe also stirred the poet – is a part of the translator’s purpose? Certainly, the translator’s first task is to dismantle the linguistic part of this organic structure. How can he then, or can he, claim to be faithful to the poet in doing so? How can he, or can he, reproduce in another tongue the music of a poet’s words? How can he, or can he, awaken in another language the emotions that stirred the poet and his listeners in their own tongue – not just emotions but gooseflesh also, not the translator’s but the poet’s also? How freely may the translator translate before he ceases to be a translator? At what point can he, or does he become a plagiarizer, or a copyist? Let me close with an example of a free translation, and a question. Is it faithful to the poem’s creator who wrote in long unrhymed polysyllabic lines? It is assumed that though the translation of literary texts in general and that of poetry in particular seems a far-fetched challenge and, in rare cases, only possible with partial semantic and stylistic loss, it is by no means totally impossible. The evidence of past masterly achievements indicates that a skilled translator with a poetic taste can achieve this end with the necessary literary features and devices of the source text kept intact. Translating a poem is a lot like writing a poem yourself. You have to know what you want to say. You have to feel what you want to say. You have to be focused. There are a thousand other jobs that are easier, better paid, and eyesight-saving, but translating has its own glories. Putting poems into another language is one of the best ways to share culture, honor poets, and remind us that we can transcend geography. Do your best. Adam’s sons stem from the same holy trunk; With the first sacred clot they’ve become drunk.
When Father Time afflicts a fellow with pain, Others will restlessly start to complain.
You heedless of other humans’ distress, Deserve never to don Adam’s dress. (Sa’di) References Alcalay, Ammiel. From the warring factions, Venice, CA: Beyond Baroque, 2002. Arthur L. Clements. 1962. John Donne’s poetry. New York: W.W. NORTHON & COMPANY. Arberry, A. J. (1945). Kings and Beggars: the first two chapters of Sadi’s Gulistan, Luzac & co., London.
Aryanpoor, M. (1970). Classical Persian Literature. Tehran: College of Translation Press. Borges, Jorge Luis. “The Translators of The Thousand and One Nights,” translated by Esther Allen. From The Translation Studies Reader, edited by Lawrence Venuti, (New York: Routledge, 2000). 34-47. Cocteau, Jean. “L’Ange Heurtebise,” translated by Kristin Prevallet. Chicago Review, (Winter 2001/Spring 2002), 181-186. Eastwick, E. B. (1984). The Rose-Garden of Shaikh Muslihud-Din Sadi of Shiraz. London: The Octagon Press. Furooqi, M. A.(1987). The Collection of Sa`di’s Works. Tehran: Tulooa’ Press.
Ilaahii Qumsheii, H. (2000). A Study of Translated Islamic Texts. Tehran: SAMT.
Jackson, R (2003). From Translation to Imitation. Retrieved March 12.2003 from the Worldwide Web:
Khatiib Rahbar, Kh. (1983). Gulistan. Tehran: Safi Alishah Press.
Kopp, M (1998). Poetry in Translation. Retrieved March 12.2003 from the Worldwide Web:
Lefevere, A. (1975). Translating poetry: seven strategies and a blueprint. Assen: Van Gorcum.
Newmark, P. (1988). A Textbook of Translation. New York: Prentice Hall. Paayadeh, A. (1982). Nahjul Fasaaha. Tehran: Jaavidaan Press.
Rehatsek, E. (1964). The Gulistan or Rose Garden of Sa’di. London: George Allen & Unwin LTD.
Ross, J.(1890). Sadi’s Gulistan. Shiraz: Marefat Bookseller & Publisher. Shafi’ii Kadkani, M. R. (2001). The Music of Poetry. Tehran: Aagaah Press.
Sharp, N. in Dehqani-Tafti, H.B.(2004). An awareness of Christian Thought in Persian Poetry Vahid Dastjerdi, H. (1999). An Anthology of Wise Sayings. Isfahan: Basaaer Press.

Larry Goldings

Life and career

Goldings was born in Boston, Massachusetts. His father was a classical music enthusiast, and Larry studied classical piano until the age of twelve. In high school he attended a program at the Eastman School of Music. During this period Erroll Garner, Oscar Peterson, Dave McKenna, Red Garland, and Bill Evans were prime influences. As a young teenager, Larry studied privately with Ran Blake and Keith Jarrett.

Larry moved to New York in 1986 to attend a newly formed jazz program under the leadership of Arnie Lawrence at The New School. During college he studied piano with Jaki Byard and Fred Hersch. While still a freshman, Sir Roland Hanna invited Larry to accompany him to a three-day private jazz party in Copenhagen. While there, Larry met jazz legends Sarah Vaughan, Kenny Burrell, Tommy Flanagan, and Hank Jones; and he also played piano in a band with Sarah Vaughan, Harry “Sweets” Edison, and Al Cohn. While still a college student, he embarked on a worldwide tour with Jon Hendricks and worked with him for a year. A collaboration lasting almost three years with jazz guitar legend Jim Hall followed.

In 1988, Larry began his development as an organist during a regular gig at a pianoless bar called Augie’s (now Smoke) on New York’s Upper West Side. He was featured with several bands, and his own trio with guitarist Peter Bernstein and drummer Bill Stewart got its start there. His own first release was Intimacy Of The Blues in 1991. He has released ten or more albums since then, and has appeared as a sideman on hundreds of recordings. Over the course of his career, his distinctive keyboard sound has been sought out more and more by pop, R&B, Brazilian, and alternative artists, including De La Soul, India.Arie, Tracy Chapman, Colin Hay, Madeleine Peyroux, Luciana Souza, Rebecca Pidgeon, Melody Gardot, Walter Becker, Robben Ford, Steve Gadd, Al Jarreau, David Sanborn, Till Bronner, Priscilla Ahn, Jesse Harris, Sia, John Mayer, and Norah Jones. He has had long term collaborations with musicians such as Maceo Parker, John Scofield, Carla Bley, Michael Brecker and Pat Metheny, John Pizzarelli, Jack DeJohnette and Charlie Haden, in genres including jazz, Brazilian, funk, and pop music as pianist (since 2001) for singer-songwriter, James Taylor.

Larry’s melodic style of organ playing has often been compared to that of Larry Young. On organ, Larry cites as his first inspirations the solo piano style of Dave McKenna “who walks his own bass lines better than anyone” and Billy Preston accompanying Aretha Franklin on “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” Other influences were the Wes Montgomery records featuring Mel Rhyne and Jimmy Smith; Shirley Scott; Chester Thompson; Joe Zawinul; and Jack McDuff.1 Among jazz enthusiasts, Larry’s organ trio with Peter Bernstein and Bill Stewart has been recognized for charting new ground, with the musicians’ synergistic playing and their hard-swinging, yet very thoughtful, music.

Larry is a composer, arranger, and producer of music. His music reflects a wide listening palette, from Beethoven and Gabriel Faur to contemporary artists like The Beatles, Randy Newman, and Bjrk. His compositions have been recorded by Michael Brecker, Jack DeJohnette, Bob Dorough, Jim Hall, John Scofield, and Toots Thielemans, among others; and his songs and arrangements appear in the films Clint Eastwood’s, “Space Cowboys,” John Madden’s “Proof,” and, more recently, the Judd Apatow film, “Funny People.” Larry also is a featured performer in the 2009 Clint Eastwood documentary, “The Dream’s on Me,” playing original arrangements of several classic Johnny Mercer tunes on piano and Hammond organ.

In addition to film, Larry’s composing, arranging and producing credits include four albums with the vocalist Curtis Stigers in which one can hear their original co-writes as well as Larry’s musical arrangements of a variety of contemporary songs and jazz standards. Larry’s musical arrangements also can be heard on several James Taylor albums, including October Road, James Taylor at Christmas, One Man Band, and most recently, Covers.

In 2007, Larry Goldings, Jack DeJohnette and John Scofield, received a Grammy nomination in the category of Best Jazz Instrumental Album Individual or Group for their performance on the album, “Trio Beyond – Saudades” (ECM). The album captures their live performance in 2004 at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. Its title is in reference to the musicians’ collaboration that began as a tribute to the music of Tony Williams Lifetime group and has now moved beyond to include original works and other music in a similar vein.

Also, in 2006, 2007 and 2008, Larry toured the United States and Europe with James Taylor, as his One Man Band, a collaborative project that culminated in the joint CD/DVD release by the same name (Hear Music). The album, which was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), features an original composition by Larry entitled “School Song.”

He is the perpetrator of the hoax Hans Groiner Plays Monk, which purports to be the MySpace page of an Austrian pianist “from Braunau, also the birthplace of Hitler, but please don’t hold that against me,” who plays easy listening versions of Thelonious Monk tunes.

Selected discography

Trio Beyond – Saudades, 2006, ECM

Quartet, 2006, Palmetto

Sweet Science, 2002, Palmetto

As One 2001, Palmetto

Voodoo Dogs, 2000, Palmetto

Moonbird, 1999, Palmetto

Awareness, 1997, Warner Bros.

Big Stuff, 1996, Warner Bros.

Whatever It Takes, 1995, Warner Bros.

Caminhos Cruzados, 1994, Novus/BMG

Light Blue 1992, Minor Music

Intimacy of the Blues, 1991, Verve

Selected sideman discography

Other Covers, 2009 James Taylor (piano, organ, pump organ, accordion)

Bare Bones, 2009, Madeleine Peyroux (Hammond organ, pump organ)

Last Kiss, 2009, Zachary Richard (piano, Hammond organ)

Tide, 2009, Luciana Souza (organ, piano, accordion, pump organ, Fender Rhodes piano)

My One and Only Thrill, 2009, Melody Gardot (Hammond organ)

Our Bright Future, 2008, Tracy Chapman (piano, Hammond organ, Wurlitzer)

Some People Have Real Problems, 2008, Sia (keyboards)

Incandescence, 2008, Bill Stewart (Hammond organ, accordion)

Covers, 2008, James Taylor (piano, organ, cello arrangement)

Stones World: The Rolling Stones Project, 2008, Tim Ries (organ)

Thirteens, 2008, Leona Naess (keyboards)

Like a Fire, 2008, Solomon Burke (piano)

Circus Money, 2008, Walter Becker (organ)

Christmas, 2008, Al Jarreau (organ)

Good Day, 2008, Priscilla Ahn (piano, organ)

Cannon Reloaded: An All-Star Celebration of Cannonball Adderley, 2008, Tom Scott (organ)

Behind the Velvet Curtain, 2008, Rebecca Pidgeon (Wurlitzer)

One Man Band, 2007, James Taylor (piano, organ, harmonium, synthesizer, keyboards)

Real Emotional, 2007, Curtis Stigers (producer, composer, arranger, piano, organ, keyboards)

Are You Lookin’ At Me?, 2007, Colin Hay (piano, organ)

Sitting in Limbo, 2007, Jessica Molaskey (piano, organ, arranger)

Not Too Late, 2007, Norah Jones, (organ, Hammond organ)

Truth, 2007, Robben Ford, (Hammond organ, Wurlitzer)

Continuum, 2006, John Mayer (organ, keyboards)

James Taylor at Christmas, 2006, (arranger, piano, organ, melodica, harmonium)

Oceana, 2006, Till Bronner (composer, piano, Hammond organ, electric piano, Wurlitzer)

Mineral, 2006, Jesse Harris (piano, organ, Wurlitzer, accordion, vibraphone, Kalimba)

Half the Perfect World, 2006, Madeleine Peyroux (celeste, Wurlitzer, soloist)

That’s What I Say: John Scofield Plays the Music of Ray Charles, 2005, (arranger, Hammond organ, vibraphone, Wurlitzer)

Knowing You, 2005, John Pizzarelli (arranger, piano, organ)

Closer, 2005, David Sanborn (piano, organ)

Way It Really Is, 2004, Lisa Loeb (piano)

Chiara Civello, 2004, Chiara Civello (Hammond organ)

Careless Love, 2004, Madeleine Peyroux (piano, celeste, Hammond organ, pump organ, Wurlitzer)

Colour the Small One, 2004, Sia (piano, composer)

You Inspire Me, 2003, Curtis Stigers (producer, arranger, piano, organ)

October Road, 2002, James Taylor (piano)

Pentimento, 2002, Jessica Molaskey (piano, arranger)

Four Songs, 2002, Alexi Murdoch (piano, organ)

Play It Cool, 2001, Lea DeLaria (bass, piano, arranger)

Acoustic Soul, 2001, India.Arie (organ, Wurlitzer, string contractor)

AOI: Bionix. 2001, DeLaSoul (organ)

Arts and Crafts, 2001, Matt Wilson (piano)

Christmas in Swingtime, 2001, Harry Allen (organ)

Buttermilk Channel, 2001, Adam Levy (organ)

Four by Four, 2000, Carla Bley (organ)

The Still of the Night, 2000, Tom Wopat (arranger, piano)

Time is of the Essence, 1999, Michael Brecker (composer, piano, organ)

Minh, 1998, Chris Minh Doky (piano)

Earth Tones, 1998, Peter Bernstein (organ)

Warner Jazz Christmas Party, 1997, compilation featuring the Warner Jazz Artists (Joshua Redman, Al Jarreau, Kirk Whalum, Michael Franks,

Gabriela Anders, Larry Goldings, Boney James, Kevin Mahogany, Mark Turner, Brad Mehldau, Bob James)(Hammond organ)

Warner Jams 2: The Two Tenors with Larry Goldings, 1997, James Moody and Mark Turner (piano, arranger)

Kevin Mahogany, 1996, Kevin Mahogany (arranger, piano, organ)

Young At Heart, 1996, James Moody (piano)

Groove Elation, 1995, John Scofield (piano, organ)

Pure (Concord Records), 1994, Chris Potter (piano, organ)

Hand Jive, 1993, John Scofield (piano, organ)

Something Special, 1993, Jim Hall (piano)

Six Pack, 1992, Gary Burton & Friends (organ, keyboards)

Life on Planet Groove, 1992, Maceo Parker (organ)

Mo’ Roots, 1991, Maceo Parker (organ)

Subsequently, 1991, Jim Hall (piano)

Freddie Freeloader, 1990, Jon Hendricks & Friends (piano)

Best of John Scofield, 1989, John Scofield (organ)

Selected Film and TV Credits

2009 “The Dream’s on Me” (featured in film and on soundtrack)

2009 “Funny People” (featuring “Tuscany” (originally titled “Dario and Bario”), an original composition)

2008 “Bernard and Doris” (HBO) (performs on soundtrack)

2008 “The Office” (NBC)

2005 “Proof”(featuring “Uganda,” an original composition)

2000 “Space Cowboys” (performing several arrangements of jazz standards)

Awards and Recognition

2007 Grammy Nomination Best Jazz Album of the Year

2001 Jazz Journalists Association Winner Best Organist/Keyboardist of the Year

2000 Jazz Journalists Association Winner Best Organist/Keyboardist of the Year

1997 The New Yorker Magazine Best Jazz Albums of 1997 (“Awareness”)

1996 The New Yorker Magazine Best Jazz Albums of 1996 (“Big Stuff”)



External links

Larry Goldings – official website

Larry Goldings – BBC bio

Larry Goldings sideman discography (partial)

All About Jazz Interview with Larry Goldings

KKJZ’s 2-part radio interview with Larry Goldings (first aired Dec. 13, 2006)

Categories: 1968 births | Living people | American jazz composers | American jazz pianists | American jazz organists | People from Boston, Massachusetts | Palmetto Records artists

Willy Deville

Early life

Willy DeVille was born William Paul Borsey Jr. in Stamford, Connecticut. The son of a carpenter, he grew up in the working-class Belltown district of Stamford. His maternal grandmother was a Pequot, and he was also of Basque and Irish descent. As he put it, “A little of this and a little of that; a real street dog.” DeVille said about Stamford, “It was post-industrial. Everybody worked in factories, you know. Not me. I wouldn’t have that. People from Stamford don’t get too far. That’s a place where you die.” DeVille said about his youthful musical tastes, “I still remember listening to groups like the Drifters. It was like magic, there was drama, and it would hypnotise me.”

DeVille quit high school and began frequenting New York’s Lower East Side and West Village. “It seemed like I just hung out and hung out. I always wanted to play music but nobody really had it together then. They had psychedelic bands but that wasn’t my thing.” In this period, DeVille’s interests ran to blues guitarists Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, and especially John Hammond. “I think I owe a lot about my look, my image on stage, and my vocal riffs to John Hammond. A lot of my musical stance is from John”, DeVille said. He credited Hammond’s 1965 album So Many Roads with “changing my life”.

As a teenager, DeVille played with friends from Stamford in a blues band called Billy & the Kids, and later in another band called The Immaculate Conception.

At the age of 17, he married Susan “Toots” Berle; they had a son named Sean in 1970. DeVille struck out in 1971 for London in search of like-minded musicians (“obvious American with my Pompadour hair”), but was unsuccessful finding them; he returned to New York City after a two-year absence.

His next band, The Royal Pythons (“a gang that turned into a musical group”), was not a success either. Said DeVille:

I decided to go to San Francisco; there was nothing really happening in New York. Flower power was dead. All the day-glo paint was peeling off the walls. People were shooting speed. I mean, it was real Night of the Living Dead. So I bought a truck and headed out west. I traveled all around the country for a couple of years, looking for musicians who had heart, instead of playing 20-minute guitar solos, which is pure ego.

Mink DeVille years

For a complete history of this band, see Mink DeVille.

Louis X. Erlanger (left) and Willy DeVille of Mink DeVille in 1977.

In 1973, DeVille was living in a cold water flat in Oakland, California and playing gigs in San Francisco in a band that would become Mink DeVille. “We were playing the leather bars down on Folsom Street,” he recalled. “We were Billy de Sade and the Marquis then. We played the Barracks. After a while they would take their clothes off. This one guyesus Satin he called himselfe’d dance on the pool table. It was nuts! Crazy!”

The band changed its name to Mink DeVille in 1974; William Borsey took the name Willy DeVille. In 1975, DeVille persuaded the band members to try their luck in New York City. “I conned the guys into believing that if we went back to New York I could get us work, because I knew the city and the ropes of how stuff worked, which was stretching it.” In New York, they hired guitarist Louis X. Erlanger, whose blues sensibilities helped shape the band’s sound.

Mink DeVille became one of the original house bands at CBGB, the New York nightclub where punk rock music was born in the mid 1970s. “We played (at CBGB) for three years…. [D]uring that time we didn’t get paid more than fifty bucks a night”, DeVille said.DeVille had only sour memories of CBGB. He did not play any benefit concerts or recordings for the nightclub. He told Music Street Journal, “The whole band only got dollars a night, even to the end. That’s why I never went back there. I’ve never walked through those doors other than to have maybe a beer once. I was down in New Orleans and I came up here, kind of going down Memory Lane so to speak. I ended up on Bowery down there and I thought, ‘Let’s see what’s going on here.’ I walked in (to CBGB) and I saw Hilly (Hilly Kristal) standing there. I had a big straw hat on, silk suit. He bought me a beer and it got around to ‘Would you like to come back?’ I said, ‘No, Hilly and you know wny? Because you never treated me right. You never were fair to me.’”(Olma, Greg (2006) “Interview with Willy DeVille” at Music Street Journal) He told Leap in the Dark: “They keep asking me to come and play there (at CGBG) for ‘old times’ sake’ and you know that’s not for me. That’s for people who want to go there and say they saw me there, or Lou Reed in sunglasses or some such stuff”. The band appeared on Live at CBGB’s (1976), a compilation album of bands that played at CBGB.

There was the Ramones, Patti Smith, Television, the Talking Heads, and us. We were the five big draws. And then one night this blond-headed guy came in to CBGB, Ben Edmonds (an A&R man for Capitol Records, and previously an editor for Creem). He was the guy who was responsible for being the visionary who saw that we were different than they were and that we could probably have a career playing music. So we went into this cheap little studio and did four songs, which Edmonds gave to Jack Nitzsche. I didn’t even know who Nitzsche was. Nitzsche did all the Phil Spector stuff that we grew up with and loved. We just fell in love with each other. We were buddies to the end. He was like my crazy uncle. I called him my mentor and my tormentor.

In December 1976, Ben Edmonds signed the band to a contract with Capitol Records. Wrote Edmonds:

When Mink DeVille took the stage (at CBGB) and tore into “Let Me Dream if I Want To”, followed by another scorcher called “She’s So Tough”, they had me. These five guys… were obviously part of the new energy, but I also felt immediately reconnected to all the rock & roll I loved best: the bluesy early Stones, Van Morrison…, the subway scenarios of the The Velvet Underground, Dylan’s folk-rock inflections, the heartbreak of Little Willie John, and a thousand scratchy old flea market 45s. Plus they seemed to contain all the flavors of their New York neighborhood, from Spanish accents to reggae spice.

Working with Jack Nitzsche

In January 1977, Mink DeVille recorded its debut album, Cabretta, produced by Jack Nitzsche. Nitzsche, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, would produce three albums for Mink DeVille. Nitzsche said about DeVille, “We hit it off right away. Willy pulled out his record collection, he started playing things, that was it. I thought, ‘Holy shit! This guy’s got taste!’” Nitzsche was a perfect fit for Willy DeVille, whose tastes ran to the Brill Building sound that Nitzsche and Phil Spector had pioneered in the early 1960s. Said DeVille, “You listen to that music and you hear those really high strings, and that percussion, and the castanets; that’s all Jack’s (Jack Nitzsche’s) work. All that really cool stuff”.

Cabretta, a spicy, multifaceted album of soul, R&B, rock, and blues recordings, was selected number 57 in the Village Voice’s 1977 “Pop & Jazz Critics Poll”; a single from the album, panish Stroll, was a top-20 hit in the United Kingdom. The band’s follow-up album, Return to Magenta (1978), continued in the same vein as Cabretta, but with a twist. “We went against strings on the first albumecided it should be outright, raw, and rude.” On Return to Magenta, Willy DeVille and producers Nitzsche and Steve Douglas employed lavish string arrangements on several songs.

Le Chat Bleu

“That World Outside”

Sample of “That Word Outside”, one of three songs DeVille co-wrote with Doc Pomus for Le Chat Bleu.

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For Mink DeVille’s next album, Le Chat Bleu (1980), Willy DeVille wrote several songs with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Doc Pomus. Guitarist Louis X. Erlanger had become acquainted with Pomus while frequenting New York City’s blues clubs and had urged Pomus to check out the group. Wrote Alex Halberstadt, Pomus’s biographer:

One night Doc’s pub crawl took him to The Bottom Line just a block east of Washington Square Park (in New York City). He sat at his usual table and watched an empty spotlight. Cigarette smoke wafted into the shaft of light from offstage while the sax player blew Earle Hagen’s “Harlem Nocturne”. DeVille strode out of the wings and snatched the mike. With his pedantically trimmed pencil mustache he looked like a cross between a bullfighter and a Puerto Rican pimp. The tightest black suit clung to his thin frame; he wore a purple shirt, a narrow black tie and shoes with six-inch points. A Pompadour jutted out above his forehead like the lacquered hull of a submarine. The show was the most soulful Doc had seen in ages. Onstage, Willy’s band, Mink DeVille, had nothing in common with the New Wave CBGB bands that the press had lumped them with. Unlike Television, the Ramones, or Blondie, at heart Mink DeVille was an R&B band, and Willy an old-fashioned soul singer. He borrowed much of his phrasing from Ben E. King and couldn’t believe it when someone told him that Doc Pomus wanted to meet him after the show. “You mean the guy who wrote ‘Save the Last Dance for Me’?” He was even more amazed when Doc asked whether he’d write with him. “Look me up. I’m in the book”, Doc hollered before rolling away (in his wheelchair).

DeVille said about their first meeting, “Now here I am at 29, a writer, doing pretty good and I’ve just been asked if I want to write songs with a guy who helped lay the foundations for the music I fell in love with sitting at my mother’s kitchen table when I was only seven years old. You’ve got to be kidding!” The Rolling Stone Critic’s Poll named Le Chat Bleu the fifth best album of 1980; music historian Glenn A. Baker declared it the tenth best rock album of all time. Of the original members of Mink DeVille, only Willy and guitarist Louis X. Erlanger played on the album. It was recorded in Paris. Said DeVille: “I wanted to record the album in Paris… because I desperately wanted to use Jean-Claude Petit, whom I had contacted through dith Piaf’s songwriter Charles Dumont, for string arrangements… The band with me was a dream come true. I’ve got Phil Spector’s horn player, Steve Douglas (who also served as producer), on tenor and baritone. Elvis Presley’s rhythm section, Ron Tutt and Jerry Scheff, want to play with me. Wow! That’s pretty cool! Songwriting with Doc Pomus. Not to mention Jean-Claude doing the strings. How can I go wrong?” Wrote Alex Halberstadt:

(Willy DeVille) created a record that sounded like nothing that had come before… It was clear that Willy had realized his fantasy of a new, completely contemporary Brill Building record. To the symphonic sweetness of the Drifters he added his own Gallic romance and, in his vocal, a measure of punk rock’s Bowery grit. Doc (Pomus) was elated when he heard it. Thinking they’d signed a New Wave band, Capitol didn’t know what to do with Willy’s rock and roll chanson and shelved it for a year. When it was finally released in 1980, Le Chat Bleu remixed by Joel Dorn, made nearly every critic’s list of the year’s best records.

Kenny Margolis, a longtime Willy DeVille sideman who played accordion and keyboards on Le Chat Bleu said, “Capitol in the U.S. did not know what to do with Le Chat Bleu because they perceived Willy as this punk rocker from CBGBs and he came back from Paris with a very different kind of record. They didn understand the record, but they understood it in Europe. They released it immediately in Europe and everybody loved it”. “It says something about the state of the American record businessomething pathetic and depressinghat Willy DeVille’s finest album fell on deaf ears at Capitol,” wrote Kurt Loder of Rolling Stone. Capitol Records released the album only in Europe. Le Chat Bleu sold well in Europe and in the USA as an import. Capitol finally released it in the United States in 1981.

The Atlantic albums

“Willy had found a more appreciative reception at Atlantic Records, where head man Ahmet Ertegn signed him to a fat new recording deal and promised to personally shepherd his career…”, reported Rolling Stone in 1980. “According to Willyever one to let false modesty intrude on a good storyhe Atlantic Records chairman said, ‘You got the look, the performance, the writing, you know exactly what to do.’”

DeVille continued recording and touring under the name Mink DeVille. “Those boys went through the wars with me, the a night bars, and I had to turn on them and lop their heads off and say, ‘I love you man, but that’s the way it gotta be.’ I still feel guilty about it, but we were just a good bar band. That’s all we were. We weren’t ready to make great rock and roll records.”

Wrote critic Robert Palmer in 1981:

Mr. DeVille’s career never quite took off, despite the impressive breadth and depth of his talent. He is recording a new album for Atlantic records, having departed from his previous recording commitment under less than amicable circumstances. And on Friday night he was at the Savoy, where he demonstrated with an almost insolent ease that he is still ready for the recognition that should have been his several years ago. He has the songs, he has the voice, and he has the band. And he has expanded the scope of his music by adding elements of French cafe songs and Louisiana zydeco to the mixture of rock, blues, Latin and Brill Building soul that was already there.

Said DeVille:

I had band problems, manager problems, record company problems. And yeah, I had drug problems. Finally I got a new recording contract, with Atlantic, and a new manager. I cleaned up my act. I figured that since playing music with people I was friends with didn’t seem to work out, I would hire some mercenaries, some cats who just wanted to play and get paid. And those guys turned out to be more devoted to the music than any band I ever had. They’re professional, precise, but they’re full of fire, too.”

DeVille recorded two albums for Atlantic, 1981′s Coup de Grce (produced by Jack Nitzsche) and 1983′s Where Angels Fear to Tread. Both albums featured saxophonist Louis Cortelezzi and had a full-throated Jersey Shore sound that evoked Bruce Springsteen and Southside Johnny. Wrote Thom Jurek about Coup de Grce:”The band’s sound combined with Nitzsche timeless production style, which combined with that voice to create a purer rock and roll noise than even Bruce Springsteen’s in 1981.” Jurek wrote about Where Angels Fear to Tread:

DeVille and his band were burning through the pages of rock and R&B history (there are a couple of doo wop and New Orleans-flavored cuts as well) with raw swagger and astonishing musicianship. Why they didn’t catch and George Thorogood and Southside Johnny (briefly) did is a mystery that will be up to 1980s historians to figure out.

The albums DeVille recorded for Atlantic sold well in Europe but not in the United States. Explained Kenny Margolis, who played piano and accordion in DeVille’s early 1980s bands, “I don think the American public had a chance to experience him because in America at that time you had MTV telling you what to like. Europe had not had MTV at that point and they were very open to different music.” DeVille said about his years with Atlantic Records, “Ahmet Ertegn and I got along, but we never got anything done.”

Sportin’ Life

In 1985, DeVille recorded Sportin’ Life for the Polydor label. As he had done on Le Chat Bleu, DeVille wrote some songs with the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame member Doc Pomus. The album was recorded at the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Alabama with DeVille and Duncan Cameron producing. The song talian Shoes was a hit in Europe, but some critics thought the album was overproduced. Wrote Allmusic: “Its sound is steeped in mid-’80s studio gloss and compression that often overwhelms quality material.” However, David Wild of Rolling Stone praised Sportin’ Life, calling it “[t]he most modern, polished sound of (Willy DeVille’s) career… Pushed to center stage, DeVille delivers, singing with more passion and more personality than ever before”.

In 1986, DeVille filed for bankruptcy as part of what Billboard called “a major restructuring of his career.” He fired his personal manager Michael Barnett and announced that he would “put Mink DeVille to bed” and start a solo career.

“Storybook Love” collaboration with Mark Knopfler

Although Willy DeVille had been recording and touring for ten years under the name Mink DeVille, no members of his original band had recorded or toured with him since 1980′s Le Chat Bleu. Beginning in 1987 with the album Miracle, DeVille began recording and touring under his own name. He told an interviewer, “Ten years with the band was enough for Mink DeVille; everyone was calling me ‘Mink.’ I thought it was about time to get the name straight.”

“Storybook Love”

Sample of “Storybook Love,” which was nominated for an Academy Award for best song in 1987.

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DeVille recorded Miracle in London with Mark Knopfler, the Dire Straits guitarist, serving as his sideman and producer. He said, “It was Mark (Knopfler) wife Lourdes who came up with the idea (to record Miracle). She said to him that you don’t sing like Willy and he doesn’t play guitar like you, but you really like his stuff so why don’t you do an album together?” “Storybook Love”, a song from Miracle and the theme song of the movie The Princess Bride, was nominated for an Academy Award in 1987; DeVille performed the song at that year’s Academy Awards telecast.

Knopfler heard (“Storybook Love”) and asked if I knew about this movie he was doing. It was a Rob Reiner film about a princess and a prince. The song was about the same subject matter as the film, so we submitted it to Reiner and he loved it. About six or seven months later, I was half asleep when the phone rang. It was the Academy of Arts and Sciences with the whole spiel. I hung up on them! They called back and Lisa (his wife) answered the phone. She came in to tell me that I was nominated for “Storybook Love.” It’s pretty wild. It’s not the Grammys it’s the Academy Awards, which is different for a musician. Before I knew it, I was performing on the awards show with Little Richard. It was the year of Dirty Dancing, and they won.

In New Orleans

In 1988, DeVille relocated from New York to New Orleans, where he found a spiritual home. “I was stunned”, he said in a 1993 interview. “I had the feeling that I was going back home. It was very strange… I live in the French Quarter, two streets away from Bourbon Street; at night, when I go to bed, I hear the boogie that comes from the streets, and in the morning, when I wake up, I hear the blues.”

In 1990, DeVille made Victory Mixture, a tribute album of classic New Orleans soul and R&B which he recorded with some of the songs’ original composers. The album was recorded without the use of overdubbing or sound editing with the goal of capturing the spirit of the original recordings.

I got all the original guys to come back in, like Earl King, Dr. John and Eddie Bo. Allen Toussaint played side piano. I brought in the rhythm section of The Meters on a couple of cuts. We call it the ‘little’ record. It’s funny, because I was just trying to get them money, the writers of the songs, ’cause they all got ripped off in the 1950s and 1960s. They were all fascinated, and Dr. John (who had played on DeVille’s 1978 album Return to Magenta and who DeVille knew from his association with Doc Pomus) convinced them that they wouldn’t get ripped off by this northern white boy. That’s when I crossed over to being a local here in New Orleans. We were all pleased with it. It’s recorded the way it was originally done back then. It’s live with no overdubs anywhere, no digital, no editing. We played the song several times and just picked the best take, the one that was the most natural. It’s on Fnac/Orleans Records. I’m really proud of that one.

Victory Mixture was recorded for a small independent label, Orleans Records, which licensed it to Sky Ranch (Fnac Music) in France. “It sold over 100,000 units in Europe very quicklyur first gold disc,” said Carlo Ditta, founder of Orleans Records and the producer of Victory Mixture.

In the summer of 1992, DeVille toured Europe with Dr John, Johnny Adams, Zachary Richard, and The Wild Magnolias as part of his “New Orleans Revue” tour. “The travel, buses, and planes and the accommodations had to be some of the worst I’ve ever experienced… but the shows themselves were great. At the end of each show we’d throw Mardi Gras rows out to the audience, you know strands of purple and gold beads, and they’d never seen anything like it and they loved it.”

Recording in L.A.

In 1992, DeVille recorded Backstreets of Desire, the first of four albums he would record in Los Angeles with producer John Philip Shenale. “I say it every time I record in L.A. that I’ll never do it again, and I keep doing it… It’s crazy. I just record and go to the hotel, and never go out, then back to the studio. I hate L.A. It’s the worst. I think they eat their children there. I never saw any kids. It’s a pity there aren’t more studios in New Orleans.” Although DeVille complained about having to record in Los Angeles, recording in that city put him in touch with many talented Latino musicians who helped shape his distinctive Spanish-Americana sound. For Backstreets of Desire, he was joined by David Hidalgo of Los Lobos, Efrain Toro, Mariachi los Camperos, and Jimmy Zavala, as well as New Orleans musicians Dr. John and Zachary Richard and L.A. session musicians Jeff Baxter, Freebo, Jim Gilstrap, and Brian Ray. Allmusic said about the album:

Willy DeVille’s Backstreets of Desire stands tall as his masterpiece as both a singer and a songwriter. DeVille’s considerable reputation in Paris buoyed him up to make this disc… With guest spots by Dr. John, Zachary Richard, and David Hidalgo, DeVille creates a tapestry of roots rock and Crescent City second line, traces of ’50s doo-wop, and elegant sweeping vistas of Spanish soul balladry, combined with lyrics full of busted-down heroes, hungry lovers, and wise men trying to get off the street. The sound of the album balances Creole soul and pure rock pyrotechnics. DeVille sounds like a man resurrected, digging as deep as the cavernous recesses of the human heart.

“Hey Joe”

Sample of DeVille’s mariachi arrangement of “Hey Joe.” The song was an international hit in Europe in 1992.

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Backstreets of Desire included a novel mariachi version of the Jimi Hendrix standard ey Joe that was a hit in Europe, rising to number one in Spain and France. DeVille said about “Hey Joe”: “The song originally comes from the Texas-Mexico border area … [T]hey call it Texico. I tried, instead of doing something that sounded like Jimi Hendrix that would have been a clich, I tried to take the song back to the way that it must originally have sounded, which would be with mariachis. It’s classic, but it’s classic with a little twist. A little different. I put a bit of pachuco Canal Street slang talking. I added a couple of verses of my own.” Backstreets of Desire was released in the United States in 1994 on Rhino Record’s Forward label.

Continued success in Europe

In 1984, DeVille married his second wife, Lisa Leggett, who proved to be an astute business manager. On the strength of his success touring and selling albums in Europe, they bought a horse farm, Casa de Sueos, in Picayune, Mississippi and began living there as well as at their apartment and studio in the French Quarter of New Orleans. DeVille told an interviewer in 1996: “I finally got the plantation… I just bought this house and 11 acres (45,000 m2). It looks a little bit like Graceland… I got into horses since my wife is into them. We’re raising Spanish and Portuguese bullfighting horses. The bloodline is 2000 years old. She’s into breeding, but I just love riding. I’ve also got five dogs, four cats and a partridge in a pear tree.”

DeVille did not have a recording contract with an American label in the mid-1990s. His next two albums, Willy DeVille Live (1993) and Big Easy Fantasy (1995), were recorded for Fnac Music, a French label. Willy DeVille Live was a number one record in Spain. Big Easy Fantasy presents live recordings of Mink DeVille Band playing with New Orleans legends Eddie Bo and The Wild Magnolias and remixes from the Victory Mixture sessions.

DeVille said, “I was pissed off and I didn’t have a record deal for a few years. At the time I didn’t want one. I was getting very gun-shy about labels. I was performing in Europe and I was doing great without one. When you get to that stage in your mind, they all start coming around. It’s pretty strange the way that happens”.

In 1995, he returned to Los Angeles to record Loup Garou, again with producer John Philip Shenale. Musician said about the album: “Loup Garou is subtle in nuance but staggering in scope, it connects the dots between all of the artist’s sacrosanct influences, often within the framework of a single song… All of it is on the money, performed from the heart…” Loup Garou featured a duet with Brenda Lee; DeVille said: “She didn’t know who the hell I was. I just called her up, played the song for her, and she loved it. She had her business people check me out, and they reported that I was big in Europe and had been recording for twenty years. So I flew to Nashville [to record with her]… That’s got to go down in my book as one of the most memorable experiences in my career.”

The cover of Loup Garou showed DeVille in turn-of-the-century New Orleans garb posing on a street corner in New Orleans’ French Quarter. It included voodoo chants and a song subtitled “Vampire’s Lullaby”. The singer had completely immersed himself in New Orleans culture. Percussionist Boris Kinberg, a longtime member of the Mink DeVille Band, said about the stages of Willy DeVille’s career:

To my mind there were three main eras. The first era was the Lower East Side, skinny tie, purple shirt, West Side Story, Puerto Rican Sharks gang vibe. Then it transmuted into the Mississippi plantation-gambler riverboat rogue, the Rhett Butler thing where he had had custom-made suits, and really got into the period and the clothes and just totally immersed himself in New Orleans, not the present New Orleans, but the New Orleans of the 1880s and 1890she Absinthe-drinking, voodoo New Orleans. He totally immersed himself in that. Then he left New Orleans and moved to the Southwest and came back as the second coming of Black Elk.

Before moving to the Southwest in 2000, DeVille recorded Horse of a Different Color in Memphis. The 1999 album, produced by Jim Dickinson, includes a chain-gang song, a cover of Fred McDowell’s “Going over the Hill,” and a cover of Andre Williams’s “Bacon Fat”. Allmusic said about the album, “Simply put, no one has this range or depth in interpreting not only styles, but also the poetics of virtually any set of lyrics. DeVille makes everything he sings believable. ‘Horse of a Different Color’ is the most consistent and brilliant recording of Willy DeVille’s long career.” Horse of a Different Color was the first Willy DeVille album since 1987′s Miracle to be released simultaneously in Europe and the United States. His previous five albums had been released first in Europe and picked up later, if they were picked up at all, by American record labels.

Epiphany in the Southwest

Willy DeVille performing in 2004.

By 2000, DeVille had cured his two-decades-long addiction to heroin. He relocated to Cerrillos Hills, New Mexico, where he produced and played on an album, Blue Love Monkey, with Rick Nafey, a friend from his youth in Connecticut who had played in DeVille’s first band, Billy & the Kids, as well as The Royal Pythons. In New Mexico, DeVille’s wife Lisa committed suicide by hanging; DeVille discovered her body. He said:

I got in a car accident because I got crazy. I think I was somewhat taunting death because somebody who I loved very much died. And I found them. That’s what that lyric in that song means (“she hurts me still since I cut her down” [from "Downside of Town" on Crow Jane Alley]). I cut her down. Next thing you know the police show up, I was in tears… I was in love with another woman and we were going through some hard times, and I got in the car and I wanted to go off the cliff. I was in the mountains in New Mexico… They came right around the corner head on. You know how big a Dodge Ram truck is? I broke my arm in three places and my knee went into the dash board… It was bone to bone… I was on crutches and on a cane for about three years and I couldn go anywhere or do anything. I was fucked up. I was ready for the scrapheap.

