Saturday, March 27, 2010

SENIOR UCONN PLAYERS


TINA CHARLES
Tina Charles was born December 5, 1988, in Jamaica, New York. Tina played basketball at Christ the King High School in Middle Village, NY. After averaging 26.5 points, 14.8 rebounds and 5.2 blocked shots per game her senior year, she was named WBCA National Player of the Year, “Miss Basketball” for New York state, and was selected as a McDonald’s All-American and New York City Player of the Year by Newsday, the Daily News and the New York Post. She was the leading scorer on the team that won 57 consecutive games, leading to a USA Today #1 ranking in the country after an undefeated season in 2006 and became the WBCA All-American. She participated in the 2006 WBCA High School All-America Game, where she scored fifteen points and had twelve rebounds. During high school, Charles played on the AAU club basketball team, the New York Gazelles.

In 2009, Charles led the UConn Huskies to a national title as a junior. She was named Final Four MOP and one of the 10 players on the State Farm All-America team during Final Four weekend. Tina made a comment to ESPN, during a post-championship interview, in regards to the tradition of sports champions who visit the White House after their title game victories. She said she told Barack Obama, "...we'll be here soon, baby!"

Tina was invited to the USA Basketball Womens National Team training camp in the fall of 2009, one of only three college players invited. The team selected to play for the 2010 FIBA World Championship. The 2012 Olympics team will be chosen from these participants. At the conclusion of the training camp, thirteen of the nineteen invitees will be selected to travel to Ekaterinburg, Russia, where they compete in the 2009 UMMC Ekaterinburg International Invitational. On October 5th, 2009, Charles was selected to be one of the team members to travel to the 2009 Ekaterinburg International Invitational. She was the only college player on the team. She contributed to the USA Basketball win at the Ekaterinburg Tournament and had double-digit scoring in all three games, with the second game, against Euro-leasing Sopron, her best result, scoring 15 points in only 13 minutes of play. She was named the USA Basketball 2009 Female Athlete Of The Year, for her contributions to the Gold Medal earned at the 2009 USA Women's World University Games, the Gold Medal earned at the 2009 Ekaterinburg International Invitational, and the undefeated season leading to a National Championship.

On 13 February 2010, before the game vs. St. John's, Tina became the 12th UConn Women's basketball player to be recognized in the Huskies of Honor and was the 2nd player to be honored while still a player. The first was Renee Montgomery the year before. On 1 March, 2010, she broke two UConn records on the same night. Her fifth rebound made her the all-time leading rebounder at UConn, surpassing Rebecca Lobo's fifteen year-old record of 1268. Charles became the leading scorer in UConn history. She started the night in third place in career scoring, behind Kerry Bascom and Nykesha Sales. Sales had scored 2,178 points and Bascom 2,177 in their careers. During the game she surpassed both to become the leading scorer in UConn history. Charles was one of twenty players named to the national team pool. Twelve of this group will be chosen to represent the USA in the 2010 World Championships and the 2012 Olympics. Tina Charles was named the Big East Conference Player of the Year for 2010. She is majoring in psychology with a minor in criminal justice. She anticipates working in corrections at the close of her basketball career. Currently, she is an intern at Bergin Correctional Institute, working six hours a week helping prisoners adjust back to life in society.

JACQUIE FERNANDES
Jacquie Fernandes story is one of unexpected opportunity and perpetual gratitude, of knowing her place in UConn and understanding how to utilize it. "I didn't set my expectations too high," said Fernandes, one of five UConn seniors. "I just was grateful to be in the situation I was in, and I promised myself that I would take each experience for what it was; not to expect too much from anything. I didn't want to disappoint myself."

Fernandes averaged 18.7 points and 3.5 steals as a senior at Stonington High and helped the team to a 24-2 record and the 2006 Class M title. She was named All-State, but no Division I school recruited her. But someone very significant noticed her. "I remember going to a couple of her games and thinking to myself that she's a tough kid, a smart player," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "And I don't know what made me ask, but I asked where she was playing in college and I was told no one was recruiting her in Division I." Geno's hopes were maybe she'd want to come to UConn. And when he talked to her and her parents and told them what the deal was, they were thrilled. The deal was, she could try out for the team as a non-scholarship player.

"Coach Auriemma knocked on my door, totally out of the blue," Fernandes said. "I tried to block all of the rumors out of my mind and the next thing I knew I was at UConn watching a practice. Coach told me he wanted me on his team and I'm thinking, I've got to slow down here. It was an easy decision to make. Who wouldn't want to play basketball at UConn?" She earned a scholarship as a freshman and Auriemma has personally renewed it each year.

"I've always wanted to get as much playing time as I can get, but I know and the coaches know that's not going to happen," Fernandes said. "But in return, I get to play basketball for two or three hours every day with the best players in the country, so I know my game was going to improve."

MEGHAN GARDLER
Meghan Gardler is a senior and a Forward for the UConn Huskies. She comes from a basketball family and has played basketball her whole life. Her father is a basketball coach and was UConn Coach Auriemma’s high school coach. Her dad, brother and sister-in-law all played Division I basketball at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Meghan said her most memorable moment was while at UConn she has gone the White House, met President Obama and even got to play basketball with him. Every year the men and women championship teams get to go to the White House and meet the President. Meghan also said, “Of course, winning the National Championship is a great memorable experience too.” When Meghan came to UConn for her visit she met the team and loved it. She said she fell in love with everything about UConn, what it had to offer, the history, and the team. Meghan didn’t really know what to expect when she arrived at UConn but feels her transition was smooth. She said she had a lot of support from upperclassmen and the coaches. They were really understanding that she was a freshman, and didn't really know where she was going or what she was doing at first. Final Four Bound: When asked what it will take to reach the Final Four again this year Meghan’s response was, “A lot, a lot, a lot of hard work. We’ve lost our true captain and point guard Rene Montgomery to graduation so we’re all going to have to fill in for her.”

KALANA GREENE
Kalana Greene reported for duty, year No. 5 at UConn, and she realized her role had changed. There was no Renee Montgomery to holler the Huskies through practice, no one, really, to follow this time around. She knew she had to be more of a leader. Kalana said, "It was needed. I didn't bring it to practice every day last year, I admit that. I was complacent. This year, I knew I had to set the tone, I couldn't tell everyone else to bring it if I wasn't bringing it." So she stepped into that void left by Montgomery and the Huskies 33-0 record shows that a beat has yet to be skipped.

Kalana walked away from her last Big East tournament, her last game in Connecticut, with the Most Outstanding Player trophy. "She took more ownership of the team," Moore said. "All year long, she took it upon herself, she was going to do it if something needed to be done." To become more vocal, Greene had to stray from her comfort zone. Her junior season was cut short by a knee injury, giving her the chance for another year of eligibility. She did not commit to coming back for a fifth year until very late last season, but she has used the extra season to grow into the leadership role. Her teammates noticed the difference as she became more vocal, more of a leader which was just what they needed.

