Aug 022018
 

James Marshall Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix

November 27th, 1942 – September 18, 1970

Widely recognized as one of the most creative and influential musicians of the 20th century, Jimi Hendrix pioneered the explosive possibilities of the electric guitar. Hendrix’s innovative style of combining fuzz, feedback and controlled distortion created a new musical form. Because he was unable to read or write music, it is nothing short of remarkable that Jimi Hendrix’s meteoric rise in the music took place in just four short years. His musical language continues to influence a host of modern musicians, from George Clinton to Miles Davis, and Steve Vai to Jonny Lang.

Jimi Hendrix, born Johnny Allen Hendrix at 10:15 a.m. on November 27, 1942, at Seattle’s King County Hospital, was later renamed James Marshall by his father, James “Al” Hendrix. Young Jimmy (as he was referred to at the time) took an interest in music, drawing influence from virtually every major artist at the time, including B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Buddy Holly, and Robert Johnson. Entirely self-taught, Jimmy’s inability to read music made him concentrate even harder on the music he heard.

Al took notice of Jimmy’s interest in the guitar, recalling, “I used to have Jimmy clean up the bedroom all the time while I was gone, and when I would come home I would find a lot of broom straws around the foot of the bed. I’d say to him, `Well didn’t you sweep up the floor?’ and he’d say, `Oh yeah,’ he did. But I’d find out later that he used to be sitting at the end of the bed there and strumming the broom like he was playing a guitar.” Al found an old one-string ukulele, which he gave to Jimmy to play a huge improvement over the broom.
By the summer of 1958, Al had purchased Jimmy a five-dollar, second-hand acoustic guitar from one of his friends. Shortly thereafter, Jimmy joined his first band, The Velvetones. After a three-month stint with the group, Jimmy left to pursue his own interests. The following summer, Al purchased Jimmy his first electric guitar, a Supro Ozark 1560S; Jimi used it when he joined The Rocking Kings.

In 1961, Jimmy left home to enlist in the United States Army and in November 1962 earned the right to wear the “Screaming Eagles” patch for the paratroop division. While stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Jimmy formed The King Casuals with bassist Billy Cox. After being discharged due to an injury he received during a parachute jump, Jimmy began working as a session guitarist under the name Jimmy James. By the end of 1965, Jimmy had played with several marquee acts, including Ike and Tina Turner, Sam Cooke, the Isley Brothers, and Little Richard. Jimmy parted ways with Little Richard to form his own band, Jimmy James and the Blue Flames, shedding the role of back-line guitarist for the spotlight of lead guitar.

Throughout the latter half of 1965, and into the first part of 1966, Jimmy played the rounds of smaller venues throughout Greenwich Village, catching up with Animals’ bassist Chas Chandler during a July performance at Caf‚ Wha? Chandler was impressed with Jimmy’s performance and returned again in September 1966 to sign Hendrix to an agreement that would have him move to London to form a new band.

Switching gears from bass player to manager, Chandler’s first task was to change Hendrix’s name to “Jimi.” Featuring drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Noel Redding, the newly formed Jimi Hendrix Experience quickly became the talk of London in the fall of 1966.

The Experience’s first single, “Hey Joe,” spent ten weeks on the UK charts, topping out at spot No. 6 in early 1967. The debut single was quickly followed by the release of a full-length album Are You Experienced, a psychedelic musical compilation featuring anthems of a generation. Are You Experienced has remained one of the most popular rock albums of all time, featuring tracks like “Purple Haze,” “The Wind Cries Mary,” “Foxey Lady,” “Fire,” and “Are You Experienced?”

Although Hendrix experienced overwhelming success in Britain, it wasn’t until he returned to America in June 1967 that he ignited the crowd at the Monterey International Pop Festival with his incendiary performance of “Wild Thing.” Literally overnight, The Jimi Hendrix Experience became one of most popular and highest grossing touring acts in the world.

Hendrix followed Are You Experienced with Axis: Bold As Love. By 1968, Hendrix had taken greater control over the direction of his music; he spent considerable time working the consoles in the studio, with each turn of a knob or flick of the switch bringing clarity to his vision.