“I guess I was testing the waters to see if I would live through it”, DeVille told another interviewer. “It was a foolish, foolish thing to do.” For the next five years, DeVille walked with a cane and performed sitting on a barstool, until he had hip replacement surgery in 2006.

DeVille’s stay in the Southwest awakened his interest in his Native American heritage. On the cover of his next album, 2002′s Acoustic Trio Live in Berlin, recorded to celebrate his 25 years’ of performing, DeVille wore long hair. He began wearing Native American clothing and jewelry on stage. In 2004, DeVille returned to Los Angeles to record Crow Jane Alley, his third album with producer John Philip Shenale. The album continued his explorations of his Spanish-Americana sound and featured many prominent Los Angeles Latino musicians. On the cover, DeVille wore a Native American headdress and breastplate. Richard Marcus said of the album, “Crow Jane Alley is the work of an artist who after thirty plus years in the business still has the ability to surprise and delight his listeners. Listening to this disc only confirms that Willy DeVille is one of the greats who have been ignored for too long.”

Return to New York

After living for 15 years in New Orleans and the Southwest, DeVille returned to New York City in 2003, where he took up residence with Nina Lagerwall, his third wife. He continued touring Europe, usually playing music festivals in the summer.

On Mardi Gras Day, 2008, Pistola, DeVille’s sixteenth album, was released. Independent Music said about the album: “(Willy DeVille) has never been more artistically potent than on Pistola, confronting the demons of his past with an impressive lyrical honesty and unexpectedly diverse musical imagination.”

Personal life

Willy DeVille was married in the late 1970s to Susan Berle (February 19, 1950ugust 12, 2004), who was known as Toots. Toots and Willy had known each other in high school and had a son, Sean, in 1970. Alex Halberstadt, Doc Pomus’s biographer, wrote about Toots, “Half French and half Pima Indian, Toots favored a pair of nose rings, snow-white kabuki make-up and a Ronettes-style beehive the color of tar. She’d once put out a lit Marlboro in a woman’s eye just for staring at Willy.” The Guardian’s Garth Cartwright wrote about Toots, “(DeVille’s) combative approach with the media was made worse by his wife, Toots, who shadowed him and would threaten anyone she took against.”

In 1984, DeVille married his second wife, Lisa Leggett, who he met in California.. She became his business manager. They lived in New Orleans and on a horse farm in Picayune, Mississippi. After her suicide in 2001, he married Nina Lagerwall (daughter of Sture Lagerwall), his third wife, and returned to New York City, where he spent the rest of his life. In February 2009, DeVille was diagnosed with Hepatitis C, and in May of that year doctors discovered pancreatic cancer in DeVille in the course of his Hepatitis C treatment. He died in New York City in the late hours of August 6, 2009, three weeks shy of his 59th birthday.


About his legacy, DeVille told an interviewer, “I have a theory. I know that I’ll sell much more records when I’m dead. It isn’t very pleasant, but I have to get used to this idea.”

Thom Jurek wrote about him after his death, “Willy DeVille is America’s loss even if America doesn know it yet. The reason is simple: Like the very best rock and roll writers and performers in our history, he one of the very few who got it right; he understood what made a three-minute song great, and why it matteredecause it mattered to him. He lived and died with the audience in his shows, and he gave them something to remember when they left the theater, because he meant every single word of every song as he performed it. Europeans like that. In this jingoistic age of American pride, perhaps we can revisit our own true love of rock and roll by discovering Willy DeVille for the first timer, at the very least, remember him for what he really was: an American original. The mythos and pathos in his songs, his voice, and his performances were born in these streets and cities and then given to the world who appreciated him much more than we did.”


For a complete discography of Willy DeVille recordings, see Willy DeVille discography.

With Mink DeVille:

1977: Cabretta (in Europe); Mink Deville (in the U.S.) (Capitol)

1978: Return to Magenta (Capitol)

1980: Le Chat Bleu (Capitol)

1981: Coup de Grce (Atlantic)

1983: Where Angels Fear to Tread (Atlantic)

1985: Sportin’ Life (Polydor)

As Willy DeVille:

1987: Miracle (Polydor)

1990: Victory Mixture (Sky Ranch) 1990 (Orleans Records)

1992: Backstreets of Desire (Fnac Music) (Rhino, 1994)

1993: Willy DeVille Live (Fnac Music)

1995: Big Easy Fantasy (New Rose)

1995: Loup Garou (EastWest) (Discovery, 1996)

1999: Horse of a Different Color (EastWest)

2002: Acoustic Trio Live in Berlin (Eagle)

2004: Crow Jane Alley (Eagle)

2008: Pistola (Eagle)


^ For example, the term “Spanish-Americana appears on DeVille’s MySpace Music page (Retrieved 01-24-2008)

^ Edmonds, Ben (2001) Liner notes to Cadillac Walk: The Mink DeVille Collection. Edmonds wrote, “During my last conversation with Nitzsche, only months before his death last year, the irascible old witch doctor couldn’t stop taking about the new album he’d been plotting with Willy, and how DeVille was the best singer he had ever worked with.”

^ Palmer, Robert (September 18, 1980) “Pop: Willy DeVille Band”, New York Times; p. C32.

^ This quote comes from the back cover of Mink DeVille’s 1978 album Return to Magenta.

^ “Willy DeVille, RIP” blog

^ Marcus, Richard (August 7, 2009) “Willy DeVille: Rest In Peace” Leap In The Dark blogsite

^ Fusilli, Jim (August 7, 2009) “Willy DeVille Dies at 58.” Wall Street Journal. (Retrieved 8-11-09)

^ Editors (August 10, 2009) “Punk pioneer Willy DeVille dies.” BBC News. (Retrieved 8-11-09.)

^ Grimes, William (August 10, 2009) “Willy DeVille: Punk Rock Pioneer.” The Miami Herald. (Retrieved 8-12-09)

^ Sneum, Jan (2004) (in Danish). Politikens Store Rock Leksikon (4th ed.). Politikens Forlag. pp. 890-891. ISBN 978-87-567-6201-4. Retrieved June 1, 2009 (2009-June-01). 

^ a b Editors (September 9, 2009) “Music Obituaries: Willy DeVille” The Daily Telegraph (Retrieved 9-9-09)

^ Cohen, Elliot Stephen (August/September 2006). illy DeVille Dirty Linen #125, p. 37

^ Marcus, Richard (2006) nterview: Willy DeVille at Leap in the Dark blogsite

^ Cohen, Elliot Stephen (August/September 2006) illy DeVille. Dirty Linen #125, p. 37

^ See Rhodes, Dusty (1978) ssue 13: Mink DeVille: Smooth Running Caddy: The Tale of the Mink, Rock Around the World (Retrieved 01-29-2008) DeVille said, “I was always considered an asshole… I never fit in at school… I was always looked upon as the weird.”

^ Rhodes, Dusty (1978) ssue 13: Mink DeVille: Smooth Running Caddy: The Tale of the Mink Rock Around the World] (accessed 01-29-2008)

^ DeVille said “I heard John Lee Hooker when I was twelve years old. When I heard that voice, I said, ‘Man I gotta sound like that.’ So I was 12 years old, with my face full of freckles… I went around saying ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah….’ trying to sound like John Lee Hooker. I’m very happy that he has finally got the commercial success, because he has influenced so many people….”, nterview: Concierto Bsico Canal magazine

^ a b c d e Marcus, Richard (2006) nterview: Willy DeVille at Leap in the Dark (blogsite)

^ Harris, Craig (2006) “Willy DeVille: Biography”

^ Billy Pinnell interview with DeVille on Australian radio on the 1994 Raven CD reissue of Miracle

^ “About the Blue Love Monkey”, which describes singer-songwriter Rick Nafey’s collaborations with DeVille in Billy & the Kids (“a blues-rock group in the Rolling Stones-Kinks vein”), The Immaculate Conception (“a wildly eclectic collection of original material with influences ranging from The Holy Modal Rounders to George Jones and Tammy Wynette”), and the Royal Pythons (“performing original material as well as folk, country and blues numbers”).

^ Susan Berle was later known as Toots DeVille. She was born on February 19, 1950 and died on August 12, 2004 as per the Social Security Death Index search under the name Susan Martincak

^ Ryan, Tom (2003) “In Memory of Willy Deville A Re-broadcast of Our 2003 Interview” “Shaddup and Listen” on American Hit Radio (48:32). “How long have you been married now?” “Since I was seventeen.” “Is this the same wife?” “No, this is my third.” (Retrieved 10-09-09)

^ FaceCulture Interview (June 7, 2006) “Willy about funerals, songwriting, second sight, his grandmother”

^ Rhodes, Dusti (1978) “Mink DeVille: Smooth Running Caddy: The Tale of the Mink”

^ Klein, Howard (October, 1977) “Mink De Ville: Slick Fur Fury”. Creem. Vol. 9, No. 5; p. 28

^ Marcus, Richard (2006) nterview: Willy DeVille at Leap in the Dark (blogsite)

^ nterview: Willy DeVille at Leap in the Dark (blogsite))

^ See interviews on Live in the Lowlands (DVD) (2006; Eagle Rock)

^ See Edmonds, Ben (2001) Liner notes to Cadillac Walk: The Mink DeVille Collection.

^ McDonough, Jimmy (2005) “Jack Nitzsche 1937-2000″ Jack Nitzsche’s Magical Musical Word

^ Christgau, Robert (1977) he 1977 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll Robert Christgau website (Retrieved 02-01-2008)

^ Ankeny, Jason (2005) ink DeVille at website (Retrieved 02-01-2008)

^ Rhodes, Dusti (1978) ssue 13: Mink DeVille: Smooth Running Caddy: The Tale of the Mink at Rock Around the World (Retrieved 01-29-2008)

^ Halberstadt, Alex (2007) Lonely Avenue: The Unlikely Life and Times of Doc Pomus. New York: De Capo Press; p. 213

^ See the “as told to Lawrence Albus” notes on the 2003 Raven CD reissue of Le Chat Blue

^ Rolling Stone magazine. 1980 – Critics, Rolling Stone End off Year Critics & Readers Polls (Retrieved 03-14-2008)

^ Baker, Glenn A. (1987) “Individual Critics Top 10s”, The World Critics Lists ~ 1987. (Retrieved 03-14-2008)

^ See the “as told to Lawrence Albus” notes on the 2003 Raven CD reissue of Le Chat Blue

^ Halberstadt, Alex (2007) Lonely Avenue: The Unlikely Life and Times of Doc Pomus. New York: De Capo Press. pp. 214-15

^ a b c See interviews on Live in the Lowlands (DVD) (2006; Eagle Rock).

^ Loder, Kurt (December 11, 1980) “Willy DeVille’s best: Le Chat Bleu”. Rolling Stone; no. 332, pp. 55-56

^ Sears, Rufus (October 30, 1980) “Willy’s backnd knocking ‘em dead: Mink DeVille spurred on by success of ‘Le Chat Bleu’”, Rolling Stone, pp. 20-22

^ Cohen, Elliot Stephen (August/September 2006). illy DeVille, Dirty Linen #125, p. 38

^ Palmer, Robert (April 20, 1981) “Willie DeVille and Band”, New York Times

^ Palmer, Robert (September 25, 1981) “Pop Jazz; Willy DeVille and the Mink in Weekend at the Savoy”, New York Times

^ Jurek, Thom (2006) eview: Coup de Grace at (Retrieved 02-01-2008)

^ Jurek, Thom (2007) “Review: Where Angels Fear to Tread” at (Retrieved 02-01-2008)

^ a b Eagle Rock Entertainment (2007) “DeVille, Willy”, Web site of Eagle Rock Entertainment. (Retrieved 03-08-2008)

^ Jurek, Thom (2007) eview: Sportin’ Life at (Retrieved 03-16-2008.)

^ Wild, David (March 27, 1986) “Sportin’ Life: Mink DeVille”, Rolling Stone, pp. 114-15

^ Wilner, Rich (March 1, 1986) “DeVille Files for Bankruptcy”. Billboard; Vol. 98, No. 9, p. 77

^ See the Billy Pinnell interview with DeVille on Australian radio on the 1994 Raven CD reissue of Miracle.

^ Marcus, Richard (2006) nterview: Willy DeVille Leap in the Dark (blogsite) (Retrieved 03-06-2008.)

^ a b c d e Rene, Sheila (1996) nterview with Willy DeVille, Willy DeVille Fan Page (Retrieved 01-30-2008)

^ Laura Rangel (1993) Interviews: King Creole, Willy DeVille: Spanish Stroll (Retrieved 01-29-2008)

^ Sinclair, John (August 24eptember 5, 1998) rleans Records Story. On the Road with John Sinclair. (Retrieved 03-06-2008)

^ Marcus, Richard (2006) nterview: Willy DeVille, Leap in the Dark (blogsite) (Retrieved 03-06-2008)

^ DeVille recorded these albums in Los Angeles with John Philip Shenale as producer: Backstreets of Desire (1992), Loup Garou (1995), Crow Jane Alley (2004), and Pistola (2008).

^ Jurek, Thom (2007) eview: Backstreets of Desire Allmusic. (Retrieved 02-02-2008)

^ See Rene, Sheila (1996) nterview with Willy DeVille Willy DeVille fan page. (Retrieved 02-02-2008)

^ Editors (1994) Interview: Concierto Bsico. Canal magazine. (Retrieved 03-09-2008)

^ a b Trynka, Paul (2007) Iggy Pop: Open Up and Bleed. New York: Broadway Books. p. 346. A footnote in this book reveals wife Lisa’s maiden name.

^ Editors (September 1996) “Review of Loup Garou”, Musician magazine, p. 90

^ Ren, Sheila (1996) “Interview with Willy DeVille” Willy DeVille fan page (Retrieved 03-09-2008)

^ See interviews on Live in the Lowlands (DVD) (2006; Eagle Rock).

^ Jurek, Thom (2007) eview: Horse of a Different Color Allmusic. (Retrieved 03-09-2008)

^ DeVille’s addiction to heroin began in the mid-1970s and lasted until the mid-1990s. In a 1996 interview, he said, “I’ve been addicted to morphine and if you managed to evade that you would be envied. I’ve been addicted for twenty years, okay? I took enough to kill the whole of Paris.” (Editors [October 14, 1996] a Laiterie Interview on Route 66, French RDL Radio. [Retrieved on 03-09-2008]) He said in a 2006 interview, “If I told you I was totally clean now, I don’t think you believe me, but I can get out a cake and cut the candles because I’ve been clean now for almost 10 years, except for when I had to go back on morphine right after the car accident just to be able to walk.” (Cohen, Elliot Stephen [August/September 2006]. illy DeVille Dirty Linen #125, p. 39)

^ Blue Love Monkey CD Baby. (Retrieved 04-20-2009)

^ FaceCulture Interview (June 7, 2006) Willy DeVille: Willy DeVille about his metal hip, his car accident, going crazy and sacred stuff!. (Retrieved 04-29-2009)

^ Cohen, Elliot Stephen (August/September 2006) illy DeVille. Dirty Linen #125 p. 39

^ Cohen, op cit supra.

^ Marcus, Richard (June 24, 2006) D Review: Crow Jane Alley Willy DeVille Leap in the Dark (blogsite) (Retrieved 03-25-2008)

^ Grimes, William (August 10, 2009) “Willy DeVille: Punk Rock Pioneer.” The Miami Herald. (Retrieved 8-12-09.)

^ Gill, Andy (January 24, 2008) “Willy DeVille: Pistola” The Independent (Retrieved 02-04-2008)

^ For more information about Toots, see Herwig, Jana (August 7, 2009) “What ever happened to Toots DeVille? (Did Heroin kill her?”) digiom (blogsite). Retrieved 8-17-2009.)

^ Halberstadt, Alex (2007) Lonely Avenue: The Unlikely Life and Times of Doc Pomus, New York: De Capo Press. p. 214. DeVille said about Toots in 1996, “I haven’t seen her in over ten years. I ran off on her, I guess. She was fascinating, all right. She loved to fight and pull knives out. She used to get me into a lot of trouble.” nterview with Willy DeVille Willy DeVille Fan Page (Retrieved 01-30-2008))

^ Cartwright, Garth (August 11, 2009) “Willy DeVille: Singer and songwriter whose creativity and influence outgrew the New York punk scene.” The Guardian. (Retrieved 8-26-09.)

^ News, Willy DeVille: Official Website. (Retrieved 4-22-2009)

^ “Punk pioneer Willy DeVille dies”. BBC News. 2009-08-10. Retrieved 2009-08-11. 

^ Rangel, Laura (January 1991) Interviews: King Creole. Willy DeVille: Spanish Stroll (Retrieved on 1-29-08)

^ Jurek, Thom (August 10, 2009) “Willy DeVille, RIP: Remembering an American Original”, The Allmusic Blog. (Retrieved 08-14-2009)

External links

The Official Willy DeVille Website

Willy DeVille Photo Gallery

Willy DeVille International Fan Club

Willy DeVille and The Mink DeVille Band on MySpace

Willy Deville at the Internet Movie Database

Interview with Willy at “Leap In The Dark with Richard Marcus”

FaceCulture: Video interview with Willy DeVille

“Music Obituaries: Willy DeVille” – Daily Telegraph obituary

“Willy DeVille, Mink DeVille Singer and Songwriter, Is Dead at 58″ – New York Times obituary

“Willy DeVille, RIP: Remembering an American Original” – Allmusic obituary

v  d  e

Willy DeVille

Studio albums

Miracle  Victory Mixture  Backstreets of Desire  Big Easy Fantasy  Loup Garou  Horse of a Different Color  Crow Jane Alley  Pistola

Live albums

Willy DeVille Live  Acoustic Trio Live in Berlin

Compilation albums

Les inoubliables de Willy DeVille  Best of Willy DeVille  Collection lgende  Introducing Willy DeVille

Videos and films

From the Bottom Line to the Olympia  25 Years of Heart & Soul  The Berlin Concerts  Live in the Lowlands  Live at Montreux 1982  Live at Montreux 1994

Related articles

Discography  Mink DeVille



v  d  e

Mink DeVille

Willy DeVille  Rubn Sigenza  Thomas R. anfred Allen, Jr.  Fast Floyd  Louis X. Erlanger  Ritch Colbert  Bobby Leonards  Allen Rabinowitz  Vinnie Cirincioni

Studio albums

Cabretta/Mink Deville  Return to Magenta  Le Chat Bleu  Coup de Grce  Where Angels Fear to Tread  Sportin’ Life

Compilation albums

Savoir faire  Spanish Stroll 1977-1987  Love & Emotion: The Atlantic Years  Mink/Willy DeVille Greatest Hits  Spanish Stroll  His Greatest Hits  Premium Gold Collection  The Best of Mink DeVille  Cadillac Walk: The Mink DeVille Collection  Greatest Hits  Mink DeVille

Videos and films

Live at The Savoy

Related articles




Categories: 1950 births | 2009 deaths | American blues guitarists | American blues singers | American harmonica players | American rock guitarists | American rock singer-songwriters | American rhythm and blues musicians | American rhythm and blues singers | American singer-songwriters | American soul musicians | American soul singers | Cancer deaths in New York | Deaths from pancreatic cancer | Musicians from New Orleans, Louisiana | Musicians from Connecticut | Musicians from New York | Slide guitaristsHidden categories: Wikipedia articles needing style editing from January 2010 | All articles needing style editing | Articles that may be too long from January 2010 | Too long article

John Phillips (musician)

Early life

Phillips was born in Parris Island, South Carolina. His father was a retired United States Marine Corps officer who won an Oklahoma bar from another Marine in a poker game on the way home from France after World War I. His mother was a Cherokee Indian his father met in Oklahoma. According to his autobiography, Papa John, Phillips’ father was a heavy drinker who suffered from poor health.

Phillips grew up in Alexandria, Virginia, where he was inspired by Marlon Brando to be “street tough”. He formed a group of teenage boys, who also sang doo-wop songs. He played basketball at George Washington High School, where he graduated in 1953, and gained an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy. However, he resigned during his first (plebe) year. Phillips then attended Hampden-Sydney College on a partial athletic scholarship, but dropped out and married his first of four wives: Susan Adams, the daughter of a wealthy Virginia family. They had a son, Jeffrey, and a daughter, Laura Mackenzie (known as “Mackenzie”) Phillips.

The Mamas & the Papas

Phillips longed to have success in the music industry and traveled to New York to find a record contract in the early 1960s. His first band, The Journeymen, was a folk trio, with Scott Mckenzie and Dick Weismann. They were fairly successful, putting out 3 albums and several appearance on the 1960s TV show, Hootenanny. All three albums, as well as a “Best of the Journeymen” were reissued on CD. He developed his craft in Greenwich Village, during the American folk music revival, and met his future The Mamas & the Papas bandmates Denny Doherty and Cass Elliot there. Lyrics of their song “Creeque Alley” describe this period.

While touring California with The Journeymen, he met his future second wife, the teenage Michelle Gilliam. Their affair finally forced the dissolution of his first marriage. Phillips was married to Michelle Phillips from 1962 to 1970. They had one child together, Chynna Phillips, vocalist of the 1990s’ pop trio Wilson Phillips.

Phillips was the primary songwriter and musical arranger of The Mamas & the Papas. Early in the band’s history, John and Michelle were responsible for writing most of the band’s songs. John would often come up with a melody and some lyrics and Michelle would help him complete the lyrical portion of the song. After being signed to Dunhill Records, they had several Billboard Top Ten hits during the group’s short lifetime, including “California Dreamin’”, “Monday, Monday”, “I Saw Her Again”, “Creeque Alley”, and “12:30 (Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon)”. John Phillips also wrote “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)”, the 1967 Scott McKenzie hit that was to become the Summer of Love anthem. Phillips also wrote the oft-covered “Me and My Uncle”, which was the song performed more times than any other over 30 years of Grateful Dead concerts.

The Phillipses became Hollywood celebrities, living in the Hollywood Hills and socializing with stars like Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty, and Roman Polanski. The group broke up largely because Cass Elliot wanted to go solo and because of some personal problems among Phillips, Michelle, and Denny Doherty. Michelle had been fired briefly in 1966, for having had affairs with both Gene Clark and Denny, and was replaced for two months by Jill Gibson, their producer Lou Adler’s girlfriend. Although Michelle was forgiven and asked to return to the group, the personal problems would continue until the band split up in 1968. Cass Elliot went on to have a successful solo career until her death from heart failure in 1974.

Later life

This section’s tone or style may not be appropriate for Wikipedia. Specific concerns may be found on the talk page. See Wikipedia’s guide to writing better articles for suggestions. (September 2009)

Phillips released his first solo album John, the Wolf King of L.A. in 1970. The album was not commercially successful, although it did include the minor hit “Mississippi”, and Phillips began to withdraw from the limelight as his use of narcotics increased.

Actress Genevive Wate became his third wife in 1972. The couple had two children, Tamerlane and Bijou Phillips. Reportedly, both parents were drug addicts and infidelity marked their marriage. Phillips produced a Genevieve Waite album, Romance Is On the Rise and wrote music for films. Between 1969 and 1974, Phillips and Waite worked on a script and composed over 30 songs for a space-themed musical called Man On The Moon, which was eventually produced by Andy Warhol but played for just two days in New York after receiving disastrous opening night reviews.

Phillips moved to London in 1973; Mick Jagger encouraged him to record another solo album. It was to be released on Rolling Stones Records and funded by RSR distributor Atlantic Records. Jagger and Keith Richards would produce and play on the album, as well as former Stone Mick Taylor and future Stone Ronnie Wood. The project was derailed by Phillips’ increasing use of cocaine and heroin, substances that he shot into his body, by his own admission, “almost every fifteen minutes for two years”. In 2001, the tracks of the Half Stoned or The Lost Album album were released as Pay Pack & Follow a few months after Phillips’ death.

In 1975 Phillips, still living in London, was commissioned to create the soundtrack to the Nicolas Roeg film The Man Who Fell to Earth, starring David Bowie. Phillips asked Mick Taylor to help out; the film was released in 1976.

In 1981 Phillips was convicted of drug trafficking; subsequently, he and his television star daughter Mackenzie Phillips made the rounds in the media, instructing kids and their parents how not to become addicts. This public relations campaign helped reduce his prison time to only a month in jail. Upon release, he re-formed The Mamas & the Papas, with Mackenzie Phillips, Spanky McFarlane (of the group Spanky and Our Gang) and Denny Doherty. Throughout the rest of his life, Phillips toured with various versions of this group.

Phillips was divorced from Waite in 1985. In 1986, his best-selling autobiography, Papa John, was published. With Terry Melcher, Mike Love and his former Journeyman colleague Scott McKenzie, he co-wrote the number 1 single for the Beach Boys, “Kokomo”, which was also nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Song Written specifically for a Motion Picture or Television category (it lost to Phil Collins’s “Two Hearts”, from the film “Buster”).

In the 1990s, his years of addiction led to the need for a liver transplant in 1992. Several months later, however, he was photographed drinking alcohol in a bar in Palm Springs, California, as published in the National Enquirer newspaper. Phillips was questioned about the photo on the Howard Stern radio show, and explained, “I was just trying to ‘break in’ the new liver”.

The Mamas and the Papas were inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame on Jan 12th, 1998.

John Phillips died on March 18, 2001 in Los Angeles of heart failure at the age of 65. He is interred in an outdoor crypt at Forest Lawn Cemetery (Cathedral City) near Palm Springs, California, where he had lived with his fourth wife, Farnaz. He died just days after completing sessions for a new album. Phillips 66 was released posthumously in August 2001.

Claims of sexual relationship with his daughter

In September 2009, John’s daughter Mackenzie Phillips claimed in a new memoir, High on Arrival, that she and her father had a ten-year incestuous relationship. She stated that the relationship began when she was 18 years old in 1979, after Philips raped her while they were both under the influence of heavy narcotics on the eve of her first marriage.

Phillips appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show on 23 September 2009 in which she told Winfrey that her father injected her with cocaine and heroin. According to Phillips, the incestuous relationship ended when she became pregnant and did not know who had fathered the child. These doubts resulted in an abortion, which her father paid for, “and I never let him touch me again.”

Genevieve Waite, John’s wife at the time the claimed abuse occurred, denied the allegations and said they were totally incongruous with his character. Michelle Phillips, John’s second wife, also stated that she had “every reason to believe [Mackenzie's account is] untrue.”

Chynna Phillips, Mackenzie’s half-sister, stated that she believed Mackenzie’s claims and that Mackenzie first told her about the relationship during a phone conversation in 1997, approximately 11 years after the supposed relationship had ended. Bijou Phillips, Mackenzie’s other half-sister, said in a statement that Mackenzie had informed her of the relationship when Bijou was 13 years old, but also stated, “I’m 29 now, I’ve talked to everyone who was around during that time, I’ve asked the hard questions. I do not believe my sister. Our father is many things, this is not one of them.” Jessica Woods, the daughter of Denny Doherty, said that her father knew of the relationship.

Solo discography

John Phillips (John, the Wolf King of L.A.) (04/1969)

Brewster McCloud (12/1970) Soundtrack with Merry Clayton vocals

John Phillips (John, the Wolf King of L.A.) (04/05/1994 Edsel Records UK CD reissue)

Pay Pack & Follow (04/24/2001)

Phillips 66 (08/21/2001)

John Phillips (John, The Wolfking Of L.A.) (09/12/2006 Varese Sarabande CD reissue)

Jack Of Diamonds (07/10/2007)

Pussycat (09/09/2008)

Man On The Moon (07/21/2009)


^ The E! True Hollywood Story, Episode: “Mackenzie Phillips”. Entertainment Television Network, 1999. Phillips admits this in an on camera interview.

^ “Mackenzie Phillips: I slept with my own father”. People. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 



^ Eng, Joyce. “Mackenzie Phillips’ Family Split Over Star’s Incest Claims”. Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2009-09-24. 

^ Everett, Cristina. “Chynna Phillips recalls learning about sister Mackenzie Phillips’ affair with father, John Phillips”. New York Daily News. Retrieved 2009-09-24. 

^ “Bijou Phillips reacts to Mackenzie’s Claims”. Oprah. Retrieved 2009-09-24. 


^ “Denny Doherty’s Daughter Corroborates Mackenzie Phillips’ Story”. Oprah. Retrieved 2009-09-24. 

^ The E! True Hollywood Story, Episode: “Mackenzie Phillips”. Entertainment Television Network, 1999. Phillips admits this in an on camera interview.

^ “Mackenzie Phillips: I slept with my own father”. People. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 



^ Eng, Joyce. “Mackenzie Phillips’ Family Split Over Star’s Incest Claims”. Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2009-09-24. 

^ Everett, Cristina. “Chynna Phillips recalls learning about sister Mackenzie Phillips’ affair with father, John Phillips”. New York Daily News. Retrieved 2009-09-24. 

^ “Bijou Phillips reacts to Mackenzie’s Claims”. Oprah. Retrieved 2009-09-24. 


^ “Denny Doherty’s Daughter Corroborates Mackenzie Phillips’ Story”. Oprah. Retrieved 2009-09-24.

External links

Papa John Phillips Official Website

John Phillips at the Internet Movie Database

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The Mamas & The Papas Online Price Guide

Categories: 1935 births | 2001 deaths | American expatriates in the United Kingdom | American male singers | American rock singers | American songwriters | Americans of Cherokee descent | Welsh Americans | Cardiovascular disease deaths in California | Military brats | People from South Carolina | People self-identifying as alcoholics | The Mamas & the Papas members | English-language singersHidden categories: Wikipedia articles needing style editing from September 2009 | All articles needing style editing

Clarice Cliff

Early life

The Cliff family ancestors had moved to Tunstall from the Eccleshall area in about 1725. When Clarice was born their home was on Meir Street on a terrace of modest houses, but Tunstall was actually a slightly better part of Stoke on Trent. Cliff’s father Harry worked at the local iron foundry in Tunstall, her mother Ann took in washing to supplement the family income, and they had 7 children.
Cliff was sent to a different school to her siblings, and this perhaps prompted her more independent approach to her career, and her non-standard life style by Stoke on Trent standards. It is known that after school Cliff would visit aunts who were hand paintresses at a local pottery company, and she also made models from papier-mch at school.
The size of the family meant that in 1906 the Cliffs moved to a larger home on the adjoining Edward’s Street, where, as the children left school (aged 13), they were able to augment the family income, so they never suffered the intense hardships that affected many in the Potteries due to the high unemployment.


At the age of 13, Cliff started working in the pottery industry. Her first work was as a gilder, adding gold lines on ware of traditional design. Once she had mastered this she changed jobs to learn freehand painting at another potbank , at the same time studying art and sculpture at the Burslem School of Art in the evenings.

In 1916, Cliff made the rather unusual decision to move to factory of A. J. Wilkinson at Newport, Burslem, to improve her career opportunities. This necessitated a lengthy journey to work. This was an unusual start to an unusual career; most young women in the Staffordshire Potteries were on ‘apprentice wages’, and having mastered a particular task, stayed with that to maximise their income. However, Cliff was ambitious and acquired skills in modelling figurines and vases, gilding, keeping pattern books and hand painting ware: outlining, enamelling (filling in colours within the outline) and banding (the radial bands on plates or vessels). In the early 1920s her immediate boss Jack Walker brought Cliff to the attention to one of the two factory owners, Colley Shorter, who managed it with his brother Guy. Colley Shorter was 17 years older than Cliff, and as well as playing a major role in nurturing her skills and ideas, he was later to be her husband.

The first printed ‘Bizarre’ backstamp used on Clarice Cliff ware from 1928 to early 1936 in various styles.

Cliff was given a second apprenticeship at A. J. Wilkinson’s in 1924 (when she was already 25 years old) primarily as a ‘modeller’ but she also worked with the factory designers John Butler and Fred Ridgway. They produced conservative, Victorian style ware – Butler had been the designer for over 20 years by this time. Eventually, Cliff’s wide range of skills were recognised and in 1927 she was given her own studio at the adjoining Newport Pottery which Shorter had bought in 1920. Here Cliff was allowed to decorate some of the old defective ‘glost’ (white) ware in her own freehand patterns. For these she used on-glaze enamel colours, which enabled a brighter palette than underglaze colours.

She covered the imperfections in simple patterns of triangles, in a style that she called ‘Bizarre’. The earliest examples had just a hand-painted mark, usually in a rust coloured paint, ‘Bizarre by Clarice Cliff’, sometimes with ‘Newport Pottery’ underneath. To the surprise of the company’s senior salesman Ewart Oakes, when he took a car load to a major stockist, it was immediately popular. Clarice was given a young paintress Gladys Scarlett to help her with the ware, and soon a more professional ‘backstamp’ was made, which carried Cliff’s facsimile signature, and proclaimed Hand painted Bizarre by Clarice Cliff, Newport Pottery England.

Early ‘Original Bizarre’ pattern on an Athens shape jug

This backstamp was in fact to lead to Bizarre being used as an umbrella name for her entire pattern range, so that the factory then had to refer to the first pieces in the simple triangles as Original Bizarre.

In March 1927 Colley Shorter (who acted very independently of his brother guy), sent Cliff to the Royal College of Art in Kensington, London for two brief periods of study in March and May. These dates are recorded in the Royal College of Art archive and were also remembered by Gladys Scarlett (in 1982 ) as she was briefly left alone at Newport to paint the new ‘Bizarre’ ware.

‘Ravel’ pattern on Conical shape coffee pot, sugar and cream – 1930

From 1927 Cliff was actually credited for shapes she designed, such as her Viking Boat flower holder, though her modelling for the factory is recorded in trade journal as far back as 1923-24. The shapes from 1929 onwards took on a more ‘Moderne’ influence, often angular and geometric, and some are what was to be later termed Art Deco. Abstract and cubist patterns appeared on these shapes, such as the 1929 Ravel (seen on Cliff’s Conical shape ware) which was an abstract leaf and flower pattern named after the composer. The image shows a Conical coffee pot, and sugar bowl and cream with four triangular feet, another of Cliff’s rather Bizarre shape ideas which proved popular with 1930s customers. Ravel was to be produced between 1929 and at least as late as 1935.

In 1928 Clarice produced a simple but clever hand painted pattern of Crocus flowers in orange, blue and purple, each flower being constructed with confident upward strokes. Then, green leaves were added by holding the piece upside down, and doing thin lines amongst the flowers. Being made from the individual brushstrokes, the Crocus pattern was clearly completely hand-painted, and the vibrant colours instantly attracted large sales.
Crocus pattern 1928 to 1963

Initially, Clarice had just one young decorator produce Crocus, Ethel Barrow. But as orders flooded in by 1930 a separate decorating ‘shop’ was established underneath the top floor of the building which housed the ‘Bizarre’ shop, and Ethel became responsible for training young paintresses how to do the pattern. Twenty young women painted nothing but Crocus 5 1/2 days a week, for much of the 1930s. Crocus was unusual in that it was produced on both tableware, tea and coffeeware, and ‘fancies’, novelty items made primarily as gift ware. The pattern had many colour variations, including Purple Crocus (1932) Blue Crocus (1935), Sungleam Crocus (1935) Spring Crocus. It was even produced after the war, the final pieces with Clarice Cliff marks being made in 1963, though Midwinter (who bought the factory) continued to paint it to order until as late as 1968.
By 1929, Cliff’s team of decorators had grown to a team of around 70 young painters, mainly women (called her ‘Bizarre girls’) but also four boys – who hand painted the ware under her direction. Many of these workers were traced in the 1980s and 1990s and they totalled over 100. Their names and work for Clarice Cliff was recorded in the centenary book.
Appliqu Lugano 1930

The factory produced a series of small colour printed leaflets (quite unusual for this time) which could be obtained by post, or picked up from stockists. This promotional device was clearly successful, as one young girl was employed whose only job was to put the leaflets in stamped addressed envelopes sent into the factory. At this time, many women would buy pottery by ‘mail order’ from advertising in magazines. The series of leaflets, each of which covered a range of pieces in a similar style or set of colours, included ones for Bizarre, Fantasque, Delecia, Appliqu, Inspiration, Crocus & Gayday and others. The original leaflet for the Appliqu patterns featured just two, Lucerne and Lugano , but Cliff’s prolific ability to design new patterns is witnessed by the fact that by 1932 the Appliqu range had 14 patterns : with Avignon, Windmill, Red Tree, Idyll, Palermo, Blossom, Caravan, Bird of Paradise, Etna, Garden, Eden and Monsoon in addition to the original two. The Appliqu Lugano pattern is shown left on a 10-inch (250 mm) wall plaque, with (inset) the printed Bizarre mark, and a hand painted range name as often seen on this ware. Appliqu, with its more intense colouring, proved long term to be one of the most sought after Cliff ranges.

‘Red Autumn’ pattern 1930

The Fantasque range evolved between 1928 and 1934 and mainly featured abstracts or landscapes of cottages and trees, and some Art Deco inspired patterns. The first Fantasque landscape pattern was Trees and House and this sold well from 1930 until at least 1934. However, it was the slightly later, more sophisticated Autumn pattern issued near the end of 1930 which was to prove the most adaptable and popular. Originally created in red (coral) green and black in 1930, from 1931 many colourway variations appeared. The rarest remains the red colourway, shown on a 13-inch (330 mm) wall plaque, but the best selling version at the time was one with the trees in blue green and yellow. All these variations have proven particularly collectible.

In 1930, Cliff was appointed Art Director to Newport Pottery and A. J. Wilkinson, the two adjoining factories that produced her wares. Her work involved spending more time with the Colley Shorter, and this gradually developed into an affair, conducted in secrecy. The couple worked closely together on creating awareness of ‘Bizarre ware’ to catch the attention of buyers in the middle of a major financial depression, and with a skilful eye and great foresight, Colley Shorter registered Clarice’s name and even some of her shapes. It was her ability to design both patterns and also the shapes they were to go on that distinguished Cliff above any other designers in the Staffordshire Potteries at this time. Her first modelling in the mid 20s was of stylised figures, people, ducks, the floral embossed Davenport ware of 1925. But in 1929 at the same time as she started the colourful cubist and landscape designs, Cliff’s modelling took on a new style. This was influenced by European originals by Dsny, Ttard Freres, Josef Hoffmann and others, that she had seen in design journals including ‘Mobilier e Dcoration’.

Between 1929 and 1935 Cliff issued a mass of shape ranges, including Conical, Bon Jour/Biarritz, Stamford, Eton, Daffodil, and Trieste. In each of these there were tea and coffee ware shapes, but the first two were so popular that biscuit barrels, sugar sifters, bowls and vases were issued to enlarge the range. Bon Jour had 20 shapes created during 1933, with about 10 more being added in 1934. There were also many other innovatively shaped vases, bowls and ‘fancies’, such as the Liner vase, Flower tube vase and the (now rare) Lido Lady ashtray and Age of Jazz musicians and dancers.

1930 patterns: Melon on a shape 14 vase, and Circle Tree on an Eton shape coffeepot

Through the depths of the Depression Cliff’s wares continued to sell in volume at what were high prices for the time. Her Bizarre and Fantasque ware was sold throughout North America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, but not in mainland Europe. In Britain many top London stores sold it, including Harrods. Some of the other London stockists have long since closed, but the list is impressive: ‘Maple & Co., Lawley’s, Bon Marche, John Lewis Peter Robinson, Selfridges, John Barker & Co., Warring & Gillow and Gorringe’s’. However, the extant order books of the period confirm that Bizarre ware was never sold at Woolworths as some have erroneously stated.