Coach Geno Auriemma said, "Kalana came into this season, and she knew she couldn't be satisfied to just go with the flow and take what came her way. So she decided she wanted more for herself because the team needed it, and that is her personality. That's why all the players love her, and why all the coaches and the staff love her. That's who she is."

Greene, with her ability to penetrate and hit acrobatic, fall-away shots, stands out. Auriemma jokes that opposing teams should just stay away from her. The season moves into its final stage for the Huskies, where senior leadership often becomes more important and Greene says she's ready to provide it. "I'm the fifth year senior, I'm the one who has been around the block," she said. "So to me, I don't think I have an option. Coming back for that fifth season, it has helped me become a better player, a better leader and a better person."

KAILI McLAREN
Kaili McLaren is in her senior year as a Forward for the UConn Huskies. She used to be a swimmer but became interested in basketball. Her brother got her interested in basketball. He used to shoot baskets after she had swim practice so she asked if she could join him, and she just fell in love with it. Kaili’s most memorable experience while at UConn was just before the start of her junior year, when the team took a road trip to Camp Jewell, in the northwest corner of Connecticut. The bond that developed after that trip was amazing. No one could break through their bond and it clearly showed with the way the season ended, winning 39 and losing 0 games, and winning the National Championship. At Camp Jewell, they had no technology, no I-pods, no cell phones, just each other. And that bond still shines true this season.
Her most memorable basketball experience before coming to UConn was winning the city title during her high school junior year. They were picked to come in third in the league but ended up winning the league and went on to win the city title.
Kaili made her decision to come to UConn after visiting the school. She came during the super show, the night before the official day college basketball season begins each school puts on a fun evening of scrimmages, 3 point contests, etc. She said, “I felt and saw the whole family atmosphere, and how everyone wanted you to be successful, and they all wanted you to do well.” Her transition from high school to college was difficult, but when you have the right people around you, it makes it a lot easier.
Final Four Bound: “It took discipline to get to the Final Four last year, and it’s having discipline and listening to what coach says that continues to make us winners."
COACH GENO AURIEMMA
Geno Auriemma was born March 23, 1954 in Montella, Italy. He is the head coach of the University of Connecticut Huskies womens basketball team, in which Auriemma has led the Huskies to six National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I national championships in 1995, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2009. He has captured six national Naismith College Coach of the Year awards. His family emigrated to Norristown, Pennsylvania when he was seven years old. He spent the rest of his childhood there. After graduating from West Chester University of Pennsylvania in 1977, Auriemma was hired as an assistant coach at Saint Joseph's University, where he worked in 1978 and 1979. He then took a two year absence from college basketball, serving as an assistant coach at his former high school, Bishop Kenrick. He then became an assistant coach with the University of Virginia Cavaliers in 1981. Auriemma became a United States citizen in 1994, he finally decided to become a citizen when his UConn team was slated to tour Italy that summer and he was concerned about potential problems.

Before Auriemma, the Huskies had posted just one winning season in their entire history. As was true at many schools at the time, Connecticut did not have a strong commitment to womens sports. Both players and coaches had to scrap for facilities and resources. Eventually, some students wishing to form a soccer team threatened to sue the university. The Trustees went on record supporting womens sports, and the administration decided to provide more support especially for sports with a potential for revenue, such as womens basketball. The decision to hire a new coach was part of this commitment to strengthen the womens sports at Connecticut. Geno was in the last of a series of interviews conducted by the search staff. Most of the other candidates were highly qualified female coaches. Ironically, one of those included in the interview process was Chris Dailey, who would become Auriemma's assistant, and is currently the Associate Head Coach at UConn. Dailey was identified as the one likely to receive an offer if Auriemma turned down the offer.

Connecticut quickly rose to prominence after Auriemma was hired in August 1985. They finished 12–15 in Auriemma's first season, his only losing season at Connecticut. Since then, Connecticut has finished above .500 for 23 consecutive seasons, including three undefeated seasons, 1994–95, 2001–02, and 2008–09, and an NCAA record streak of 72 consecutive wins. At the end of the 2008–2009 season, Auriemma's record as a head coach is 696-122, for an .851 winning percentage. That winning percentage is the highest among Division I active coaches. His career in Storrs includes an amazing 14 seasons with 30 or more wins. UConn has won 6 National Championships under Auriemma: 1995, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2009. They have made the Final Four 10 times: 1991, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, and 2009. Auriemma has guided UConn to 15 Big East regular season titles and 14 Big East Tournament titles.

The team has been especially successful on its home court. They tied an NCAA womens basketball record with 69 consecutive home wins between 2000 and 2003. Between Auriemma's arrival and the close of the 2005 season, they have won 295 games versus just 31 losses. At Gampel, the team has set Big East Conference records for both single game and season long attendance. Geno is known for his success in cultivating individual players, and the nine multiple All-America players; Rebecca Lobo, Jennifer Rizzotti, Kara Wolters, Nykesha Sales, Svetlana Abrosimova, Sue Bird, Swin Cash, Diana Taurasi, and Maya Moore, whom Auriemma has coached, have combined to win five Naismith College Player of the Year awards, five Wade Trophies, and three NCAA Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player awards. Every recruited freshman who has finished her eligibility has graduated with a degree.

The rivalry between the Huskies and the University of Tennessee Lady Vols has extended to Auriemma's relationship with Volunteers counterpart Pat Summitt. The two, through print and broadcast media, are often at odds. At the end of the 2008–2009 season, Auriemma had slightly surpassed Summitt among active Division I coaches for career winning percentage, with Auriemma at .851 and Summitt at .839. Summitt has two more National Championships than Auriemma however. Rumors of tension between Auriemma and men's basketball coach Jim Calhoun were widely circulated, but the two apparently reconciled after the teams won national championships, on consecutive nights, in 2004. Pat Summitt declined to continue the yearly game in June, 2007, to the disappointment of WCBB fans, but the prospect of NCAA match-ups between UConn and Tennessee will keep the rivalry alive.

Geno Auriemma has posted some impressive numbers during his tenure at UConn. Since achieving its 1st #1 ranking in the 1994–1995 season, UConn is 186-10 when playing as the nation's #1 team. He also boasts a record of 127-52 against top 25 opponents and a 57-35 record against top 10 opponents. He won his 600th game on New Year's Eve 2006, accomplishing the feat in a mere 716 games, tying him with Phillip Kahler for the fastest womens basketball coach to reach that milestone. Geno won is 700th game on Black Friday November 27, 2009 in just 822 total games becoming the fastest head coach to that milestone in the history of college basketball at any level men or women. He is now one of 8 active womens college basketball coaches to currently have 700 or more wins. Geno was a member of the inaugural class of 2006 of inductees to the University of Connecticut womens basketball "Huskies of Honor" recognition program.