Back in America,

Jimi Hendrix built his own recording studio, Electric Lady Studios in New York City. The name of this project became the basis for his most demanding musical release, a two LP collection, Electric Ladyland. Throughout 1968, the demands of touring and studio work took its toll on the group and in 1969 the Experience disbanded.

The summer of 1969 brought emotional and musical growth to Jimi Hendrix. In playing the Woodstock Music & Art Fair in August 1969, Jimi joined forces with an eclectic ensemble called Gypsy Sun & Rainbows featuring Jimi Hendrix, Mitch Mitchell, Billy Cox, Juma Sultan, and Jerry Velez. The Woodstock performance was highlighted by the renegade version of “Star Spangled Banner,” which brought the mud-soaked audience to a frenzy.
Nineteen sixty-nine also brought about a new and defining collaboration featuring Jimi Hendrix on guitar, bassist Billy Cox and Electric Flag drummer Buddy Miles. Performing as the Band of Gypsys, this trio launched a series of four New Year’s performances on December 31, 1969 and January 1, 1970. Highlights from these performances were compiled and later released on the quintessential Band of Gypsys album in mid-1970 and the expanded Hendrix: Live At The Fillmore East in 1999.

As 1970 progressed, Jimi brought back drummer Mitch Mitchell to the group and together with Billy Cox on bass, this new trio once again formed The Jimi Hendrix Experience. In the studio, the group recorded several tracks for another two LP set, tentatively titled First Rays Of The New Rising Sun. Unfortunately, Hendrix was unable to see this musical vision through to completion due to his hectic worldwide touring schedules, then tragic death on September 18, 1970. Fortunately, the recordings Hendrix slated for release on the album were finally issued through the support of his family and original studio engineer Eddie Kramer on the 1997 release First Rays Of The New Rising Sun.

From demo recordings to finished masters, Jimi Hendrix generated an amazing collection of songs over the course of his short career. The music of Jimi Hendrix embraced the influences of blues, ballads, rock, R&B, and jazz a collection of styles that continue to make Hendrix one of the most popular figures in the history of rock music.


With Keith Altham on September 11, 1970


B.B. King and Buddy Guy on Meeting Jimi Hendrix // SiriusXM

04/16/2009?


Attribution\Photo Description

  • Some from Jimi Hendrix .com
Dec 312016
 

R.I.P.

Jun 232016
 
Jun 212016
 

Edvard Munch (/mʊŋk/;[1] Norwegian: [ˈɛdvɑʈ muŋk]  ( listen); 12 December 1863 – 23 January 1944) was a Norwegian painter and print maker whose intensely evocative treatment of psychological themes built upon some of the main tenets of late 19th-century Symbolism and greatly influenced German Expressionism in the early 20th century. One of his most well-known works is The Scream of 1893.

Jun 182016
 

Edgar Allan Poe

was born on January 19, 1809, in Boston, Massachusetts. His father, named David Poe Jr., and his mother, named Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins Poe, were touring actors. Both parents died in 1811, and Poe became an orphan before he was 3 years old. He was adopted by John Allan, a tobacco merchant in Richmond, Virginia, and was sent to a boarding school in London, England. He later attended the University of Virginia for one year, but dropped out and ran up massive gambling debts after spending all of his tuition money. John Allan broke off Poe’s engagement to his fiancée Sarah Royster. Poe was heartbroken, traumatized, and broke. He had no way out and enlisted in the army in May of 1827. At the same time Poe published his first book, “Tamerlane and Other Poems” (1827). In 1829, he became a West Point cadet, but was dismissed after 6 months for disobedience. By that time he published “Al Aaraf” (1929) and “Poems by Edgar A. Poe” (1831), with the funds contributed by his fellow cadets. His early poetry, though written in the manner of Lord Byron, already shows the musical effects of his verses.

Poe moved in with his widowed aunt, Maria Clemm, and her teenage daughter, Virginia Eliza Clemm, whom he married before she was 14 years old. He earned respect as a critic and writer. In his essays “The Poetic Principle” and “The Philosophy of Composition,” Poe formulated important literary theories. But his career suffered from his compulsive behavior and from alcoholism. He did produce, however, a constant flow of highly musical poems, of which “The Raven” (1845) and “The Bells” (1849) are the finest examples. Among his masterful short stories are “Ligeia” (1838), “The Fall of the House of Usher”(1839) and “The Masque of the Red Death”. Following his own theory of creating “a certain unique or single effect”, Poe invented the genre of the detective story. His works: “The Murder in the Rue Morgue” (1841) is probably the first detective story ever published.