Further outrageous patterns, vividly coloured, such as Melon and Circle Tree appeared in 1930. Cliff devised many ways of marketing these; in-store painting demonstrations, for which Cliff chose just the prettiest of her paintresses and most famously she and Shorter had the idea to actually pay major 1930s celebrities to endorse the ware. This was done both in magazine articles and by appearances at large stores. The celebrities included ‘actresses Adrienne Allen, Marion Lorne, Marie Tempest, the BBC presenter Christopher Stone, musical comedy star Bobby Howes ‘. Even Sir Malcolm Campbell who had just broken the world land speed record appeared at a promotion at the First Avenue Hotel, London in 1930.

Cliff’s worldwide impact was made clear by a story in the ‘Pasadena Evening Post’ in California. It pictured her with a five-foot-high ‘horse’ made entirely of Bizarre ware which had been made to promote the ware in Britain. It was in this article, that Cliff made what has become her most famous quote: Having a little fun at my work does not make me any less of an artist, and people who appreciate truly beautiful and original creations in pottery are not frightened by innocent tomfoolery
Between 1932 and 1934 Cliff was the art director for a major project involving nearly 30 artists of the day (prompted by the Prince of Wales) to promote good design on tableware. The ‘Artists in Industry’ earthenware examples were produced under her direction, and the artists included such notable names as Duncan Grant, Paul Nash, Barbara Hepworth, Vanessa Bell, and Dame Laura Knight. The project ‘Modern Art for the Table’ was launched at Harrods London in October 1934 but received a mixed response from both the public and the press, though at the same time Cliff’s own patterns and shapes were selling in large quantities around the world.
Clarice Cliff ‘Honolulu’ pattern on traditional ‘Athens’ shape Jug. Approx 1932

Cliff’s patterns are highly stylised and interpreted in strong colours, such as the 1933 Honolulu pattern. The trees are enamelled in red (coral) orange and yellow. Cliff produced a colourway variation on this by simply changing the trees to shades of blue and pink, and this was then called Rudyard after a local Staffordshire beauty spot.

Clarice Cliff’s fame and success in the 1930s are hard to fully appreciate now, but at that time there was no such thing as ‘career women’. The publicity she received in the national press was unprecedented. Research by a PhD student into the contemporary press between 1928 and 1936 found ’360 articles about Cliff and her work were published in the trade press, women’s magazines, national and local newspapers’. This was put into context when he pointed out that in the same period, Susie Cooper, another Staffordshire ceramicist and designer, had ‘fewer than 20 reviews, all bar one in the trade press’ .

Clarice Cliff (right) with visitors to Newport Pottey in 1933

Despite all the publicity she received, Cliff was actually quite camera shy, and in most cases the images of her pottery were what dominated the women’s magazine of the day. One picture which shows Cliff informally was taken when a South Africans stockist of her ware, from Werner Brothers, visited the factory on a buying trip. Cliff is seen with the 3 year old daughter and wife of the stockist. After the visit Cliff sent the daughter a present of a miniature child’s tea set painted in her Honolulu pattern.
In the mid 30s tastes changed and heavily modelled ware came into vogue. The My Garden series issued from 1934 onwards led the way, with small flowers modelled as a handle or base on more rounded shapes. These were fully painted in bright colours – the body of the ware was covered in thin colour washes – ‘Verdant’ was green, ‘Sunrise’ yellow and so on. The range included vases, bowls, jugs, a biscuit barrel, and proved very popular as gift ware. It was produced in more muted colours, right until the start of the war in 1939.

An original 1935 factory leaflet shows the size and diversity of the modelled ‘My Garden’ ware

Other modelled shapes included the 1937 ‘Raffia’ based on traditional basketware by Native Americans, decorated in a similar style to them with small blocks of colour. More popular was the heavily modelled Harvest ware, jugs and bowls modelled with corn and fruit. After the war this range was heavily marketed in North America (very patriotically) as England. This later modelled ware attracts relatively low prices at auction.

In 1940, after the death of Ann Shorter, Colley’s wife, he married Cliff and she moved into his home Chetwynd House at Clayton, Staffordshire. This Arts and Crafts home had been designed in 1899 and was one of the earliest commissions of the British architects Parker and Unwin Barry Parker Raymond Unwin who were later heavily involved in the Welwyn Garden city project.
During World War II only plain white pottery (utility ware) was permitted under wartime regulations, so Cliff assisted with management of the pottery but was not able to continue design work. Instead she concentrated her creative talents on gardening and the massive 4-acre (16,000 m2) garden at Chetwynd House became her shared passion with Shorter.

After the war, although Cliff was occasionally nostalgic for the ‘Bizarre’ years, as witnessed in personal letters to friends, she seemed to be realistic and accepted the commercial taste was for conservative ware. Clarice seemed to enjoy playing a lesser role at the factory, knowing that she could not recapture those crazy days of the thirties. Much of the post ware production went to Australia, New Zealand or North America, where the taste was for formal ware in traditional English designs such as Tonquin rather than the striking patterns and shapes that had established Cliff’s reputation; thus she was never to return to creative work. The post-war ware has little value at auction.

A.J.Wilkinson and their Newport Pottery continued to sell ware under Cliff’s name until the death of Colley Shorter in 1963 led Cliff to sell the factory in 1964 to Midwinter and she retired becoming somewhat of a recluse. However, from December 1971 to January 1972, the first exhibition of Clarice Cliff pottery took place at Brighton, East Sussex. Cliff reluctantly provided comments for the catalogue, though she refused an invitation to go to the opening. The exhibition was prompted by enthusiastic collectors, including Martin Battersby, an early devotee of 20s and 30s design, the first author on that period to publish major works , and a devotee of Cliff’s ceramics. Then, on October 23 Cliff died suddenly at Chetwynd House. The exhibition and the first book published privately in 1976 ‘Clarice Cliff’ by Peter Wentworth-Sheilds and Kay Johnson (L’Odeon publishing) marked the start of a major revival of interest in Cliff’s work, which has continued to be sought after by Art Deco ceramic collectors ever since.

Cliff’s original paintresses re-united by the CCCC founder Leonard Griffin who is pictured with them in 1986

In 1982 the ORIGINAL Clarice Cliff Collectors Club was formed and promoted her and her work throughout the world. The club founder had appealed in the Staffordshire Evening Sentinel for anyone who worked with Cliff to contact him and was delighted when he found 28 former workers. Still calling themselves the ‘Bizarre girls’ even in their mid 70s and early 80s Cliff’s former paintresses were delighted in the interest in the pottery they had hand painted 50 years earlier. They attended the annual meetings of the club, and were to be involved in many television and radio programmes about Cliff, and a mass of books that appeared. Many of their memories were recorded in the CCCC Reviews from 1982 to 2004. The club also held meetings and exhibitions in Britain, North America, Australia and New Zealand.

Members of the original CCCC at Cliff’s ‘Bizarre shop’ at Newport, Burslem in 1992

The Stoke on Trent meetings visited the old painting shop of Bizarre ware by the canal at Newport, Burslem from 1987 to 1997, ironically the only building left standing on the site. Sadly it was demolished by Wedgwood in 1997, and the land sold for housing.

A chain of mergers had led to Wedgwood owning the Clarice Cliff name, and from 1992 to 2002 they produced a range of reproductions of the highly sought 1930s pieces. These were made to a high quality, and were produced in small numbers for sale to collectors who could not find (or perhaps could not afford) the most striking original pieces.

The first range of Wedgwood reproduction ware from 1992

The first pieces produced included a ginger jar in House and Bridge, a large shape 14 vase in Solitude, a Stamford shape teapot milk and sugar in Pink Roof Cottage, a Conical bowl in Tennis, and a wall plaque in Lightning. From 1996 to 2002 pieces were made for CCCC members and these were also sold at major Wedgwood rooms. The hand painted pieces ceased production in 2002 but ware with printed (not hand painted) patterns were made in larger quantities by Wedgwood during and after this time. These reproductions should not be confused with forgeries (of which a number are found), the Wedgwood ones are clearly marked as ‘Wedgwood Clarice Cliff’. An original Cliff paintress Alice Andrews, then in her 80s, was employed to appear at launches of the ware in stores throughout Britain.
In the mid 90s Cliff’s position as a major artist of her era was confirmed when she was included in major international reference works; the massive Dictionary of Art by Macmillan Publishers, and Allgemeines Knstlerlexikon by K. G. Saur Verlag .

The work of the CCCC culminated with the centenary exhibition ‘Clarice Cliff the Art of Bizarre’ at the Wedgwood Museum, Barlaston Stoke on Trent. Nowadays, with 26 years of experience the club is based on the internet (see below). It should not be confused with an organisation who used the same name from 2001 after registering it in 1997. The CCCC was then the consultant for the BBC Radio 4 drama ‘The Bizarre Girl’, written by Lizzie Slater which was described as ‘an uplifting drama exploring the dramatic rise of Clarice Cliff from the shop floor to Company Art Director ~ illustrating how a working-class Staffordshire girl brought modern art to the people’. The drama was broadcast in December 2000.
In 2002 Peter Wentworth-Sheilds and Kay Johnson, the authors of the original ‘Clarice Cliff’ book from 1976 returned to Britain to lecture at a CCCC event at Christie’s, South Kensington. They spoke about the early days of collecting when their first purchase had been, ‘a Summerhouse Athens jug for 7 shillings and 6 pence, 35 pence’. Peter had actually spoken to Cliff on the phone, but she had declined to be interviewed. They revealed that they had both been working for Stanley Kubrick when they wrote their book; Kay was Kubrick’s personal assistant, and as set designer Peter had been able to decorate a room in A Clockwork Orange with a frieze he has designed based on original landscapes by Cliff.

The collecting market for Clarice Cliff pottery is complex; it is still possible to find examples of Crocus, Cliff’s longest produced pattern (1928-1964) for as little as 30-50. But rare combinations of shape and pattern attract very high prices at auction. The world record price for a piece of Clarice Cliff is held by Christie’s, South Kensington, London, who sold an 18-inch (460 mm) ‘charger’ (wall plaque) in the May Avenue pattern for 39,500 in 2004. Shortly after this the same auction house sold an 8-inch (200 mm) vase in Sunspots for 20,000 .

In 2008, Cliff’s pottery continued to prove both sought after and esteemed. Despite the financial depression collectors still paid high prices for special pieces. In Britain, Bonhams, London sold a ‘Triple Bonjour’ vase in Blue Firs for 6000.

A rare Red Autumn shape 369 vase sold for 4900 at Fielding’s auctioneers, Stourbridge in the West Midlands, and Woolley and Wallis auctioneers Salisbury sold a 3-inch (76 mm) high miniature vase in Caf (used as a salesman’s sample in the 1930s) for a staggering 3000.
On 2 August 2009 Will Farmer of the BBC Antiques Roadshow and members of the original Clarice Cliff Collectors Club unveiled three plaques commemorating Clarice Cliff’s life and work in the Potteries.

These were on her birthplace, Meir Street, Tunstall, her second home on Edwards Street, Tunstall and the site of Newport Pottery by the canal in Burslem where her Bizarre ware was decorated. These were filmed by BBC television for showing on a special Antiques Roadshow programme in December 2009.

In September 2009 the Victoria and Albert Museum in London opened its ‘New Ceramics Galleries’ and Cliff’s work was chosen to be included; ‘There will be two rooms displaying 20th-century collections. One will show ceramics made in a factory context and will include objects by designers such as Susie Cooper and Clarice Cliff’ .

See also

Susie Cooper

Charlotte Rhead

Keith Murray, Ceramic artist


^ Wentworth-Sheilds Peter, Johnson Kay: Clarice Cliff, L’Odeon publishing 1976/1981

^ The decorating shops in many Staffordshire factories were in this era almost totally staffed by women on 7 year ‘apprenticeships’ who were called hand paintresses. They produced top quality work at an apprentice price which gave them job security. The term is still correct in Staffordshire, though the art of hand painting onto ware is now rarely seen commercially

^ Wentworth-Sheilds Peter, Johnson Kay: Clarice Cliff, L’Odeon publishing 1976/1981

^ A Staffordshire term for a pottery factory, probably because they had a ‘bank’ of clay for making the ‘pots’

^ Griffin Leonard, Meisel Louis and Susan: Clarice Cliff the Bizarre Affair Thames & Hudson London / Abrams New York 1988/1995

^ Griffin Leonard: an interview with Gladys Scarlett in ‘The Clarice Cliff Collectors Club Review magazine’

^ Griffin Leonard: The Fantastic Flowers of Clarice Cliff Pavilion/Chrysalis 1998/2001

^ Slater Greg, Brough Jonathan: Comprehensively Clarice Cliff: Thames and Hudson 2005

^ Griffin Leonard: Clarice Cliff the Art of the Bizarre Pavilion/Chrysalis 1999/2002

^ Griffin Leonard: The Complete Book of Appliqu 1989/1994 published privately by the original Clarice Cliff Collectors Club

^ Griffin Leonard: Clarice Cliff the Art of the Bizarre (chapter ‘Dramatic Art Deco’) Pavilion/Chrysalis 1999/2002

^ For Bon Jour range illustration see p.53: Griffin Leonard, Meisel Louis and Susan: Clarice Cliff the Bizarre Affair Thames & Hudson London/Abrams New York 1988/1995

^ Knight Lynn: p.167 Clarice Cliff biography Bloomsbury Press 2005

^ Knight Lynn: Clarice Cliff biography Bloomsbury Press 2005

^ ‘Pasadena Evening Post’ story 1931

^ Griffin Leonard: Clarice Cliff the Art of the Bizarre (chapter Bizarre meets Bloomsbury) Pavilion/Chrysalis 1999/2002

^ Woodward Dr. Philip: writing in: ‘The Bizarre Art of Clarice Cliff’ (Pavilion/Chrysalis 1999/2001

^ Griffin Leonard: Taking Tea with Clarice Cliff (Pavilion/Chrysalis 1996/2002

^ Griffin Leonard Clarice Cliff: The Fantastic Flowers of Clarice Cliff Pavilion/Chrysalis 1998/2001

^ Doreen Mann (nee Jenkins) writing in Fantastic Flowers of Clarice Cliff Pavilion/Chrysalis 1998

^ Slater Greg, Brough Jonathan: p. 266 Comprehensively Clarice Cliff: Thames and Hudson 2005

^ Battersby Martin: The Decorative Thirties Studio Vista publishing 1969/1976

^ The ‘Review’ magazine of the Clarice Cliff Collectors Club: 1997

^ The Original CCCC Review magazine 1992-1999

^ Allgemeines Knstlerlexikon: K. G. Saur Verlag 1998, Germany. Dictionary of Art: Macmillan, London 1996

^ The Original CCCC ‘Newsletter’ October 2000

^ Original CCCCC ‘Review’ magazine – Summer 2002

^ Guatelli Sevi, Griffin Leonard: p. 264 (for a similar example) The Best of Clarice Cliff Best 50 publishers 2008

^ Guatelli Sevi, Griffin Leonard: p. 183 The Best of Clarice Cliff Best 50 publishers 2008

^ Various: auction reports on in 2008.

^ Stoke-on-Trent Sentinel – 3 August 2009 and reports on

^ Victoria and Albert Museum, press release by Meera Hindocha, 17 September 2009

External links

The Original Clarice Cliff Collectors Club Founded 1982. Registered under the Business Names Registration Act 1982. No. 2803197

The Clarice Cliff Collectors Club . Registered in 1997 (and launched under this name in 2001) in England and Wales number 3212959 as a non profit making organisation owned by its members

Stoke-on-Trent Museums See Clarice Cliff’s designs, plus the World’s Finest Collection of Staffordshire Ceramics at The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery.

Categories: 1899 births | 1972 deaths | English artists | Modern artists | English potters | Art Deco designers | People from Tunstall, Staffordshire

Report On Uk Tour Preparation


Planning a tour event that is intended on capturing audiences from different age groups and with varying tastes can be a demanding task; this because care must be given to accommodate all the intricate matters of event planning while at the same time leaving room for the generation of income from some of these activities. The latter report will be a detailed description of a UK tour that will entail visits to three cities in the United Kingdom. A specific account of the artists that will participate in the event and potential areas of income generation will also be given.

The UK locations chosen for the tour

Since London is considered as a heart to the United Kingdom, then this would be a suitable place to host the event. Part of the reason for this choice is that the people of London are regarded as some of the most financially prosperous groups in the UK. Consequently, there is a chance that the tickets sold for the event will receive a good response from residents in London because they are able to purchase them. (Government of UK, 2008)

London was also an ideal estimation for this tour owing to the fact that the area normally receives a lot of media attention. Consequently, people are always on the look out for the latest happenings within their City and chances are that they will be interested in knowing about the goings on in this particular area. Besides the latter issue, there are numerous visitors who come to London on a daily basis. Statistics show that while London may have only ten thousand residents, there are about three hundred and forty professionals who are located in this area. Consequently, it can be asserted that there is a wide base of potential attendees who might come for the show.

London was also an ideal location for the event because its infrastructural facilitates are adequate enough to host an event of such great magnitude. Because some of the performing artists will be coming from non European Union countries, then this event will be international in nature and the crowds drawn for that event may very large. Consequently, there should be good transport facilities that can cater to these large numbers. Additionally, there should be locations that can accommodate them. London has one of the busiest transport systems in the United Kingdom especially during peak hours when professionals have to move from location to location while at work or when getting to work. Therefore, very few arrangements related to the transportation costs will have to be made. Additionally because there are numerous events and tours that go on London, then it will be quite convenient to select the most suitable location. (Government of UK, 2008)

The next location chosen for the tour is Edinburgh. Edinburgh is on record as being the second most visited tourist location within the United Kingdom. Because this City is the Capital of Scotland, then it will be able to draw participants for the event from a wide geographical base. On top of this, census show that there are about our hundred and forty eight thousand residents in this area. This means that there will be a huge consumer base to choose from for this particular event. On top of the latter issue, Edinburgh usually has almost double its number of people owing to the annual Edinburgh festival. Consequently, most of them tend to accommodate large numbers of people who can contribute towards the event positively.

The people of Edinburgh are also known for their nightlife. Consequently, most of them are likely to turn up for the event in large numbers because they are always on the look out for new happenings. This tour will be further aided by the fortnightly publication in Edinburgh known as “The List”. Consequently, the festivals that take part in this City will streamline the way for success of the event. (Campbell, 2003)

The last location chosen for this particular event is the City of Newcastle Tyne. The latter City was ranked as one of the most favourite places to visit within the United Kingdom and the European Union at large. This is because of the history associated with the place and also the numerous changes that have taken place in this area. Additionally, Newcastle boasts of having a vibrant nightlife with numerous world class restaurants and sufficient bars. Because of these attractions, then the City of Newcastle would possess adequate infrastructure to support high numbers of visitors. This also implies that it is likely that an event would highly succeed in this area. (Moffat & Rosie, 2005)

Account of the artists chosen for the event

There are six world renowned artists that will participate in this event and they include

Elton John
Nora Jones
Stevie Wonder
The Eagles
Pink Floyd

The latter artists were chosen on the basis of their popularity among various age groups. This is because most of them have international appeal and have been in the music business for many years.

Stevie Wonder was chosen for this particular event because he is from outside the EU and is also one of the most successful artists of the latter twentieth century. (Rolling Stone Encyclopedia, 2008) He boasts of twenty two Grammy awards. Additionally, he has released approximately thirty top ten hits both within the UK and the International arena. Consequently, it can be said that most people within the event will be able to relate to his performance and that there will be a huge turnout for the event. Stevie Wonder has also been inducted into the Rock and roll hall of fame and has also been responsible for a wide range of charitable events. In light of these matters, it is also likely that he would be interested in participating in such an event. On top of these, Stevie Wonder would draw huge crowds thanks to his multi-instrumentalist capabilities. The latter musician can play the piano, harmonica, organ, clavinet and many others.

Elton John was also chosen for this event because he was one of the most dominant faces in the Rock and roll industry during the last century and this century too. Consequently, he will be able to appeal to a wide audience range because of the fact that he was well known as far back as the nineteen seventies. This means that forty year olds can relate to him. However, this does not mean that other members from other age groups will be left out. In fact, the latter artist has been responsible for a number of new releases over the past few years. Besides this, it is also likely that Elton John will agree to participate in the event because he has been involved a lot of charitable events. For instance, the latter artist was knighted in the year 1998 because of the work which he had done with regard to AIDS. It is therefore likely that he will respond positively to an invitation to this event. (Rosenthal, 2001)

The Eagles were also chosen for this particular event because they have been highly successful in the latter industry. The latter group are internationally based with their headquarters in Californian US. However, because of their success in the United Kingdom, it is likely that they may do well in this event. Additionally, the latter artist appeals to a wide range of audiences since they produced hits during the seventies and eventually in this decade with an album known as the Long Road out of Eden. Consequently, this group is likely to draw the interests of both the old and new generation of audiences. (Rolling Stone, 2004)

Norah Jones will also be another artist that will grace this event. This artist will be designed to appeal to the younger audiences owing to the fact that her genre of music is largely pop with some hints of soul. The latter artist was a Grammy award winning singer in the year 2004 and this occurred a mere two years after the release of her first album in the year 2002. Norah Jones has been called one of the most successful artists within this decade because of thirty six million records worth of sales this year. Consequently, such an artist would draw in a large crowd during the event. (Piccollo, 2003)

Blondie has also been chosen for this tour because they have been in the rock scene over forty years. Consequently, it can be said that they have different elements of both the old and the new elements. It should also be noted that their fusion of music entails a little bit of pop, disco, reggae and new wave. This means that people with varied tastes can understand their music and relate to it as well. (Tucker, 2007)

Lastly, Pink Floyd will also participate in this event. They were chosen because of the fact that they provide very elaborate live shows. Since they have sold close to two hundred and ten million albums, then they are likely to offer a wide spectrum of choices for the attendees of this charitable event. Additionally, because their roots are within the UK, then chances are that they will generate a lot of responses from within. They will represent some of the national interests in this nation. (Mason, 2004)

Time line for project planning

The first step in the project planning phase is the development of a strategy that will ensure success in the project. This can be achieved through the process of clarifying the purpose of the event. If the latter matter is carefully taken into consideration, then chances are that the event will do well. In other words, before the deployment of time and money for this event, there is a need to ensure that the strategic direction being pursued is solid enough to demand this publicity. In this case, the event’s purpose is to raise funds and awareness for human rights charities. In other words, it can be said that there is a humanitarian aspect to the event and there is also a business aspect of it. (Fritz, 2008)

In this process of strategising, there will be a need to look into the type of event chosen and the purpose of the event so as to ascertain that two issues match. The reason why this is an important aspect is that it will largely determine the kind of audience to be reached. In certain circumstances, one may be interested in reaching other members that have never been reached before or one may be interested in reconnecting with prior people. However, for this particular case, it is assumed that an event of this nature has never been conducted so there is a need to reach new audiences. It is essential to make sure that all the people involved in this event fully understand it and members of the committee to be involved in the event planning process have been placed in thorough perspective. (Fritz, 2008)

It should also be noted that in order to ensure this success, then the committee selected for the planning process must be broadly representative of all the interests in the tour. This means that specialists in different spheres such as budgeting, music, refreshments and drinks, ticket sales, security etc will all have to be involved in the process.

The project will also entail a detailed outline of some specialist interest groups within the event. This means that there will be a detailed demographic account of the categories of people who are likely to attend the event. Consequently, special attention will be given to these interest groups because they may have a stake in it. For instance, humanitarian organisations, business leaders and other groups that have been engaging in similar causes are likely to take precedence during marketing for this particular tour.

The planning process needs to be done in such a manner that everything should be taken into account. Consequently, the latter project should be implemented in a period of not less than one year from its commencement. This means that duties and responsibilities will be spread evenly between these particular time frames. Besides that, there will be certain objectives that will be developed in order to ascertain that all issues are implemented properly. Some of them include

Attendance of the event
Number of tickets sold
Amount of money raised
Number of vendors that will have sold out

In line with the latter matter is the issue of consultation. There will be a need to discuss with other experts who may have held an event of such magnitude about the intricacies involved. These experts need to emanate from the specific locations chosen for the event so that there is a local feel that is added into the event planning process. (Fritz, 2008)

After performing the latter issues, it will be essential to make a check list that can be summarised in the following table



Selection of a planning committee and planning chair

2 weeks

Setting the event date and developing a master plan

2 Months

Selection of subcommittees such as traffic, security, speakers, sound controllers etc

1 month

Organisation of the volunteers for each committee and commencement of work

3 month

Publicity plan-how media will be contacted, interview and photo opportunities

3 weeks

Program and printed materials

2 weeks

Creation of schedule of event

2 weeks

Discussion and analysis of assignments

2 months

Meeting with committee members


Setting up registration tables and tour schedules

2 Months

Carrying out the event

1 day in each location

Mailing event programs to others who were unable to attend to attend the next location

2 days

Sending photos and thank you letters to special interest groups that attended

1 week

Event evaluation

1 month

Logistics are an important aspect of this event owing to the fact that the public will need to deal with certain conveniences. Here, care will be taken to ensure that many activities can continue simultaneously. For instance, there will be a consideration of the space of the buildings to accommodate the event. Additionally, things such as portable toilets, tables and chairs, parking and signage will be imperative in program success. Things such as clean ups, emergency plans, security, police and fire departments will be a crucial consideration in this process. All these logistics issues will need to be taken care of by the appointed subcommittees and budgetary needs will also have to be taken into account. (Fritz, 2008)

Publicity is also another crucial part of the event’s planning process because of the fact that failure to do so will result to low attendance and no involvement from participants consequently. The best way to ensure success in publicity is by aligning some of the objectives of the event alongside the media outlets to be chosen. In this regard, the committee needs to ask itself whether it is trying to educate, entertain, inform, raise awareness or facilitate any mode of communication between the respective groups. Consequently, there will be a need to look into all the available media outlets that can be used and then establish the most feasible one. In this case, there is the option of using newsletters, commercial radio or television stations, the internet, newspapers, posters and many others. Since the choices are varied, it would be favourable to consider a wide array of avenues rather than just one route. (Fritz, 2008)

The last aspect of event planning is evaluation. In order to ensure achievement of the objectives, it would be favourable to look into some of the objectives and gaols for the event and whether those issues were achieved. For instance, one can look at whether people attended the event well or whether the staging process owner well.

Legal requirements and obligations for sourcing and contracting artists

Since the artist chosen for the event will be a celebrated and well known artist, then most of them may be very difficult to source. This is because most of them may have to attend a wide range of events at any one time. The best way to go about this issue is to contact their respective event managers. In so doing, the latter groups will need to be convinced beyond reasonable doubt that the event is a real humanitarian issue and that other equally important artists will be attending. Besides this, budgetary considerations will have to consider the costs of these artists because most of them may require exorbitant amounts to perform. (Fritz, 2008)

After a consensus has been reached by these respective groups, it will be essential to ensure that there is a contract to bind both parties involved. Here, the contracts will include the payment conditions, the issues that might arise in case of any eventualities. Usually, there is a need to include other matters such as provision of materials, evaluation, insurance, cancellation policies, payment schedules, responsibilities, performance space dimensions and other practical matters.

Potential areas of income generation

It should be noted that an event of such magnitude is likely to generate a lot of income. First of all, there will be a need for the participants to purchase tickets prior to entry into the event. This will be the main source of revenue. Additionally, people will need to eat and drink and the latter vendors will also be an important revenue source. Aside from that, it is likely that people will be interested in taking photographs; consequently, the latter professionals will be in big business. On top of these, there may be a need to sell some souvenirs that are related to the event’s cause and also to the performing artists such as t-shirts and bracelets.


Event planning can be a relatively successful issue if planned in a careful and suitable manner. Consequently, one must go out of their way to ensure that they have checked on the intimate details. However, in order to ensure success, it would be imperative to ascertain that there is sound teamwork between event planners and adherence to team objectives.


Mason, N. (2004): Inside out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd, London, Orion Books

Rosenthal, E. (2001): The Musical Journey of Elton John, Billboard Books

Rolling Stone (2004): The Immortals –the first fifty; Wenner Publishing

Piccollo, B. (2003): Norah Jones; Glide Magazine, 28th May

Tucker, K. (2007): Blondie album review; Undercover media

Rolling Stone Encyclopedia (2008): Stevie Wonder –Biography, retrieved form accessed on 10 January 2008

Fritz, J. (2008): How to make the most of your special events; Grassroots fundraising Journal