In 2006, Auriemma was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, and the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tennessee
During the college basketball off-season, Auriemma serves as an analyst for games of the Womens National Basketball Association broadcast on the American cable television networks ESPN and ESPN2, in which capacity he often critiques his former players. In November 2007, Geno was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, in a class that included Dick Vermeil, Mike Scioscia, Fred Couples, and others. Auriemma is close friends with Saint Joseph's University basketball head coach Phil Martelli and his son, Mike Auriemma, attends and plays basketball at Saint Joseph's. He was named the 2009 USBWA National Coach of the Year by the United States Basketball Writers Association. Auriemma served as an assistant coach to the gold medalist 2000 U.S. Olympic Team. On April 15, 2009 he was selected to lead USA Basketball Women's National Team in the 2010 FIBA World Championship in the Czech Republic and if the USA qualifies, he will coach the team in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund. Auriemma was named one of the 2010 co-winners of the Big East Conference Coach of the Year, an honor he shared with Mike Carey of the University of West Virginia.

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason

Connecticut (Big East) (1985–Present)
1985–1986 Connecticut 12–15 4–12 7
1986–1987 Connecticut 14-13 9-7 4
1987–1988 Connecticut 17-11 9-7 5
1988–1989 Connecticut 24-6 13-2 1 NCAA 1st round
1989–1990 Connecticut 25-6 14-2 1 NCAA 2nd round
1990–1991 Connecticut 29-5 14-2 1 NCAA Final Four
1991–1992 Connecticut 23-11 13-5 2 NCAA 2nd round
1992–1993 Connecticut 18-11 12-6 1 NCAA 1st round
1993–1994 Connecticut 30-3 17-1 1 NCAA Elite 8
1994–1995 Connecticut 35-0 18-0 1 NCAA Champions
1995–1996 Connecticut 34-4 17-1 1 NCAA Final Four
1996–1997 Connecticut 33-1 18-0 1 NCAA Elite 8
1997–1998 Connecticut 34-3 17-1 1 NCAA Elite 8
1998–1999 Connecticut 29-5 17-1 1 NCAA Sweet 16
1999–2000 Connecticut 36-1 16-0 1 NCAA Champions
2000–2001 Connecticut 32-3 15-1 1 NCAA Final Four
2001–2002 Connecticut 39-0 16-0 1 NCAA Champions
2002–2003 Connecticut 37-1 16-0 1 NCAA Champions
2003–2004 Connecticut 31-4 14-2 1 NCAA Champions
2004–2005 Connecticut 25-8 13-2 2 NCAA Sweet 16
2005–2006 Connecticut 32-5 14-2 2 NCAA Elite 8
2006–2007 Connecticut 32-4 16-0 1 NCAA Elite 8
2007–2008 Connecticut 36-2 17-1 1 NCAA Final Four
2008–2009 Connecticut 39-0 16-0 1 NCAA Champions
2009–2010 Connecticut 35-0 16-0 1 NCAA Tournament

Connecticut: 730-122 338-54

Total: 730-122






UCONN WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

The top-seed Huskies will be making their 17th straight NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearance Sunday, when they take on No. 4 Iowa State, in the Dayton Regional semi-final game. UConn(35-0), has reached this point each season since freshman Kelly Faris was 3 years old. The next longest current streak behind the Huskies seven belongs to Stanford with three. The only others to have been there the last two years are Iowa State, Baylor, and Oklahoma.

"We can’t get to our main goal if we don’t get to the Sweet 16 and we’re not taking anything for granted," UConn guard,Kalana Greene said. "We’re not going to Dayton looking at the Final Four because we have to take care of Iowa State in the Sweet 16 first and we take it one game at a time." And while this familiar territory for most of the Huskies, it’s a new proving ground for some.

"This is going to be the first Sweet 16 for UConn sophomore guard, Caroline Doty, who missed the 2009 post-season with a knee injury. Caroline remarked that it being 17 in a row is great. And she's just glad she's going to be out there for this one.The Huskies are coming off back-to-back games of Southern and Temple in the Norfolk, Va., sub-regionals. Tuesday night against the Owls, UConn jumped out to a 33-5 lead. "I hope we come out with the same energy and focus Sunday," said UConn forward Maya Moore.

Friday, March 19, 2010

NIRVANA : KURT COBAIN


Kurt was born on the February 20, 1967, in Hoquaim, a small town southwest of Seattle. His mother was a cocktail waitress and his father was an auto mechanic. Cobain soon moved to nearby Aberdeen, a depressed and dying logging town. For most of his childhood, Cobain was a sickly child with many bronchial/pneumonia attacks. Matters became worse, with his parent's divorced when he was seven. Kurt said he never felt loved or secure again after-wards. He became increasingly difficult, anti-social and withdrawn after his parent's divorce. Cobain said that his parent's traumatic split fueled a lot of the anguish in his music. After his parent's split, Kurt found himself shuttled back and forth between different relatives and homeless, living under a bridge.

When Cobain was eleven, he heard and was captivated by the Britain's Sex Pistols. After the Sex Pistol's self-destruction, Cobain and his friend, Krist Novoselic, continued to listen to the wave of British bands including Joy Division, the post-punk band that some say Nirvana are directly descended from in form of mood, melody and lyrical quality. Cobain's artistry and his attacking settled beliefs, didn't win many friends in high school and sometimes earned him beatings from jocks. Kurt got even by spray painting, "QUEER", on their pick-up trucks. By 1985, Aberdeen was dead and Cobain's next stop was Olympia. Cobain formed and reformed a series of bands before Nirvana came to be in 1986. Nirvana was an uneasy alliance between Cobain, bassist Krist Novoselic and eventually drummer and multi-instrumentalist Dave Grohl.

By 1988, Nirvana was doing shows and had demo tapes going around. In 1989, Nirvana recorded their rough-edged first album "Bleach" for local Seattle independent label, Sub-Pop. The recording cost all of $600.00. In Britain, Nirvana received much recognition and in 1991, their contract was bought out by Geffen. They signed to the mega-label, the first non-mainstream band to do so. Two and a half years after Nirvana's first cd "Bleach" was released, they released "Never-mind", a series of different, crunching, screaming songs, that along with it's first single "Smells Like Teen Spirit" would rocket Nirvana to absolute stardom.

"Smells Like Teen Spirit" became Nirvana's most highly acclaimed and instantly recognizable song. Not many people can decipher it's exact lyrics but Cobain used a seductive hook-line to mesmerize the listeners. "Never-mind" went on to sell ten million copies and made a reported $550 million, making Nirvana over-night millionaires. Cobain was shocked at the reception of his highly personal and passionate music. He repeatedly told reporters that none of the band ever, ever expected anything like this. It became obvious to many that the obsessively, sickly and sensitive 24 yr. old was not going to cope well with the rock lifestyle. "If there is a rock star 101 course, I really would like to take it," Cobain once said. Cobain got hooked on heroin in the early 90's. He said he used it as an escape shield against the rigorous demands of touring and to stop the pain of stomach ulcers and irritated bowel. Cobain continued to write his personal thoughts and focused lyrics during the tours, despite the pressures and pain.