Just when his life began to settle, Poe was devastated by the death of his wife Virginia in 1847. Two years later he returned to Richmond and resumed a relationship with his former fiancée, Sarah Royster, who, by that time, was a widow. But shortly after their happy reconciliation he was found unconscious on a street in Baltimore. Poe was taken to the Washington College Hospital where Doctor John Moran diagnosed “lesions on the brain” (the Doctor believed Poe was mugged). He died 4 days later, briefly coming in and out of consciousness, just to whisper his last words, “Lord, help my poor soul.” The real cause of his death is still unknown and his death certificate has disappeared. Poe’s critic and personal enemy, named Rufus Griswold, published an insulting obituary; later he visited Poe’s home and took away all of the writer’s manuscripts (which he never returned), and published his “Memoir” of Poe, in which he forged a madman image of the writer.

The name of the woman in Poe’s poem “Annabel Lee” was used by Vladimir Nabokov in ‘Lolita’ as the name for Humbert’s first love, Annabelle Leigh. Nabokov also used in ‘Lolita’ some phrases borrowed from the poem of Edgar Allan Poe. “The Fall of the House of Usher” was set to music by Claude Debussy as an opera. Sergei Rachmaninoff created a musical tribute to Poe by making his favorite poem “The Bells” into the eponymous Choral Symphony.

May 202016
 

Ansel Adams Biography

Environmental Activist, Photographer (1902–1984)

Synopsis

Ansel Adams was born on February 20, 1902, in San Francisco, California. Adams rose to prominence as a photographer of the American West, particularly Yosemite National Park, using his work to promote conservation of wilderness areas. His iconic black-and-white images helped to establish photography among the fine arts. He died in Monterey, California, on April 22, 1984.

Early Life

Ansel Adams was born in on February 20, 1902, in San Francisco, California. His family came to California from New England, having migrated from Ireland in the early 1700s. His grandfather founded a prosperous lumber business, which Adams’ father eventually inherited. Later in life, Adams would condemn that industry for depleting the redwood forests.

As a young child, Adams was injured in the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, when an aftershock threw him into a garden wall. His broken nose was never properly set, remaining crooked for the rest of his life.

Adams was a hyperactive and sickly child with few friends. Dismissed from several schools for bad behavior, he was educated by private tutors and members of his family from the age of 12.

Adams taught himself the piano, which would become his early passion. In 1916, following a trip to Yosemite National Park, he also began experimenting with photography. He learned darkroom techniques and read photography magazines, attended camera club meetings, and went to photography and art exhibits. He developed and sold his early photographs at Best’s Studio in Yosemite Valley.

In 1928, Ansel Adams married Virginia Best, the daughter of the Best’s Studio proprietor. Virginia inherited the studio from her artist father on his death in 1935, and the Adamses continued to operate the studio until 1971. The business, now known as the Ansel Adams Gallery, remains in the family.

Career

Adams’ professional breakthrough followed the publication of his first portfolio, Parmelian Prints of the High Sierras, which included his famous image “Monolith, the Face of Half Dome.” The portfolio was a success, leading to a number of commercial assignments.

Between 1929 and 1942, Adams’ work and reputation developed. Adams expanded his repertoire, focusing on detailed close-ups as well as large forms, from mountains to factories. He spent time in New Mexico with artists including Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O’Keeffe and Paul Strand. He began to publish essays and instructional books on photography.

During this period, Adams joined photographers Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans in their commitment to affecting social and political change through art. Adams’ first cause was the protection of wilderness areas, including Yosemite. After the internment of Japanese people during World War II, Adams photographed life in the camps for a photo essay on wartime injustice.

Weeks before the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Adams shot a scene of the moon rising above a village. Adams re-interpreted the image—titled “Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico”—over nearly four decades, making over a thousand unique prints that helped him to achieve financial stability.

Later Life

By the 1960s, appreciation of photography as an art form had expanded to the point at which Adams’ images were shown in large galleries and museums. In 1974, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York hosted a retrospective exhibit. Adams spent much of the 1970s printing negatives in order to satisfy demand for his iconic works. Adams had a heart attack and died on April 22, 1984, at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula in Monterey, California, at the age of 82.