Governmnet of UK (2008): London – Key facts, retrieved from

Campbell, D. (2003): Edinburgh – a cultural and literary history; Signal Books

Moffat, A. & Rosie, G. (2005): A history of Newcastle; Mainstream Publishing

World in Action – Waterwell Drilling Rig – china Top Head Drive Drilling System

World in Action was the pre-eminent current affairs program produced by Britain’s ITV Network in its first 50 years. Along with This Week, Weekend World, First Tuesday, The Big Story and The Cook Report – and the news-gathering of ITN – World in Action gave ITV a reputation for quality broadcast journalism to rival the BBC’s output.
For the first 35 years of its existence, ITV had a near-monopoly of television advertising revenue. Roy Thomson, who ran Scottish Television famously described ITV as a “licence to print money”. In return for this income, the broadcasting regulator insisted that the ITV companies broadcast a proportion of their programmes as public service TV. Out of this was born the network’s reputation for serious current affairs, eagerly grabbed by program makers under Granada’s founder Lord Sidney Bernstein.
Some of the dominant figures in 20th century British broadcasting helped to create World In Action, in particular Tim Hewat “the maverick genius of Granada’s current affairs in its formative years” and his World In Action successor David Plowright: but also Jeremy Isaacs, Michael Parkinson, John Birt and Gus Macdonald and, its most long-serving executive-producer, Ray Fitzwalter. World In Action trained generations of journalists and, in particular, film-makers. Michael Apted worked on the original Seven Up. Paul Greengrass, who spent ten years on World In Action, told the BBC: “My first dream was to work on World In Action, to be honest. It was that wonderful eclectic mixture of filmmaking and reportage. That was my training ground. It showed me the world and made me see many things.” He later told The Guardian: “If there’s a thread running through my career it’s World in Action – the phrase as well as the programme.” Although its rivals produced many memorable programs, it was World in Action “slamming into the subject of each edition without wordy prefaces from a reassuring host-figure” which consistently gained a reputation for the kind of original journalism and film making which made headlines and won major awards. In its time, the series was honoured by all of the major broadcasting awards, including many BAFTA, the Royal Television Society and Emmy Awards.
World in Action’s style was the opposite to its urbane BBC rival’s, especially to the London BBC. By repute, especially in its early days World In Action would never employ anybody who was on first-name terms with any politician. Gus Macdonald, an executive producer of the programme, said it had been “born brash”. Steve Boulton, one of its last editors, wrote in The Independent that the programme’s ethos was to “comfort the afflicted – and afflict the comfortable.” Paul Greengrass told The Guardian in June 2008 that the chairman of Granada TV once told him: “Don’t forget, your job’s to make trouble.”
World in Action out-lasted all of its contemporaries in ITV current affairs, killed off as the commercial pressures on the network grew with the arrival of multi-channel TV in the UK. Eventually World In Action, too, was removed from the schedules by its own [but by now dramatically different] creator, Granada TV, following pressure from the ITV Network Centre. World In Action, with its worldwide view and coverage, was replaced in the schedules by Tonight. Investigative legacy
From the beginning, and especially from the late 1960s, World In Action broke new ground in investigative techniques. Landmark investigations included the Poulson Affair, corruption in the West Midlands Serious Crime Squad, the exposure of the shadowy and violent far-right group Combat 18, investigations into L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology and, most notably, a long campaign which resulted in the release from prison of the Birmingham Six, six Irishmen falsely accused of planting Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) bombs in Birmingham pubs.
World in Action’s appetite for controversy created tension with the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA), the official regulator during most of the series run, which had the power to intervene before broadcast. Sir Denis Forman, one of Granada’s founders, wrote that there was “trench warfare” between the programme and the industry regulator, the Independent Television Authority (ITA), in the years between 1966 and 1969 as World In Action sought to establish its journalistic freedoms.
The most celebrated dispute was in 1973, over the banning of The Friends and Influence of John L Poulson, the definitive film about the Poulson Affair, itself one of the defining scandals of British political life in the 1960s. Poulson was an architect, who was jailed a year later for corrupting politicians and civil servants to advance his construction business. The regulator, which was then the IBA, banned the film without seeing it and without giving official reasons other than “broadcasting policy”. As a protest, Granada broadcast a blank screen – which bizarrely recorded the third highest TV audience of that week. After a public furore which saw newspapers from the Sunday Times to the Socialist Worker unite in condemnation of “censorship”, the IBA held a second vote, having by then seen the film. By a single vote, the ban was lifted and the programme, retitled The Rise and Fall of John Poulson, was transmitted on April 30, 1973, three months after it was first scheduled.
In 1980 the programme examined the business practices of the then chairman of Manchester United F.C., Louis Edwards. Edwards ran a wholesale butchery business that supplied schools in Manchester; WIA exposed practices of bribery of council officials and the supply of meat that was unfit for human consumption to such institutions; Edwards’ businesses were subsequently prosecuted and lost their contracts.
World in Action tackled the British intelligence services; as well as the Navy over its recruitment practices: senior Navy personnel famously ‘door-stepped’ the director of the World In Action’s film in question. The programme broadcast revelations by whistleblowers from both GCHQ, the government’s electronic eavesdropping and surveillance headquarters, and from the Joint Intelligence Committee.
Its most audacious investigation of the intelligence community was perhaps an extended edition in July 1984 titled “The Spy Who Never Was”, the confessions of a former MI5 officer, Peter Wright. Spycatcher, Wright’s subsequent account of the period when he and colleagues had, as he put it, “bugged and burgled our way across London”, revealed what had in effect been a planned coup against the then Labour government of Harold Wilson. Wright appeared to have been in charge of the technical side of things. ‘The Wilson Plot’, as it became known, was corroborated to varying degrees both before and after the film’s transmission in various other books by journalists and in volumes of memoirs by others involved in the conspiracy. Wright’s book was the most explosive of them all. Wright, embittered by a still unresolved pension dispute, fled to Australia where the book was written and finally published – to the fury of Mrs Thatcher – with the assistance of the original programme’s chief researcher, Paul Greengrass. Publication in Britain was initially banned outright by the government of Margaret Thatcher.
The series was rarely away from the courts and the threat of legal action. The Scientologists tried [and failed] to stop World in Action’s broadcasts about them through the courts and In 1980, members of the programme’s staff and senior executives at Granada TV announced that they would be prepared to go to prison rather than submit to a House of Lords ruling that the programme reveal the identity of an informant who had supplied WIA with 250 pages of secret documents from the then state-owned steel company British Steel. British Steel was at the time locked in an industrial dispute with its workforce.
In 1995, Susan O’Keeffe, a World in Action journalist, was threatened with prison in Ireland for refusing to reveal her sources. She had investigated scandals within the Irish meat industry in two films in 1991, setting in motion a three-year Tribunal of Inquiry in Dublin, which found that much of her criticism of the industry was substantiated. The Tribunal, though, demanded that she name her informants, and when she refused to do so, she was charged by the Irish Director of Public Prosecutions. The case became a cause clbre in the Republic of Ireland, and in January 1995 she faced trial for contempt of court but was cleared of the charge. She was honoured in the 1994 Freedom of Information Awards for her stand.
In its last few years, the programme was involved in two high-profile libel cases. It won the first (along with The Guardian) against the former Conservative Cabinet Minister Jonathan Aitken, and lost the second, against the high street chain Marks & Spencer.
On April 10, 1995, Jonathan Aitken (himself a former journalist for Yorkshire Television) called a televised press conference three hours before the transmission of a World in Action film, Jonathan of Arabia, demanding that allegations about his dealings with leading Saudis be withdrawn. In a phrase that would come to haunt him, Aitken promised to wield “the simple sword of truth and the trusty shield of British fair play … to cut out the cancer of bent and twisted journalism.” Aitken was subsequently sentenced to 18 months in prison for perjuring himself in the libel case.. World in Action followed the collapse of Aitken’s libel case with a special edition whose title reflected the MP’s claim to wield the “sword of truth”. It was called The Dagger of Deceit. Television techniques
Although the series’ lasting reputation is for its investigative work, it also led the way in introducing other techniques to mainstream TV. In 1971, years before reality programming became the staple diet of the TV schedules, World In Action challenged the Staffordshire village of Longnor to quit smoking, a forerunner of many of the popular-challenge documentaries which enjoyed success in the 21st Century reality boom.
In 1984, World In Action caused a sensation by challenging a rising young Conservative Member of Parliament, Matthew Parris, to live for a week on a 26 unemployment benefit payment to test the reality of his own critical views on the unemployed. (Parris subsequently abandoned Parliament for a career as a broadcaster and writer.) The same year, World In Action revealed the tricks behind political oratory by coaching a complete beginner, Ann Brennan, to deliver a speech which won a standing ovation at the annual conference of the Social Democratic Party, using techniques developed by Professor Max Atkinson. The eminent political commentator Sir Robin Day, covering the conference for BBC television, described Mrs Brennan’s performance as “The most refreshing speech we’ve heard so far.”
World In Action helped to pioneer the technique of using covert cameras, not just in investigative work but also in social documentary, including, from the earliest days, the treatment of gypsies, the old in care (“Ward F13″) and poverty in England. The arrival of high-quality miniature cameras allowed ambitious projects such as Donal MacIntyre’s award-winning programmes in October 1996 on the illegal drug trade, and the future Conservative MP Adam Holloway’s disturbing reports on the reality of life among the homeless in 1991.
World In Action gave rise to a number of spin-off series, most famously the Seven Up! documentaries which have followed the lives of a group of British people who turned seven years old in 1963. The most recent, 49 UP, was shown in 2005. Michael Apted directed most episodes; parallel series have also started in the last decade in South Africa, the USA and Russia. ITV’s popular consumer series, House of Horrors, in which shoddy builders are invited to carry out minor repairs to a house festooned with covert recording devices, originated on World In Action.
More recent current affairs series on other channels, such as the MacIntyre series on BBC and Five, and Channel 4′s Dispatches, commissioned by Dorothy Byrne, a former WIA producer, may be seen as having inherited certain aspects of World in Action’s hard-hitting journalistic style. World In Action and popular culture
One of the programme’s hallmarks was its willingness to embrace popular culture, at a time when its competitors preferred a more highbrow approach. One of the very earliest editions reported on overspending at the Ministry of Defence in the style of a contemporary gameshow, Beat The Clock. The programme was so controversial it was banned from being shown on ITV by the then regulatory body, the Independent Television Authority (ITA); instead, ten minutes of it were shown on the BBC as an act of journalistic solidarity. The gameshow device re-emerged in 1989, when an academic study of the uptake of tax-funded benefits by the middle-class was transformed into a mock quiz show named Spongers, fronted by a well-known star of game formats, Nicholas Parsons.
Popular music played a significant role in WIA’s history. An early edition, in 1966, carried a fly-on-the-wall account of daily life aboard one of the then pirate radio ships, Radio Caroline, at a time when the British Government was determined to preserve the radio monopoly of the BBC by driving the “pirates” off the air.
In 1967, a young researcher named John Birt established his early reputation by persuading the rock star Mick Jagger to appear on World in Action to debate youth culture and his recent drug conviction, with Establishment figures, including William Rees-Mogg of The Times, who had written a famous editorial defending the singer. Jagger so enjoyed the experience that he invited the Granada team to film The Rolling Stones at the band’s free 1969 concert in Hyde Park, London. The resulting film, The Stones In The Park, was one of the iconic concert films of the Sixties. John Birt rapidly moved on to edit World in Action and eventually run the BBC as its Director-General.
The rise of Thatcherism and the misery of mass unemployment saw WIA examining the phenomenon through the eyes of another emerging band, UB40, in A Statistic, A Reminder (1981), a line taken from one of the band’s songs. Six years later, a special edition of the programme was devoted to the Irish rock band U2 and their charismatic front man Bono. Like The Rolling Stones before them, U2 allowed World in Action to film one of their classic concerts in 1987 in Ireland. This footage, shot by the future Hollywood director Paul Greengrass, was shown only once on ITV because of copyright restrictions, although it circulated among fans of the band as a bootleg. A small section of the film was posted on YouTube in 2006. The full documentary was made available on the website in 2008.
In 1983, Stevie Wonder, at the height of his popularity, gave the programme a musical exclusive when he agreed to let a World in Action crew record him performing an unreleased song, written to help the Democratic politician Jesse Jackson’s electioneering, for The Race Against Reagan. Another popular singer, Sting, appeared in a more critical World in Action episode, which questioned the effectiveness of his Rainforest Foundation.
Perhaps the most bruising encounter between WIA and popular entertainment was the 1995 film Black and Blue which featured a covert recording of a performance by the veteran comedian Bernard Manning as the star of a charity function organised by the Manchester branch of the Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file officers. Manning’s racist and homophobic performance, loudly applauded by those present, caused outrage when WIA broadcast excerpts, sparking an intense debate about the willingness of British police officers to embrace a diverse culture. Leading contributors Journalists
World in Action employed many leading journalists, among them John Pilger; Michael Parkinson; Gordon Burns; Nick Davies, Ed Vulliamy and David Leigh of The Guardian; Alasdair Palmer of the Sunday Telegraph; John Ware, BBC Panorama’s leading investigative reporter; Anthony Wilson, whose second career as a music impresario was immortalised in the feature film 24 Hour Party People; Michael Gillard, creator of the Slicker business pages in the satirical magazine Private Eye; Donal MacIntyre; the writer Mark Hollingsworth; Quentin McDermott, since 1999 a leading investigative reporter for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation; Tony Watson, editor of the Yorkshire Post for 13 years and editor-in-chief of the Press Association from December 2006; and Andrew Jennings, author of Lords of the Rings, who has campaigned vigorously for more than a decade against corruption in international sport.
Two former World in Action journalists uncovered one of the biggest broadcasting scandals of the 1990s. Laurie Flynn, a central figure in the British Steel papers case, and Michael Sean Gillard revealed that large parts of a 1996 Carlton TV documentary, The Connection, about drug trafficking from Colombia, had been fabricated. Flynn and Gillard’s expos in The Guardian in May 1998 led to an inquiry and a record 2 million fine for Carlton from the then regulator, the Independent Television Commission (ITC), as well as provoking a passionate debate about truthfulness in broadcast journalism. Presenters
Unusually for a current affairs programme, WIA’s standard format was as a voice-over documentary without a regular reporter although a handful of WIA journalists did appear in front of camera, including Chris Kelly, Gordon Burns, John Pilger, Gus Macdonald, Anthony Wilson, Nick Davies, Adam Holloway, Stuart Prebble (who later became the programme’s editor), Mike Walsh, David Taylor and Donal MacIntyre. Guest presenters were used on rare occasions, among them Jonathan Dimbleby, Sandy Gall, Martyn Gregory, Sue Lawley and Lynn Faulds Wood. Perhaps its most celebrated guest presenter was the distinguished American anchorman Walter Cronkite, who came out of retirement to cover the 1983 British General Election for the series.
A small group of narrators delivered the vast majority of WIA’s voice-overs. The science presenter James Burke did a number of commentaries on early editions of the programme. Other main contributors included David Plowright, Chris Kelly, Jim Pope, Philip Tibenham and Andrew Brittain. Among the guest narrators who contributed occasional commentaries were the popular actors Robert Lindsay and Jean Boht. Producer-Directors
The series was known for its gritty visual style, almost always shot on location, and a number of its producer-directors went on to work on major film projects. Those working on the series in its early years included Michael Apted, later to direct Coal Miner’s Daughter, Gorillas in the Mist and the James Bond film The World is not Enough, as well as the Seven Up! documentaries, and Mike Hodges, who went on to direct Get Carter and Flash Gordon. Later, Paul Greengrass, director of the feature films United 93, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum and of the drama-documentaries Bloody Sunday and The Murder of Stephen Lawrence, cut his directing teeth on World in Action. According to The Guardian, Greengrass was listed in 2007 as “the 28th smartest” person in Hollywood.. Leslie Woodhead, director of The Stones In The Park, the award winning A Cry From The Grave, many “Disappearing World” films and also regarded by many as a founder of the drama-documentary movement, worked on World in Action for many years as a producer-director and executive. Long-time World in Action alumni who went on to direct and produce Granada’s international award-winning “Disappearing World” films include Brian Moser, its instigator and original producer, and Charlie Nairn.
Among the more recent generation of film-makers to emerge from World in Action were Alex Holmes, who became editor of the BBC2 documentary strand Modern Times and went on to write and direct the Bafta-winning dramatised documentary series Dunkirk for the BBC; and Katy Jones, a former WIA producer, who became a key collaborator with the screen writer Jimmy McGovern as a producer on his award-winning drama-documentaries Hillsborough and Sunday. Broadcasters
WIA was a starting point for several key programme-makers who went on to major roles in British broadcasting. John Birt became Director-General of the BBC, having been Programme Controller of the London ITV franchise LWT, where he created the company’s current affairs flagship, Weekend World.
Several WIA staffers were promoted to significant roles in Granada Television, among them David Plowright, who became its chairman and later went on to become deputy chairman of Channel 4. Steve Morrison became chief executive at Granada. Gus Macdonald held the same role at another ITV franchise, Scottish Television.
Stuart Prebble, a former editor, became chief executive of ITV, and Steve Anderson became Head of News and Current Affairs for that channel. Both have since moved on to the independent production industry. Ian McBride, who led the team which made the Birmingham Six programmes, became Managing Editor of Granada TV, and was Director of Compliance for ITV until 2008.
Dianne Nelmes, who worked as a researcher and executive producer of WIA, was the founding editor of Granada TV’s hugely successful This Morning with Richard and Judy and went on to head daytime and factual programmes at ITV.
Dorothy Byrne, a former WIA producer, is Head of News and Current Affairs at Channel 4. Julian Bellamy, who worked as a young researcher on one of WIA’s last big foreign investigations – about arms deals between Britain and Indonesia – later headed Channel 4′s entertainment channel E4 and was programme controller of the BBC digital channel BBC Three before re-joining Channel 4 as its Head of Programming in the spring of 2007. TV production companies
A number of WIA veterans went on to set up and run their own independent television production companies. John Smithson and David Darlow, who set up the production company Darlow Smithson, responsible for the feature films Touching the Void and Deep Water and many factual TV programmes including Black Box and The Falling Man, worked together on WIA. Claudia Milne founded twentytwenty tv, which made a successful current affairs strand for ITV, The Big Story, as well as popular factual series such as Bad Boys’ Army’ on ITV and That’ll Teach ‘Em on Channel 4. Brian Lapping set up the much-garlanded Brook Lapping company, which made The Death of Yugoslavia and many other landmark contemporary history programmes. Stuart Prebble, a former editor of World In Action, runs Liberty Bell, best known for the popular Grumpy Old Men series on the BBC. Another former editor, Steve Boulton, started an eponymous company, which made Young, Nazi & Proud, a Bafta-winning profile of the young British National Party activist Mark Collett.
One of the biggest British independent production companies is All 3 Media, which controls several other leading companies, including Lime Pictures, formerly Mersey Television, makers of Hollyoaks. It is run by Steve Morrison, a former WIA producer. Political connections
Although in its early days World In Action was reputed never to employ anyone who was on first-name terms with any politician, a number of British Parliamentarians since have World In Action on their curriculum vitae. The most recent is the Conservative MP Adam Holloway, elected to the House of Commons in 2005. The British Cabinet Minister Jack Straw worked on World in Action as a researcher, as did Margaret Beckett who served as Tony Blair’s last Foreign Secretary. Chris Mullin, Labour MP for Sunderland South, played a major role in the programme’s campaign on behalf of the Birmingham Six. Gus Macdonald, now Baron Macdonald of Tradeston, and from 1998 to 2003 a Government Minister, was formerly an executive on the programme. John Birt (by then ennobled as Baron Birt), was personal advisor to the British Prime Minister Tony Blair between 2001 and 2005. Editors
Editors of the programme (sometimes with the title of Executive Producer) were, successively, Tim Hewat, Derek Granger, Alex Valentine, David Plowright, Jeremy Wallington, Leslie Woodhead, John Birt, Gus Macdonald, David Boulton, Brian Lapping, Ray Fitzwalter, Allan Segal, Stuart Prebble, Nick Hayes, Dianne Nelmes, Charles Tremayne, Steve Boulton and Jeff Anderson. Anderson also became editor of World in Action’s replacement Tonight, before becoming Head of Current Affairs at ITV in 2006. Mike Lewis, a former WIA producer, was appointed editor of Tonight in October 2006. Academic connections
Professor Brian Winston, Pro-Vice Chancellor (External Relations) at the University of Lincoln, who has also held leading posts at the Universities of Westminster, Cardiff, Pennsylvania State and New York, was a researcher and producer in the early series of World in Action.
Ray Fitzwalter, WIA’s longest-serving editor and the man behind the ground-breaking Poulson investigations, became a Visiting Fellow at the University of Salford School of Media, Music and Performance.
Gavin MacFadyen, who worked on early series of World in Action as a producer-director and was best known for his under-cover human rights films, was made a Visiting Professor at City University in 2005. He is also Director of the Centre for Investigative Journalism. David Leigh, who made Jonathan of Arabia, the film which provoked Jonathan Aitken’s self-destructive libel action, was made Britain’s first Professor of Reporting at City University, London, in September 2006. Camera work
Although a great many director/producers, journalists and editors passed through the programme, one cameraman played an overwhelming role in shaping the appeal of the series. George Jesse Turner, born on the Lancashire coast, close to Granada’s roots, served on the programme from 1966 until its end. By his own count, he shot the principal footage for some 600 of its 1,400 editions, as well as filming all of Michael Apted’s documentaries in the Seven Up! series. Turner was shot himself – in the backside – by an Israeli bullet whilst he and Allan Segal were filming a clash between Fatah guerrillas and the Israeli Army in 1969. Shortly before he retired from Granada, Turner was honoured by Bafta in 1999 for his work as a documentary cameraman.
Among the many cameramen who also contributed to WIA was Chris Menges, who went on to become a distinguished cinematographer – Kes, The Killing Fields and The Mission are among his credits – and a film director in his own right, on features such as A World Apart. Title sequence
The programme’s distinctive identity owed much to its striking title sequence. The music, based on a descending series of organ chords, was called Jam for World in Action and is usually credited to Jonathon Weston, though the American musician Shawn Phillips disputes this. He has posted his claim of authorship on YouTube. The programme’s logo, and the centrepiece of its titles, was the Leonardo da Vinci drawing, the Vitruvian Man. Controversy
In August 1978 World in Action aired reports from the United States that microwaves were dangerous and caused cancer which later proved unfounded. This fallacy was encouraged and further reinforced which resulted in the compounding of peoples fear that these appliances were dangerous. UK microwave sales plummeted immediately after the documentary aired. Potential purchasers were particularly anxious that radiation would somehow escape through the oven walls or door. External links
British Film Institute database of World In Action programmes
TV Ark archive of World In Action title sequences
Encyclopedia of Television
ITV North West England – World in Action titles for 1963 and 1995
Network DVD – World in Action Vol. 1
Nostalgia Central – The World in Action 1963 to 1998
Paul Almond – 7 Up
World Socialist Website – 14 March 1998
‘Televrit’ hits Britain: Documentary, Drama and the growth of 16mm Filmmaking in British Television
‘Scandal at the regulator’ (World in Action and the Poulson affair)
ITV’s official WIA page, containing links to four classic episodes
World in Action at the Internet Movie Database Books and articles
Jonathan Aitken (2003), Pride and Perjury, London: Continuum International Publishing Group – Academi.
Ray Fitzwalter (2008), The Dream That Died: The Rise And Fall Of ITV, London: Matador.
Ray Fitzwalter, David Taylor (1981), Web of Corruption: The Story of J. G. L. Poulson and T. Dan Smith, London: Granada.
Denis Forman (1997), Persona Granada, London: Andre Deutsch
Peter Goddard (2004), ‘World in Action’, in Glen Creeber (ed.), Fifty Key Television Programmes, London: Arnold.
Peter Goddard (2006), ‘”Improper liberties”: Regulating undercover journalism on ITV, 19671980′, Journalism, 7(1): 45-63.
Peter Goddard, John Corner and Kay Richardson (2001), ‘The formation of World in Action: A case study in the history of current affairs journalism’, Journalism, 2(1): 73-90.
Peter Goddard, John Corner and Kay Richardson (2007), Public Issue Television: World in Action 1963-98, Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Luke Harding, David Leigh and David Pallister (1997), The Liar: The Fall of Jonathan Aitken, London: Penguin Books Ltd.
Jonathan Margolis (1996), Bernard Manning, London: Orion Books
Chris Mullin (1990), Error of Judgement: Birmingham Bombings, Dublin: Poolbeg Press.
George Jesse Turner, Jeff Anderson (2000), Trouble Shooter: Life Through The Lens of World in Action’s Top Cameraman, London: Granada Media. Notes
^ Political Studies Association pdf
^ John Birt’s MacTaggart Lecture 2005
^ Discussion recorded at London Frontline Club, May 2008
^ *Ray Fitzwalter, The Dream That Died: The Rise And Fall Of ITV, London: 2008.
^ a b Guardian 4/12/2004 Tim Hewat Obituary by Philip Pursar
^ Denis Forman, Persona Granada, p. 222
^ Peter Wright, with Paul Greengrass Spycatcher: The Candid Autobiography of a Senior Intelligence Officer, Australia: Heinemann, 1987, p54
^ Denis Forman, Persona Granada pp. 216-7
^ “The 50 Smartest People in Hollywood”. 28 November 2007. Retrieved 2008-08-04. 
^ George Jesse Turner & Jeff Anderson, Trouble Shooter, p. viii
^ George Jesse Turner & Jeff Anderson, Trouble Shooter, pp. 7-13
^ Categories: 1960s British television series | 1970s British television series | 1980s British television series | 1990s British television series | 1963 in British television | 1963 television series debuts | 1998 television series endings | British television documentaries | ITN | ITV television programmes | British television news programmes

Tom Morello

Early life

Tom Morello was born on May 30, 1964, in Harlem, New York, to Ngethe Njoroge and Mary Morello. He is of Irish and Italian descent on his mother’s side, and Kenyan descent on his father’s side. His mother was a schoolteacher from Marseilles, Illinois, whom earned a Master of Arts at Loyola University, Chicago and travelled to Germany, Spain, Kenya, and Japan as an English language teacher. His father was a Kenyan participant in the Mau Mau Uprising, and served as Kenya’s first ambassador to the United Nations. Morello’s paternal uncle, Jomo Kenyatta, was the first elected president in Kenyan history. His parents met in August 1963, while attending a pro-democracy protest in Nairobi, Kenya, and Morello was conceived the first night they made love. After discovering her pregnancy, Mary returned to the United States with Njoroge in November, and married in New York City.

When Morello was 16 months old, Njoroge returned to his native Kenya, and denied his paternity of his son. Morello was raised solely by his mother in Libertyville, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. There he attended Libertyville High School, where his mother was a U.S. history teacher. She was the homeroom teacher for Tom’s classmate and fellow guitarist Adam Jones, of the band Tool, while teaching at Libertyville. Tom sang in the school choir and was active in speech and drama club; a prominent role was Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Morello developed leftist political leanings early, and has described himself as having been “the only anarchist in a conservative high school”, and has since identified as a nonsectarian socialist. In the 1980 mock elections at Libertyville, he campaigned for a fictitious anarchist “candidate” named Hubie Maxwell, who came in fourth place in the election. He also wrote a piece headlined “South Africa: Racist Fascism That We Support” for the school alternative newspaper The Student Pulse.

Morello graduated from high school with honors in June 1982, and enrolled at Harvard University as a political science student that autumn. He was the first student at his high school to be accepted at Harvard, and was in fact the first person from Libertyville, Illinois ever to enroll there. Morello graduated in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Harvard. He moved to Los Angeles, where he first supported himself by working as an exotic male stripper.

“When I graduated from Harvard and moved to Hollywood, I was unemployable. I was literally starving, so I had to work menial labour and, at one point, I even worked as an exotic dancer. ‘Brick House’ (by The Commodores) was my jam! I did bachlorette parties and I’d go down to my boxer shorts. Would I go further? All I can say is thank God it was in the time before YouTube! You could make decent money doing that job people do what they have to do.”

Adam Jones moved to Los Angeles as well; Morello introduced Jones and Maynard James Keenan to Danny Carey, who would come to form the band Tool.

From 1987 to 1989, Morello worked in the office of California Democratic Senator Alan Cranston. However, this proved to be a negative experience of MOrello, who decided never to pursue a career in politics.

“I never had any real desire to work in politics but if there was any ember burning in me, it was extinguished working in that job because of two things: one of them was the fact that 80 per cent of the time I spent with the Senator, he was on the phone asking rich people for money. It just made me understand that the whole business was dirty. He had to compromise his entire being every day. The other was the time a woman phoned up to the office and wanted to complain that there were Mexicans moving into her neighborhood. I said to her, ‘Ma’am, you’re a damn racist,’ and she was indignant. I thought I was representing our cause well, but I got yelled at for a week by everyone for saying that! I thought to myself that if I’m in a job where I can’t call a damn racist a damn racist, then it’s not for me..”

Morello also became a vegetarian, due to both health and ethical reasons.

Musical influences

At age 13, Morello joined his first band; a Led Zeppelin cover band as the lead singer. At this same age, Morello purchased his first guitar. Around 1984, Morello first started studying the guitar seriously. He had formed a band in the same year called the Electric Sheep which featured future Tool guitarist Adam Jones on bass. The band wrote original material that included politically charged lyrics. None of the songs composed by the Sheep contained solos; soloing was a skill that Morello began learning in college.

At the time, Morello’s musical tastes lay in the direction of heavy metal, particularly Kiss, Iron Maiden, Alice Cooper, Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath. Morello developed his own unique sound through the electric guitar. Later, his music and musical politics were greatly influenced by punk rock bands like The Clash, The Sex Pistols, and Devo.

Recording career

Rage Against the Machine (1991-2000; 2007-present)

Main article: Rage Against the Machine

In 1991 Tom was looking to form a new band after Lock Up disbanded. Tom was impressed by Zack de la Rocha’s freestyle rapping and asked him to join his band. He also drafted drummer Brad Wilk, who he knew from his band Lock Up, where Wilk unsuccessfully auditioned for a drumming spot. The band’s lineup was completed when Zack convinced his childhood friend Tim Commerford to play bass. After frequenting the L.A. club circuit, Rage Against the Machine signed a record deal with Epic Records in 1992. That same year, the band released their self titled debut. They achieved a considerable amount of mainstream success and released three more studio albums.

In August 2000 in Los Angeles at the Democratic National Convention, Rage Against the Machine performed outside the Staples Center to a large crowd numbering in the many thousands while the Convention took place inside. After several audience members began to throw rocks, the Los Angeles Police Department turned off the power and ordered the audience to disperse, firing rubber bullets and pepper spray into the crowd.

Tom Morello performing with Rage Against The Machine at the 2008 Reading Festival

In late 2000, after Commerford’s stunt at the VMA’s, the disgruntled de la Rocha quit the band. On September 13, 2000, Rage Against the Machine performed their last concert at the Grand Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles. After the band disbanded, their fourth studio album, Renegades, became a collection of cover songs from artists such as Bob Dylan, MC5, Bruce Springsteen and Cypress Hill. 2003 saw the release of their last album, titled Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium, an edited recording of the band’s final two concerts on September 12 and 13, 2000 at the Grand Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles. It was accompanied by an expanded DVD release of the last show and included a previously unreleased music video for “Bombtrack”.

After disbanding, Morello, Wilk and Commerford went on to form Audioslave with former Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell, and released three albums as well as a DVD from the band’s concert in Cuba. De la Rocha started working on a solo album collaboration with DJ Shadow, Company Flow, and The Roots’ Questlove, but the project was dropped in favor of working with Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor. Recording was completed, but the album will probably never be released. So far, only one track has been released: “We Want It All” was featured on “Songs and Artists that Inspired Fahrenheit 9/11″.

Main article: Rage Against the Machine reunion tour

On April 29, 2007, Rage Against the Machine reunited at the Coachella Music Festival. The band played in front of an EZLN backdrop to the largest crowds of the festival. The performance was initially thought to be a one-off, this turned out not to be the case. The band played 7 more shows in the United States in 2007 (including their first non-festival concert in 7 years at the Alpine Valley Music Theater in East Troy, Wisconsin), and in January 2008, they played their first shows outside the US since re-forming as part of the Big Day Out Festival in Australia and New Zealand. In August 2008 they headlined nights at the Reading and Leeds festivals.

The band has since continued to tour around the world, headlining many large festivals in Europe and the United States, including Lollapalooza in Chicago. In 2008 the band also played shows in Denver, Colorado and Minneapolis, Minnesota to coincide with the Democratic National Convention and Republican National Convention, respectively. Though they played together for these events, they do not play together regularly.

Audioslave (2001-2007)

Main article: Audioslave

Morello with Audioslave at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2005.

After de la Rocha left Rage Against the Machine, the remaining band mates began collaborating with former Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell at the suggestion of producer Rick Rubin. The new group was first rumored to be called The Civilian Project, but the name Audioslave was confirmed before their first album was released.

The band released their eponymous debut album on November 19, 2002. It was a critical and commercial success, attaining triple-platinum status.

The band released their second album, Out of Exile, on May 24, 2005. It debuted at number 1 on the Billboard charts and attained platinum status. In the same year, they released a DVD documenting their trip as the first American rock band to play a free show in Cuba. The band’s third album, Revelations, was released in the fall of 2006. As of February 15, 2007, Audioslave have broken up as a result of frontman Cornell’s departure due to “irresolvable personality conflicts”. The band reunited with Zack de la Rocha and resumed their previous band, Rage Against the Machine.

The Nightwatchman (2003-present)

Main article: The Nightwatchman

Morello is less known for his folk music, which he plays under the alias The Nightwatchman. He has explained:

“The Nightwatchman is my political folk alter ego. I’ve been writing these songs and playing them at open mic nights with friends for some time. This is the first time I’ve toured with it. When I play open mic nights, it’s announced as The Nightwatchman. There will be kids there who are fans of my electric guitar playing, and you see them there scratching their heads.

But it’s something that I enjoy doing. I look at it more as an extension of my politics. Then again, some of the songs are not explicitly political. It really helped me grow as an artist and songwriter. Once you prick the vein you never know what is going to come out. You could aim for all union songs and you find yourself in other territory.”

In November 2003 The Nightwatchman joined artists Billy Bragg, Lester Chambers of The Chambers Brothers, Steve Earle, Jill Sobule, Boots Riley of The Coup and Mike Mills of R.E.M. on the Tell Us the Truth Tour. The thirteen-city tour was supported by unions, environmental and media reform groups including Common Cause, Free Press and A.F.L.-C.I.O. with the ultimate goal of “informing music fans, and exposing and challenging the failures of the major media outlets in the United States.” Tom Morello explained:

“Media consolidation needs smashing and globalization needs unmasking. When presidents and politicians lie, it is the job of the press to expose those lies. When the press fails, the gangstas come out from hiding. The lie becomes the law. The point of the Tell Us the Truth Tour is to help others make connections, and to show them that activism can change the policies of this country.”

One of his many songs, “No One Left”, which compares the aftermath of September 11 to that of a U.S. attack on Iraq, appears on the album Songs and Artists that Inspired Fahrenheit 9/11.

The Nightwatchman also appeared on the album/DVD Axis Of Justice: Concert Series Volume 1, contributing the songs “Until the End”, “The Road I Must Travel”, and “Union Song”.

Morello, as The Nightwatchman, released his debut solo album, One Man Revolution, on April 24, 2007.

The Nightwatchman joined the Dave Matthews Band for its short European tour in May 2007. As well as opening for the Dave Matthews Band, he was invited to guest on a couple of songs each night. The last night of this Morello/DMB arrangement was May 30, 2007 at Wembley Arena in London, on Tom’s birthday.

The Nightwatchman is currently supporting Ben Harper on tour. During this tour, Morello has been joining Harper onstage for a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War”, on which he plays the electric guitar in the style for which he’s best known.

Morello has presided over a Hotel Cafe residency in L.A. since November 2007, which has featured many of his musical cohorts, including Serj Tankian, Perry Farrell, Jon Foreman from Switchfoot, Shooter Jennings, Nuno Bettencourt, Queen V, Sen Dog from Cypress Hill, Jill Sobule, Boots Riley, Alexi Murdoch, Wayne Kramer from MC5, and others.

On October 10, 2008, The Nightwatchman appeared on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson as a musical guest, promoting his new album The Fabled City.

Street Sweeper Social Club (2006-present)

Main article: Street Sweeper Social Club

Following Audioslave’s breakup in 2006, Morello met up with Boots Riley of The Coup, suggesting that they start a band which Morello had named Street Sweeper. After giving Riley a tape of various songs to write to, the two created the duo Street Sweeper Social Club.

Street Sweeper Social Club opened for Nine Inch Nails and Jane’s Addiction in May 2009.

Other side projects (1994-present)

Morello has played with a great number of artists. Some of the more notable contributions are listed below.

Morello and Wilk joined with Maynard James Keenan of Tool and Billy Gould of Faith No More to record the song “Calling Dr. Love” for the 1994 Kiss tribute album Kiss My Ass. The lineup was billed as Shandi’s Addiction.

In 1995 Morello formed a short-lived project called Weatherman with former Articles of Faith frontman Vic Bondi. They recorded demos in September 1995. Bondi wrote all the lyrics, while Morello wrote all the music. One track, “Enola Gay”, was recorded by Brett Eliason in fall 1996.

Morello played lead guitar and produced on three tracks of Primus’ 1999 studio album Antipop.

Morello played the guitar on The Faculty soundtrack, featured with Class of ’99 for their cover of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall (pt. 2)”.

Morello worked with The Crystal Method on their 2001 album Tweekend. He co-produced and played guitars on the smash single “Name of the Game” and “Wild, Sweet and Cool”.

Morello recorded guitars along with country legend Johnny Cash during his late career with American Recordings, which was released on the Unearthed.

Morello produced the 2003 Anti-Flag album The Terror State. He has played with Anti-Flag in some of their concerts.

Morello played guitar in the single “No Man Army” by The Prodigy, which appears on the “Smack My Bitch Up” single.

Morello played guitar on the Atari Teenage Riot song Rage.

Morello played a short solo on the Benny Mason band song Exodus IV.

In July 2006, reported that Morello and Boots Riley, front man of The Coup, would collaborate on a project called Street Sweepers. Riley has often performed alongside Morello’s alter ego The Nightwatchman, and Morello produced and performed on a track for The Coup’s 2006 release Pick a Bigger Weapon.

Morello played the guitar solo on the track “Depleted Uranium is a War Crime” by Anti-Flag from their 2006 album For Blood & Empire.

Morello sat in with the Dave Matthews Band featuring Butch Taylor and Rashawn Ross for multiple dates on the band’s May 2007 stint in Europe. He performed on “#41″, “American Baby Intro” and “Satellite” at various dates on the brief tour.

Morello appears in Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock as a “guitar boss” (the first of 3 in the career mode of the game) in a night club. Beating him in a one-on-one battle (playing an original composition he recorded for the game) will unlock him as a playable character and will result in the player and Tom playing the master track of “Bulls on Parade” as an encore immediately following the battle. Morello’s original composition features many of his trademark guitar effects like those heard in songs such as Audioslave’s “Cochise” and “Doesn’t Remind Me” and Rage Against the Machine’s “Bulls on Parade” and “Sleep Now in the Fire”.

In April 2006, Morello produced two tracks for the group Outernational; on the band’s website, it states that Morello will be producing their debut album.

In April 2008, Morello made two guest appearances with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at the Anaheim Pond. They performed “The Ghost of Tom Joad” (which had been previously covered by Rage Against the Machine). Ones of the performance was included on the Magic Tour Highlights EP.

On October 29, 2009 Morello performed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary Concert at Madison Square Garden. He performed “The Ghost of Tom Joad”, “London Calling”, “Badlands” and “Higher and Higher” with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

On February 23, 2010 Cypress Hill released there second single “Rise Up” from their album Rise Up featuring Tom Morello on guitar.

Appearances in films

Morello played on a number of soundtracks, including Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006), Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, and Spider-Man. He was an “Additional Electric Guitar” in the 2008 superhero movie Iron Man and played a terrorist. He also stars in the movie Berkeley (2007)And in “Star Trek: Insurrection”

Guitar playing technique

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“Whatever it takes”, a nylon-string acoustic guitar used by Morello in his The Nightwatchman persona.

Morello is famed for his guitar style, which consists of heavy metal/punk hybrid riffs and hip hop-inspired sounds. His guitar playing is also characterized by heavy use of guitar effects, such as delay, modulation, wah, harmonizers, distortion, feedback, and others in unique ways and combinations. The most recognizable effect in Morello’s arsenal is the Digitech Whammy, which helps him create many of his sounds. Matthew Bellamy of the English band Muse has cited Morello as an influence, which can be heard in his use of pitch-shifting in solos.

To produce his alien guitar sounds, Morello chooses various effects pedals. During his tenure in RATM, he used a Dunlop Cry Baby, a Digitech WH-1 Whammy, a Boss DD-2 Digital Delay, a DOD EQ pedal (set flat and just used to boost the volume during guitar solos or particular rocking moments), and an Ibanez DFL Flanger. Around the time of The Battle of Los Angeles he added a Boss TR-2 Tremolo pedal (which can be heard on “Guerrilla Radio”). For Audioslave, Morello replaced the Ibanez Flanger with a MXR Phase 90. His amplifier of choice has always been a 50-watt Marshall JCM 800 2205 and a Peavey 4×12 cabinet. Though the Marshall is his amp of choice with Rage Against the Machine, he used a Vox AC30 combo amplifier for multiple overdubs on Audioslave’s ‘Revelations’ album. While the Marshall amplifier has two channels, he only uses the overdrive channel, and simply turns down the volume on his guitar to get cleaner sounds.

In the studio, Morello uses the same setup for the bulk of the guitar tracks. For The Battle of Los Angeles, he also used a few other amps, such as a Line 6 as heard on the clean, spacey intro of “Mic Check”, plus a Pignose mini-amp and a MusicMan “Twin” style amp. During the recording of Audioslave’s last album Revelations Morello experimented with different amplifier setups. For the title track’s solo he split his signal to his standard Marshall 2205 head and Peavey cabinet and a 100 watt Fender Bassman head and an Orange cabinet. With delay sent to one while the other is unaffected the sound is being “ping-ponged” between the two amplifiers. He also borrowed a VOX AC30 amplifier from producer Brendan Orien for some tracks.



On August 27, 2008 Morello performed in Denver, Colorado at the Open The Debates rally in opposition to the Commission on Presidential Debates exclusion of third party candidates from the nationally televised debates. He performed “This Land is Your Land” as The Nightwatchman and endorsed Independent Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader. Sean Penn, Jello Biafra and Cindy Sheehan were also part of the rally.

In October 2009, Morello, among a number of musicians, sued the US government for the declassification of all documents relating to the use of music in interrogations at Guantanamo Bay. He stated, “Guantanamo is known around the world as one of the places where human beings have been tortured — from waterboarding to stripping, hooding and forcing detainees into humiliating sexual acts — playing music for 72 hours in a row at volumes just below that to shatter the eardrums. Guantanamo may be Dick Cheney’s idea of America, but it’s not mine. The fact that music I helped create was used in crimes against humanity sickens me.”

Axis of Justice

Main article: Axis of Justice

America touts itself as the land of the free, but the number one freedom that you and I have is the freedom to enter into a subservient role in the workplace. Once you exercise this freedom youe lost all control over what you do, what is produced, and how it is produced. And in the end, the product doesn belong to you. The only way you can avoid bosses and jobs is if you don care about making a living. Which leads to the second freedom: the freedom to starve.


Tom Morello

Morello and Serj Tankian of System of a Down are the co-founders of Axis of Justice, a political group whose declared purpose is “to bring together musicians, fans of music, and grassroots political organizations to fight for social justice together.” They “aim to build a bridge between fans of music around the world and local political organizations to effectively organize around issues of peace, human rights, and economic justice.” The group has worked for such causes as immigrant rights and death-penalty abolition. Its recommended book list includes such authors as Noam Chomsky, Karl Marx, Che Guevara, George Orwell, Mumia Abu-Jamal and Grant Morrison.

Morello and Tankian, together with a handful of other artists, including Maynard James Keenan, Wayne Kramer of the MC5, the hip hop group Jurassic 5, and Michael “Flea” Balzary of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, released a live recording of covers and original songs, titled The Axis of Justice Concert Series Volume 1.

On April 6, 2006, Tom Morello was honored with the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award for his support of worker’s rights and for his AOJ work. Tom has worked on numerous labor campaigns: the Guess sweatshop boycott, the LA janitors strike, the Taco Bell boycott, the southern California grocery workers strike and lockout, and others.

Morello was a strong supporter of the Immigrants Reform Rally and protest around the US. Morello played as The Nightwatchman at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles and has featured many articles on AOJ. On September 28, 2006, Morello was one of 400 protesters arrested protesting in support of immigrant hotel workers’ rights, in what organizers called “the largest act of civil disobedience in the history of the Los Angeles”. Morello knew he was going to be arrested; he wore a bright yellow shirt, and gave the LAPD his driver’s license number a few days before the march. Morello told MTV:

“In these political dark ages, it’s important for us to stand up for one another. These hotel workers by the airport make 20% less wages than the hotel workers around the rest of Los Angeles. We are here to express our solidarity with them, to help them unionize and help them close the gap between their sub-poverty wages and the millions and millions of dollars the people who own these hotels make.”



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Morello uses heavily modified guitars from various manufacturers, but he has never had an official endorsement deal with any company.

Mongrel Custom, aka “Arm The Homeless” – Morello’s most famous guitar, and his main guitar for standard tuning since 1991. The original guitar was made by Performance Guitar, CA,USA for Morello to his exact specifications. It featured a Stratocaster body with a Performance Corsair neck, 2 Seymour Duncan JB pickups and A chrome original Floyd Rose tremolo system. However, when he got the guitar he hated everything about it and completely reassembled it. Since then just about everything has been changed countless times. The only thing that remains from the original guitar is the body. The body is blue with the words “Arm the Homeless” written on it in black and red. It has a 3-way toggle switch mounted on the lower horn, 4 Hippos (painted) on the front, one large hippo (upside down) painted on the back, and a hammer and sickle symbol sticker. The neck is a 22 fret Performance Guitar neck with a rosewood board and a “banana” headstock. It also has Gotoh Crownhead tuners. It has an EMG 81/EMG H set of pickups and a Ibanez Edge Floyd Rose Tremolo. The guitar is tuned to standard E.

Fender Stratocaster, “Soul Power” – It has a black finish with white binding and a color-matched headstock. It also has a mirror pickguard, Ibanez Edge Floyd Rose Tremolo, a 3-way on/off toggle switch wired as a kill switch, a Seymour Duncan Hotrails pickup in the bridge and Fender Noiseless pickups in the middle and neck positions. It has the words “Soul Power” on the top of the body in silver paint and is his main guitar in Audioslave for songs that are in standard E tuning.

Fender Telecaster, “Sendero Luminoso” – A black stock 1982 Standard Telecaster, his main guitar for use in drop-D in Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave. He got this guitar in a trade with his roommate.

Ibanez Artstar Hollowbody (Custom) – Made especially for Morello. Based on an old Vox Ultrasonic, it contains several on-board effects (wah, echo, dist, treble/bass boost) and is painted red and black paint. Used live on the song “Guerrilla Radio” by Rage Against the Machine but rarely seen anywhere else.

Goya Rangemaster de Greco, “St. George Creamy” – Bought by Morello at a Canadian pawnshop for . It was modified with a Seymour Duncan hotrails pickup in the bridge position. A toggle switch was also added that is dead in the middle position, resulting in a “hummingbird chirp” when toggled. Used as a drop D guitar for some songs on the Rage Against The Machine record Evil Empire. Currently, it is tuned to drop B. Used in Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave.

Ibanez Talman (Custom) – Has 3 single coil “lipstick” pickups, an Ibanez Lo-Pro Edge tremolo, and a killswitch. It has a custom Kenyan flag finish and it was used on “Revolver”, “How I Could Just Kill a Man”, and “Pistol Grip Pump” for Rage Against the Machine and “Exploder” for Audioslave. He owns a second Ibanez Talman in a cream finish with a tortoise-shell pickguard.

Gibson EDS-1275 (Double Neck SG) – Tuned to drop-D on the 6-string neck, and only seen used live on “The Ghost of Tom Joad”.

Ovation Breadwinner – Tuned to standard E, used for “Ashes in the Fall” for Rage Against the Machine. Also used with a MusicMan amp and Tone Bender pedal to capture the Korean radio station audio heard at the end of “Sleep Now in the Fire”. He owns 2 others and confines them to the studio because he thinks they look weird.

Gibson “Budweiser” Les Paul – Used during the recording of Audioslave’s third album “Revelations”. He hated the Budweiser logo on the guitar and thus decided to burn it off in the parking lot of the studio where he received it using a lighter. Afterwards the burn lines were filled with artwork. He liked the new appearance and modified the guitar with DiMarzio pickups.

Gibson Les Paul Standard, #1 – orange burst finish. Tuned to drop-B for use in Audioslave.

Gibson Les Paul Standard, #2 – Red finish. Has been around since the early Ratm days, but was rarely used live until Audioslave’s Out of Exile tour where it was tuned to drop-D and only used for Soundgarden covers.

Gibson Les Paul Standard, #3 – tobacco sunburst finish. Tuned to Drop B and used in Street Sweeper Social Club. Can be seen in the music video for “100 little curses”.

James Trussart Steelcaster – A Telecaster style guitar with a body made in steel, finished with red star graphics over a holey front. Seen occasionally on the Rage Against the Machine reunion tour, Tom also owns one with polished finish that was used on early tours.

“Whatever It Takes” guitar – A custom Ibanez Galvador nylon string acoustic guitar he uses during concerts as The Nightwatchman. Plain body with ‘Whatever It Takes ((star))’ left of the bridge.

Effects & amplifers

Morello’s amplifier and effects setup has been practically the same throughout his career in Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave.

A photo of Morello’s pedal board; on the far left is a Voodoo Labs Pedal Power 2


Digitech Whammy WH-1

Dunlop Crybaby Wah

Boss DD-2 Digital Delay

Boss TR-2 Tremolo

DOD FX40b Equalizer

Ibanez DFL Flanger

MXR Phase 90 (Replaced the Ibanez Flanger for Audioslave)


Marshall JCM800 2205 (50-watt)

Peavey 4×12 Cabinet

Selected discography

For a more comprehensive list, see Tom Morello discography

Lock Up

Something Bitchin’ This Way Comes (1989)

Rage Against the Machine

Rage Against the Machine (1992) US 3x Platinum

Evil Empire (1996) US 3x Platinum

Live & Rare (1998)

The Battle of Los Angeles, (1999) US 2x Platinum

Renegades (2000) US Platinum

Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium (2003)


Audioslave (2002) US 3x Platinum

Out of Exile (2005) US Platinum

Revelations (2006) US Gold

The Nightwatchman

One Man Revolution (2007)

The Fabled City (2008)

Street Sweeper Social Club

Street Sweeper Social Club (2009)


Saturday Night Live (Episode #21.17, 1996) …. Musical Guest (Rage Against the Machine)

Star Trek: Insurrection (1998) (uncredited) …. Son’a officer

Star Trek: Voyager (Season 6, Episode 20, 2000, “Good Shepherd”) …. Crewman Mitchell

Made (2001) …. Best Man

Berkeley (2005) …. Blue

Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey (2005) … As Himself

Iron Man (2008) …. Insurgent #5

Iron Maiden: Flight 666 (2009) …. As Himself


^ “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”. Rolling Stone. 