Cobain was distressed to find out that what he wrote and how it was interpreted could quite often be miles apart. He was appalled when he found out that "Polly", a heavily ironic, anti-rape song, had been used as background music in a real gang-rape. He later appealed to fans on the "Incesticide" cd liner notes "If any of you don't like gays, women or blacks...please, leave us the fuck alone and out of it." It was to no avail. Cobain found that he had very little control being an overnight millionaire. He worried that his band had sold-out, that it was attracting the wrong kind of fans, the type he despised, the ones who used to beat him up.

In February 1992, Cobain headed off to Hawaii, to marry the already pregnant, Courtney Love. Later in the year, Nirvana released "Incesticide". In August, Kurt received hospital treatment for heroin abuse. Shortly after, his baby girl was born: Frances Bean Cobain. In early 1993, "In-Utero" was released, taking the top spot on the music charts. "In-Utero" was widely acclaimed by the music press and it contains some of Cobain's most passionate work. "In-Utero" was a lot more open than Nirvana's previous albums. Songs like "All Apologies" and "Heart Shaped Box" detailed aspects of Cobain's sometimes shaky marriage, other songs like "Scentless Apprentice" detailed the agonies and struggles of Cobain's experiences.
Nirvana embarked on a support tour and was recorded and filmed for "Unplugged", the acoustic performance for MTV, in November of 1993. Nirvana's choice to honor bands and people that had influenced them, along with Kurt's passionate, intense vocals especially on "Where Did You Sleep Last Night", silenced many of those who had labeled Cobain talentless. Rumors circulated that the MTV Unplugged compilation would be Nirvana's last album and the band was splitting up.

Cobain was a gun fanatic. He always had several in his possession. In the winter of 1993-94, Nirvana took on an extensive European tour. Twenty concerts into the tour, Cobain developed throat problems and their schedule was interrupted while he recovered. While recovering, Cobain flew to Rome to join his wife, who was also preparing to tour with her own band. On March 4th, he was rushed to the hospital in a coma, after an unsuccessful suicide attempt, in which he took about fifty prescription pain-killers with champagne. The suicide attempt was officially called an accident and was not even made known to close friends, associates, nor the fans. Several days later he returned to Seattle. Courtney, friends and Nirvana's managers convinced Kurt, who was still in deep depression and pain, to enter a detox program in L.A. Cobain fled after only a few days in the program, according to a missing person's report that was filed by his mother.

Cobain was cited in the Seattle area with a shotgun. Days later on April 5th, he barricaded himself into the granny flat behind his mansion, put a shotgun in his mouth and pulled the trigger. On Thursday April the 7th,just two days after a medical examiner says Cobain shot himself and the day before his body was found police say Courtney Love herself was taken to hospital in L.A. for a drug overdose. Released on bail, Love checked herself into a rehab center but left soon after a friend called her the next day with news of Cobain's death. Cobain's body was found when an electrician visiting the house to install a security system, went round the back of the house when no one answered the front door and peered through windows. He thought he saw a mannequin sprawled on the floor, until he noticed a splotch of blood by Cobain's ear. When police broke down the door they found Cobain dead on the floor, a shotgun still pointed at his chin and on a nearby counter a suicide note written in red ink addressed to his wife and daughter. Toxicology officials have stated that even though Kurt's tolerance level was extremely high, the amount of heroin injected into Cobain's body would have been enough to kill him immediately, so how could he hold a gun? Other people who were on the crime scene have pictures that show no blood on floor. The only blood was a small smear on Cobain's temple.

Two days after Kurt Cobain's body was found about 5,000 people gathered in Seattle for a candlelight vigil. The distraught crowd filled the air with profane chants calling Courtney out as a murderer, burnt their flannel shirts and fought with police. They listened to a tape made by Cobain's wife in which she read from his suicide note. Several distressed teenagers in the U.S. and Australia killed themselves. The mainstream media was blasted for it's lack of respect, interest and understanding of the youth culture. Kurt's death inspired a host of copycat suicides and conspiracy theories regarding his death. Many of these theories centered around accusations that Courtney Love, in a fit of insecurity or depression, had hired a hit on her husband. A documentary film was made on this theory, entitled "Kurt and Courtney". The theory has quite a large following among Cobain's fans, many of whom never approved of his marriage in the first place. Many fans and some of Kurt's own relatives and friends believe Courtney organized his death.

Kurt Cobain was cremated. One third of his ashes were scattered in a Buddhist temple in New York, another third were scattered in the Wishkah River in Washington State, and the rest are still with Courtney Love. Writer Charles Cross published a biography of Cobain titled "Heavier than Heaven" in 2001. The next year a collection of Cobain's journal excerpts was released. Years after his passing, the musician continues to intrigue and inspire fans, most notably with the release of a new track "You Know You're Right" in the fall of 2002, along with a greatest hits album, called "Nirvana". The release of both had been held up by legal wrangling between Love, who demanded nothing could be printed/recorded and the remaining Nirvana members who felt Kurt's words/music needed to be out for his fans and followers.





Thursday, March 18, 2010

PEARL JAM


Pearl Jam was one of the most influential Seattle grunge bands of the 1990's, but their formation did not come easily. Bassist, Jeff Ament and guitarist, Stone Gossard had been members of two short-lived '80s bands, Green River and Mother Love Bone. Seeking a fresh start, Ament and Gossard teamed up with guitarist Mike McCready to record some demos, which found their way to Eddie Vedder, a singer based in San Diego. Inspired, he recorded vocals to accompany the songs. Impressed, the group invited Vedder to join the band. Dave Krusen was the band’s first drummer, but the group would go through several in their career.

Released less than a month before "Nevermind", the break through album of fellow Seattle grunge band, Nirvana, 1991's "Ten" helped establish grunge as the era's predominant rock style. More soulful and emotional than the hair metal acts that had been popular, Pearl Jam emphasized moody, introspective music that highlighted guitar hooks influenced by hard rock and punk. Vedder’s impassioned wails and vulnerable murmurs made him the prototypical front man for a new generation. A huge seller, "Ten" represented a more accessible expression of disillusionment than the snarling "Nevermind", balancing rage with moments of hopefulness.

By the time Pearl Jam worked on its second album, the group had gone through two drummers. Krusen had left the band, and his replacement, Matt Chamberlain, had also exited. Now with Dave Abbruzzese on drums, the group recorded "Vs.". Released in 1993, "Vs." sold approximately 6 million copies in the U.S. as grunge dominated the charts. As with "Ten", "Vs." came out around the same time as a Nirvana album, "In Utero". Just as Nirvana was trying with "In Utero" to distance themselves from a massively successful record, Pearl Jam adopted a grittier tone on "Vs.", though that didn’t prevent the album from producing four singles.

1994’s "Vitalogy" was the first Pearl Jam album to come out after Kurt Cobain’s suicide in April of that year. So fair or not, many looked at the record as Pearl Jam's response to the tragedy. Rather than self-consciously addressing Cobain's death, "Vitalogy" demonstrated that Pearl Jam was focused on the future and was confidently balancing the darkness of "Vs." with the uplifting spirit of "Ten". "Vitalogy" set the stage for the next phase of the band’s career and it would be the last album with Abbruzzese on drums.