^ “The Mary Morello and Cindy Sheehan Show”. Axis of Justice. August 6, 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-09. 

^ a b c Devenish, Colin (2001). Rage Against the Machine. St. Martin’s Press. pp. 13. ISBN 0312273266. 

^ a b c d Tom Morello:One Man Revolt by The Huffington Post, July 21, 2009

^ Holthouse, David (September 26, 1996). “Bottled Anger Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello pours forth the vitriol” (HTML). Phoenix New Times. Retrieved 2008-01-09. 

^ a b c d

^ October, 2008 interview with The Nightwatchman


^ Asch, Andrew (2000-08-15). “Rage Wage Battle of Los Angeles at DNC”. Rolling Stone. Retrieved 16 December 2008. 

^ “Thousands take to the streets outside Democratic convention”. CNN. 2000-08-15. Retrieved 16 December 2008. 

^ “Reznor Says Collabos With De La Rocha, Keenan May Never Surface”. MTV News. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 

^ Shedden, Iain (2008-01-21). “Silverchair in an even bigger day out”. The Australian.,25197,23082231-5006786,00.html. Retrieved 12 November 2008. 

^ “BDO revellers get ready for heat”. Television New Zealand. 2008-01-18. Retrieved 12 November 2008. 

^ Portner, Matt and Heller, Sarah. Tell Us the Truth Tour. The Boston Underground retrieved 12/14/2007

^ Nichols, John. Tell Us The Truth! The Nation. retrieved 12/14/2007




^ “Grammy Award-Winning Guitarist Tom Morello to Appear in Guitar Hero(TM) III: Legends of Rock”. Activision. 2007-09-06. Retrieved 2008-10-24. 

^ Tom Morello Thinks Outernational Could Be The Next Rage Against The Machine, Gil Kaufman, MTV News Online, May 26, 2006.

^ Outernational’s website

^ Tom Morello Radical Shriek.


^ Sean Penn, Val Kilmer, Tom Morello and Cindy Sheehan at Nader/Gonzalez Super Rally in Denver,, August 19, 2008

^ US bands blast use of music in Guantanamo interrogations, October 22, 2009[dead link]

^ Alan Connor (2009-12-18). “What is anti-X Factor song Killing In The Name all about?”. BBC. Retrieved 2010-01-07. 

^ Shouting At The Devil: uck You, Capitalism!, By Jason Miller, November 10, 2007

^ Mission. Axis of Justice.

^ Books. Axis of Justice.

^ 2006 Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Awards Celebration.

^ Moss, Corey with Chris Harris Tom Morello Arrested At Protest, Spends Night In Lockup., September 2006

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Tom Morello

Tom Morello at Memory Alpha (a Star Trek wiki)

The Nightwatchman

Sandmonkey Lives (!)

Axis of Justice

Video of Tom Morello’s network TV debut of “House Gone Up in Flames”

“The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”, Rolling Stone, August 27, 2003.

Listen online: Tom Morello On Corporate Imperialism

Tom Morello at the Internet Movie Database

Performing live at SXSW 2007 on 89.3 The Current

Tom Morello on The Hour

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Morello, Tom


Thomas Baptist Morello, The Nightwatchman


American guitarist and singer-songwriter




New York, New York, United States



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Van Morrison – china Precision Fasteners – Construction Fabrication

Early life and musical roots: 194564
George Ivan (Van) Morrison was born on 31 August 1945, in Bloomfield, Belfast, Northern Ireland as the only child of George Morrison, a shipyard worker, and Violet Stitt Morrison, a singer and tap dancer in her youth. Van Morrison’s family roots descend from the Ulster Scots population that settled in Belfast. From 1950 to 1956, Morrison, who began to be known as “Van” during this time, attended Elmgrove Primary School. Morrison’s father had what was at the time one of the largest record collections in Ulster (acquired during his sojourn in Detroit, Michigan in the early 1950s), and the young Morrison grew up listening to artists such as Jelly Roll Morton, Ray Charles, Lead Belly, and Solomon Burke; of whom Morrison later said, “If it weren’t for guys like Ray and Solomon, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Those guys were the inspiration that got me going. If it wasn’t for that kind of music, I couldn’t do what I’m doing now.” His father’s record collection exposed him to various musical genres, such as the blues of Muddy Waters; the gospel of Mahalia Jackson; the jazz of Charlie Parker; the folk music of Woody Guthrie; and country music from Hank Williams and Jimmie Rodgers, while the first record he ever bought was by blues musician Sonny Terry. When Lonnie Donegan had a hit with “Rock Island Line”, written by Huddie Ledbetter (Lead Belly), Morrison felt he was familiar with and able to connect with skiffle music as he had been hearing Lead Belly before that.
Morrison’s father bought him his first acoustic guitar when he was eleven, and he learned to play rudimentary chords from the song book, The Carter Family Style, edited by Alan Lomax. A year later, when he was twelve years old, Morrison formed his first band, a skiffle group, “The Sputniks”, named after the recently launched Soviet satellite, Sputnik 1. In 1958, the band played at some of the local cinemas, and Morrison took the lead, contributing most of the singing and arranging. Other short-lived groups followed at fourteen, he formed Midnight Special, another modified skiffle band and played at a school concert. Then, when he heard Jimmy Giuffre playing saxophone on “The Train and The River”, he talked his father into buying him a saxophone, and took lessons in tenor sax and music reading. Now playing the saxophone, Morrison joined with various local bands, including one called Deanie Sands and the Javelins, with whom he played guitar and shared singing. Later the four main musicians of the Javelins, with the addition of Wesley Black as keyboard player, became known as the Monarchs.
Morrison attended Orangefield High School, leaving in July 1960 with no qualifications. As a member of a working-class community, it was expected that he would get a regular full-time job, so after several short apprenticeship positions, he settled into a job as a window cleaner later alluded to in his songs, “Cleaning Windows” and “Saint Dominic’s Preview”. However, he had been developing his musical interests from an early age and continued playing with the Monarchs part-time. Young Morrison also played with the Harry Mack Showband, the Great Eight, with his older workplace friend, Geordie Sproule whom he later named as one of his biggest influences.
At age 17, he toured Europe for the first time with the Monarchs, now calling themselves the International Monarchs. This Irish showband, with Morrison playing saxophone, guitar and harp, in addition to back-up duty on bass and drums, toured steamy clubs and US Army bases in Scotland, England, and Germany, often playing five sets a night. While in Germany, the band recorded a single, “Boozoo Hully Gully”/”Twingy Baby”, under the name Georgie and The Monarchs. This was Morrison’s first recording, taking place in November 1963 at Ariola Studios in Cologne with Morrison on saxophone; it made the lower reaches of the German charts.
Upon returning to Belfast in November 1963, the group disbanded, so Morrison connected with Geordie Sproule again and played with him in the Manhattan Showband along with guitarist Herbie Armstrong. When Armstrong auditioned to play with Brian Rossi and the Golden Eagles, Morrison went along and was hired as a blues singer. Them: 196466
Main article: Them (band)
The roots of Them, the band that first broke Morrison on the international scene, came in April 1964 when Morrison responded to an advert for musicians to play at a new R&B club at the Maritime Hotel an old dance hall frequented by sailors. The new R&B club needed a band for its opening night; however, Morrison had left the Golden Eagles (the group with which he had been performing at the time), so he created a new band out of The Gamblers, an East Belfast group formed by Ronnie Millings, Billy Harrison, and Alan Henderson in 1962. Eric Wrixon, still a schoolboy, was the piano player and keyboardist. Morrison played saxophone and harmonica and shared vocals with Billy Harrison. They followed Eric Wrixon’s suggestion for a new name, and The Gamblers morphed into Them, their name taken from the Fifties horror movie Them!.
The band’s strong R&B performances at the Maritime attracted attention. Them performed without a routine and Morrison ad libbed, creating his songs live as he performed. While the band did covers, they also played some of Morrison’s early songs, such as “Could You Would You”, which he had written in Camden Town while touring with The Manhattan Showband. The debut of Morrison’s “Gloria” took place on stage here. Sometimes, depending on his mood, the song could last up to twenty minutes. Morrison has stated that “Them lived and died on the stage at the Maritime Hotel,” believing that the band did not manage to capture the spontaneity and energy of their live performances on their records.
Dick Rowe of Decca Records became aware of the band’s performances, and signed Them to a standard two-year contract. In that period, they released two albums and ten singles, with two more singles released after Morrison departed the band. They had three chart hits, “Baby, Please Don’t Go” (1964), “Here Comes the Night” (1965), and “Mystic Eyes” (1965), though it was the b-side of “Baby, Please Don’t Go”, the garage band classic, “Gloria”, that went on to become a rock standard covered by Patti Smith, The Doors, Shadows of Knight, Jimi Hendrix and others.
Morrison’s garage rock classic was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. As described by Paul Williams: “Van Morrison’s voice a fierce beacon in the darkness, the lighthouse at the end of the world. Resulting in one of the most perfect rock anthems known to humankind.”
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Building on the success of their singles in the United States, and riding on the back of the British Invasion, Them undertook a two month tour of America in May and June 1966 that included a three-week residency at the Whisky a Go Go in Los Angeles. The Doors were the supporting act on the last week, and Morrison’s influence on The Doors singer, Jim Morrison, was noted by John Densmore in his book Riders On The Storm, “Jim Morrison learned quickly from his near namesake’s stagecraft, his apparent recklessness, his air of subdued menace, the way he would improvise poetry to a rock beat, even his habit of crouching down by the bass drum during instrumental breaks.” On the final night, the two Morrisons and the two bands jammed together on “Gloria”.
Toward the end of the tour the band members became involved in a dispute with their manager, Decca Records’ Phil Solomon, over the revenues paid to the band; that, coupled with the expiry of their work visas, meant the band returned from America dejected. After two more concerts in Ireland, Them split up. Morrison concentrated on writing some of the songs that would appear on Astral Weeks, while the remnants of the band reformed in 1967 and relocated in America. Start of solo career with Bang Records and “Brown Eyed Girl” 1967
“Brown Eyed Girl”
Morrison’s classic 1967 hit single which appeared on the album Blowin’ Your Mind!. In 2007, it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
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Bert Berns, Them producer and composer of their 1965 hit, “Here Comes the Night,” persuaded Morrison to return to New York to record solo for his new label, Bang Records. Morrison flew over and signed a contract he had not fully studied. Then, during a two-day recording session at A & R Studios starting 28 March 1967, eight songs were recorded originally intended to be used as four singles. Instead, these songs were released as the album Blowin’ Your Mind! without Morrison being consulted. He said he only became aware of the album’s release when a friend mentioned on a phone call that he had just bought a copy of it. He later commented to Donal Corvin in a 1973 interview: “I wasn’t really happy with it. He picked the bands and tunes. I had a different concept of it.”
However, from these early sessions, emerged “Brown Eyed Girl”. Captured on the 22nd take on the first day, this song was released as a single in mid-June 1967, reaching number ten in the US charts in 1967. “Brown Eyed Girl” became Morrison’s most played song and over the years it has remained a classic; forty years later in 2007, it was the fourth most requested song of DJs in the US.
Following the death of Berns in 1967, Morrison became involved in a contract dispute with Berns’ widow that prevented him from performing on stage or recording in the New York area. The song, “Big Time Operators”, released in 1993, is thought to allude to his dealings with the New York music business during this time period. He then moved to Boston, Massachusetts and was soon confronted with personal and financial problems; he had “slipped into a malaise” and had trouble finding concert bookings. However, through the few gigs he could find, he regained his professional footing and started recording with the Warner Bros. Records label. The record company managed to buy out his contract with Bang Records. Morrison fulfilled a clause that bound him to submit thirty-six original songs within a year by recording thirty-one songs in one session; however, Eileen Berns thought the songs “nonsense music … about ringworms” and didn’t use them. Astral Weeks 1968
Main article: Astral Weeks
“Astral Weeks is about the power of the human voice ecstatic agony, agonising ecstacy. Here is an Irish tenor reborn as a White Negro a Caucasian Soul Man pleading and beseeching over a bed of dreamy folk-jazz instrumentation: acoustic bass, brushed drums, vibes and acoustic guitar, the odd string quartet and of course flute.”
Barney Hoskyns Mojo
A mix of folk music, jazz and stream of consciousness but ultimately in a music genre of its own, Astral Weeks (1968) is often considered one of the best albums ever made.
Astral Weeks
The 1968 title song featuring the opening lines of the album: “If I ventured in the slipstream between the viaducts of your dream”. His early voice was described as “flinty and tender, beseeching and plaintive”.
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His first album for Warner Bros. Records was Astral Weeks (which he had already performed in several clubs around Boston), a mystical song cycle, often considered to be his best work. Morrison has said, “When Astral Weeks came out, I was starving, literally.” Released in 1968, the album eventually achieved critical acclaim, but it originally received an indifferent response from the public. To this day, it remains in an unclassifiable music genre and has been described variously as hypnotic, meditative, and as possessing a unique musical power. It has been compared to French Impressionism and mystical Celtic poetry. A 2004 Rolling Stone magazine review begins with the words: “This is music of such enigmatic beauty that thirty-five years after its release, Astral Weeks still defies easy, admiring description.” Alan Light would later describe Astral Weeks as “like nothing he had done previouslynd really, nothing anyone had done previously. Morrison sings of lost love, death, and nostalgia for childhood in the Celtic soul that would become his signature.” It has been placed on many lists of best albums of all time. In the 1995 Mojo list of 100 Best Albums, it was listed as number two and was number nineteen on the Rolling Stone magazine’s The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2003. In December 2009, it was voted the top Irish album of all time by a poll of leading Irish musicians conducted by Hot Press magazine. From Moondance to Into the Music: 197079
Morrison’s third solo album, Moondance, which was released in 1970, became his first million selling album and reached number twenty-nine on the Billboard charts. The style of Moondance stood in contrast to that of Astral Weeks. Whereas Astral Weeks had a sorrowful and vulnerable tone, Moondance restored a more optimistic and cheerful message to his music. The title track, although not released in the US as a single until 1977, received heavy play in FM radio formats. “Into the Mystic” has also gained a wide following over the years. The single released was “Come Running”, which reached the American Top 40. Moondance was both well received and favourably reviewed. Lester Bangs and Greil Marcus had a combined full page review in Rolling Stone, stating that Morrison now had “the striking imagination of a consciousness that is visionary in the strongest sense of the word.” “That was the type of band I dig,” Morrison said of the Moondance sessions. “Two horns and a rhythm section they’re the type of bands that I like best.” He produced the album himself as he felt like nobody else knew what he wanted. Moondance was listed at number sixty-five on the Rolling Stone magazine’s The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. In March 2007, Moondance was listed as number seventy-two on the NARM Rock and Roll Hall of Fame list of the “Definitive 200″.
Over the next few years, he released a succession of albums, starting with a second one in 1970. His Band and the Street Choir had a free, more relaxed sound than Moondance, but not the perfection, in the opinion of critic Jon Landau who felt like “a few more numbers with a gravity of ‘Street Choir’ would have made this album as perfect as anyone could have stood.” It contained the hit single “Domino”, which charted at number nine in the Billboard Hot 100.
In 1971, he released another well-received album, Tupelo Honey. This album produced the hit single “Wild Night” that was later covered by John Mellencamp. The title song has a notably country-soul feel about it and the album ended with another country tune, “Moonshine Whiskey”. Morrison said he originally intended to make an all country album. The recordings were as live as possible after rehearsing the songs the musicians would go into the studio and play a whole set in one take. His co-producer, Ted Templeman, described this recording process as the “scariest thing I’ve ever seen. When he’s got something together, he wants to put it down right away with no overdubbing.”
Released in 1972, Saint Dominic’s Preview, revealed Morrison’s break from the more accessible style of his previous three albums and moving back towards the more daring, adventurous, and meditative aspects of Astral Weeks. The combination of two styles of music demonstrated a versatility not previously found in his earlier albums. Two songs, (“Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven When You Smile)” and “Redwood Tree”) reached the Hot 100 singles chart. The songs “Listen to the Lion” and “Almost Independence Day” are each over ten minutes long and employ the type of poetic imagery not heard since Astral Weeks. It was his highest charting album in the US until his Top Ten debut on Billboard 200 in 2008.
He released his next album Hard Nose the Highway in 1973 receiving mixed, but mostly negative, reviews. The album contained the popular song “Warm Love” but otherwise has been largely dismissed critically. In a 1973 Rolling Stone review, it was described as: “psychologically complex, musically somewhat uneven and lyrically excellent.”
During a three-week vacation visit to Ireland in October 1973, Morrison wrote seven of the songs that would make up his next album, Veedon Fleece. Though it attracted scant initial attention, its critical stature grew markedly over the yearsith Veedon Fleece now often considered to be one of Morrison’s most impressive and poetic works. In a 2008 Rolling Stone review, Andy Greene writes that when released in late 1974: “it was greeted by a collective shrug by the rock critical establishment” and concludes: “He’s released many wonderful albums since, but he’s never again hit the majestic heights of this one.” “You Don’t Pull No Punches, But You Don’t Push the River”, one of the album’s side closers, exemplifies the long, hypnotic, cryptic Morrison with its references to visionary poet William Blake and to the seemingly Grail-like Veedon Fleece object.
Morrison would not release a follow-up album for another three years. After a decade without taking time off, he said in an interview, he needed to get away from music completely and ceased listening to it for several months. Also suffering from writer’s block, he seriously considered leaving the music business for good. Speculation that an extended jam session would be released either under the title Mechanical Bliss, or Naked in the Jungle, or Stiff Upper Lip, came to nothing, and Morrison’s next album was A Period of Transition in 1977, a collaboration with Dr. John, who had appeared in The Last Waltz with Morrison in 1976. The album received a mild critical reception and marked the beginning of a very prolific period of song making.
Morrison sings the opening lines in falsetto and synthesizers mimic the sounds of the short wave radio stations that he listened to as a boy.
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Into the Music: “The album’s last four songs, “Angelou”, “And the Healing Has Begun”, and “It’s All in the Game/You Know What They’re Writing About” are a veritable tour-de-force with Morrison summoning every vocal trick at his disposal from “Angelou’s climactic shouts to the sexually-charged, half-mumbled monologue in “And the Healing Has Begun” to the barely audible whisper that is the album’s final sound.” (Scott Thomas Review’)
The following year, Morrison released Wavelength; it became at that time the fastest-selling album of his career and soon went gold. The title track became a modest hit, peaking at number forty-two. Making use of 1970s synthesizers, it mimics the sounds of the shortwave radio stations that he listened to in his youth. The opening track, “Kingdom Hall” evoked Morrison’s own childhood experiences attending church with his mother and foretold a religious theme that would be more evident in his next album, Into the Music.
Considered by Allmusic as “the definitive post-classic-era Morrison”, Into the Music, was released in the last year of the 1970s with songs on this album that alluded to what would become recurring themes: “religious redemption, Celtic myths and the redemptive power of music.” “Bright Side of the Road” was a joyful, uplifting song that would appear on the soundtrack of the movie, Michael. Common One to Avalon Sunset: 198089
With his next album, the new decade found Morrison following his muse into uncharted territory and merciless reviews. In February 1980, Morrison and a group of musicians traveled to Super Bear, a studio in the French Alps, to record (on the site of a former abbey) what is considered to be the most controversial album in his discography; later “Morrison admitted that his original concept was even more esoteric than the final product.” The album, Common One, consisted of six songs, each of varying length. The longest, “Summertime in England” lasted fifteen and one-half minutes and ended with the words,”Can you feel the silence?”. NME magazine’s Paul Du Noyer called the album “colossally smug and cosmically dull; an interminable, vacuous and drearily egotistical stab at spirituality: Into the muzak.” Even Greil Marcus, whose previous writings had been favourably inclined towards Morrison, said: “It’s Van acting the part of the ‘mystic poet’ he thinks he’s supposed to be.” Morrison insisted that the album was never “meant to be a commercial album.” Biographer Clinton Heylin concludes: “He would not attempt anything so ambitious again. Henceforth every radical idea would be tempered by some notion of commerciality.” Later the critics would reassess the album more favourably with the success of “Summertime in England”. Lester Bangs wrote in 1982, “Van was making holy music even though he thought he was, and us [sic] rock critics had made our usual mistake of paying too much attention to the lyrics.”
Morrison’s next album, Beautiful Vision, released in 1982, had him returning once again to the music of his Northern Irish roots. Well received by the critics and public, it produced a minor UK hit single, “Cleaning Windows”, that referenced one of Morrison’s first jobs after leaving school. Several other songs on the album, “Vanlose Stairway”, “She Gives Me Religion”, and the instrumental, “Scandinavia” show the presence of a new personal muse in his life: a Danish public relations agent, who would share Morrison’s spiritual interests and serve as a steadying influence on him throughout most of the 1980s. “Scandinavia”, with Morrison on piano, was nominated in the Best Rock Instrumental Performance category for the 25th Annual Grammy Awards.
Much of the music Morrison released throughout the 1980s continued to focus on the themes of spirituality and faith. His 1983 album, Inarticulate Speech of the Heart was “a move towards creating music for meditation” with synthesisers, uilleann pipes and flute sounds and four of the tracks were instrumentals. The titling of the album and the presence of the instrumentals were noted to be indicative of Morrison’s long-held belief that “it’s not the words one uses but the force of conviction behind those words that matters.” During this period of time, Morrison had studied Scientology and gave “Special Thanks” to L. Ron Hubbard on the album’s credits.
A Sense of Wonder, Morrison’s 1985 album, pulled together the spiritual themes contained in his last four albums, which were defined in a Rolling Stone review as: “rebirth (Into the Music), deep contemplation and meditation, (Common One); ecstasy and humility (Beautiful Vision); and blissful, mantra like languor (Inarticulate Speech of the Heart).” The single, “Tore Down a la Rimbaud” was a reference to Rimbaud and an earlier bout of writer’s block that Morrison had encountered in 1974. In 1985, Morrison also wrote the musical score for the movie, Lamb starring Liam Neeson.
Morrison’s 1986 release, No Guru, No Method, No Teacher, was said to contain a “genuine holiness…and musical freshness that needs to be set in context to understand.” Critical response was favourable with a Sounds reviewer calling the album “his most intriguingly involved since Astral Weeks” and “Morrison at his most mystical, magical best.” It contains the song, “In the Garden” that, according to Morrison, had a “definite meditation process which is a ‘form’ of transcendental meditation as its basis. It’s not TM”. He entitled the album as a rebuttal to media attempts to place him in various creeds. In an interview in the Observer he told Anthony Denselow:
There have been many lies put out about me and this finally states my position. I have never joined any organisation, nor plan to. I am not affiliated to any guru, don’t subscribe to any method and for those people who don’t know what a guru is, I don’t have a teacher either.
After releasing the “No Guru” album, Morrison’s music appeared less gritty and more adult contemporary with the well-received 1987 album, Poetic Champions Compose, considered to be one of his recording highlights of the 1980s. The romantic ballad from this album, “Someone Like You”, has been featured subsequently in the soundtracks of several movies, including 1995′s French Kiss, and in 2001, both Someone Like You and Bridget Jones’s Diary.
In 1988, he released Irish Heartbeat, a collection of traditional Irish folk songs recorded with the Irish group, The Chieftains, which reached number 18 in the UK album charts. The title song, “Irish Heartbeat”, was originally recorded on his 1983 album Inarticulate Speech of the Heart.
The 1989 album, Avalon Sunset, which featured the hit duet with Cliff Richard “Whenever God Shines His Light” and the ballad “Have I Told You Lately” (on which “earthly love transmutes into that for God.”(Hinton), reached 13 on the UK album chart. Although considered to be a deeply spiritual album, it also contained “Daring Night” which “deals with full, blazing sex, whatever it’s churchy organ and gentle lilt suggest.”(Hinton) Morrison’s familiar themes of “God, woman, his childhood in Belfast and those enchanted moments when time stands still” were prominent in the songs. He can be heard calling out the change of tempo in the ending of this song, repeating the numbers “1 4″. He refers to the chordal changes in the music he wants to hear, (the first chord and the fourth chord in the key of the music). He often completed albums in two days, with first takes frequently being the norm. The Best of Van Morrison to Back on Top: 199099
The early to middle 1990s were commercially successful for Morrison with three albums reaching the top five of the UK charts, sold out concerts, and a more visible public profile; but this period also marked a decline in the critical reception to his work. The decade began with the release of The Best of Van Morrison; compiled by Morrison himself, the album was focused on his hit singles, and became a multi-platinum success remaining a year and a half on the UK charts. Allmusic determined it to be “far and away the best selling album of his career.” After Enlightenment which included the hit single, “Real Real Gone”, another compilation album, The Best of Van Morrison Volume Two was released in January 1993, followed by Too Long in Exile in June, another top five chart success. The 1994 live double album A Night in San Francisco received favourable reviews as well as commercial success by reaching number eight on the UK charts. 1995′s Days Like This also had large sales though the critical reviews were not always favourable. This period also saw a number of side projects, including the live jazz performances of 1996′s How Long Has This Been Going On, from the same year Tell Me Something: The Songs of Mose Allison, and 2000′s The Skiffle Sessions – Live In Belfast 1998, all of which found Morrison paying tribute to his early musical influences.
In 1997, Morrison released The Healing Game. The album received mixed reviews, with the lyrics being described as “tired” and “dull”, though critic Greil Marcus praised the musical complexity of the album by saying: “It carries the listener into a musical home so perfect and complete he or she might have forgotten such a thing existed.” The following year, he finally released some of his previously unissued studio recordings in a two-disc set, The Philosopher’s Stone. His next release, 1999′s Back on Top, achieved a modest success, being his highest charting album in the US since 1978′s Wavelength. Recent years: since 2000
Van Morrison continued to record and tour in the 2000s, often performing two or three times a week. He formed his own independent label, Exile Productions Ltd, which enables him to maintain full production control of each album he records, which he then delivers as a finished product to the recording label that he chooses, for marketing and distribution.
The album, Down the Road released in May 2002, received a good critical reception and proved to be his highest charting album in the US since 1972′s Saint Dominic’s Preview. It had a nostalgic tone, with its fifteen tracks representing the various musical genres that Morrison had previously coveredncluding R&B, blues, country and folk; one of the tracks was written as a tribute to his late father George, who had played a pivotal role in nurturing his early musical tastes.
Morrison’s next album, Magic Time, debuted at number twenty-five on the US Billboard 200 charts upon its May 2005 release, some forty years after Morrison first entered the public’s eye as the frontman of Them. Rolling Stone listed it as number seventeen on The Top 50 Records of 2005. Also in July 2005, Morrison was named by Amazon as one of their top twenty-five all-time best-selling artists and inducted into the Hall of Fame. Later in the year, Morrison also donated a previously unreleased studio track to a charity album, Hurricane Relief: Come Together Now, which raised money for relief efforts intended for Gulf Coast victims devastated by hurricanes, Katrina and Rita. Morrison composed the song, “Blue and Green”, featuring Foggy Lyttle on guitar. This song was released in 2007 on the album, The Best of Van Morrison Volume 3 and also as a single in the UK. Van Morrison was a headline act at the international celtic music festival, The Hebridean Celtic Festival in Stornoway Outer Hebrides in the summer of 2005.
He released an album with a country music theme, entitled Pay the Devil, on 7 March 2006 and appeared at the Ryman Auditorium where the tickets sold out immediately after they went on sale. Pay the Devil debuted at number twenty-six on The Billboard 200 and peaked at number seven on Top Country Albums. Amazon Best of 2006 Editor’s Picks in Country listed the country album at number ten in December 2006. Still promoting the country album, Morrison’s performance as the headline act on the first night of the Austin City Limits Music Festival on 15 September 2006 was reviewed by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the top ten shows of the 2006 festival. In November 2006, a limited edition album, Live at Austin City Limits Festival was issued by Exile Productions, Ltd. A later deluxe CD/DVD release of Pay the Devil, in the summer of 2006 contained tracks from the Ryman performance. In October 2006, Morrison had released his first commercial DVD, Live at Montreux 1980/1974 with concerts taken from two separate appearances at the Montreux Jazz Festival.
A new double CD compilation album The Best of Van Morrison Volume 3 was released in June 2007 containing thirty-one tracks, some of which were previously unreleased. Morrison selected the tracks, which ranged from the 1993 album Too Long in Exile to the song “Stranded” from the 2005 album Magic Time. On 3 September 2007, Morrison’s complete catalogue of albums from 1971 through 2002 were made available exclusively at the ITunes Store in Europe and Australia and during the first week of October 2007, the albums became available at the US ITunes Store.
Still on Top – The Greatest Hits, a thirty-seven track double CD compilation album was released on 22 October 2007 in the UK on the Polydor label. On 29 October 2007, the album charted at number two on the Official UK Top 75 Albumsis highest UK charting. The November release in the US and Canada contains twenty-one selected tracks. The hits that were released on albums with the copyrights owned by Morrison as Exile Productions Ltd.1971 and laterad been remastered in 2007.
Keep It Simple, Morrison’s 33rd studio album of completely new material was released by Exile/Polydor Records on 17 March 2008 in the UK and released by Exile/Lost Highway Records in the US and Canada on 1 April 2008. It comprised eleven self-penned tracks. Morrison promoted the album with a short US tour including an appearance at the SXSW music conference, and a UK concert broadcast on BBC Radio 2. In the first week of release Keep It Simple debuted on the Billboard 200 chart at number ten, Morrison’s first Top Ten charting in the US. Live performances
A smiling Van Morrison performing at the Marin Civic Center, 2007.
By 1972, after being a performer for nearly ten years, Morrison began experiencing stage fright when performing for audiences of thousands, as opposed to the hundreds as he had experienced in his early career. He became anxious on stage and would have difficulty establishing eye contact with the audience. He once said in an interview about performing on stage, “I dig singing the songs but there are times when it’s pretty agonizing for me to be out there.” After a brief break from music, he started appearing in clubs, regaining his ability to perform live, albeit with smaller audiences.
The 1974 live double album, It’s Too Late to Stop Now, has been on lists of greatest live albums of all time. Biographer Johnny Rogan states that “Morrison was in the midst of what was arguably his greatest phase as a performer.” Performances on the album were from tapes made during a three month tour of the US and Europe in 1973 with the backing group The Caledonia Soul Orchestra. Soon after recording the album, Morrison restructured the Caledonia Soul Orchestra into a smaller unit, the Caledonia Soul Express.
Morrison performs in 1976 at The Band’s final concert filmed for The Last Waltz.
On Thanksgiving Day 1976, Morrison performed at the farewell concert for The Band. Morrison’s first live performance in several years, he considered skipping his appearance until the last minute, even refusing to go on stage when they announced his name. His manager, Harvey Goldsmith, said he “literally kicked him out there.” Morrison was on good terms with The Band as near-neighbours in Woodstock, and they had the shared experience of stage-fright. At the concert, he performed two songs, including “Caravan”, from his 1970 album Moondance. Greil Marcus, in attendance at the concert, wrote: “Van Morrison turned the show around…singing to the rafters and …burning holes in the floor. It was a triumph, and as the song ended Van began to kick his leg into the air out of sheer exuberance and he kicked his way right offstage like a Rockette. The crowd had given him a fine welcome and they cheered wildly when he left.” The filmed concert served as the basis for Martin Scorsese’s 1978 film, The Last Waltz.
It was during his association with The Band that Morrison acquired the nicknames: “Belfast Cowboy” and “Van the Man”. When Morrison sang the duet “4% Pantomime” (that he co-wrote with Robbie Robertson), Richard Manuel calls him, “Oh, Belfast Cowboy”. It would be included in The Band’s album Cahoots. When he left the stage, after performing “Caravan” on The Last Waltz, Robertson calls out “Van the Man!”
On 21 July 1990, Morrison joined many other guests for Roger Waters’ massive performance of The Wall – Live in Berlin with an estimated crowd of between three hundred thousand to half a million people and broadcast live on television. He sang “Comfortably Numb” with Roger Waters, and several members from The Band: Levon Helm, Garth Hudson and Rick Danko. At concert’s end, he and the other performers sang “The Tide Is Turning”.
Morrison performed before an estimated audience of sixty to eighty thousand people when US President Bill Clinton visited Belfast, Northern Ireland on 30 November 1995. His song “Days Like This” had become the official anthem for the Northern Irish peace movement.
Van Morrison continued performing concerts in the 2000s throughout the year rather than touring. Playing few of his best-known songs in concert, he has firmly resisted relegation to a nostalgia act. During a 2006 interview, he told Paul Sexton:
I don’t really tour. This is another misconception. I stopped touring in the true sense of the word in the late 1970s, early 1980s, possibly. I just do gigs now. I average two gigs a week. Only in America do I do more, because you can’t really do a couple of gigs there, so I do more, 10 gigs or something there.
Astral Weeks Live at the Hollywood Bowl
The 2008 titled song, “Astral Weeks (I Believe I’ve Transcended)” with the opening lines: “If I ventured in the slipstream between the viaducts of your dream” shows “a deeper, louder roar than the blue-eyed soul voice of his youth softer on the diction but none the less impressively powerful.”
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On 7 and 8 November 2008, at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California, Morrison performed the entire Astral Weeks album live for the first time. The Astral Weeks band featured guitarist Jay Berliner, who played on the album that was released forty years previously in November 1968. Also featured on piano was Roger Kellaway. A live album entitled Astral Weeks Live at the Hollywood Bowl resulted from these two performances. The new live album on CD was released on 24 February 2009, followed by a DVD from the performances. The DVD, Astral Weeks Live at the Hollywood Bowl: The Concert Film was released via Amazon Exclusive on 19 May 2009. Morrison began a week of Astral Week Live concerts, interviews and TV appearances with concerts at the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City in late February 2009 and at the Beacon Theatre in early March with a twenty-four minute interview to Don Imus on his Imus in the Morning radio show on 26 February. Listen Midway between the scheduled concerts at the WaMu and Beacon, he made a guest appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s debut show as host of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on 2 March 2009 performing “Sweet Thing” from the Astral Weeks album. Morrison also performed “Sweet Thing” and “Brown Eyed Girl”, on Live with Regis and Kelly the next morning on 3 March 2009. Morrison continued with the Astral Weeks performances with two concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in London in April and then returned to California in May 2009 performing the Astral Weeks songs at the Hearst Greek Theatre in Berkeley and the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, California. Morrison filmed the concerts at the Orpheum Theatre so that they could be viewed by Farrah Fawcett, confined to bed with cancer and who therefore could not attend the concerts. On 6 May 2009, Morrison appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno performing the updated version of “Slim Slow Slider (I Start Breaking Down)” from Astral Weeks Live at the Hollywood Bowl.
In addition to It’s Too Late to Stop Now and Astral Weeks Live at the Hollywood Bowl, Morrison has released three other live albums: Live at the Grand Opera House Belfast in 1984; A Night in San Francisco in 1994 that Rolling Stone magazine felt stood out as: “the culmination of a career’s worth of soul searching that finds Morrison’s eyes turned toward heaven and his feet planted firmly on the ground”; and The Skiffle Sessions – Live in Belfast 1998 recorded with Lonnie Donegan and Chris Barber and released in 2000.
A documentary film to be released in early 2010 entitled To Be Born Again will feature a full year of footage from Morrison’s Astral Weeks Live performances, rehearsals and interviews starting with the Hollywood Bowl concerts in November 2008 and running through the 2009 year of live performances of the album’s songs. It will be from ninety to one hundred twenty minutes long and will be directed by Morrison working with filmaker Darren Doane.
Morrison was scheduled to perform at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 25th anniversary concert on 30 October 2009, but cancelled. In an interview on 26 October, Morrison told his host Don Imus that he had planned to play “a couple of songs” with Eric Clapton (who had cancelled on 22 October due to gallstone surgery), but that they would do something else together at “some other stage of the game”. Collaborations
During the 1990s, Morrison developed a close association with two vocal talents at opposite ends of their careers: Georgie Fame (with whom Morrison had already worked occasionally) lent his voice and Hammond organ skills to Morrison’s band; and Brian Kennedy’s vocals complemented the grizzled voice of Morrison, both in studio and live performances.
The 1990s also saw an upsurge in collaborations by Morrison with other artists, a trend continuing into the new millennium. He recorded with Irish folk band The Chieftains on their 1995 album, The Long Black Veil. Morrison’s song, “Have I Told You Lately” would win a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals in 1996. He also produced and was featured on several tracks with blues legend John Lee Hooker on Hooker’s 1997 album, Don’t Look Back. This album would win a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album in 1998 and the title track “Don’t Look Back”, a duet featuring Morrison and Hooker, would also win a Grammy Award for “Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals” in 1998. Morrison additionally collaborated with Tom Jones on his 1999 album Reload, performing a duet on “Sometimes We Cry”, and he also sang vocals on a track entitled “The Last Laugh” on Mark Knopfler’s 2000 album, Sailing to Philadelphia. In 2004, Morrison was one of the guests on Ray Charles’ album, Genius Loves Company, featuring the two artists performing Morrison’s “Crazy Love”. Music Vocals
Featuring his characteristic growl mix of folk, blues, soul, jazz, gospel, and Ulster Scots Celtic influencesorrison is widely considered by many rock historians to be one of the most unusual and influential vocalists in the history of rock and roll. Critic Greil Marcus has gone so far as to say that “no white man sings like Van Morrison.” As Morrison began live performances of the 40 year old album Astral Weeks in 2008, there were comparisons to his youthful voice of early voice was described as “flinty and tender, beseeching and plaintive”. Forty years later, the difference in his vocal range and power were noticeable but reviewers and critic’s comments were favourable: “Morrison’s voice has expanded to fill his frame; a deeper, louder roar than the blue-eyed soul voice of his youth softer on the diction but none the less impressively powerful.” Morrison also commented on the changes in his approach to singing: “The approach now is to sing from lower down [the diaphragm] so I do not ruin my voice. Before, I sang in the upper area of my throat, which tends to wreck the vocal cords over time. Singing from lower in the belly allows my resonance to carry far. I can stand four feet from a mic and be heard quite resonantely.” Songwriting and lyrics
Morrison has written hundreds of songs during his career with a recurring theme reflecting a nostalgic yearning for the carefree days of his childhood in Belfast. Some of his song titles derive from familiar locations in his childhood such as: “Cyprus Avenue” (a nearby street), “Orangefield” (the boys school he attended), “On Hyndford Street” (where he was born). Also frequently present in Morrison’s best love songs is a blending of the sacred-profane as evidenced in “Into the Mystic” and “So Quiet in Here”. Beginning with his 1979 album, Into the Music and the song “And the Healing Has Begun”, a frequent theme of his music and lyrics has been based on his belief in the healing power of music combined with a form of mystic Christianity. This theme has become one of the predominant qualities of his work. His lyrics show an influence of the visionary poets William Blake and W. B. Yeats and others such as Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth. Biographer Brian Hinton believes “like any great poet from Blake to Seamus Heaney he takes words back to their origins in magic…Indeed, Morrison is returning poetry to its earliest roots as in Homer or Old English epics like Beowulf or the Psalms or folk song in all of which words and music combine to form a new reality.” Another biographer John Collis believes that Morrison’s style of jazz singing and repeating phrases preclude his lyrics from being regarded as poetry or as Collis asserts: “he is more likely to repeat a phrase like a mantra, or burst into scat singing. The words may often be prosaic, and so can hardly be poetry.” Morrison has described his songwriting method by remarking that: “I write from a different place. I do not even know what it is called or if it has a name. It just comes and I sculpt it, but it is also a lot of hard work doing the sculpting.” Performance style
“Van Morrison is interested, obsessed with how much musical or verbal information he can compress into a small space, and, almost, conversely, how far he can spread one note, word, sound, or picture. To capture one moment, be it a caress or a twitch. He repeats certain phrases to extremes that from anybody else would seem ridiculous, because he’s waiting for a vision to unfold, trying as unobtrusively as possible to nudge it along…It’s the great search, fueled by the belief that through these musical and mental processes illumination is attainable. Or may at least be glimpsed.”
Lester Bangs
Critic Greil Marcus argues that given the truly distinctive breadth and complexity of Morrison’s work, it is almost impossible to cast his work among that of others: “Morrison remains a singer who can be compared to no other in the history of rock & roll, a singer who cannot be pinned down, dismissed, or fitted into anyone’s expectations.” Or in the words of Jay Cocks: “He extends himself only to express himself. Alone among rock’s great figuresnd even in that company he is one of the greatestorrison is adamantly inward. And unique. Although he freely crosses musical boundaries. and B., Celtic melodies, jazz, rave-up rock, hymns, down-and-dirty bluese can unfailingly be found in the same strange place: on his own wavelength.” His transcendental signature style came into full expression with his 1968 classic, Astral Weeks. This musical art form was based on stream of consciousness songwriting and emotional vocalizing of lyrics that have no basis in normal structure or symmetry. His live performances are dependent on building dynamics with spontaniety between himself and his band, whom he controls with hand gestures throughout, sometimes signaling impromptu solos from a selected band member. The music and vocals build towards a hypnotic and trance-like state that depends on in-the-moment creativity. He has said he believes in the jazz improvisational technique of never performing a song the same way twice and except for the unique rendition of the Astral Weeks songs live, doesn’t perform a concert from a preconceived set list. Morrison has said he prefers to perform at smaller venues or symphony halls noted for their good acoustics. His ban against achoholic beverages, which made entertainment news during 2008, was an attempt to prevent the disruptive and distracting movement of audience members leaving their seats during the performances. In a 2009 interview, Morrison stated: “I do not consciously aim to take the listener anywhere. If anything, I aim to take myself there in my music. If the listener catches the wavelength of what I am saying or singing, or gets whatever point whatever line means to them, then I guess as a writer I may have done a day’s work.” Genre
The music of Van Morrison has encompassed many genres since his early days as a blues and R&B singer in Belfast. Over the years he has recorded songs from a varying list of genres drawn from many influences and interests. As well as blues and R&B, his compositions and covers have moved between pop music, jazz, rock, folk, country, gospel, Irish folk and traditional, big band, skiffle, rock and roll, new age, classic and sometimes spoken word (“Coney Island”) and instrumentals. Morrison defines himself as a soul singer.
Some of Morrison’s music has been classified in a genre of its own and referred to as “Celtic soul” or what biographer Brian Hinton referred to as a new alchemy called “Caledonian soul.” Another biographer, Ritchie Yorke quoted Morrison as believing that he has “the spirit of Caledonia in his soul and his music reflects it.” According to Yorke, Morrison claimed to have discovered “a certain quality of soul” when he first visited Scotland (his Belfast ancestors were of Ulster Scots descent) and Morrison has said he believes there is some connection between soul music and Caledonia. Yorke relates that Morrison “discovered several years after he first began composing music that some of his songs lent themselves to a unique major modal scale (without sevenths) which of course is the same scale as that used by bagpipe players and old Irish and Scottish folk music.” Caledonia
The name “Caledonia” has played a prominent role in Morrison’s life and career. Biographer Ritchie Yorke had pointed out already by 1975 that Morrison has referred to Caledonia so many times in his career that he “seems to be obsessed with the word.” In his 2009 biography, Erik Hage found that “Morrison seemed deeply interested in his paternal Scottish roots during his early career, and later in the ancient countryside of England, hence his repeated use of the term Caledonia (an ancient Roman name for Scotland/northern Britain).” As well as being his daughter’s middle name, it’s the name of his first production company, his studio, his publishing company, two of his backing groups, and he also recorded a cover of the song, “Caldonia” (with the name spelled “Caledonia”) in 1974. Morrison used “Caledonia” in what has been called a quintessential Van Morrison moment in the song, “Listen to the Lion” with the lyrics, “And we sail, and we sail, way up to Caledonia”. As late as 2008, Morrison used “Caledonia” as a mantra in the live performance of the song, “Astral Weeks” recorded at the two Hollywood Bowl concerts. Influence
Morrison’s influence can readily be heard in the music of a diverse array of major artists and according to The Rolling Stone’s Encyclopedia of Rock and Roll (Simon & Shuster, 2001), “his influence among rock singers/song writers is unrivaled by any living artist outside of that other prickly legend, Bob Dylan. Echoes of Morrison’s rugged literateness and his gruff, feverish emotive vocals can be heard in latter day icons ranging from Bruce Springsteen to Elvis Costello”. His influence includes U2 (much of The Unforgettable Fire); Bono (“I am in awe of a musician like Van Morrison. I had to stop listening to Van Morrison records about six months before we made The Unforgettable Fire because I didn’t want his very original soul voice to overpower my own.”); John Mellencamp (“Wild Night”); Jim Morrison; Joan Armatrading (the only musical influence she will acknowledge); Rod Stewart; Tom Petty; Rickie Lee Jones (recognises both Laura Nyro and Van Morrison as the main influences on her career); Elton John; Graham Parker; Sinad O’Connor; Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy; Bob Seger (“I know Bruce Springsteen was very much affected by Van Morrison, and so was I.” from Creem interview) (“I’ve Been Working”); Dexys Midnight Runners (“Jackie Wilson Said”); Jimi Hendrix (“Gloria”); Jeff Buckley (“The Way Young Lovers Do”, “Sweet Thing”); Nick Drake; and numerous others, including the Counting Crows (their “sha-la-la” sequence in Mr Jones, is a tribute to Morrison). Morrison’s influence reaches into the country music genre, with Hal Ketchum acknowledging, “He (Van Morrison) was a major influence in my life.”
Morrison’s influence on the younger generation of singer-songwriters is pervasive: including Irish singer Damien Rice, who has been described as on his way to becoming the “natural heir to Van Morrison”; Ray Lamontagne; James Morrison; Paolo Nutini; Eric Lindell and David Gray are also several of the younger artists influenced by Morrison. Glen Hansard of the Irish rock band The Frames (who lists Van Morrison as being part of his holy trinity with Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen) commonly covers his songs in concert. American rock band, The Wallflowers have covered “Into the Mystic”. Canadian blues-rock singer Colin James also covers the song frequently at his concerts. Actor and musician Robert Pattinson has said that Van Morrison was his “influence for doing music in the first place”. Morrison has shared the stage with Northern Irish singer-songwriter Duke Special, who admits Morrison has been a big influence.
Overall, Morrison has typically been supportive of other artists, often willingly sharing the stage with them during his concerts. On the live album, A Night in San Francisco, he had as his special guests, among others, his childhood idols: Jimmy Witherspoon, John Lee Hooker and Junior Wells. Although he often expresses his displeasure (in interviews and songs) with the music industry and the media in general, he has been instrumental in promoting the careers of many other musicians and singers, such as James Hunter, and fellow Belfast-born brothers, Brian and Bap Kennedy. Personal life
Morrison lived in Belfast from birth until 1967, when he moved to New York after signing with Bang Records. Facing deportation due to visa problems, he managed to stay in the US when his American girlfriend Janet (Planet) Rigsbee agreed to marry him. Once married, Morrison and his wife moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he found work performing in the local clubs. The couple had one daughter Shana Morrison, who has become a singer-songwriter. Morrison and his family moved around America, living in Boston; Woodstock, New York; and a hilltop home in Fairfax, California. His wife appeared on the cover of the album Tupelo Honey. They divorced in 1973.
Morrison moved back to Europe in the late 70s, first settling in London’s Notting Hill Gate area. Later, he moved to Bath, where he purchased Wool Hall Studios. He also has a home in the Irish seaside village of Dalkey near Dublin.
Morrison met Irish socialite Michelle Rocca in the summer of 1992, and they often featured in the Dublin gossip columns, an unusual event for the reclusive Morrison. Rocca also appeared on one of his album covers, Days Like This. The couple are married and have two children; A daughter was born in January 2006 and a son was born in September 2007. Discography
Main article: Van Morrison discography
Blowin’ Your Mind! (1967)
Astral Weeks (1968)
Moondance (1970)
His Band and the Street Choir (1970)
Tupelo Honey (1971)
Saint Dominic’s Preview (1972)
Hard Nose the Highway (1973)
It’s Too Late to Stop Now (Live) (1974)
Veedon Fleece (1974)
A Period of Transition (1977)
Wavelength (1978)
Into the Music (1979)
Common One (1980)
Beautiful Vision (1982)
Inarticulate Speech of the Heart (1983)
Live at the Grand Opera House Belfast (1984)
A Sense of Wonder (1984)
No Guru, No Method, No Teacher (1986)
Poetic Champions Compose (1987)
Irish Heartbeat (1988)
Avalon Sunset (1989)
Enlightenment (1990)
Hymns to the Silence (1991)
Too Long in Exile (1993)
A Night in San Francisco (Live) (1994)
Days Like This (1995)
How Long Has This Been Going On (1996)
Tell Me Something: The Songs of Mose Allison (1996)
The Healing Game (1997)
Back on Top (1999)
The Skiffle Sessions – Live in Belfast 1998 (2000)
You Win Again (2000)
Down the Road (2002)
What’s Wrong with This Picture? (2003)
Magic Time (2005)
Pay the Devil (2006)
Live at Austin City Limits Festival (Limited edition) (2006)
Keep It Simple (2008)
Astral Weeks Live at the Hollywood Bowl (2009) Awards and recognition
Morrison has received several major music awards in his career, including six Grammy Awards (19962007); inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (January 1993), the Songwriters Hall of Fame (June 2003), and the Irish Music Hall of Fame (September 1999); and a Brit Award (February 1994). In addition he has received civil awards of an OBE (June 1996) and an Officier de lrdre des Arts et des Lettres (1996), and he has honorary doctorates from the University of Ulster (1992) and Queen’s University Belfast (July 2001).
The Grammy Awards were:
Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals, 1996, “Have I Told You Lately” (with The Chieftains)
Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals, 1998, “Don’t Look Back” (with John Lee Hooker)
Hall of Fame, 1999, Astral Weeks
Hall of Fame, 1999, Moondance
Hall of Fame, 1999, “Gloria”
Hall of Fame, 2007, “Brown Eyed Girl”
The Hall of Fame inductions began in 1993 with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; Morrison notable for being the first inductee not to attend his own ceremony, so that Robbie Robertson from The Band accepted the award on his behalf. When Morrison became the initial musician inducted into the Irish Music Hall of Fame, Bob Geldof presented Morrison with the award. Morrison’s third induction was into the Songwriters Hall of Fame for “recognition of his unique position as one of the most important songwriters of the past century.” Ray Charles presented the award, following a performance during which the pair performed Morrison’s “Crazy Love”, from the album, Moondance. Morrison’s BRIT Award was for his Outstanding Contribution to British Music. He was presented with the award by former Beirut hostage, John McCarthy, who while testifying to the importance of Morrison’s song, “Wonderful Remark” called it “a song … which was very important to us.”
Morrison received two civil awards in 1996, first was the Order of the British Empire for his service to music, the second was an award by the French government when he was made an Officier de lrdre des Arts et des Lettres. Along with these state awards he has two honorary degrees in music; an honorary doctorate in literature from the University of Ulster, and an honorary doctorate in music from Queen’s University in his hometown of Belfast.
Among other awards are the BMI ICON award in October 2004 for Morrison’s “enduring influence on generations of music makers”; an Oscar Wilde: Honouring Irish Writing in Film award in 2007 for his contribution to over fifty films, presented by Al Pacino who compared Morrison to Oscar Wilde as they were both “visionaries who push boundaries”; and the Best International Male Singer of 2007 at the inaugral International Awards in Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, London.
Morrison has also appeared in a number of Greatest lists, including the Time magazine list of The All-Time 100 Albums, which contained Astral Weeks and Moondance, and he appeared at number thirteen on the list of WXPN’s 885 All Time Greatest Artists. In 2000, Morrison ranked twenty-fifth on American cable music channel VH1′s list of its “100 Greatest Artists of Rock and Roll”. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Van Morrison forty-second on their list of “Greatest Artists of All Time”. Paste ranked him twentieth in their list of “100 Greatest Living Songwriters” in 2006. Q ranked him twenty-second on their list of “100 Greatest Singers” in April 2007 and he was voted twenty-fourth on the November 2008 list of Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.
Three of Morrison’s songs were included in the The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll: “Brown Eyed Girl”, “Madame George” and “Moondance”.
Morrison has been announced to be one of the 2010 honorees listed in the Hollywood Walk of Fame. See also
List of people on stamps of Ireland Notes
^ a b c Ankeny, Jason. “Van Morrison Biography”. Retrieved 2008-07-07. 
^ “The Immortals – The Greatest Artists of All Time: 42) Van Morrison : Rolling Stone”. Retrieved 2009-09-16. 
^ The word curmudgeonly is commonly used. “BBC Music Review of Van Morrison Tupelo Honey”. Retrieved 2009-04-18. 
^ The great rock discography, page 551, M. C. Strong, Giunti, 1998, ISBN 8809215222
^ “Van Morrison: No Guru, No Method, No Teacher : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone”. Retrieved 2009-04-18. 
^ Selvin, Joel (2009-05-04). “Van Morrison’s transcendent ‘Astral’ at Greek”. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 
^ Fricke, David (2009-02-04). “Astral Weeks Live at the Hollywood Bowl”. Retrieved 2009-11-22. 
^ Colt, Jonathan. Back to a shadow in the night. Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
^ a b c “Astral Weeks: Van Morrison”. Retrieved 2008-04-30. 
^ “Acclaimed Music – Moondance”. http://acclaimedmusic…

Emma Thompson Video Profile

Emma Thompson’s Profile – ViewCave presents a series of top celebrity video profiles which include candid interviews with the stars and a collection of their most famous roles.

Profession: Actress / Writer / Producer
Known for: Sense and Sensibility / Love Actually / Nanny McPhee
Awards: Won 2 Oscars. Another 36 wins & 43 nominations (see below)
Born: 15 April 1959, UK (age 51)
Height: 5′ 8½” (1.74 m)

Emma Thompson was born in London on April 15, 1959, into a family of actors – her father was Eric Thompson, who has passed away, and her mother, Phyllida Law, has co-starred with Thompson in several films (her sister, Sophie Thompson, is an actor as well). Thompson’s wit was earlier cultivated by a cheerful, clever, creative family atmosphere, and she was a popular and successful student. She attended Cambridge University, studying English Literature, and was part of the university’s Footlights Group, the famous group where, previously, many of the Monty Python members had first met.

Thompson graduated in 1980 and embarked on her career in entertainment, beginning with stints on BBC radio and touring with comedy shows. She soon got her first major break in television, on the comedy skit program Alfresco, writing and performing along with her fellow Footlights Group alums Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie. She also worked on other TV comedy review programs in the mid-1980s, occasionally with some of her fellow Footlights alums, and often with actor Robbie Coltrane.

Thompson found herself collaborating again with Fry in 1985, this time in his stage adaptation of the play “Me and My Girl” in London’s West End, in which she had a leading role, playing Sally Smith. The show was a success and she received favorable reviews, and the strength of her performance led to her casting as the lead in the BBC television miniseries Fortunes of War, in which Thompson and her co-star, Kenneth Branagh, play an English ex-patriate couple living in Eastern Europe as the Second World War erupts. Thompson won a BAFTA award for her work on the program. She married Branagh in 1989, continued to work with him professionally, and formed a production company with him. In the late 80s and early 90s, she starred in a string of well-received and successful television and film productions, most notably her lead role in the Merchant-Ivory production of Howards End, which confirmed her ability to carry a movie on both sides of the Atlantic and appropriately showered her with trans-Atlantic honors – both an Oscar and a BAFTA award.

Since then, Thompson has continued to move effortlessly between the art film world and mainstream Hollywood, though even her Hollywood roles tend to be in more up-market productions. She continues to work on television as well, but is generally very selective about which roles she takes. She writes for the screen as well, such as the screenplay for Ang Lee’s Sense and Sensibility, in which she also starred as Elinor Dashwood, and the teleplay adaptation of Margaret Edson’s acclaimed play Wit, in which she also starred.

Thompson is known for her sophisticated, skillful, though her critics say somewhat mannered, performances, and of course for her arch wit, which she is unafraid to point at herself – she is a fearless self-satirist. Thompson and Branagh divorced in 1994, and Thompson is now married to fellow actor Greg Wise, who had played Willoughby in Ang Lee’s Sense and Sensibility. Thompson and Wise have one child, Gaia, born in 1999.

Emma Thompson’s awards:

Academy Awards, USA
Won, Oscar
Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium for Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Nominated, Oscar
Best Actress in a Leading Role for Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Nominated, Oscar
Best Actress in a Supporting Role for In the Name of the Father (1993)
Nominated, Oscar
Best Actress in a Leading Role for The Remains of the Day (1993)
Won, Oscar
Best Actress in a Leading Role for Howards End (1992)
Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA
Nominated, Saturn Award
Best Supporting Actress for Stranger Than Fiction (2006)
American Comedy Awards, USA
Nominated, American Comedy Award
Funniest Actress in a Motion Picture (Leading Role) for Primary Colors (1998)
Annie Awards
Nominated, Annie
Outstanding Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production for Treasure Planet (2002)
As the voice of “Captain Amelia”.
BAFTA Awards
Nominated, BAFTA Film Award
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for Love Actually (2003)
Won, BAFTA Film Award
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Nominated, BAFTA Film Award
Best Screenplay – Adapted for Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Nominated, BAFTA Film Award
Best Actress for The Remains of the Day (1993)
Won, BAFTA Film Award
Best Actress for Howards End (1992)
Won, BAFTA TV Award
Best Actress for Tutti Frutti (1987)
Also for Fortunes of War.
Blockbuster Entertainment Awards
Nominated, Blockbuster Entertainment Award
Favorite Actress – Drama for Primary Colors (1998)
Boston Society of Film Critics Awards
Won, BSFC Award
Best Screenplay for Sense and Sensibility (1995)
British Independent Film Awards
Nominated, British Independent Film Award
Best Supporting Actress for Brideshead Revisited (2008)
Nominated, British Independent Film Award
Best Performance by a British Actress in an Independent Film for The Winter Guest (1997)
Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards
Nominated, Critics Choice Award
Best Supporting Actress for Stranger Than Fiction (2006)
Nominated, Critics Choice Award
Best Actress in a Picture Made for Television for Wit (2001)
Won, Critics Choice Award
Best Screenplay for Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Chicago Film Critics Association Awards
Won, CFCA Award
Best Actress for Howards End (1992)
Chlotrudis Awards
Nominated, Chlotrudis Award
Best Actress for The Winter Guest (1997)
Nominated, Chlotrudis Award
Best Actress for Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Christopher Awards
Won, Christopher Award
Television & Cable for Wit (2001)
Shared With: Mike Nichols (director/writer/executive producer), Simon Bosanquet (producer), Julie Lynn (co-producer), Charles F. Ryan (co-producer), Michael Haley (co-producer), Cary Brokaw (executive producer)
David di Donatello Awards
Won, David
Best Foreign Actress (Migliore Attrice Straniero) for The Remains of the Day (1993)
Won, David
Best Foreign Actress (Migliore Attrice Straniero) for Howards End (1992)
Emmy Awards
Nominated, Emmy
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for Angels in America (2003)
Nominated, Emmy
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for Wit (2001)
Nominated, Emmy
Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries or a Movie for Wit (2001)
Shared With: Mike Nichols (writer)
Won, Emmy
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for Ellen (1994)
For playing “Herself”.
For episode “Emma”.
Empire Awards, UK
Won, Empire Award
Best British Actress for Love Actually (2003)
European Film Awards
Nominated, Outstanding European Achievement in World Cinema
for Primary Colors (1998)
Nominated, European Film Award
Best Actress for The Winter Guest (1997)
Evening Standard British Film Awards
Won, Evening Standard British Film Award
Best Actress for Love Actually (2003)
Won, Evening Standard British Film Award
Best Screenplay for Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Tied with John Hodge for Trainspotting.
Won, Evening Standard British Film Award
Best Actress for Much Ado About Nothing (1993)
Also for The Remains of the Day.
Won, Evening Standard British Film Award
Best Actress for Howards End (1992)
Also for Peter’s Friends.
Golden Globes, USA
Nominated, Golden Globe
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical for Last Chance Harvey (2008)
Nominated, Golden Globe
Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television for Wit (2001)
Won, Golden Globe
Best Screenplay – Motion Picture for Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Nominated, Golden Globe
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama for Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Nominated, Golden Globe
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy/Musical for Junior (1994)
Nominated, Golden Globe
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture for In the Name of the Father (1993)
Nominated, Golden Globe
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama for The Remains of the Day (1993)
Won, Golden Globe
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama for Howards End (1992)
Humanitas Prize
Won, Humanitas Prize
90 Minute or Longer Cable Category for Wit (2001)
Shared With: Mike Nichols
Independent Spirit Awards
Nominated, Independent Spirit Award
Best Female Lead for Much Ado About Nothing (1993)
Nominated, Independent Spirit Award
Best Supporting Female for Impromptu (1991)
Irish Film and Television Awards
Nominated, Audience Award
Best International Actress for Brideshead Revisited (2008)
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards
Won, KCFCC Award
Best Supporting Actress for In the Name of the Father (1993)
Won, KCFCC Award
Best Actress for The Remains of the Day (1993)
Won, KCFCC Award
Best Actress for Howards End (1992)
London Critics Circle Film Awards
Nominated, ALFS Award
British Supporting Actress of the Year for Brideshead Revisited (2008)
Nominated, ALFS Award
British Supporting Actress of the Year for Stranger Than Fiction (2006)
Won, ALFS Award
British Supporting Actress of the Year for Love Actually (2003)
Won, ALFS Award
British Screenwriter of the Year for Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards
Won, LAFCA Award
Best Screenplay for Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Won, LAFCA Award
Best Actress for Howards End (1992)
National Board of Review, USA
Won, NBR Award
Best Actress for Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Also for Carrington.
Won, NBR Award
Best Actress for Howards End (1992)
National Society of Film Critics Awards, USA
Won, NSFC Award
Best Actress for Howards End (1992)
New York Film Critics Circle Awards
Won, NYFCC Award
Best Screenplay for Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Won, NYFCC Award
Best Actress for Howards End (1992)
Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards
Nominated, PFCS Award
Best Ensemble Acting for Love Actually (2003)
Shared With: Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Sienna Guillory, Liam Neeson, Lulu Popplewell, Kris Marshall, Heike Makatsch, Martin Freeman, Joanna Page, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Andrew Lincoln, Keira Knightley, Nina Sosanya, Martine McCutcheon, Laura Linney, Thomas Sangster, Alan Rickman, Rodrigo Santoro, Rowan Atkinson, Claudia Schiffer, Bill Nighy, Gregor Fisher, Rory MacGregor, Carla Vasconcelos, Shannon Elizabeth, Denise Richards, Elisha Cuthbert
Nominated, PFCS Award
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for Love Actually (2003)
Satellite Awards
Nominated, Satellite Award
Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Brideshead Revisited (2008)
Nominated, Golden Satellite Award
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television for Angels in America (2003)
Nominated, Golden Satellite Award
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, Comedy or Musical for Love Actually (2003)
Nominated, Golden Satellite Award
Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television for Wit (2001)
Screen Actors Guild Awards
Nominated, Actor
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture for An Education (2009)
Shared With: Dominic Cooper, Alfred Molina, Carey Mulligan, Rosamund Pike, Peter Sarsgaard, Olivia Williams
Nominated, Actor
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries for Angels in America (2003)
Nominated, Actor
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries for Wit (2001)
Nominated, Actor
Outstanding Performance by a Cast for Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Shared With: Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman, Kate Winslet
Nominated, Actor
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role for Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Southeastern Film Critics Association Awards
Won, SEFCA Award
Best Actress for Howards End (1992)
USC Scripter Award
Won, USC Scripter Award
for Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Shared With: Jane Austen (author)
Valladolid International Film Festival
Won, Best Actress
for Wit (2001)
Venice Film Festival
Won, Pasinetti Award
Best Actress for The Winter Guest (1997)
Writers Guild of America, USA
Won, WGA Award (Screen)
Best Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published for Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Writers’ Guild of Great Britain
Won, Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Award
Film – Screenplay for Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Roger Daltrey

Early years

Roger Harry Daltrey was born in the Hammersmith area of London, but was raised in Acton, the same working class suburban neighborhood that produced fellow Who members Pete Townshend and John Entwistle. He was one of three children born to parents Irene and Harry Daltrey, and grew up with two sisters, Gillian and Carol. Harry Daltrey worked for a water closet manufacturer, and Irene Daltrey was told she would be unable to have children because of losing a kidney in 1937. Nevertheless, she went into labour during a World War II air raid and gave birth to her son at the nearby Hammersmith Hospital, West London. At the age of three, the young Roger swallowed a rusty nail which had to be surgically removed, leaving a visible scar. At the age of five, the rust from the nail caused an ulcer in his stomach which required him to be hospitalised.

Daltrey attended Victoria Primary School and then Acton County Grammar School for boys along with Pete Townshend and John Entwistle. He showed academic promise in the English state school system, ranking at the top of his class on the eleven plus examination that led to his enrollment at the Acton County Grammar School. His parents hoped he would eventually continue on to study at the university, but Daltrey turned out to be a self-described “school rebel” and developed a dedicated interest in the emerging rock and roll music scene instead.

He made his first guitar from a block of wood and formed a skiffle band called The Detours. When his father bought him an Epiphone guitar in 1959, he became the lead guitarist for the band and soon afterward was expelled from school for smoking. Describing the post-war times, Pete Townshend wrote in his autobiography, “Until he was expelled, Roger had been a good pupil. Then he heard Elvis and transmogrified into a Teddy Boy with an electric guitar and a dress-sneer. Was it simply rock roll? It was obvious to a young man as intelligent as Roger that there was no future in conforming any more.”

Daltrey became a sheet metal worker during the day, while practicing and performing nights with the band at weddings, pubs and men’s clubs. He invited schoolmate John Entwistle to play bass in the band, and on the advice of Entwistle, invited Pete Townshend to play guitar. At that time, the band consisted of Daltrey on lead guitar, Pete Townshend on rhythm guitar, John Entwistle on bass, Doug Sandom on Drums and Colin Dawson on lead vocals. After Colin Dawson left the band, Daltrey switched to vocals and played harmonica as well, while Townshend became the lead guitarist. In 1964 drummer Doug Sandom left the band, eventually being replaced by Keith Moon. Daltrey continued to occasionally play guitar in performances with The Who, though much more frequently in later years than in the early years of the band.

Early on, Daltrey was the band’s leader, earning a reputation for using his fists to exercise control when needed, despite his small stature (his height is reportedly 5 feet 7 inches (1.70 m)). According to Townshend, Roger “ran things the way he wanted. If you argued with him, you usually got a bunch of fives.” He generally selected the music they performed, including songs by The Beatles, various Motown artists, James Brown, and other rock standards.

In 1964 the group discovered another band working as The Detours and discussed changing their name. Pete Townshend suggested “The Hair” and Townshend’s roommate Richard Barnes suggested “The Who.” The next morning, Daltrey made the decision for the band, saying “It’s The Who, innit?”

During 1964, band manager Peter Meaden renamed the band The High Numbers as part of a move to establish the band as Mod favourites. The name was a reference to the T-shirts with “numbers” that the Mods used at the time. Pete Meaden composed Mod songs for them (in fact, the songs were almost copies of Mod hits at the time, with changed lyrics) and they released one single, “I’m The Face/Zoot Suit”, on Fontana Records. The single was unsuccessful.

After Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp discovered The High Numbers at the Railway Hotel, the band quickly changed their name back to The Who, since neither Lambert nor Stamp liked the name “The High Numbers”.

The Who years

With the band’s first hit single and record deal in early 1965, Townshend began writing original material and Daltrey’s dominance of the band began to decline.

Because of the shifting dynamics of control within the group, the other members of The Who expelled Daltrey from the band in late 1965, after beating drummer Keith Moon up for supplying drugs to Townshend and Entwhistle, causing him to examine his methods of dealing with people. A week later, Daltrey was admitted back to the band, but was told he’d be on probation. He promised there would be no more violent outbursts or assaults. Daltrey recalled, “I thought if I lost the band I was dead. If I didn’t stick with The Who, I would be a sheet metal worker for the rest of my life.”

The band’s second single, “Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere” was the only song on which Daltrey and Townshend collaborated, and Daltrey only wrote two other songs for the band. As Townshend developed into one of rock’s most accomplished composers, Daltrey’s vocals became the vehicle through which Townshend’s visions were expressed, and he gained an equally vaunted reputation as a powerful vocalist and riveting frontman. The Who’s stage act was highly energetic, and Daltrey’s habit of swinging the microphone around by its cord on stage became his signature move.

Daltrey, with microphone, and Townshend, on stage

Daltrey’s stuttering expression of youthful anger, frustration and arrogance in the band’s breakthrough single, “My Generation”, captured the revolutionary feeling of the 1960s for many young people around the world and became the band’s trademark. Later, his scream near the end of “Won’t Get Fooled Again” became a defining moment in rock and roll. (Note: The stuttering was initially made by Pete Townshend on the demo for “My Generation” as a way of expressing the rapid-fire speech of the Mods at the time. Daltrey followed the demo faithfully in this regard.)

In October 1973, Townshend was at a low point after struggling through the rock opera Lifehouse and Quadrophenia projects, and Daltrey was experiencing success with his solo projects and acting roles. Daltrey had quite a bit of free time while others of the band worked on recording the music for Quadrophenia, and he used some of this time to check The Who’s books. He found they had fallen into disarray under the management of Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp. Kit Lambert was also Pete Townshend’s artistic mentor and challenging him led to renewed tension within the band. During a filming session (in an incident that Daltrey claimed was overblown) Townshend and Daltrey argued over the schedule. Townshend whacked the singer over the head with his guitar and Daltrey responded by knocking Townshend unconscious, again with a single blow.

With each of The Who’s milestone achievements, Tommy, Who’s Next, and Quadrophenia, Daltrey was the face and voice of the band as they defined themselves as the ultimate rebels in a generation of change. When Ken Russell’s adaptation of Tommy appeared as a feature film in 1975, Daltrey played the lead role and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for “Best Acting Debut in a Motion Picture”. Afterward, Daltrey worked with Russell again, starring as Franz Liszt in Lisztomania. He worked with Rick Wakeman on the soundtrack to this film, writing the lyrics to three songs and also performing these, as well as others.

Daltrey with Pete Townshend

The Who went on after the death of Keith Moon in 1978, but tension continued as Daltrey felt new drummer Kenney Jones was the wrong choice for The Who. In 1980 Daltrey completed a major project for The Who Films, Ltd., a dramatic film called McVicar about U.K. bank robber John McVicar. Daltrey produced and starred in the film, and completed a striking soundtrack with other members of the band. This success, along with other stresses, contributed to a deterioration of relations with Townshend, and The Who retired from active touring in 1982 when Townshend felt he was no longer able to write for the band. The band continued to work together sporadically, reuniting for the Live Aid concert and recording songs for Daltrey’s solo album Under a Raging Moon and Townshend’s solo album Iron Man.

Daltrey turned to working as an actor, completing such high profile projects as The Beggar’s Opera and The Comedy of Errors for the BBC. He also appeared in several film, television and stage productions during this period, including Mike Batt’s The Hunting of the Snark (1987), The Little Match Girl (1987), Buddy’s Song (1990), which he also produced, and Mack the Knife (1990). In 1991 he received a Grammy Award with The Chieftains for An Irish Evening: Live at the Grand Opera House, Belfast.

The Who returned in 1989 with their 25th anniversary tour, which was also the 20th anniversary tour of the rock opera Tommy. The tour featured a large backing band and guest appearances by Steve Winwood, Patti LaBelle, Phil Collins and Elton John. Although Daltrey experienced life-threatening health problems, he managed to complete the tour. He continued to work on stage and screen during this period, completing projects such as The Wizard of Oz in Concert: Dreams Come True (1995) appearing as the Tin Woodman alongside Nathan Lane, Joel Grey, Natalie Cole, and Jewel Kilcher as Dorothy. During this time, he also began to appear in U.S. television shows.

In 1994 Daltrey celebrated his 50th birthday by performing a two-night spectacular at Carnegie Hall called A Celebration: The Music of Pete Townshend and The Who, and popularly called Daltrey Sings Townshend was produced by Daltrey’s manager at the time, Richard Flanzer The Who’s music was arranged for orchestra by Michael Kamen, who conducted The Juilliard Orchestra for the event. Bob Ezrin, who produced Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” CD among other famous albums, produced the live CD. Pete Townshend, John Entwistle, Eddie Vedder, who performed a special acoustic tribute, Sinad O’Connor, Lou Reed, David Sanborn, Alice Cooper, Linda Perry, The Chieftains and others performed as special guests. Michael Lindsay-Hogg directed the telecast, which was aired on satellite t.v. . Roger Daltrey’s Celebration raised funds to support Babies Hospital in New York, as well. The concert, at the time, was the fastest sell out in the famed venue’s history. The event was followed by a major tour financed by Daltrey and including John Entwistle on bass, Zak Starkey on drums and Simon Townshend on guitar. Although the tour was considered an artistic success, it failed to make a profit because Daltrey spared no expense providing extraordinary musicians and orchestras in every city to replicate the Carnegie Hall event for his fans . However, it did serve the purpose of attracting attention to songs from The Who’s Quadrophenia, and gathered support for a staging and major tour of the rock opera in 1996-1997.

In 1996 Pete Townshend was approached to produce Quadrophenia for The Prince’s Trust concert at Hyde Park, London. He at first planned to perform the opera as a solo acoustic piece using parts of the film on the screens, but after receiving offers of financing decided on a full out production. When he first contacted Daltrey to request a collaboration, Daltrey refused, but after some discussion, he agreed to help produce a one-off performance. The opera was performed with a large backing band, including John Entwistle on bass, Pete Townshend on acoustic guitar and vocals, Zak Starkey on drums, Rabbit Bundrick and Jon Carin on keyboards, Simon Townshend on guitar and special guests including David Gilmour, Adrian Edmondson, Trevor McDonald and Gary Glitter. A horn section was added, and backing vocalists, along with other actors. On the night before the show, Daltrey was struck in the face by a microphone stand swung by Gary Glitter. The accident fractured his eye socket and caused considerable concern that he might not be able to perform safely, but Daltrey donned an eye-patch to cover the bruises and completed the show as scheduled. Afterward, Townshend decided to take the production on tour in 1996-1997 as The Who.

After their Quadrophenia tour was successful, they returned as The Who in a stripped-down, five-piece lineup for tours in 1999-2000. The band continued to work together, making a major impact at The Concert for New York City. After Entwistle’s death in June 2002, both Daltrey and Townshend decided to continue with an already planned tour as The Who. Bassist Pino Palladino was chosen to fill the gap left in his place. They also completed a brief tour in 2004. In 2006, they released their first studio album of new material in twenty-four years, Endless Wire, leading some fans and critics to say that the highly acclaimed artistic tension within The Who lay between these two principals. They completed a world tour in 2006-2007 to support this album.

Rock persona

Daltrey, exuberant and confident with his role on stage. October 1976

When Colin Dawson left The Detours, Roger Daltrey took over as lead vocalist, giving up his guitar. The band as a whole acknowledged Moon’s and Entwistle’s innovation and talent on their instruments, and Pete Townshend had begun writing hit songs. Daltrey struggled to find a voice to present their new music flooding throughout England. Daltrey struggled to find a voice to provide an interpretation of their music as well. His expression carried Townshend material well enough in recordings, and at the time his live persona suited the small club scene where The Who made their beginnings. However, this presentation lacked the confidence of later years, and he was arguably still a singer seeking a voice.

The Who first toured North America in 1967, appearing at the Monterey Pop Festival, and Daltrey brought back new experiences in dealing with larger venues and stages. 1968 proved a pivitol year with Townshend’s movement beyond the quick three minute single, towards his goal of writing a rock opera. Beginning with “A Quick One While He’s Away”, a nine minute mini opera, Daltrey performance in The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus showed him with a new confidence in dealing with Townshend material. In 1969 The Who first major rock opera Tommy was released, and Daltrey found a voice for the lead character that carried The Who to world stardom at such music venues as Woodstock and the Isle of Wight Festival, and in opera houses around the world in 1969 and 1970. Townshend later remarked on Amazing Journey, that with Tommy, and Daltrey’s adaptation to portraying the character onstage, he evolved from what was essentially a tight, tough guy to one who outstretched his arms, bared his body to the audiences, and began to truly engage them. With this change, the band was at last complete, he sums up. “It was a marriage,” Townshend emphasises, “but it was a good marriage. Those were glorious years”. Daltrey confirmed this, saying, he felt at last accepted, displaying a newly energetic role and sound during live performances.

Daltrey has long been known as one of the most charismatic of rock frontmen. His stage persona embraces the audience and projects The Who repertoire as heroic anthems and touching ballads that have gripped the emotions and imagination of audiences for forty years. This persona has earned him a position as one of the ods of rock and roll4] and has influenced the development of many other bands since.

His appearance in the early 1970′s included striking, long blond curly hair and a sexually ambivalent look which became more masculine as the seventies progressed. He developed a trademark move of swinging and throwing his microphone through a complex sequence, always trying to match these sequences with the tempo of the song that was being played at the moment. Although Daltrey reduced the athleticism of his performance during later years, his presentation remains dynamic and gripping.


In 2003, Roger Daltrey was honoured by Time Magazine as a European Hero for his work with the Teenage Cancer Trust and other charities. In the New Year’s Honours List published on 31 December 2004, he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to Music, the Entertainment Industry, and Charity. In December 2008, he and Pete Townshend were honored with America’s most prestigious cultural awards as recipients of the 31st annual Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C. On March 4, 2009, 3 days after his 65th birthday, he accepted the James Joyce Award from the Literary and Historical Society of University College Dublin for outstanding success in the music field.


Roger Daltrey supports many charities both as a solo artist and jointly with other members of The Who. All The Who’s Encore Series profits go to young peoples’ charities. Daltrey was instrumental in starting the Teenage Cancer Trust concert series in 2000, with The Who actually playing in 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2007. Daltrey played benefits with the RD Crusaders in 2003, 2004, 2006; performed with The Who at Live 8 in 2005, for the Nordoff-Robbins Silver Clef benefit in 2005, and for the Los Angeles area City of Hope benefit in 2001 and 2004.

With The Who, he performed for the Robin Hood Foundation at the The Concert for New York City and other benefits in 2001; at Neil Young’s Bridge School Benefit in 1999; and in the Quadrophenia Concert for The Prince’s Trust in Hyde Park, 1996. In addition, Daltrey performed at benefits in Vail, Colorado, in 1999, and attended a PETA benefit with Sarah McLachlan and Chrissie Hynde in the same year.

Daltrey appeared in The Wizard of Oz in Concert: Dreams Come True in 1995 for The Children’s Defense Fund, and at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert to benefit AIDS research in 1992.

He sang “Rock and Roll” on a charity single released as McEnroe & Cash with The Full Metal Rackets for Rock Aid Armenia in 1986, and performed with The Who at Live Aid in 1985 and Concert for Kampuchea in 1979. In 1976, he performed at the Celtic Football Ground in Glasgow, Scotland. An audience of 35,000 attended and a sum of over 100,000 was donated to charity.