After serving as Neil Young’s backing band on his 1995 release, "Mirror Ball", Pearl Jam returned with their own record, "No Code", in 1996. Introducing the band’s new drummer, Jack Irons, formerly of Red Hot Chili Peppers, "No Code" signaled a more isolated sound for the group, concerned less with obvious singles than sustaining a cohesive album length mood. Perceived by some as a commercial flop because it only sold a million copies in the U.S., "No Code" is the group’s most under-rated gem, a daring attempt to merge mysticism, folk and Neil Young-style garage rock into the grunge framework.

A bit of a commercial comeback after "No Code" has such disappointing sales, 1998’s "Yield" streamlined some of the previous album’s experimentation while maintaining its commitment to layered, challenging songwriting. By this stage, Pearl Jam’s best songs were not necessarily easily digestible radio singles, as typified by the seething “Do the Evolution,” a diatribe against consumerism. Ironically, the band had one of its biggest smashes when it covered Wayne Cochran & the C.C. Riders’ “Last Kiss,” which landed at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1999, a higher charting than any original Pearl Jam song.

At the end of the '90s, Pearl Jam changed drummers again, with Irons leaving and former Soundgarden drummer, Matt Cameron, taking over. As the band moved into the 21st century, they watched as their fan base continued to shrink. The 2000’s "Binaural" and 2002’s "Riot Act", captured the group at a crossroads, moving from traditional grunge but uncertain about a new direction. Both albums had songs worth seeking out, but neither album possessed the inspired spirit of "No Code" or "Yield". But while their creative spark may have gone out, the band rewarded long time fans with a series of official bootleg live albums.

After leaving Sony, their home since "Ten", Pearl Jam signed with J Records, the label of record mogul Clive Davis. Hungry for a fresh start, the band’s 2006 album, simply titled "Pearl Jam", represented a critical resurgence, if not quite a repeat of the band’s sales of the early 1990's. Overtly political but focused on accessible radio singles, Pearl Jam was a welcome return to form and a sign that the band members still had plenty of life left in them.

Here's a little bit of history behind the band and a bit of biographical information.

Stone Carpenter Gossard, one of the band's guitarists and vocalists, was born on July 20,1966 in Seattle. He was an original member of the Seattle band Green River, and later moved on to Mother Love Bone, a precursor to Pearl Jam. After the death of MLB's lead singer Andrew Wood in 1990, Stone found himself in a tribute to the fallen vocalist. The project, known as the Temple of the Dog, was headed by Soundgarden's Chris Cornell, Wood's former room mate. Stone is currently a member of the band Brad. He runs his own production company, Loosegroove Records.

Jeffery Allen Ament was born in Big Sandy, Montana on Mar 10,1963. Like Stone, he was an original member of Green River and Mother Love Bone, as well as Temple of the Dog. Besides being the head bass player, Jeff is the band's official biographer. He designs a many of the band's album and single covers. On the side, Jeff is a member of the band Three Fish.

Michael David McCready, the band's lead guitarist, was born Apr 05,1965 in Pensacola, Florida. While being recruited by Jeff and Gossard to work on Temple of the Dog, the three ended up recording a set of songs with no words. They later became known as "Alive", "Footsteps" and "Once". Mike's past credits include the band Shadow, and his current side projects include a band called Mad Season, Disinformation and the Rockfords.

Eddie Vedder...there are so many stories about Eddie that it's hard to know where to begin. Born Edward Louis Eddie Severson III on Dec. 23,1964 in Evanston, Illinois, Eddie soon found himself having his name changed to Edward Mueller after his mother re-married, a guy Eddie refers to as "that lawyer fuck". Because of his extreme hatred of "the lawyer" and out of respect for his mother, he later had his named legally changed to Eddie Jerome Vedder. Vedder being his mother's maiden name. We now fast-forward to San Diego, during the late 1980's. Eddie is singing in a band called Bad Radio while working at a gas station pumping gas. Somehow, Eddie finds himself a demo tape containing three songs without words. After some intense surfing with the tunes stuck in his head, he decides to lay down some words to the music. He dubs his voice onto the tape and labels it "Mamasan". One of Eddie's good friends, Chili Pepper drummer Jack Irons, takes the tape to former Mother Love Bone members Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard. Eddie's favorite television show of all time is the original "Batman". Eddie thanks his Great Grandma Pearl's special recipe used to create some rather interesting jam...hallucinogenic recipe...for the name Pearl Jam. And Eddie is a strict vegetarian.

When Jack couldn't make the 1998 "Yield" tour, Pearl Jam found themselves in a bit of a pickle. In order to fill the void left by the manic-depressed Irons, Pearl Jam recruited former Soundgarden drummer, Matthew D. Cameron as a stand-in. Born on November 28,1962 in San Diego, Matt's first big break in the music industry came with the song "Puberty Love", a song featured in the terrible "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes". In 1986, Skin Yard, the band he was in, fizzled due to internal problems, and Cameron left to fill a position open in Soundgarden, as the band's former drummer, Scott Sundquist, decided to quit. Matt was a member of the Temple of the Dog band. He can be heard on the recent live effort, "Live On Two Legs". To date, the band has not officially named him their drummer, but he will appear on their upcoming albums and concert tours.







ABBA


ABBA was the most commercially successful pop group of the 1970's. The origins of the Swedish superstars dated back to 1966, when keyboardist and vocalist Benny Andersson, a one time member of the popular beat outfit the Hep Stars, first teamed with guitarist and vocalist Bjorn Ulvaeus, the leader of the folk-rock group, the Hootenanny Singers. The two performers began composing songs together and production work for Polar Music/Union Songs, a publishing company owned by Stig Anderson, who was a song writer during the 1950's and 1960's. Both Andersson and Ulvaeus worked on projects with their respective girlfriends. Ulvaeus had become involved with vocalist Agnetha Faltskog, a performer with a number one Swedish hit, "I Was So in Love," under her belt, while Andersson began seeing Anni-Frid Lyngstad, a one-time jazz singer who rose to fame by winning a national talent contest.

In 1971, Faltskog started doing theatrical work & played the role of Mary Magdalene in the production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's " Jesus Christ Superstar". Her cover of the musical's "Don't Know How to Love Him" became a big hit. The following year, the duo of Andersson and Ulvaeus, scored a massive international hit with "People Need Love," which featured Faltskog and Lyngstad on backing vocals. The record's success earned them an invitation to enter the Swedish leg of the 1973 Euro-vision song contest, under the very long name of Bjorn, Benny, Agnetha & Frida. They submitted "Ring Ring," which proved extremely popular with audiences but placed only third in the judges' ballots. The following year, they rechristened themselves as "ABBA". This was an acronym using the first letter of the their first names. The quartet submitted the single "Waterloo," and became the first Swedish act to win the Euro-vision competition. The record proved to be the first of many international hits, although the group hit a slump after their initial success. In 1975, ABBA produced "S.O.S.," a smash not only in America and Britain but also in non-English speaking countries such as Spain, Germany and the Benelux nations. A string of hits followed, including "Mamma Mia," "Fernando," and "Dancing Queen" (their sole U.S. chart-topper). They continued to hone their unique, lush, melodic sound. By the spring, they were getting ready to release their first Greatest Hits album.