Daltrey was also a judge for the 8th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists.

Personal life

Daltrey has been married twice. In 1964, he married the former Jacqueline “Jackie” Rickman, and had one child, born in 1965, Simon. The couple divorced in 1968. In 1967, Daltrey’s son Mathias was born, the result of an affair with Swedish model Elisabeth Aronsson. In 1971, he met Heather Taylor, his current wife. Together, they have 3 children, Rosie Lea (born in 1972), Willow Amber (born in 1975) and Jamie (born in 1981). He also has four granddaughters, Lily, Lola, Ramona and Scarlet; and one grandson, Jonjo.

Views and advocacy

Daltrey is a supporter of the Countryside Alliance and has played concerts to raise funds for the organisation.

Albums with The Who

For a full listing of Daltrey’s albums with The Who, see The Who discography.

Who songs written by Daltrey

Although never a writing force in The Who and overshadowed by the songwriting talents of Townshend and Entwistle, Daltrey did contribute a small handful of songs to the band’s catalogue during their career:

“Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere” (1965)-The Who’s second single, co-written by Townshend.

“See My Way” (1966)-Daltrey’s sole contribution to A Quick One.

“Here for More” (1970)-B-side to “The Seeker”.

Another Daltrey song, entitled “Certified Rose,” was apparently rehearsed by The Who shortly before the death of John Entwistle. The band had planned on playing it (as well as Townshend’s “Real Good Looking Boy”) during their 2002 tour, but plans were halted after Entwistle’s death. A studio version was supposedly recorded during the Endless Wire sessions (and may feature Entwistle’s basslines from 2002.) The song has not yet been released.

“Early Morning Cold Taxi”, a song recorded during The Who Sell Out sessions in 1967 and released in 1994 on the Thirty Years of Maximum R n’B boxset, is credited to Roger Daltrey and Who roadie Dave “Cy” Langston; the song was actually solely written by Langston.[citation needed] At the time Daltrey and Langston were planning to form a writing-partnership, where all songs written by either of them would be credited as Daltrey/Langston (similar to Lennon-McCartney). The partnership did not produce any other songs (besides an unreleased demo titled “Blue Caravan.”) Langston went on to play guitar on John Entwistle’s first solo album, Smash Your Head Against the Wall, in 1970.

Solo music career

Daltrey closing out a Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert, December 2007

Daltrey has released eight solo albums. The first was the self-titled Daltrey in 1973, made during a hiatus in The Who’s touring schedule. The top single off the album, “Giving It All Away”, reached number five in the UK and the album, which introduced Leo Sayer as a songwriter, made the Top 50 in the United States. The inner sleeve photography shows a trompe-l’il in playful reference to the Narcissus myth, for Daltrey’s reflection in the water differs from his real appearance.

Daltrey’s second album, Ride a Rock Horse, was released in 1975 and is his second most commercially successful solo album. Its cover, photographed by Daltrey’s cousin Graham Hughes, is remarkable for depicting the muscular singer as a rampant centaur. When Sayer launched his own career as an artist, Daltrey called on a widening group of friends to write for and perform on his albums. Paul McCartney contributed the new song “Giddy” to One of the Boys, where the band included Hank Marvin, Eric Clapton, Alvin Lee and Mick Ronson. On this cover, another visual trick is played with Daltrey’s mirror image, with reference to Magritte’s famous painting Reproduction interdite.

McVicar was billed as a soundtrack album for the film of the same name, in which Daltrey starred and also co-produced. It featured all the other members of The Who (Townshend, Entwistle and Kenney Jones). McVicar included two hit singles, “Free Me” and “Without Your Love”, and is Daltrey’s best-selling solo recording.

The title track to Under a Raging Moon was a tribute to Who drummer Keith Moon, who died in 1978. Each of the album’s tracks, including “Let Me Down Easy” by Bryan Adams, expresses the frustration of growing older as only a man who sang “Hope I die before I get old” can. Daltrey is credited as co-writer on “Don’t Talk to Strangers,” “The Pride You Hide,” “Move Better in the Night” and “It Don’t Satisfy Me.”

On Can’t Wait to See the Movie, Daltrey is credited as co-writer on the tracks “Balance on Wires” and “Take Me Home.” On Rocks in the Head, Daltrey is credited (along with Gerard McMahon) for co-writing seven of the eleven tracks, including: “Times Changed,” “You Can’t Call It Love,” “Love Is,” “Blues Man’s Road,” “Days of Light,” “Everything A Heart Could Ever Want” and “Unforgettable Opera.” This was his first major effort as a song-writer for his own solo albums. Daltrey’s voice does not seem to have aged at all on this album, ranging from a powerful bluesy growl la Howlin’ Wolf to the tender vocals shared with his daughter Willow on the ballad ‘Everything A Heart Could Ever Want”.

In 1992, Daltrey appeared in The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, singing the hard rock song “I Want It All”, to pay homage to Freddie Mercury, his longlife friend, who died one day after a public announcement that he suffered from AIDS a year before.

Daltrey celebrated his fiftieth birthday in 1994 by performing at Carnegie Hall in two shows (23 and 24 February) later issued on CD and video called A Celebration: The Music of Pete Townshend and The Who, sometimes called Daltrey Sings Townshend, accompanied by The Juilliard Orchestra, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle, Irish dancers and other special guests. The success of these two shows led to a U.S. tour by the same name, featuring Pete Townshend’s brother Simon on lead guitar with Phil Spalding taking bass duties for the first half of each show and John Entwistle playing for the second half. An Australian leg was considered but eventually scrapped.

Daltrey took on a number of other solo projects, including a tour with the British Rock Symphony in 1998, and the Night of the Proms in 2005. Daltrey also worked with the Rock ‘n Roll Fantasy Camp, raising money for charities during the final concert.

Besides the songs Daltrey co-wrote for his solo albums, he is credited for co-writing others, including: “Child O Mine” with Gerard McMahon, used on the soundtrack for The Banger Sisters and on the TV show Witchblade; and “A Second Out” with Steve McEwan, issued on his compilation album Moonlighting. On the soundtrack for Lisztomania, Daltrey is credited with “Love’s Dream”, “Orpheus Song” and “Peace at Last.”

In 2005, Daltrey had a short weekly series on BBC Radio 2, presenting a personal choice of rock’n'roll favourites. In 2006, he wrote and performed a specially commissioned song, “Highbury Highs”, for the 7 May Highbury Farewell ceremony following the final football match at Arsenal Stadium between Arsenal and Wigan, in which Arsenal celebrated the previous 93 years at Highbury, preparing for their move to the Emirates Stadium, Ashburton Grove, the following season.

Roger Daltrey embarked on a solo tour of the U.S. and Canada on October 10, 2009. Simon Townshend joined him as lead guitarist for this tour. Eddie Vedder made a guest appearance at the Seattle, WA show on October 12. Live concert photos from his recent show at the Chicago, IL show on November 2nd, 2009 can be seen at 104.3 Jack FM website. Afterward, Daltrey planned to appear for several dates with Eric Clapton.


Solo albums

Daltrey, 1973, US #45

Ride a Rock Horse, 1975, US #28

Lisztomania, 1975 (soundtrack)

One of the Boys, 1977, US #46

McVicar, 1980, US #22

Best Bits, 1982 (compilation album)

Parting Should Be Painless, 1984, US #102

Under a Raging Moon, 1985, US #42

Can’t Wait to See the Movie, 1987

Rocks in the Head, 1992

Martyrs & Madmen, 1997 (compilation album)

Moonlighting, 2005 (compilation album)

Solo hit singles

“Giving It All Away” (#5 UK), 1973

“I’m Free” (#13 UK), 1973

“Without Your Love” (#20 US), 1980

“Free Me” (#39 UK), 1980

“Walking in My Sleep” (#56 US), 1984

“After The Fire” (#48 US), 1985

Solo film soundtrack albums

The Banger Sisters (2002)- Daltrey wrote the lyrics for and performed “Child of Mine.”

Best (2000) – Performed “House of the Rising Sun.”

Mack the Knife (1990) – Performed as the Street Singer.

The Secret of My Succe$ s (1987)- Performed “The Price of Love.”

The Lost Boys (1987) – Performed “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me.”

Quicksilver (1986)- Performed “Quicksilver Lightning.”

McVicar (John McVicar), 1980 – Performed the entire soundtrack, including “Bitter and Twisted”, “Just a Dream Away”, “White City Lights”, “Free Me’, “My Time Is Gonna Come”, “Waiting for a Friend”, “Without Your Love”, “McVicar”.

Lisztomania (1975)- Daltrey worked with Rick Wakeman and others on the soundtrack for Lisztomania. He wrote the lyrics for “Love’s Dream”, “Orpheus Song”, “Peace at Last”, and performed “Love’s Dream”, “Orpheus Song”, “Funerailles” and “Peace at Last.”


In 1984, Daltrey appeared on “Bad Attitude”, the title track of an album by Meat Loaf, sharing the lead vocal. The following year, he appeared in Barbra Streisand’s music video for her single “Emotion”, playing Streisand’s emotionally uninterested husband. In 1992, he appeared on the Chieftains’ Grammy Award-winning album, An Irish Evening: Live at the Grand Opera House. He also released an album with the Boys Choir of Harlem in 1998 with selections from A Christmas Carol.

He taught thirteen-year-old Jared Drake Bell how to play the guitar in 1999. Drake later starred in Drake and Josh and has released two albums.

In 2001, Daltrey provided backing vocals for the title track of the Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros album Global a Go-Go.

In 2003, he provided backing vocals for thrash-metal band Anthrax on the song “Taking the Music Back” from their album We’ve Come for You All. The collaboration came about through Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian’s girlfriend,(Pearl Aday), whose mother is a friend of Daltrey and his wife. Aday is also the daughter of Meat Loaf.

In 2005, Daltrey collaborated with the British pop band, McFly to sing his hit song “My Generation”.

On 12 January 2009, Daltrey headlined a one-off concert along with Babyshambles at the O2 Academy Bristol for Teenage Cancer Trust.

On Sunday 5th July 2009, Daltrey joined Paul Weller onstage at Hop Farm Festival in Kent for an encore of “Magic Bus”.

Film and stage career

Film roles

After The Who retired from active work in 1982, Daltrey developed his career in film and on the theater stage. Daltrey’s appearances in over 30 feature films include early starring roles in Tommy, as “deaf, dumb and blind boy” Tommy Walker in 1975; Lisztomania, as Hungarian composer Franz Liszt in 1975, and McVicar, as British armed robber turned journalist John McVicar in 1980.

In 2006, Roger Daltrey starred as the voice of Argon the Dragon Bus Driver in the children’s home DVD called The Wheels on the Bus: Mango and Papaya’s Animal Adventure from Armstrong Moving Pictures. The DVD features Daltrey as a costumed children’s dragon, who drives a bus for two lost puppets trying to return to their home at the zoo. Daltrey sings children’s classics, such as “The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round” in addition to songs written specifically for the home video. He later appeared in two other videos for this series.


Daltrey in 2008 prior to a screening of “The Who Live At Kilburn 1977″ at the ArcLight Sherman Oaks 2008

Roger Daltrey has an extensive filmography. A sampling of his films is as follows:

Tommy (Tommy Walker), 1975

Lisztomania (Franz Liszt), 1975

The Legacy (Clive), 1978

McVicar (John McVicar), also Producer, 1980

The Beggar’s Opera (Macheath), 1983

Murder: Ultimate Grounds for Divorce, 1985

The Little Match Girl (Jeb Macklin), 1987

Mack the Knife (Street Singer), 1990

Cold Justice (Keith Gibson), 1989

Buddy’s Song (Terry Clark); also Music Score Composer, Producer, 1991

If Looks Could Kill – Teen Agent (Blade), 1991

The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert ,1992

Lightning Jack (John T. Coles), 1994

A Celebration: The Music of Pete Townshend and The Who, 1994

The Wizard of Oz in Concert: Dreams Come True 1995

Vampirella (Vlad), 1996

Like It Is (Kelvin), 1998

The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns (King Boric), 1999

Dark Prince: The True Story of Dracula (King Janos), 2000

Best (Rodney Marsh), 2000

The Young Messiah – Messiah XXI (2000) (DVD)

Strange Frequency 2 (Host/Devil), 2001

Chasing Destiny (Nehemiah Peoples), 2001

.com for Murder (Ben), 2002

Johnny Was (Jimmy Nolan), 2006

Television roles

Daltrey has played a number of television roles, including BBC Television Shakespeare as both Dromios in A Comedy of Errors, the police drama series The Bill, the science fiction series Sliders as Col. Angus Rickman, the VH1 series Strange Frequency 2, Witchblade as the devil, and was a recurring guest star in Highlander: The Series as Immortal Hugh Fitzcairn, one of the closest friends of lead character Duncan MacLeod. In 1983, he played Macheath, the outlaw hero of BBC TV’s production of John Gay’s 1728 ballad opera, ‘The Beggar’s Opera’.

In 1986 he acted in the TV series Buddy. In 1993, He guest-starred (along with Steve Buscemi) in an episode of Tales From The Crypt entitled “Forever Ambergris”. Daltrey appeared as a villain in a 1996 episode of Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. He also played Nobby Clegg, a character named after the band Nobby Clegg and the Civilians, in the Showtime series Rude Awakening.

Daltrey appeared in an episode of the The Simpsons, “A Tale of Two Springfields”, as himself along with John Entwistle (Pete Townshend was replaced by his brother Paul for the episode). The Who helped Homer break down a wall he had built.

A self-described history buff, Daltrey often involves himself in history research related media including television documentaries. Pirate Tales from 1997, is a documentary/action show about the age of piracy in the 1700s, in which Daltrey impersonated English buccaneer William Dampier in a main role as the narrator throughout the series. In 2003 he hosted the History Channel’s Extreme History with Roger Daltrey talking about historical events and explaining the survival techniques the civilizations treated had available. He also appeared in “That ’70s Musical”, the 100th episode of That ’70s Show as Fez’s musical director.

Daltrey guest starred in a November 7, 2006 episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (“Living Legend”) as Mickey Dunn, a prominent Las Vegas 1970s mob boss who returns to Las Vegas to avenge his attempted murder. The Who’s music, and Daltrey’s singing, provide the themes for all three of the series in the CSI franchise every week (“Who Are You” for the original show, “Won’t Get Fooled Again” for CSI: Miami and “Baba O’Riley” for CSI: New York).

In 2005, Daltrey had a cameo appearance as himself in the episode “The Priest and the Beast” in Series 2 of The Mighty Boosh. He is found by the main characters vacuuming a desert, presumably as a “karmic” consequence of leaving Woodstock early and not helping to clean up.

Daltrey has also performed on the soundtrack of a number of films and television shows, most notably CSI. He also appeared in the music video for “Emotion” by Barbra Streisand, although neither he nor The Who were the featured act.

Stage roles

Daltrey has appeared in stage in productions including Mike Batt’s The Hunting of the Snark in 1987 as The Barrister, and also in Batt’s Philharmania with the Royal Philharmonic in 1998. He also appeared in The Wizard of Oz in Concert: Dreams Come True in 1995 as the Tin Man, a BBC Radio 2 production of Jesus Christ Superstar in 1996 as Judas, and A Christmas Carol in 1998 as Scrooge. In 2003, he starred as Alfred P. Doolittle in a production of My Fair Lady at the Hollywood Bowl alongside John Lithgow and Melissa Errico.


In addition to his career as an actor, Daltrey has acted as producer on several films, including: Buddy’s Song (1990), McVicar (1980), Quadrophenia (1979) and a project in development See Me Feel Me: Keith Moon Naked for Your Pleasure.


^ Giuliano, p. 26

^ Giuliano, p. 103

^ University College Dublin news

^ Seattle Weekly

^ Hugh Porter (20 April 2003). “The Kids Are Alright”. Time Magazine. Retrieved 12 January 2008. 


^ “UCD award for lead singer with The Who”. Irish Times ( 5 March 2009. ISSN 1649-6701. Retrieved 5 March 2009. 

^ PRLog

^ Independent Music Awards – 8th Annual IMA Judges

^ Roger Daltrey – Biography

^ Pure And Easy – The Who

^ “Rock legends fight hunt ban”. 

^ Roger Daltrey football interview by Chris Hunt published in Four Four Two magazine, June 2009.

^ a b Internet Movie Database

^ Babyshambles play one-off gig with The Who’s Roger Daltrey

Additional references

Geoffrey Giuliano (1996). Behind Blue Eyes: The Life of Pete Townshend. Penguin Books, Ltd. ISBN 0-8154-1070-0

Steve Huey, Roger Daltrey – Biography,

David M. Barling, Biography of Roger Daltrey,

Extreme History with Roger Daltrey, The History Channel

Matt Kent, “Roger Appears on My Generation Cover”, Pete Townshend/The Who

Audio stream Roger Daltrey King Biscuit Recording, 1985 Concert Vault

External links

Roger Daltrey on the 10 April 1975 cover of Rolling Stone magazine

Roger Daltrey at the Internet Movie Database

Roger Daltrey as a European Hero in Time magazine

Roger Daltrey audio interview segments from 1982

Babyshambles and Roger Daltrey concert photograph by SPIN

v  d  e

Roger Daltrey

Studio albums

Daltrey Ride a Rock Horse One of the Boys McVicar Parting Should Be Painless Under a Raging Moon Can’t Wait to See the Movie Rocks in the Head

Live albums

A Celebration: The Music of Pete Townshend and The Who


Best Bits Martyrs & Madmen: The Best of Roger Daltrey Moonlighting: The Anthology

Related articles

The Who The RD Crusaders

v  d  e

The Who

Roger Daltrey  Pete Townshend  John “Rabbit” Bundrick  Pino Palladino  Zak Starkey  Simon Townshend

John Entwistle  Keith Moon  Kenney Jones

Studio albums

My Generation  A Quick One  The Who Sell Out  Tommy  Who’s Next  Quadrophenia  The Who by Numbers  Who Are You  Face Dances  It’s Hard  Endless Wire

Live albums

Live at Leeds  Who’s Last  Join Together  Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970  BBC Sessions  Blues to the Bush  Live at the Royal Albert Hall  Encore Series 2002  Encore Series 2004  Encore Series 2006 & Encore Series 2007  Live from Toronto  View from a Backstage Pass  Greatest Hits Live


Magic Bus: The Who on Tour  Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy  Odds & Sods  Hooligans  Who’s Greatest Hits  Rarities Volume I & Volume II  The Who Collection  Who’s Missing  Two’s Missing  Who’s Better, Who’s Best  Thirty Years of Maximum R&B  My Generation: The Very Best of The Who  The Ultimate Collection  Then and Now  Greatest Hits


Tommy  The Kids Are Alright  Quadrophenia  Amazing Journey: The Story of The Who


Monterey Pop  Woodstock  Tommy  Quadrophenia  The Kids Are Alright  McVicar  Buddy’s Song  The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus  The Concert for New York City  Thirty Years of Maximum R&B (video)  Quadrophenia and Tommy Live  Amazing Journey: The Story of The Who  At Kilburn 1977 + Live at the Coliseum

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Discography  The Boy Who Heard Music  Influence  Lifehouse  Personnel  Track Records  20062007 tour  Doug Sandom  Bill Curbishley  Kit Lambert  Peter Meaden  Bob Pridden  Chris Stamp  Scot Halpin  Chris Townson  Two Sides of the Moon  The Who’s Tommy  The Who’s Tommy Pinball Wizard  “A Tale of Two Springfields”  1979 concert disaster

v  d  e

2008 Kennedy Center Honorees

Morgan Freeman George Jones Barbra Streisand Twyla Tharp Pete Townshend & Roger Daltrey

Categories: 1944 births | Living people | English male singers | English singer-songwriters | English rock singers | English rock guitarists | People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals | British harmonica players | Kennedy Center honorees | Commanders of the Order of the British Empire | English tenors | Musicians from London | The Who members | People from Acton | People from Chiswick | People from HammersmithHidden categories: Pages containing cite templates with deprecated parameters | All articles with unsourced statements | Articles with unsourced statements from July 2008

Blade Runner


Note: There are several versions of Blade Runner.

In Los Angeles, November 2019, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) a retired police officer, is arrested at a noodle bar by officer Gaff (Edward James Olmos). His former supervisor, Bryant (M. Emmet Walsh), tells him that several “replicants”, biologically engineered humanoids that serve as soldiers and slaves in colonies on other planets, have escaped and come to Earth illegally. As a “blade runner” while active, Deckard’s job was to track down replicants on Earth and “retire” them.

Bryant shows him a video of another blade runner (Morgan Paull), administering a Voight-Kampff test, which distinguishes humans from replicants based on their empathic response to questions. The subject of the test, Leon (Brion James), shoots the tester when it is likely he will be exposed as a replicant.

Deckard agrees to track down Leon and three other replicantsoy Batty (Rutger Hauer), Zhora (Joanna Cassidy) and Pris (Daryl Hannah)fter Bryant threatens him. These replicantsyrell Corporation Nexus-6 modelsave a four-year lifespan as a failsafe to prevent them from developing emotions and desire for independence. They may have come to Earth to try to have these lifespans extended.

Deckard is teamed with Gaff and sent to the Tyrell Corporation to ensure that the Voight-Kampff test works on Nexus-6 models. While there, Deckard discovers that Tyrell’s (Joe Turkel) assistant Rachael (Sean Young) is an experimental replicant who believes she is human; Rachael’s consciousness has been enhanced with childhood memories from Tyrell’s niece. As a result, a more extensive Voight-Kampff test is required to identify her as a replicant. During the testing Rachael suggests that Deckard himself be tested.

Roy and Leon enter the eye manufactory of Chew (James Hong); under interrogation, Chew directs them to J.F. Sebastian (William Sanderson) as their best chance of meeting Tyrell. Rachael visits Deckard at his apartment to prove her humanity to him, showing him a family photo. She leaves in tears after Deckard tells her that her memories are implants. Pris meets J.F. Sebastian at his apartment in the Bradbury Building where he lives with his manufactured companions. Deckard finds an image of Zhora in Leon’s photos.

Deckard goes to an area of the city where genetically engineered animals are sold to analyze a scale found in Leon’s bathroom, learning that it came from a snake made by Abdul Ben Hassan (Ben Astar). Hassan directs Deckard to a strip club where Zhora works. Deckard “retires” Zhora, whose death takes place in slow motion as she struggles to flee. Deckard meets with Bryant shortly after and is told to add Rachael to his list of retirements, as she has disappeared from the Tyrell Corporation headquarters. Deckard spots Rachael in the crowd but is attacked by Leon. Rachael saves Deckard by killing Leon, and the two return to Deckard’s apartment, where he roughly initiates sex.

Roy arrives at Sebastian’s apartment and tells Pris they are the only ones left. They gain Sebastian’s help after explaining their plight. Roy discovers that Sebastian is suffering from a genetic disorder that accelerates his aging. Under the pretext of Sebastian informing Tyrell of a move for a game of correspondence chess that they are playing, Roy and Sebastian enter Tyrell’s penthouse. Roy demands an extension to his lifespan from his maker. Tyrell explains that Tyrell Corporation never found a way to accomplish this. Roy asks absolution for his sins, confessing that he has done “questionable things”. Tyrell dismisses this, praising Roy’s advanced design and his accomplishments. He tells Roy to “revel in his time”, to which Roy comments “Nothing the god of biomechanics wouldn’t let you into heaven for”. Roy then holds Tyrell’s head in his hands, gives him a kiss, and kills him. Sebastian runs for the elevator, with Roy following. Roy rides the elevator down alone, and Sebastian is not seen again.

Deckard arrives at Sebastian’s apartment and is ambushed by Pris. He retires her just as Roy returns. Roy punches through a wall, grabbing Deckard’s right arm, and breaks two of his fingers in retaliation for Zhora and Pris. Roy releases Deckard and gives him time to run before he begins hunting him through the Bradbury Building. The symptoms of Roy’s limited lifespan worsen and his right hand begins failing; he jabs a nail through it to regain control. Roy forces Deckard to the roof. As Deckard attempts to escape Roy, he leaps across to another building but falls short and ends up hanging from a rain-slicked girder. As Deckard loses his grip, Roy seizes his arm and hauls him onto the roof. As Roy’s life ends, he delivers a soliloquy on his life “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe: Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion; I’ve watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time; like tears in rain. Time to die.”

Gaff shouts over to Deckard, “It’s too bad she won’t live; but then again, who does?” Deckard returns to his apartment to find Rachael alive. As they leave, Deckard finds an origami unicorn, a calling card left by Gaff. Depending on the version, the film ends with Deckard and Rachael either leaving the apartment block to an uncertain future or driving through an idyllic pastoral landscape.

Comparison with novel

As a result of Fancher’s divergence from the novel, numerous re-writes before and throughout shooting the film, and Ridley Scott’s never having read the entire novel on which it was based, the film differed significantly from its original inspiration. Some of the themes in the novel that were minimized or entirely removed include: fertility/sterility of the population, religion, mass media, Deckard’s uncertainty that he is human, and real versus synthetic pets and emotions.

Philip K. Dick refused an offer of 0,000 to write a novelization of the Blade Runner screenplay, saying: “[I was] told the cheapo novelization would have to appeal to the twelve-year-old audience” and “[it] would have probably been disastrous to me artistically.” He added, “That insistence on my part of bringing out the original novel and not doing the novelizationhey were just furious. They finally recognized that there was a legitimate reason for reissuing the novel, even though it cost them money. It was a victory not just of contractual obligations but of theoretical principles.” In the end, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was reprinted as a tie-in, with the film poster as a cover and the original title in parentheses below the Blade Runner title.

The producers of the film arranged for a screening of some special effects rough cuts for Philip K. Dick shortly before he died in early 1982. Despite his well known skepticism of Hollywood in principle, he became quite enthusiastic about the film. He said, “I saw a segment of Douglas Trumbull’s special effects for Blade Runner on the KNBC-TV news. I recognized it immediately. It was my own interior world. They caught it perfectly.” He also approved of the film’s script, saying, “After I finished reading the screenplay, I got the novel out and looked through it. The two reinforce each other, so that someone who started with the novel would enjoy the movie and someone who started with the movie would enjoy the novel.”

Cast and characters

Main article: List of Blade Runner characters

With the exception of Harrison Ford, Blade Runner used a number of less well-known actors such as Daryl Hannah and Sean Young. The cast includes:




Harrison Ford

Rick Deckard

Coming off some success with Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Ford was looking for a role with dramatic depth. After Steven Spielberg praised Ford, he was hired for Blade Runner. In 1992, Ford revealed, “Blade Runner is not one of my favorite films. I tangled with Ridley.” Apart from friction with the director, Ford also disliked the voiceovers: “When we started shooting it had been tacitly agreed that the version of the film that we had agreed upon was the version without voiceover narration. It was a f**king [sic] nightmare. I thought that the film had worked without the narration. But now I was stuck re-creating that narration. And I was obliged to do the voiceovers for people that did not represent the director’s interests.” “I went kicking and screaming to the studio to record it.”

Rutger Hauer

Roy Batty

The violent yet thoughtful leader of replicants; regarded by Philip K. Dick as “the perfect Battyold, Aryan, flawless”. Of the many films Hauer has done, Blade Runner is his favorite. As he explained in a live chat in 2001, “BLADE RUNNER needs no explanation. It just IZZ [sic]. All of the best. There is nothing like it. To be part of a real MASTERPIECE which changed the world’s thinking. It’s awesome.”

Sean Young


Tyrell’s assistant. Rachael is a replicant with memories that belonged to Tyrell’s niece.

Edward James Olmos


Olmos used his diverse ethnic background, and some in-depth personal research, to help create the fictional “Cityspeak” language his character uses in the film. His initial addresses to Deckard at the noodle bar is partly in Hungarian, and means, “Horse dick! No way. You are the Blade … Blade Runner.”

Daryl Hannah


a “basic pleasure model”.

M. Emmet Walsh

Captain Bryant

Walsh lived up to his reputation as a great character actor with the role of a hard-drinking, sleazy and underhanded police veteran typical of the film noir genre.

Joe Turkel

Dr. Eldon Tyrell

This corporate mogul has built an empire on genetically manipulated humanoid slaves.

William Sanderson

J. F. Sebastian

a quiet and lonely genius who provides a compassionate yet compliant portrait of humanity. J.F. is able to sympathize with the replicants’ short lifespan because he has progeria, a genetic disease that causes faster aging and a short lifespan.

Brion James

Leon Kowalski

a replicant masquerading as a waste disposal engineer.

Joanna Cassidy


a special-ops, undercover and assassin model. Cassidy portrays a strong female replicant who has seen the worst humanity has to offer.

Morgan Paull


The Blade Runner initially assigned to the case, he is shot by Leon while screening new Tyrell employees in an attempt to find the replicants, prompting his replacement with Deckard.

James Hong

Hannibal Chew

an elderly Asian geneticist specializing in synthetic eyes.

Hy Pyke

Taffey Lewis

Pyke conveys Lewis’s sleaziness with ease and with one take; something almost unheard-of with Scott’s drive for perfection resulting at times in double-digit takes.


One of filming locations is Bradbury Building

in Los Angeles, California.

Interest in adapting Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? developed shortly after its 1968 publication. According to Dick, director Martin Scorsese was interested in filming the novel, but never optioned it. Producer Herb Jaffe optioned it in the early 1970s, but Dick wasn’t impressed with the screenplay: “Robert Jaffe, who wrote the screenplay, flew down here to Orange County. I said to him then that it was so bad that I wanted to know if he wanted me to beat him up there at the airport or wait till we got to my apartment.” The screenplay by Hampton Fancher was optioned in 1977.

Producer Michael Deeley became interested in Fancher’s draft and convinced director Ridley Scott to use it to create his first American film. Scott had previously declined the project, but after leaving the slow production of Dune, wanted a faster-paced project to take his mind off his older brother’s recent death. He joined the project on February 21, 1980, and managed to push up the promised financing from Filmways from  million to  million. Fancher’s script focused more on environmental issues and less on issues of humanity and faith, which weighed heavily in the novel. Scott wanted changes. Fancher found a cinema treatment by William S. Burroughs for Alan E. Nourse’s novel The Bladerunner (1974), entitled Blade Runner (a movie). Scott liked the name, so Deeley obtained the rights to the titles. Eventually he hired David Peoples to rewrite the script, and Fancher left the job on December 21, 1980, over the issue, although he later returned to contribute additional rewrites.

Having invested over .5 million in pre-production, as the date of commencement of principal photography neared, Filmways withdrew financial backing. In ten days, Deeley secured .5 million in financing through a three way deal between The Ladd Company (through Warner Bros.), the Hong Kong-based producer Sir Run Run Shaw, and Tandem Productions.

Philip K. Dick became concerned that no one had informed him about the film’s production, which added to his distrust of Hollywood. After Dick criticized an early version of Hampton Fancher’s script in an article written for the Los Angeles Select TV Guide, the studio sent Dick the David Peoples rewrite. Although Dick died shortly before the film’s release, he was pleased with the rewritten script, and with a twenty-minute special effects test reel that was screened for him when he was invited to the studio. Dick enthused after the screening to Ridley Scott that the world created for the film looked exactly as he had imagined it. The motion picture was dedicated to Dick.

Another shot of Bradbury Building.

Blade Runner has numerous and deep similarities to Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, including a built up urban environment, in which the wealthy literally live above the workers, dominated by a huge buildinghe Stadtkrone Tower in Metropolis and the Tyrell Building in Blade Runner. Special effects supervisor David Dryer used stills from Metropolis when lining up Blade Runner’s miniature building shots.

Ridley Scott credits Edward Hopper’s painting Nighthawks and the French science fiction comic magazine Mtal Hurlant (Heavy Metal), to which the artist Moebius contributed, as stylistic mood sources. He also drew on the landscape of “Hong Kong on a very bad day” and the industrial landscape of his one-time home in the North East of England. Scott hired as his conceptual artist Syd Mead, who, like Scott, was influenced by Mtal Hurlant. Moebius was offered the opportunity to assist in the pre-production of Blade Runner, but he declined so that he could work on Ren Laloux’s animated film Les Matres du temps, a decision he later regretted. Lawrence G. Paull (production designer) and David Snyder (art director) realized Scott’s and Mead’s sketches. Douglas Trumbull and Richard Yuricich supervised the special effects for the film. Principal photography of Blade Runner began on March 9, 1981, and ended four months later.

Casting the film proved troublesome, particularly for the lead role of Deckard. Screenwriter Hampton Fancher envisioned Robert Mitchum as Deckard, and wrote the character’s dialogue with Mitchum in mind. Director Ridley Scott and the film’s producers “spent months” meeting and discussing the role with Dustin Hoffman, who eventually departed over differences in vision. Harrison Ford was ultimately chosen for several reasons, including his performance in the Star Wars films, Ford’s interest in the story of Blade Runner, and discussions with Steven Spielberg, who was finishing Raiders of the Lost Ark at the time and strongly praised Ford’s work in the film. According to production documents, a long list of actors were considered for the role, including, but not limited to, Gene Hackman, Sean Connery, Jack Nicholson, Paul Newman, Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Al Pacino, and Burt Reynolds.

Casting the roles of Rachael and Pris was also challenging; a lengthy series of screen tests were filmed with numerous actresses auditioning for the roles. Morgan Paull, who played the role of Deckard during the screen tests with actresses auditioning for the role of Rachael, was cast as Deckard’s fellow bounty hunter Holden based on his performances in the tests. One role that was not difficult to cast was Roy Batty: Ridley Scott cast Rutger Hauer without having met him, based solely on Hauer’s performances in other films Scott had seen. Joe Pantoliano, who later played the role of Cypher in the Blade Runner-inspired The Matrix, was considered for the role of Sebastian.

In 2006, Ridley Scott was asked “Who’s the biggest pain in the arse you’ve ever worked with?” He replied: “It’s got to be Harrison … he’ll forgive me because now I get on with him. Now he’s become charming. But he knows a lot, that’s the problem. When we worked together it was my first film up and I was the new kid on the block. But we made a good movie.” Ford said of Scott in 2000: “I admire his work. We had a bad patch there, and I over it.” More recently in 2006, Ford reflected on the production of the film saying: “What I remember more than anything else when I see Blade Runner is not the 50 nights of shooting in the rain, but the voiceover … I was still obliged to work for these clowns that came in writing one bad voiceover after another.” Ridley Scott confirmed in the summer 2007 issue of Total Film that Harrison Ford contributed to the Blade Runner Special Edition DVD, having already done his interviews. “Harrison’s fully on board”, said Scott.


Main article: Themes in Blade Runner

Despite appearing to be an action film, Blade Runner operates on multiple dramatic and narrative levels; it is greatly indebted to film noir conventions: the femme fatale, protagonist-narration (removed in later versions), dark and shadowy cinematography, and the questionable moral outlook of the heron this case, extended to include reflections upon the nature of his own humanity.

It is a literate science fiction film, thematically enfolding the philosophy of religion and moral implications of human mastery of genetic engineering in the context of classical Greek drama and hubris, and draws on Biblical images, such as Noah’s flood, and literary sources, such as Frankenstein. Linguistically, the theme of mortality is subtly reiterated in the chess game between Roy and Tyrell based on the famous Immortal game of 1851, though Scott has said that was coincidental.

Dr. Tyrell polarizing his office window to control the Sun implies the god-like powers of the Tyrell Corporation.

Blade Runner delves into the implications of technology for the environment and society by reaching to the past, using literature, religious symbolism, classical dramatic themes, and film noir. This tension, between past, present, and future is mirrored in the retrofitted future of Blade Runner, which is high-tech and gleaming in places but decayed and old elsewhere. Interviewing Ridley Scott in 2002, reporter Lynn Barber in The Observer described the film as: “extremely dark, both literally and metaphorically, with an oddly masochistic feel”. Director Scott said he “liked the idea of exploring pain” in the wake of his brother’s skin cancer death. “When he was ill, I used to go and visit him in London, and that was really traumatic for me.”

An aura of paranoia suffuses the film. Corporate power looms large, the police seem omnipresent, vehicle and warning lights probe into buildings, and the consequences of huge biomedical power over the individual are exploredspecially the consequences for replicants of their programming. Control over the environment is depicted as taking place on a vast scale, hand in hand with the absence of any natural life, with artificial animals substituting for their extinct templates. This oppressive backdrop explains the frequently referenced migration of humans to extra-terrestrial (“off-world”) colonies. The dystopian themes explored in “Blade Runner” are an early example of cyberpunk concepts expanding into film. Eyes are a recurring motif, as are manipulated images, calling into question reality and our ability to accurately perceive and remember it.

These thematic elements provide an atmosphere of uncertainty for Blade Runner’s central theme of examining humanity. In order to discover replicants, an empathy test is used, with a number of its questions focused on the treatment of animalst seems to be an essential indicator of someone’s “humanity”. The replicants are juxtaposed with human characters who lack empathy, while the replicants appear to show compassion and concern for one another at the same time as the mass of humanity on the streets is cold and impersonal. The film goes so far as to put in doubt whether Deckard is a human, and forces the audience to reevaluate what it means to be human.

The question of whether Deckard is intended to be a human or a replicant has been an ongoing controversy since the film’s release. Both Michael Deeley and Harrison Ford wanted Deckard to be human while Hampton Fancher preferred ambiguity. Ridley Scott has confirmed that in his vision Deckard is a replicant. Deckard’s unicorn dream sequence inserted into the Director’s Cut coinciding with Gaff’s parting-gift of an origami unicorn is seen by many as showing Deckard is a replicant as Gaff could have access to Deckard’s implanted memories. The interpretation that Deckard is a replicant is challenged by others who believe unicorn imagery shows that the characters, whether human or replicant, share the same dreams and recognise their affinity, or that the absence of a decisive answer is crucial to the film’s main theme. The inherent ambiguity and uncertainty of the film, as well as its textual richness, have permitted viewers to see it from their own perspective.


Blade Runner was released in 1,290 theaters on June 25, 1982. That date was chosen by producer Alan Ladd, Jr. because his previous highest-grossing films (Star Wars and Alien) had a similar opening date (May 25) in 1977 and 1979, making the date his “lucky day”. However, the gross for the opening weekend was a disappointing .15 million. A significant factor in the film’s rather poor box office performance was that its release coincided with other science fiction film releases, including The Thing, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and, most significantly, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, which dominated box office revenues that summer.

Film critics were polarized as some felt the story had taken a back seat to special effects and that it was not the action/adventure the studio had advertised. Others acclaimed its complexity and predicted it would stand the test of time.

In the United States, a general criticism was its slow pacing that detracts from other strengths; Sheila Benson from the Los Angeles Times called it “Blade crawler”, while Pat Berman in State and Columbia Record described it as “science fiction pornography”. Roger Ebert praised both the original and the Director’s cut version of Blade Runner’s visuals and recommended it for that reason; however, he found the human story clichd and a little thin. In 2007, upon release of The Final Cut, Roger Ebert somewhat revised his original opinion of the film and added it to his list of Great Movies.

Awards and nominations

Blade Runner has won and been nominated for the following awards:







British Society of Cinematographers

Best Cinematography Award

Jordan Cronenweth



Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award

Best Cinematography

Jordan Cronenweth



BAFTA Film Award

Best Cinematography

Jordan Cronenweth


Best Costume Design

Charles Knode & Michael Kaplan


Best Production Design/Art Direction

Lawrence G. Paull


Best Film Editing

Terry Rawlings


Best Make Up Artist

Marvin Westmore


Best Score



Best Sound

Peter Pennell, Bud Alper, Graham V. Hartstone, Gerry Humphreys


Best Special Visual Effects

Douglas Trumbull, Richard Yuricich, David Dryer



Hugo Award

Best Dramatic Presentation

Blade Runner



London Critics Circle Film Awards

Special Achievement Award

Lawrence G. Paull, Douglas Trumbull, Syd Mead



Golden Globe Award

Best Original Score – Motion Picture




Academy Awards

Best Art Direction – Set Decoration

Lawrence G. Paull, David L. Snyder, Linda DeScenna


Best Effects, Visual Effects

Douglas Trumbull, Richard Yuricich, David Dryer



Saturn Award

Best Science Fiction Film

Blade Runner


Best Director

Ridley Scott


Best Special Effects

Douglas Trumbull, Richard Yuricich


Best Supporting Actor

Rutger Hauer




International Fantasy Film Award

Best Film Ridley Scott




International Fantasy Film Award

Best Film Ridley Scott (Director’s cut)



Saturn Award

Best Genre Video Release

Blade Runner (Director’s cut)



Saturn Award

Best DVD Special Edition Release

Blade Runner (5 Disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition)


Lists of the best films

Current recognitions for Blade Runner include:

Blade Runner is currently ranked the third best film of all time by The Screen Directory.