ABBA's popularity grew in 1977, when both "Knowing Me, Knowing You" and "The Name of the Game" dominated airwaves. The group starred in the feature film "ABBA -- The Movie", which was released in 1978. That year Andersson and Lyngstad married, as had Ulvaeus and Faltskog in 1971, but Ulvaeus and Faltskog separated a few months later. In fact, romantic suffering was the subject of many songs on the quartet's next LP, 1979's Voulez-Vous. Shortly after the release of 1980s Super Trouper, Andersson and Lyngstad divorced as well, further putting a strain on the group. The Visitors, issued the following year, was the final LP of ABBA material, and the foursome officially disbanded after the December 1982 release of their single "Under Attack."

All of the group's members took up new projects. Both Lyngstad and Faltskog released solo albums. And Andersson and Ulvaeus collaborated with Tim Rice on the musical "Chess". None of these proved as successful as the group's earlier work, largely because throughout much of the world, especially Europe and Australia, the ABBA phenomenon never went away. Re-packaged hits, compilations and live collections continued hitting the charts long after the group's demise, and new artists regularly pointed to the quartet's inspiration. While the British dance duo Erasure released a covers collection, " ABBA-ESQUE", an Australian group called Bjorn Again found success as ABBA impersonators. Although all of the group's members soon embarked on new projects -- both Lyngstad and Faltskog issued solo LPs, while Andersson and Ulvaeus collaborated with Tim Rice on the musical Chess -- none proved as successful as the group's earlier work, largely because throughout much of the world, especially Europe and Australia, the ABBA phenomenon never went away. Repackaged hits compilations and live collections continued hitting the charts long after the group's demise, and new artists regularly pointed to the quartet's inspiration: while the British dance duo Erasure released a covers collection, ABBA-esque, an Australian group called Bjorn Again found success as ABBA impersonators. In 1993, "Dancing Queen" became a staple of U2's "Zoo TV" tour -- Andersson and Ulvaeus even joined the Irish superstars on-stage in Stockholm -- while the 1995 feature Muriel's Wedding, which won acclaim for its depiction of a lonely Australian girl who seeks refuge in ABBA's music, helped bring the group's work to the attention of a new generation of moviegoers and music fans.

Although all of the group's members soon embarked on new projects -- both Lyngstad and Faltskog issued solo LPs, while Andersson and Ulvaeus collaborated with Tim Rice on the musical Chess -- none proved as successful as the group's earlier work, largely because throughout much of the world, especially Europe and Australia, the ABBA phenomenon never went away. Repackaged hits compilations and live collections continued hitting the charts long after the group's demise, and new artists regularly pointed to the quartet's inspiration: while the British dance duo Erasure released a covers collection, ABBA-esque, an Australian group called Bjorn Again found success as ABBA impersonators. In 1993, "Dancing Queen" became a staple of U2's "Zoo TV" tour -- Andersson and Ulvaeus even joined the Irish superstars on-stage in Stockholm -- while the 1995 feature Muriel's Wedding, which won acclaim for its depiction of a lonely Australian girl who seeks refuge in ABBA's music.

ABBA disbanded in 1983, though Bjorn and Benny stayed together as a musical-theater song writing team. What was the cause of death for ABBA: two divorces and too much money. Over the years, they have been offered more money than God owns to do a reunion tour or even one-off. But their retirement has apparently not been as ill-affected as the rest of ours has and they have no desire to do a reunion tour. On March 16th, 2010, ABBA shared the limelight, in New York, with punk band the Stooges and reggae legend Jimmy Cliff, Genesis and The Hollies in joining the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The eclectic groups were the latest inductees to win the prestigious U.S. honor, after being voted in by more than 500 rock experts. Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad accepted the award on behalf of the group.





Monday, March 15, 2010

KE$HA



Kesha Rose Sebert was born in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, March 1, 1987. Her mother, Pebe Sebert, a former punk-rock singer and songwriter, whose career took off in Music City, in the late ’70s, when a song she co-wrote, called “Old Flames Can’t Hold A Candle To You,” became a hit for Joe Sun in 1978 and a country chart-topper for Dolly Parton in 1980.As a single mom, Pebe was going through a bad patch, struggling to support Kesha and her older brother through her music. They were on welfare and food stamps. Pebe told Kesha that if she wanted something, just take it. In 1991, Pebe moved with her kids to Nashville, Tennessee. Kesha attended a music school, she took songwriting classes, and fell in love with country music listening to Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, and Patsy Cline. She was enthralled listening to the beautiful songs and how they all told stories. Her mother would often bring Kesha and her brothers, Lagan and Louis, along to recording studios and let her daughter sing. Pebe taught Kesha how to write songs. Kesha started helping her mother at composing lyrics. “My mom always told me I have a good voice and to practice singing, so I’d sing all the time,” Kesha said.

“I’ve always known I wanted to be a performer,” she says. “There’s video of me at age five, naked and covered in body paint, saying, I’m going to be a rock star and there’s no way anyone is going to stop me! It’s my calling. If I don’t go for it, I’m going to feel like a tool when I’m 50.”

When Kesha turned 17, she quit high school, which was crazy because she was enrolled in an International Baccalaureate program and was going to go to Columbia University and study psychology, but she wanted to move back to L.A. and pursue her music. Those were hard times for Kesha. She was working as a waitress to make ends meet and tried to further her music time in studios. In the beginning, she lived with her father when she first moved back to L.A. but later moved in with a boyfriend. At times, she had to live in car while crashing with friends.

Kesha wanted Prince to produce her music, so she gave $5 to the gardener, to let her squeeze herself under the front gate. Then she hiked up the driveway, which was lined in purple velvet, let herself in through an unlocked side door, and rode the mirrored elevator up to the third floor where Prince was jamming with his band. "It was awkward,” Kesha recalls, “but who cares, right? So I sat on one of the purple thrones in the room until he noticed me. He was like, ‘How the hell did you get in here?’” she says with a laugh. “His security kicked me out, but not before I left him my demo CD wrapped in a giant purple bow.” Prince never called her.

She sang background for Paris Hilton’s single, " Nothing in This World ". Kesha co-wrote The Veronica's single, " This Love" with Toby Gad, sang background vocals for Britney Spear's song, "Lace and Leather" and appeared in the video for Katy Perry’s single, "I Kissed a Girl". Other's she has collaborated with are Kelly Clarkson, 3OH!3, Spank Rock, Pink, Britney Spears and Avril Lavigne.