On top 1000 movies of all time, based on 2041 critics’ and filmmakers’ favorite movie lists, Blade Runner was voted #66 in 2006, #55 in 2007, #46 in 2008 and #40 in 2010. It is higher than every other movie made after it.

British movie magazine Empire voted it the “Best Science Fiction Film Ever” in 2007.

In 2002, Blade Runner was voted the 8th greatest film of all time in Channel 4′s 100 Greatest Films poll.

New Scientist readers voted it as the “all-time favourite science fiction” film in October 2008.








The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time


American Film Institute (AFI)

Top 10 Sci-fi Films of All Time



AFI’s 100 Years100 Movies



Total Film Readers

100 Greatest Movies of All Time



Total Film Editors


Time Magazine Critics

“All-TIME” 100 Best Movies



The Guardian, Scientists

Top 10 Sci-fi Films of All Time



1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die



50 Klassiker, Film

Online Film Critics Society (OFCS)

Top 100 Sci-fi Films of the Past 100 Years


Cultural influence

A police spinner flying beside huge advertising-laden skyscrapers. These special effects are benchmarks that have influenced many subsequent science-fiction films.

While not initially a success with North American audiences, the film was popular internationally and became a cult film. The film’s dark style and futuristic design have served as a benchmark and its influence can be seen in many subsequent science fiction films, anime, video games, and television programs. For example, Ronald D. Moore and David Eick, the producers of the re-imagining of Battlestar Galactica, have both cited Blade Runner as one of the major influences for the show. Blade Runner continues to reflect modern trends and concerns, and an increasing number consider it one of the greatest science fiction films of all time. The film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry in 1993 and is frequently used in university courses. In 2007, it was named the 2nd most visually influential film of all time by the Visual Effects Society.

Blade Runner is one of the most musically sampled films of the 20th century, and inspired the Grammy nominated song “More Human than Human” by White Zombie.

Blade Runner has influenced adventure games, such as Rise of the Dragon, Snatcher, Beneath a Steel Sky and Flashback: The Quest for Identity, the anime series Bubblegum Crisis, the role-playing game Shadowrun, the first-person shooter Perfect Dark, and the Syndicate series of video games. The film is also cited as the a major influence on Warren Spector, designer of the computer-game Deus Ex, which both in its visual rendering and plot displays evidence of the film’s influence. The look of the film (darkness, neon lights and opacity of vision) is easier to render than complicated backdrops, making it a popular choice for game designers.

Blade Runner has also been the subject of parody, such as the comics Blade Bummer by Crazy comics, Bad Rubber by Steve Gallacci, and the Red Dwarf special episodes, “Back To Earth”.

Blade Runner curse

Among the folklore that has developed around the film over the years has been the belief that the film was a curse to the companies whose logos were displayed prominently as product placements in some scenes. While they were market leaders at the time, more than half experienced disastrous setbacks during the next decade. RCA, which at one time was the United States’ leading consumer electronics and communications conglomerate, was bought out by one-time parent GE in 1985, and dismantled. Atari, which dominated the home video game market when the film came out, never recovered from the next year’s downturn in the industry, and by the 1990s had ceased to represent anything more than a brand, a back catalogue of games and some legacy computers. Atari today is an entirely different firm, using the former company’s name. Cuisinart similarly went bankrupt in 1989, though it lives on under new ownership. The Bell System monopoly was broken up that same year, and most of the resulting Regional Bell operating companies have since changed their names and merged back with each other and other companies to form the new AT&T. Pan Am suffered the terrorist bombing/destruction of Pan Am Flight 103 and after a decade of mounting losses, finally went bankrupt in 1991 with the falloff in overseas travel caused by the Gulf War. The Coca-Cola Company suffered losses during its failed introduction of New Coke in 1985, but soon afterward regained its market share. Its continued success has made Coca-Cola one of several exceptions to the Blade Runner curse; also appearing in the film are logos for Budweiser, and the electronics company TDK, which continue to thrive in contemporary markets.

Future Noir

Further information: Future noir

Before the film’s principal photography began, Cinefantastique magazine commissioned Paul M. Sammon to write an article about Blade Runner’s production, which became the book Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner (referred to as the “Blade Runner Bible” by many of the film’s fans). The book chronicles the evolution of Blade Runner as a film, and focuses on film-set politics, especially the British director’s experiences with his first American film crew, of which producer Alan Ladd, Jr. has said, “Harrison wouldn’t speak to Ridley and Ridley wouldn’t speak to Harrison. By the end of the shoot Ford was ‘ready to kill Ridley’, said one colleague. He really would have taken him on if he hadn’t been talked out of it.” Future Noir has short cast biographies and quotations about their experiences in making Blade Runner, as well as many photographs of the film’s production, and preliminary sketches. The cast chapter was deleted from the first edition; it is available online. A second edition of Future Noir was published in 2007.


Main article: Blade Runner (soundtrack)

The Blade Runner soundtrack by Vangelis is a dark melodic combination of classic composition and futuristic synthesizers which mirrors the film-noir retro-future envisioned by Ridley Scott. Vangelis, fresh from his Academy Award winning score for Chariots of Fire, composed and performed the music on his synthesizers. He also made use of various chimes and the vocals of collaborator Demis Roussos. Another memorable sound is the haunting tenor sax solo “Love Theme” by UK saxophonist Dick Morrissey, who appeared on many of Vangelis’ albums. Ridley Scott also used “Memories of Green” from Vangelis’ album See You Later (an orchestral version of which Scott would later use in his film Someone To Watch Over Me).

Along with Vangelis’ compositions and ambient textures, the film’s sound scape also features a track by the Japanese Ensemble Nipponia (‘Ogi No Mato’ or ‘The Folding Fan as a Target’ from the Nonesuch Records release “Traditional Vocal And Instrumental Music”) and a track by harpist Gail Laughton (“Harps of the Ancient Temples” from Laurel Records).

Despite being well received by fans and critically acclaimed and nominated in 1983 for a BAFTA and Golden Globe as best original score, and the promise of a soundtrack album from Polydor Records in the end titles of the film, the release of the official soundtrack recording was delayed for over a decade. There are two official releases of the music from Blade Runner. In light of the lack of a release of an album, the New American Orchestra recorded an orchestral adaptation in 1982 which bore little resemblance to the original. Some of the film tracks would in 1989 surface on the compilation Vangelis: Themes, but not until the 1992 release of the Director’s Cut version would a substantial amount of the film’s score see commercial release.

These delays and poor reproductions led to the production of many bootleg recordings over the years. A bootleg tape surfaced in 1982 at science fiction conventions and became popular given the delay of an official release of the original recordings, and in 1993 “Off World Music, Ltd.” created a bootleg CD that would prove more comprehensive than Vangelis’ official CD in 1994. A disc from “Gongo Records” features most of the same material, but with slightly better sound quality. In 2003, two other bootlegs surfaced, the “Esper Edition”, closely preceded by “Los Angeles: November 2019″. The double disc “Esper Edition” combined tracks from the official release, the Gongo boot and the film itself. Finally “2019″ provided a single disc compilation almost wholly consisting of ambient sound from the film, padded out with some sounds from the Westwood game Blade Runner.

A set with three CDs of Blade Runner-related Vangelis music was released on December 10, 2007. Titled Blade Runner Trilogy, the first CD contains the same tracks as the 1994 official soundtrack release, the second CD contains previously unreleased music from the movie, and the third CD is all newly composed music from Vangelis, inspired by, and in the spirit of the movie.


The 5-Disc limited edition DVD set, packaged in a reproduction Voight-Kampff test case.

The contents of the 5-Disc limited edition DVD set.

Main article: Versions of Blade Runner

Seven different versions of Blade Runner have been shown:

Original workprint version (1982, 113 minutes) shown to audience test previews in Denver and Dallas in March 1982. It was also seen in 1990 and 1991 in Los Angeles and San Francisco as a Director’s Cut without Scott’s approval. Negative responses to the test previews led to the modifications resulting in the U.S. theatrical version, while positive response to the showings in 1990 and 1991 pushed the studio to approve work on an official director’s cut. It was re-released with 5-disc Ultimate Edition in 2007.

A San Diego Sneak Preview shown only once in May 1982, which was almost identical to the Domestic Cut with three extra scenes.

The U.S. theatrical version (1982, 116 minutes), known as the original version or Domestic Cut, released on Betamax and VHS in 1983 and laserdisc in 1987.

The International Cut (1982, 117 minutes) also known as the “Criterion Edition” or uncut version, included more violent action scenes than the U.S. theatrical version. Although initially unavailable in the U.S. and distributed in Europe and Asia via theatrical and local Warner Home Video laserdisc releases, it was later released on VHS and Criterion Collection laserdisc in North America, and re-released in 1992 as a “10th Anniversary Edition”.

The U.S. broadcast version (1986, 114 minutes), the U.S. theatrical version edited for violence, profanity and nudity by CBS to meet broadcast restrictions.

The Ridley Scott-approved (1992, 116 minutes) Director’s Cut; prompted by the unauthorized 1990  One workprint theatrical release and made available on VHS and laserdisc in 1993, and on DVD in 1997. Significant changes from the theatrical version include removal of Deckard’s voice-over, re-insertion of a unicorn sequence and removal of the studio-imposed happy ending. Ridley did provide extensive notes and consultation to Warner Brothers through film preservationist Michael Arick who was put in charge of creating the Director’s Cut.

Ridley Scott’s Final Cut (2007, 117 minutes), or the “25th Anniversary Edition”, released by Warner Bros. theatrically on October 5, 2007, and subsequently released on DVD, HD DVD, and Blu-ray in December 2007 (U.K. December 3; U.S. December 18). This is the only version over which Ridley Scott had complete artistic control as the Director’s Cut was rushed and he was not directly in charge. In conjunction with the Final Cut, extensive documentary and other materials were produced for the home video releases culminating in a five-disc “Ultimate Collector’s Edition” release by Charles de Lauzirika.


On the Edge of Blade Runner (2000)

On the Edge of Blade Runner (55 minutes) was produced in 2000 by Nobles Gate Ltd. (for Channel 4), was directed by Andrew Abbott and hosted/written by Mark Kermode. Interviews with production staff, including Scott, give details of the creative process and the turmoil during preproduction. Stories from Paul M. Sammon and Hampton Fancher provide insight into Philip K. Dick and the origins of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?.

Interwoven are cast interviews (with the notable exceptions of Harrison Ford and Sean Young), which convey some of the difficulties of making the film (including an exacting director and humid, smoggy weather). There is also a tour of some locations, most notably the Bradbury Building and the Warner Bros. backlot that became the LA 2019 streets, which look very different from Scott’s dark vision.

The documentary then details the test screenings and the resulting changes (the voice over, the happy ending, and the deleted Holden hospital scene), the special effects, the soundtrack by Vangelis, and the unhappy relationship between the filmmakers and the investors which culminated in Deeley and Scott being fired but still working on the film. The question of whether or not Deckard is a replicant surfaces.

Future Shocks (2003)

Future Shocks (27 minutes) is a more recent documentary from 2003 by TVOntario (part of their Film 101 series using footage compiled over the years for Saturday Night at the Movies). It includes interviews with executive producer Bud Yorkin, Syd Mead, and the cast, this time with Sean Young, but still without Harrison Ford. There is extensive commentary by science fiction author Robert J. Sawyer and from film critics, as the documentary focuses on the themes, visual impact and influence of the film. Edward James Olmos describes Ford’s participation, and personal experiences during filming are related by Young, Walsh, Cassidy and Sanderson. They also relate a story about crew members creating T-shirts that took pot shots at Scott. The different versions of the film are critiqued and the accuracy of its predictions of the future are discussed.

Dangerous Days (2007)

Dangerous Days: Making Blade Runner is an approximately three and a half hour long documentary directed and produced by Charles de Lauzirika for the 2007 Final Cut version of the film. It appears with every edition of The Final Cut on DVD, HD DVD and Blu-ray. (It is a DVD format disc, even in the HD DVD and Blu-ray editions). It was culled from over 80 interviews, including Harrison Ford, Sean Young, Rutger Hauer, Edward James Olmos, Jerry Perenchio, Bud Yorkin and Ridley Scott, and also contains several alternate and deleted shots within the context of the documentary itself.

The documentary consists of eight chapters, each covering a portion of the film-makingr in the case of the final chapter, the film’s controversial legacy. The chapters and their length:

Incept Date  1980: Screenwriting and Dealmaking  30:36

Blush Response: Assembling the Cast  22:46

A Good Start: Designing the Future  26:34

Eye of the Storm: Production Begins  28:48

Living in Fear: Tension on the Set  29:23

Beyond the Window: Visual effects  28:49

In Need of Magic: Post-Production Problems  23:05

To Hades and Back: Release and Resurrection  24:12

All Our Variant Futures (2007)

All Our Variant Futures: From Workprint to Final Cut (29 minutes), produced by Paul Prischman, appears on Disc 5 of the Blade Runner Ultimate Collector’s Edition and provides an overview of the film’s multiple versions and their origins, as well as detailing the seven year-long restoration, enhancement and remastering process behind The Final Cut. Included are interviews with director Ridley Scott, restoration producer Charles de Lauzirika, restoration consultant Kurt P. Galvao, restoration VFX supervisor John Scheele and Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner author Paul M. Sammon. Behind-the-scenes footage documenting the restorationrom archival work done in 2001 through the 2007 filming of Joanna Cassidy and Benjamin Ford for The Final Cut’s digital fixesre seen throughout.

Additional featurettes (2007)

In addition to Dangerous Days: Making Blade Runner, a variety of other supplemental featurettes produced and directed by Charles de Lauzirika are included both the four- and five-disc collector’s editions of Blade Runner released by Warner Home Video in 2007:

The Electric Dreamer: Remembering Philip K. Dick  14:22

Sacrificial Sheep: The Novel Vs. The Film  15:07

Philip K. Dick: The Blade Runner Interviews  23:03

Signs of the Times: Graphic Design  13:40

Fashion Forward: Wardrobe and Styling  20:40

Screen Tests: Rachael and Pris  8:54

The Light That Burns: Remembering Jordan Cronenweth  19:58

Deleted & Alternate Scenes  45:47

Promoting Dystopia: Rendering the Poster Art  9:35

Deck-A-Rep: The True Nature of Rick Deckard  9:30

Nexus Generation: Fans and Filmmakers  21:49

1982 Promotional Featurettes  36:21


K.W. Jeter, a friend of Philip K. Dick, has written three official, authorised Blade Runner novels that continue Rick Deckard’s story, attempting to resolve many differences between Blade Runner and the source novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?.

Blade Runner 2: The Edge of Human (1995)

Blade Runner 3: Replicant Night (1996)

Blade Runner 4: Eye and Talon (2000)

Ridley Scott apparently toyed with the idea of a sequel film, which would have been titled Metropolis. However, the project was ultimately shelved due to rights issues. A script was also written for a proposed sequel entitled Blade Runner Down, which would have been based on K. W. Jeter’s first Blade Runner sequel novel. At the 2007 Comic-Con, Scott again announced that he is considering a sequel to the film. By September 2008, Eagle Eye co-writer Travis Wright was writing the screenplay. Wright worked with producer Bud Yorke for a few years on the project. His colleague John Glenn, who left the film by 2008, stated the script explores the nature of the off-world colonies as well as what happens to the Tyrell Corporation in the wake of its founder’s death.


In June 2009, The New York Times reported that Ridley Scott, together with his brother Tony Scott, was working on a prequel to Blade Runner. The prequel, entitled Purefold, will be a series of 510 minute shorts, aimed first at the Web and then perhaps television, and will be set at a point in time before 2019. Due to rights issues, the series will not be linked too closely to the characters or events of the 1982 film.

Other adaptations


Archie Goodwin scripted the comic book adaptation, A Marvel Comics Super Special: Blade Runner, published September 1982. The Jim Steranko cover leads into a 45-page adaptation illustrated by the team of Al Williamson, Carlos Garzon, Dan Green and Ralph Reese. This adaptation includes one possible explanation of the title’s significance in story context: the narrative line, “Blade runner. You’re always movin’ on the edge”.

In 2009, BOOM! Studios published a 24-issue miniseries comic book adaptation of the Blade Runner source novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Video games

Main articles: Blade Runner (1985 video game) and Blade Runner (1997 video game)

There are two video games based on the film, one for Commodore 64, Sinclair ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC (1985) by CRL Group PLC based on the music by Vangelis (due to licensing issues), and another action adventure PC game (1997) by Westwood Studios. The Westwood PC game featured new characters and branching storylines based on the Blade Runner world, coupled with voice work from some of the original cast from the film and some recurring locations from the film. The events portrayed in the 1997 game occur not after, but in parallel to those in the filmhe player assumes the role of another replicant-hunter working at the same time as Deckard, though of course they never meet, so as to remain consistent with the film.

The PC game featured a non-linear plot, non-player characters that each ran in their own independent AI, and an unusual pseudo-3D engine (which eschewed polygonal solids in favor of voxel elements) that did not require the use of a 3D accelerator card to play the game.

A prototype board game was also created in California (1982) that had game play similar to Scotland Yard.

Television series

Main article: Total Recall 2070

Though not an official sequel to Blade Runner, Total Recall 2070 was initially planned as a spin-off of the movie Total Recall but transformed into a hybrid of that movie and Blade Runner. There are many similarities between the television series and the Blade Runner universe. The series takes place in a dark, crowded, industrial, and cosmopolitan setting. David Hume is a senior detective for the Citizens Protection Bureau (CPB) who is partnered with Ian Farve, an Alpha Class android. The series focused on questions such as the nature of humanity and the rights of androids. The series was based on two works by Phillip K. Dick: “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” (the basis for the film Total Recall), and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (the basis for Blade Runner).


^ Sammon, Paul M. (1996). Future Noir: the Making of Blade Runner. London: Orion Media. xvi xviii. ISBN 0-06-105314-7. 

^ Sammon, p. 79.

^ Bukatman, Scott (1997). BFI Modern Classics: Blade Runner. London: BFI (British Film Institute). p. 21. ISBN 0-85170-623-1. 

^ Conard, Mark T. (2006), The Philosophy of Neo-Noir, University Press of Kentucky, ISBN 0-8131-2422-3,, retrieved 2008-01-29 

^ Bukatman, p. 41.

^ Greenwald, Ted (2007-09-26), “Read the Full Transcript of Wired’s Interview with Ridley Scott”, Wired Magazine Issue 15.10,, retrieved 2008-01-22 

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Bill Bailey

Bill Bailey (born Mark Bailey 13 January 1965, Bath, Somerset) is an English stand-up comedian, musician and actor. As well as his extensive stand-up work, Bailey is well known for his appearances on Have I Got News for You, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, QI and Black Books.

Bailey was listed by The Observer as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy in 2003, and in 2007 he was voted number seven on Channel 4′s hundred greatest stand-ups.


1 Personal life

2 Career

2.1 Early stand-up

2.2 Television

2.3 International tours

2.4 Other appearances

2.5 Music

2.6 Future

3 Selected works

3.1 Tours

3.2 DVDs

3.3 Books

3.4 TV/Film

4 References

5 External links


Personal life

Bailey spent the majority of his childhood in Keynsham, a town situated between Bath and Bristol in the West of England. His father was a general practitioner and his mother was a hospital ward sister. His maternal grandparents lived in an annexe, built on the side of the house by his maternal grandfather who was a stonemason and builder. Two rooms at the front of the family house were for his father’s surgery.

Bailey was educated at King Edward’s School, an independent school in Bath where he was initially an academic pupil winning most of the prizes. However, at about the age of 15 years, he started to become distracted from school work when he realised the thrill of performance as a member of a school band called Behind Closed Doors, which played mostly original work. He was the only pupil at his school to study A-level music and he passed with an A grade. He also claims to have been good at sport (captain of KES 2nd XI cricket team 1982), which often surprised his teachers. He would often combine the two by leading the singing on the long coach trip back from away rugby fixtures. It was here that he was given his nickname Bill by his music teacher, Ian Phipps, for being able to play the song “Won’t You Come Home Bill Bailey” so well on the guitar.

He started an English degree at Westfield College but left after a year.

He spent his early years listening to Monty Python records, and rehearsing with a band called the “Famous Five”, who he himself confesses were very bad but still much better than him and who, unexpectedly, had only four members. However, he is a classically trained musician and received an Associateship Diploma from the London College of Music as well as being made an honorary member of the Society of Crematorium Organists. Despite this, he has said that he always had the temptation to be silly with music, a trait that influences his stand-up shows.

Bailey often mythologises his early years in his stand-up. In his show Bewilderness, he claims to have attended Bovington Gurney School of Performing Arts and Owl Sanctuary. He talks about a succession of jobs he had before becoming a comedian, including lounge pianist, crematorium organist, door-to-door door-salesman and accompanist for a mind-reading dog. A clip of Bailey’s appearance in the dog’s routine was shown during his Room 101 appearance. He also is self-deprecating about his appearance, suggesting he is so hairy that he is part troll, or that his hair or beard is a small animal named Lionel whom he has trained to sit ‘very very still.’

Bailey also talks about his role as a “Disenfranchised Owl” in an experimental Welsh theatre troupe (mentioned in an interview with Australian newspaper Post). Other acting roles included a part in a Workers’ Revolutionary Party stage production called The Printers, which also featured Vanessa Redgrave and Frances de la Tour. His trivia page on IMDb also claims that he was awarded Best Actor in the 1986 Institut Franais awards.

An avid Star Trek fan, he named his son (born 2003) after the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine character Dax and often refers to himself as a Klingon (once claiming during his “Part Troll” tour that his ear-mounted microphone made him resemble “a wizard in a call centre” and “a Klingon motivational speaker”).

He currently lives in Hammersmith in London and supports Queens Park Rangers.


Early stand-up

Bailey began touring the country with other comedians such as Mark Lamarr. In 1986 he formed a double act, the Rubber Bishops, with Toby Longworth (a former fellow pupil at King Edward’s Bath) who was replaced in 1988 by Martin Stubbs. They achieved a certain amount of success on the club circuit, partly due to their rigorous schedule sometimes as many as three or four gigs a night. It was here that Bailey began developing his own unique style, mixing in musical parodies with deconstructions of or variations on traditional jokes (“How many amoebas does it take to change a lightbulb? One, no two! No four! No eight…”) – according to comedy folklore, after a reviewer once criticised his act for its lack of jokes, Bailey returned the following night, at Queen Margaret College, Edinburgh, to perform a set composed entirely of punchlines.

Stubbs later quit to pursue a more serious career, and in 1994 Bailey performed Rock at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with Sean Lock, a show about an aging rockstar and his roadie, script-edited by comedy writer Jim Miller. It was later serialised for the Mark Radcliffe show on BBC Radio 1. However, the show’s attendances were not impressive and on one occasion the only person in the audience was comedian Dominic Holland. Bailey confessed in an interview with The Independent that he almost gave it up to do a telesales job.

He persevered, however, and went solo the next year with the one man show Bill Bailey’s Cosmic Jam. The show was very well received and led to a recording at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London which was broadcast in 1996 on Channel 4 as a one-hour special called Bill Bailey Live. It was not until 2005 that this was released in DVD uncut and under its original title. It marked the first time that Bailey had been able to tie together his music and post-modern gags with the whimsical rambling style he is now known for.

After supporting Donna McPhail in 1995 and winning a Time Out award, he returned to Edinburgh in 1996 with a critically acclaimed show that was nominated for the Perrier Comedy Award. Amongst the other nominees was future Black Books co-star Dylan Moran, who narrowly beat him in the closest vote in the award’s history.

Bailey won the Best Live Stand-Up award at the British Comedy Awards, 1999.


Though he didn’t win the Perrier in 1996, the nomination was enough to get him noticed, and in 1998 the BBC gave him his own television show, Is It Bill Bailey?

This was not Bailey’s first foray into television. His debut was on the children’s TV show Motormouth in the late 1980s, playing piano for a mind-reading dog.The trick went hilariously wrong, and Bailey reminisced about the experience on the BBC show Room 101 with Paul Merton in 2000. In 1991, he was appearing in stand-up shows such as The Happening, Packing Them In, The Stand Up Show, and The Comedy Store. He also appeared as captain on two panel games, an ITV music quiz pilot called Pop Dogs, and the poorly received Channel 4 sci-fi quiz show, Space Cadets. However Is it Bill Bailey? was the first time he had written and presented his own show.

With his star on the rise and gaining public recognition, over the next few years, Bailey made well received guest appearances on shows such as Have I Got News For You, World Cup Comedy, Room 101, Des O’Connor Tonight, Coast to Coast and three episodes of off-beat Channel 4 sitcom Spaced, in which he played comic-shop manager Bilbo Bagshot.

In 1998, Dylan Moran approached him with the pilot script for Black Books, a Channel 4 sitcom about a grumpy bookshop owner, his put-upon assistant, and their neurotic female friend. It was commissioned in 2000, and Bailey took the part of the assistant Manny Bianco, with Moran playing the owner Bernard, and Tamsin Greig the friend, Fran. Three series of six episodes were made, building up a large cult fanbase, providing the public awareness on which Bailey would build a successful national tour in 2001.

When Sean Hughes left his long-term role as a team captain on Never Mind the Buzzcocks in 2002, Bailey became his successor. His style quickly blended into the show, possibly helped by his background in music. He soon developed a rapport of sorts with host Mark Lamarr, who continually teased him about his looks and his pre-occupation with woodland animals. It was announced on the 18th of September 2008 that Bill would be leaving the series and be replaced by a series of guest captains including Jack Dee and Dermot O’Leary. Whilst touring in 2009, Bailey joked that his main reason for leaving the show was a lack of desire to continue humming Britney Spears’ Toxic to little known figures in the indie music scene.

Bailey has appeared frequently on the intellectual panel game QI since it began in 2003, appearing alongside host Stephen Fry and regular panellist Alan Davies. Other television appearances include a cameo role in Alan Davies’ drama series Jonathan Creek as failing street magician Kenny Starkiss and obsessed guitar teacher in the “Holiday” episode of Sean Lock’s Fifteen Storeys High. He later appeared with Lock again as a guest on his show TV Heaven, Telly Hell. He has also appeared twice on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross.

Bailey also presented Wild Thing I Love You which began on Channel 4 on 15 October 2006. The series focuses on the protection of Britain’s wild animals, and has included rehoming badgers, owls, and water voles.

Bailey has most recently appeared in the second series of the E4 teenage “dramedy” Skins playing Maxxie’s Dad, Walter Oliver. In episode 1, Walter struggles with his son’s desire to be a dancer, instead wishing him to become a builder, which is what he himself does for a living. Walter is married to Jackie, played by Fiona Allen.

Bailey appeared on the first episode of Grand Designs Live on 4 May 2008, helping Kevin McCloud build his eco-friendly home. In 2009 Bailey appeared in the BBC show “Hustle” as the Character “Cyclops”, a side-line character. In the Autumn of 2009 Bailey will be presenting, Bill Bailey’s Big Bird Watch.

International tours

Bailey in concert, 2007 Photo: Brian Marks

In 2001, Bailey began touring the globe with Bewilderness, which became a huge success. A recording of a performance in Swansea was released on DVD the same year, and the show was broadcast on Channel 4 that Christmas. A modified version of it also proved successful in America, and in 2002 Bill released a CD of a recording at the WestBeth Theatre in New York. The show contained all his trademarks, popular music parodies (such as Unisex Chip Shop, a Billy Bragg tribute which he actually performed with Billy Bragg at the 2005 Glastonbury Festival), “three men in a pub” jokes (including one in the style of Geoffrey Chaucer) and deconstructions of television themes such as Countdown and The Magic Roundabout. A ‘Bewilderness’ CD was sold outside gigs, which was actually just a mixture of studio recordings of songs and monologues Bill had performed in the past – it was later released in shops as Bill Bailey: The Ultimate Collection… Ever!. That same year he also presented a Channel 4 countdown, Top Ten Prog Rock.

Bailey premiered his show Part Troll at the 2003 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. A critical and commercial success, he then transferred it to the West End where tickets sold out in under 24 hours, and new dates had to be added. Since then he has toured it all over the UK as well as in America, Australia and New Zealand. The show marked the first time Bailey had really tackled political material, as he expanded on subjects such as the war on Iraq, which he had only touched upon before in his Bewilderness New York show. He also talks extensively on drugs, at one point asking the audience to name different ways of baking cannabis. A DVD was released in 2004.

2005 finally saw the release of his 1995 show Bill Bailey’s Cosmic Jam. The 2-disc set also contained a director’s cut of Bewilderness, which featured a routine on Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time not seen in the original version.

Bailey performed at show at the 2006 Edinburgh Festival Fringe entitled “Steampunk”. It looked set to become the fastest selling fringe show ever (The previous record holder also being Bailey in The Odd Couple in 2005.) But a ticketing mix-up forced the last 10% of tickets to be Purchased in person from the venue rather than pre-booked, meaning the venue filled at a slower overall rate than it should have.

Bailey appeared at the Beautiful Days festival in August 2007. The UK leg of the Tinselworm tour enjoyed 3 sell-out nights at the MEN Arena in Manchester, Europe’s largest indoor arena, and culminated with a sell-out performance at Wembley Arena.

Early in 2007, a petition was started to express fans’ wishes to see him cast as a dwarf in the 2010 film The Hobbit, after his stand-up routine mentioned auditioning for Gimli in The Lord of the Rings. The petition reached its goal in the early days of January, and was sent to the producers. It was hoped that as the Tinselworm tour took him to Wellington in New Zealand where the film is in pre-production, that he would be able to audition..

Other appearances

In 2000 he had a small role in British comedy film Saving Grace, and also voiced the sperm whale in 2005′s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy movie.

In 2002, Bailey provided the voice for a BMW Mini advertising campaign, as well as writing and performing a series of British Airways adverts in which, through the use of music, he took a humorous look at several locations around the world.

Bailey has also performed dramatic roles in two Edinburgh Festival Fringe shows, both directed by Guy Masterson. He played Juror #4 in a 2003 version of Twelve Angry Men featuring comedians in the roles of the jurors and also co-starred as Oscar in a 2005 production of The Odd Couple alongside Alan Davies.

Radio appearances include two episodes each of Chain Reaction, The 99p Challenge, I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, and three episodes of Just a Minute, as well as presenting Good Vibrations: The History of the Theremin, co-hosting the first series of The Museum Of Curiosity and appearing on Loose Ends.

In 2005, he appeared in Birmingham, as an act for “Jasper Carrott’s Rock with Laughter”. He appeared alongside performers such as Bonnie Tyler, Jasper Carrott, Lenny Henry, Bobby Davro and the Lord of the Dance troupe.

Bill Bailey was due to appear in Shaun of the Dead, but in the commentary included with the DVD Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright said that he was not in the film because he was busy with other commitments at the time. He did however have two minor roles as the desk sergeant twins in Pegg and Wright’s 2007 film Hot Fuzz.

Bill Bailey hosting So You Think You’re Funny.

In February 2007 Bailey organised, produced and starred in a West End show called Pinter’s People, a collection of sketches by playwright Harold Pinter. The show also starred Kevin Eldon, Sally Phillips and Geraldine McNulty.

In March 2007, Bill Bailey appeared at the International Human Beatbox Convention at the South Bank Centre in London, introducing Shlomo to the stage for the climax of the concert, as well as showing off his own beatboxing.

On 4 May 2007, he appeared as the guest presenter of BBC One’s Have I Got News for You and again on the 9 May 2008.

In July 2007, Bill Bailey narrated a series of animated reading books for dyslexic children called ‘Nessy Tales’.

On 9 June 2008 Bailey was the guest on Radio 4′s Desert Island Discs and, later the same day, appeared in the first episode of an adaptation of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists on the same station.

Also in June Bill made a guest appearance on the Australian show ‘Rove Live’ and whilst in a questionnaire to win in 20 seconds, answered the question; “Who would you turn gay for?” by replying; “The pope”

In September, he was one of the hosts of the So You Think You’re Funny comedy gala at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

On 12 November 2008, Bill was one of the performers of “We Are Most Amused”, a special comedy performance to celebrate the 60th birthday of Prince Charles.


Bailey is a talented pianist and guitarist and has perfect pitch. His stand-up routines often feature music from genres such as jazz, rock (most notably prog rock from the early seventies), drum’n'bass, rave and classical, usually for comic value. Favourite instruments include the keyboard, guitar, theremin, kazoo and bongos. He also mentioned in an interview that he has achieved Grade 6 Clarinet. He was also part of punk band Beergut 100, which he founded in 1995 with comedy writer Jim Miller and also featured Martin Trenaman and Phil Whelans, with Kevin Eldon as lead singer. The band performed at the 2006 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Trenaman and Welans had previously appeared in Cosmic Jam under the name “The Stan Ellis Experiment”, and Trenaman and Eldon later featured with John Moloney in the Kraftwerk homage “Das Hokey Kokey” on the Part Troll tour. Bill claims that he and the three other performers are a Kraftwerk tribute band called Augenblick. To mark the final gig of the Part Troll tour on 1 January 2005 the band reappeared on stage after the “Das Hokey Kokey” joke to play an hour-long encore of music.

In February 2007, Bill appeared on two occasions with the BBC Concert Orchestra and Anne Dudley in a show entitled Cosmic Shindig. Performed in The Colosseum in Watford on 24 February and in the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 26 February, the show contained orchestrally accompanied versions of many of Bill’s previously performed songs, an exploration of the instruments of the orchestra and a number of new pieces of music. The Queen Elizabeth Hall performance was aired on BBC Radio 3 on 16 March 2007 as a part of Comic Relief 2007.

Bill had planned to put himself forward as Britain’s Eurovision entry in 2008, as a result of several fan petitions encouraging him to do so.

In October 2008 he performed Bill Bailey’s Remarkable Guide to the Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall with the BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted by Anne Dudley.

In November 2009 he was a guest on Private Passions, the biographical music discussion programme on BBC Radio 3.


As of September 2008, Bailey is working on a film project about the explorer and naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, in the form of an Indonesian travelogue. Bailey said in an interview that Wallace had been “airbrushed out of history”, and that he feels a “real affinity” with him.

Selected works


Cosmic Jam (1995)

Bewilderness (2001)

Part Troll (2004)

Steampunk (2006)

Tinselworm (2008)

Bill Bailey Remarkable Guide to the Orchestra (2009)


Bewilderness (12 November, 2001)

Part Troll (22 November, 2004)

Cosmic Jam (7 November, 2005)

Bill Bailey – The Classic Collection (27 November, 2006) (Boxset featuring Bewilderness, Part Troll and Cosmic Jam)

Tinselworm (10 November, 2008)

Bill Bailey – The Collector’s Edition (10 November, 2008) (Boxset featuring Bewilderness, Part Troll, Cosmic Jam and Tinselworm)

Bill Bailey’s Remarkable Guide to the Orchestra (23 November, 2009)

Bill Bailey – The Inevitable Boxset (23 November, 2009) (Boxset featuring Bewilderness, Part Troll, Cosmic Jam, Tinselworm and Bill Bailey’s Remarkable Guide to the Orchestra)


The Many Moods of Bill Bailey (A song book which collects 9 of Bill’s most popular songs from the period of 1995-2005. Including instructions from Bill himself (which ventures into how they were created) and pictures) (2007)


Blue Heaven (Channel 4 TV series) (1994)

Asylum (1996)

Space Cadets (1997) (Regular Team Captain)

Is It Bill Bailey? (1998)

Spaced (19992001)

Have I Got News for You (Guest – 1999, 2001, 2005. Guest Presenter – 2007, 2008, 2009)

Saving Grace (2000)

Maid Marian and her Merry Men (1992). Cameo court jester to King John

Black Books (20002004)

Jonathan Creek

“Satan’s Chimney” (2001)

“The Tailor’s Dummy” (2003)

Wild West (20022004)

Never Mind the Buzzcocks (20022008) (Regular team captain)

QI (2003resent) (Frequent guest)

“15 Storeys High” – “The Holiday” (2004)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005) (Voice of the Sperm Whale)

The Libertine (Small cameo role as advisor to Charles II of England).

Wild Thing I Love You (2006) (Presenter)

Top Gear (A Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car)

Hot Fuzz (2007)

Run Fatboy Run (2007) (Cameo)

Skins (2008)

Love Soup (2008)

We Are Most Amused (2008) (One-off special)


“Return of the Prodigal” (2009)

“Diamond Seeker” (2009)

Bill Bailey’s Remarkable Guide to the Orchestra (2009)

Steve’s World (2009)

Burke and Hare (2010)

Bill Bailey’s Bird Watching Bonanza (2010)


^ a b “Bill Bailey”. screenonline. 

^ a b “@BillBailey”. Twitter. ”@BillBailey”. Twitter. ”@BillBailey”. Twitter. 

^ “Channel 4′s 100 Greatest Stand Ups”. [dead link]

^ a b c “Desert Island Discs featuring Bill Bailey”. Desert Island Discs. BBC. Radio 4. 2008-06-08.

^ “Comedy Map of Britain”. News Events & Diary. King Edward’s School, Bath. 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-02. 

^ “People are obsessed by how I look”, The Independent, 21 November 2008.

^ “Episode 1 – West London to the West Country”. The Comedy Map of Britain. BBC 2. 2007-01-27.

^ “Bill Bailey – About Bill”. 



^ Bill Baileys Big Bird Watch

^ “All That Glitters”. Wired, Croydon’s listings magazine. Retrieved 2007-12-31. 

^ Gilded Balloon – So You Think You’re Funny

^ Simon Neville (2006). “Looking back at a week of Fringe madness”. Retrieved 2007-01-02. 

^ Natbat (2006). “Kevin Eldon Interview”. Retrieved 2007-01-02. 

^ “The essential guide to Edinburgh”. Special report Edinburgh 2006. Guardian Unlimited. 2006.,,1826826,00.html. Retrieved 2007-01-02. 

^ Eurovision (Latest News)

^ “Bill Bailey’s Remarkable Guide to the Orchestra”. Retrieved 2008-10-20. 

^ BBC Radio 3

^ “How Bill got his groove”. Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2008-09-15. 

^ “Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy”, IMDB

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Bill Bailey

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Bill Bailey

Bill Bailey — official website.

Bill Bailey at the Internet Movie Database.

Bill Bailey discography at Discogs.

Bill Bailey at the British Film Institute’s Screenonline.

Bill Bailey on Chortle.

v  d  e

Black Books


Bernard Black Manny Bianco Fran Katzenjammer


Dylan Moran Bill Bailey Tamsin Greig


List of Black Books episodes



Bailey, Bill


Bailey, Mark


English stand-up comedian, actor and musician


24 February 1964


Bath, Somerset, England



Categories: 1964 births | English comedians | Alumni of the Royal Academy of Music | Alumni of Westfield College | English comedy musicians | English guitarists | English buskers | English stand-up comedians | Living people | People from Bath | People from Keynsham | Never Mind the BuzzcocksHidden categories: All articles with dead external links | Articles with dead external links from January 2010 | Articles needing additional references from December 2009 | All articles needing additional references