At that time she was hanging out with Dr. Luke who had been looking for a female artist with an incredible, distinctive voice who had her own style. Dr. Luke knew Kesha didn’t sound like anybody else. He was producing a song for Flo Rida and wanted a female voice in his song, so Kesha was suggested for the part by Dr. Luke. The track, "Right Round" was downloaded more than 636,000 time its first week out. But she is not credited on the song and decided not to take part in the video.

Kesha signed with RCA Records through Dr. Luke and started working on her debut album. On March 27, 2009, she appeared onstage alongside 3OH!3 at a concert at Avalon Hollywood to perform their duet, " My First Kiss ". She made her official stage debut at the 2009, Lollapalooza. Her debut single, " Tik Tok ", had been released digitally in the US in early August, and was sent to radio two months later in October. By then, Kesha had co-written a title song for Miley Cyrus, made appearances on Pitbull and Taio Cruz’s albums, and appeared on the cover of Women’s Wear Daily.

When she first heard her voice on " Right Round " on the radio, she started screaming and crying. “I may seem kind of crazy, but behind it all I have my s**t together. I’m working really hard to make this happen and it’s nice to see that hard work pay off. I mean, three years ago I was stealing canned vegetables from the dollar store to survive. Now I’m on a No. 1 song, working on my album, and have a little change in my pocket and to be able to take my mom out to dinner is the best feeling in the world.”

It is definitely Kesha’s moment. Her party anthem " Tik Tok " sold more downloads in a single week than any female artist in history, hitting number one in five countries. Kesha opened for Calvin Harris in the UK and Mickey Avalon in the US. She performed at Madison Square Garden on December 11, 2009 for the Z100 Jingle Ball.
Her debut album, " Animal ", was released on January 5, 2010. The album sold 152,000 copies in its first week in the US, debuting at number one. " Animal " was seven years in the making, and Kesha had written over two hundred songs before she finally chose the 14 tracks for the album. Kesha’s lyrics are based on her life experiences and are influenced much by the storytelling style of country music and she has expressed interest in releasing a country music album in the future. Kesha wants her music to be fun, unapologetic, rowdy, quirky, humorous, and interesting, but with substance behind it. She's an emotional person underneath all her fronting. She wants people to listen to her music and feel like they can relate.






Saturday, March 13, 2010

FREDDY MERCURY


Freddie Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara on September 5, 1946 in Zanzibar. His father was a civil servant, working as a High Court cashier for the British Government. Freddie's sister, Kashmira, was born in 1952. In 1954, at the age of eight, Freddie was sent to St. Peter's English boarding school in Panchgani, about fifty miles outside Bombay. It was there his friends began to call him Freddie. St Peter's being an English school, supported English sports. Freddie despised cricket and long-distance running, but he liked hockey, sprint and boxing. At the age of 10, he became school champion in table tennis. Freddie was not only a good sportsman, his artistic skills were phenomenal. At the age of 12, he was awarded the school trophy as Junior All-rounder. He loved art and was always sketching and drawing for his friends and relatives. But he was absolutely crazy for music of any kind. He played records constantly, stacking the singles to play over and over. He was able to get mostly Indian music, but some Western music was available. He would sing along and dance to either. The principal of St Peter's noticed Freddie's musical talents, and wrote to his parents suggesting that they might pay a little extra on Freddie's school tuition fees to allow him to study music. They agreed and Freddie started to learn to play the piano. He became a member of the school choir and took part in school theatrical productions.

In 1958, Freddie, Derrick Branche, Bruce Murray, Farang Irani and Victory Rana, formed the a rock'n roll band,The Hectics, where Freddie was the piano player. They played at school dances, parties, and annual celebrations. In 1962, Freddie finished school, returned to Zanzibar and spent his time with friends hanging around the markets, parks and beaches. In 1964, many of the British and Indians, due to political unrest in Zanzibar, left their country. This was not under forcible pressure but many were driven out and the Bulsaras then migrated to England where they lived with relatives in Feltham,Middlesex, until they were able to find their own house. Freddie was seventeen and had decided he wanted to go to art college. He needed at least one A to get in. In September 1964, he enrolled at Isleworth Polytechnic.

During his vacation time, he took a variety of jobs to earn some money. One job was in the catering department at Heathrow Airport, and another was on the Feltham trading estate, where he worked in a warehouse lifting and stacking heavy crates and boxes. His fellow workers commented on his delicate hands, that were not meant for such work. They asked him what he did. He told them he was a musician just filling in to earn extra money. He had such a charm about him, that his co-workers would do the mass amount of his work. Freddie studied hard and easily achieved his A, he left Isleworth in the spring of 1966. His grade A pass and his natural skill ensured that he was readily accepted by Ealing College of Art. In September 1966, Freddie began graphic illustrating courses.

Freddie became an ardent Jimi Hendrix fan and he spent a lot of time sketching and drawing his hero, drawings he would frame and use to decorate the walls of his flat in Kensington. At that time, Kensington was an important place to be for the art crowd. It was the home of the famous Biba boutique and Kensington Market, which was the spot for the "in" crowd. A fellow student at Ealing College, was bass player Tim Staffell, with whom Freddie became good friends. As their friendship grew, Tim would take him along to rehearsals of his band called Smile, with Brian May on the guitar and Roger Taylor on the drums. Freddie really hit it off with Brian and Roger. He loved the sound that Smile had achieved. He had immense admiration and respect for Brian's guitar-playing. Inspired by Smile, Freddie began to experiment with music for the first time since leaving India. He initially began to practice with Tim, Nigel Foster and Chris Smith. "The first time I heard Freddie sing I was amazed," recounts Chris. "He had a huge voice. Although his piano style was very affected, very Mozart, he had a great touch. From a piano player's point of view, his approach was unique and quite fine. Freddie and I eventually got to write little bits of songs which we linked together. It made sense when you consider Bohemian Rhapsody. It was an interesting way of getting one piece in a different key signature to another. But I don't think we actually finished anything. Freddie certainly taught me a lot at those sessions. He had great, natural sense of melody. I picked that up straight away. For me it was the most interesting aspect of what he was doing."

Freddie left college in June 1969, with a diploma in graphic arts and design, and a few commission jobs for adverts in local newspapers. He moved into Roger Taylor's flat and that summer opened a stall with Roger at Kensington Market, initially selling art work by himself and fellow college students. Later, he sold Victorian or whatever clothes, new or secondhand, he could lay his hands on. In the summer of 1969, Freddie was introduced to a Liverpool band called Ibex. Ibex was a 3 piece band, with guitarist Mike Bersin, John 'Tupp' Taylor on bass and Mick 'Miffer' Smith on drums. They also brought with them their apprentice manager, roadie and general security, Ken Testi. They had a part-time bass player, Geoff Higgins, who used to travel down for occasional gigs. Geoff would play bass when Tupp, a great Jethro Tull fan, wanted to play flute. Freddie had such enthusiasm, that just ten days later, he'd learned the band's set, brought in a few new songs, and traveled to Bolton, Lancashire, for a gig with them, this was his debut public performance. The first date was August 23rd. On the August 25th, Ibex appeared in the first Bluesology Pop-in, an open air event in Bolton's Queen Park. And the concert was covered in Bolton's Evening News. The paper even featured a photograph of Freddie.

Around the end of October, 1969, Ibex underwent a mini upheaval at Freddie's instigation. He began canvassing the idea of calling the band Wreckage, but nobody else was very enthusiastic. He phoned Mike Bersin one night and told him the others don't mind and how did he feel about it. Mike said that if the others agreed then he was fine with it. But when Mike talked to the others, Freddie had phoned them all up and had the same conversation with them. Along with the name change went the departure of drummer, Mike 'Miffer' Smith. He was replaced by Richard Thompson. The end of the 1960's marked the end of Wreckage. Gigs were few and far between. John Taylor, Richard Thompson and Freddie remained in London, Mike Bersin continued his college courses. Inevitably, the band petered out.

Freddie found himself in another band, Sour Milk Sea. The band he was auditioning for knew he was the right man. Freddie had a great voice, with terrific range. Not only did his voice make his performances so attractive to people but he knew how to front a show. It was his way of expressing that side of his personality. It was his charisma, his pure natural gift that was in perfect harmony with his voice, his appearance, his delicate taste and his musicianship that made him fantastic. But after only two months, the band broke up after a dispute between Freddie and Jeremy Gallop. In April 1970, Freddie re-joined the band, Smile, as lead singer. He changed the name to Queen and his last name to Mercury.

In 1970, Freddie met Mary Austin. They lived together for seven years and remained good friends until his death. In 1971, John Deacon joined the band and Queen was complete. Freddie designed the band's logo using their birth signs: two fairies for him (Virgo), two lions for Roger and John (Leo) and a crab for Brian (Cancer). Freddie wrote the first Queen song the first big hit, Killer Queen and the most famous Queen song that was on the top of charts for over 9 weeks, Bohemian Rhapsody. Freddie has always been considered the front-man of the band. In 1975, Queen toured Japan. They were taken by surprise at the strength of their reception. Freddie fell in love with Japan and became a fanatical collector of Japanese art.



On October 7th, 1979 Freddie performed with the Royal Ballet. He had never done any ballet before, but it was something he had always wanted to try. The songs he had chosen to perform to were Bohemian Rhapsody and Crazy Little Thing Called Love. Songs were played by the orchestra with Freddie doing live vocals. Freddie's first dance was Bohemian Rhapsody, and he performed with skill in front of a packed house of enthusiastic ballet enthusiasts, who loved him, and he received a standing ovation for both his cameo performances. In 1980, Freddie changed his image. He cut his hair and grew a moustache. At the end of 1982, Queen all agreed they wanted to take break from each other. Freddie had been thinking of making a solo album and he had time to do something about it. He booked studio time at Musicland in Munich and began work in early 1983. During that time he was introduced to Georgio Moroder, who was working on a re-release of the 1926 Fritz Lang silent science fiction film Metropolis. He wanted to put a contemporary musical score to the film. He asked Freddie to consider collaborating on a track for the film to which Freddie agreed. The result of this collaboration was the song Love Kills. On September 10, 1984 Freddie's first solo single was released. It was the track, Love Kills.

July 13, 1985 was a special day for Queen and Freddie. It was the day of their memorable performance at Live Aid, a show at Wembley Stadium, in front of 72,000 people. Live Aid was broadcast to over one billion people worldwide. Queen secured their place in history, as every media person, journalist, fan and critic unanimously agreed: Queen stole the show. The early part of 1987 was slow for Queen, in March Freddie flew to Barcelona. There he met with Montserrat Caballe. The Spanish diva loved his music and they began to work on an album, Barcelona, together which came out October 10th. October 8th was the last time Freddie performed on stage. He didn't want his fans or others to know he was dying from AIDS. He finally announced the fact the day before he died. On November 4th, 1991, Freddie died of AIDS related bronchial pneumonia.


Friday, March 12, 2010

LADY GAGA - GLAM QUEEN



Everyone's gaga over Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta born on March 28, 1986. Born into a good New York Italian family, little Stefani was a highly energetic child. She loved to show off, singing and dancing at a very early age. Stefani would dance around a room, singing along with a tape recorder and a plastic toy microphone to Michael Jackson, the Rolling Stones, Cyndi Lauper or the Beatles. When the family would go out to eat, she would grab a bread stick from the table, twirl it like a baton and singing away while dancing around the tables. Stefani once innocently greeted her babysitter at the front door, naked as a jay bird. Talk about an attention getter. It's no surprise that Stefani turned into an exhibitionist, multi-talented singer/song writer, who has a flair for theatrics , that she is today...LADY GAGA.

"I was always a ham as a little girl and I am still a ham today." says Lady Gaga. She had made a name for herself on the Lower East Side club scene with her dance-pop song, "Beautiful Dirty Rich" and with her shock art performances. Gaga makes and designs almost all of her stage costumes and doesn't think twice about stripping down to her boy short panties and bikini top, lights cans of hairspray on fire, and strikes a pose as a glittering disco ball drops from the ceiling. " I have always loved pop/rock and the theater. Then I discovered Queen and David Bowie...it all fell into place. That is when I knew I could do all three. " Actually that is how she got her name, from Queen's song, "Gaga Radio" and she says her fashion sense is a mixture of Peggy Bundy and Versace. " It's not just about music. It's about the performance, the attitude and the look. It is everything and that is what I want to accomplish-- it all !"

Gaga is the little girl who at 4 years old, learned the piano by ear. By 13, she had written her first piano ballad. At 14, she played open mike nights at New York clubs. She was teased by her fellow Convent of the Sacred Heart schoolmates for her quirky, unusual style. At 17, she was one of 20 kids in the world to get early admission to Tisch School of the Arts in NYC. She was signed by her 20th birthday to write songs for other artists such as the Pussycat Dolls. And she had been asked to write for a series of INTERSCOPE artists, before the release of her first album. Gaga writes all of her lyrics, her melodies, and plays most of the synth-work on her albums. She was discovered by Akon, who recognized her vocal capabilities and signed her to Kon Live Distribution. Gaga had originally signed on with Def Jam Records but she was dropped after three months.

It's been awhile since a pop artist has made their way in the music industry the old fashioned way. Gaga has paid her dues via the seedy night club circuit and mass self promotion. Unlike many other pop musicians, Lady Gaga was not found at a model casting call, is not from a famous family, was not found on a singing television show or found on a t.v. sitcom. She rose to the top because she did it the way it is supposed to be done. She played in every seedy night club in NYC and she bombed in every club, too. But then she kept on pushing and killed it in every club...finding she is a true artist. Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta learned to be the artist, to get real and to fail...finally figuring out who she is as a performer/artist. Hard work does pay off. Lady Gaga's goal... " Now, I'm trying to change the world...one sequin at a time."