Jan 012016
 

Lauren Bacall

was born Betty Joan Perske on September 16, 1924, in New York City. She is the daughter of Natalie Weinstein-Bacal, a Romanian Jewish immigrant, and William Perske, who was born in New Jersey, to Polish Jewish parents. Her family was middle-class, with her father working as a salesman and her mother as a secretary. They divorced when she was five. When she was a school girl, Lauren originally wanted to be a dancer, but later, she became enthralled with acting, so she switched gears to head into that field. She had studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York after high school, which enabled her to get her feet wet in some off-Broadway productions.

Once out of school, Lauren entered modeling and, because of her beauty, appeared on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar, one of the most popular magazines in the US. The wife of famed director Howard Hawks spotted the picture in the publication and arranged with her husband to have Lauren take a screen test. As a result, which was entirely positive, she was given the part of Marie Browning in To Have and Have Not (1944), a thriller opposite the great Humphrey Bogart, when she was just 19 years old. This not only set the tone for a fabulous career but also one of Hollywood’s greatest love stories (she married Bogart in 1945). It was also the first of several Bogie-Bacall films.

After 1945’s Confidential Agent (1945), Lauren received second billing in The Big Sleep (1946) with Bogart. The mystery, in the role of Vivian Sternwood Rutledge, was a resounding success. Although she was making one film a year, each production would be eagerly awaited by the public. In 1947, again with her husband, Lauren starred in the thriller Dark Passage (1947). The film kept movie patrons on the edge of their seats. The following year, she starred with Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, and Lionel Barrymore in Key Largo (1948). The crime drama was even more of a nail biter than her previous film. In 1950, Lauren starred in Bright Leaf (1950), a drama set in 1894. It was a film of note because she appeared without her husband – her co-star was Gary Cooper. In 1953, Lauren appeared in her first comedy as Schatze Page in How to Marry a Millionaire (1953). The film, with co-stars Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable, was a smash hit all across the theaters of America.

After filming Designing Woman (1957), which was released in 1957, Humphrey Bogart died on January 14 from throat cancer. Devastated at being a widow, Lauren returned to the silver screen with The Gift of Love (1958) in 1958 opposite Robert Stack. The production turned out to be a big disappointment. Undaunted, Lauren moved back to New York City and appeared in several Broadway plays to huge critical acclaim. She was enjoying acting before live audiences and the audiences in turn enjoyed her fine performances.

Lauren was away from the big screen for five years, but she returned in 1964 to appear in Shock Treatment (1964) and Sex and the Single Girl (1964). The latter film was a comedy starring Henry Fonda and Tony Curtis. In 1966, Lauren starred in Harper (1966) with Paul Newman and Julie Harris, which was one of former’s signature films. Alternating her time between films and the stage, Lauren returned in 1974’s Murder on the Orient Express (1974). The film, based on Agatha Christie’s best-selling book was a huge hit. It also garnered Ingrid Bergman her third Oscar. Actually, the huge star-studded cast helped to ensure its success. Two years later, in 1976, Lauren co-starred with John Wayne in The Shootist (1976). The film was Wayne’s last – he died from cancer in 1979.

In 1981, Lauren played an actress being stalked by a crazed admirer in The Fan (1981). The thriller was absolutely fascinating with Lauren in the lead role. After that production, Lauren was away from films again, this time for seven years. In the interim, she again appeared on the stages of Broadway. When she returned, it was for the filming of 1988’s Mr. North (1988). After Misery (1990), in 1990, and several made for television films, Lauren appeared in 1996’s My Fellow Americans (1996). It was a wonderful comedy romp with Jack Lemmon and James Garner as two ex-presidents and their escapades.

Despite her advanced age and deteriorating health, she made a small-scale comeback in the English-language dub of Hayao Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) (“Howl’s Moving Castle,” based on the young-adult novel by Diana Wynne Jones) as the Witch of the Waste, but future endeavors for the beloved actress are increasingly rare.

Dec 122015
 
Oct 112015
 

1975 – 2015

alex-king

Alex King passed away at his home last night, after battling cancer for more than two and a half years. Alex was one of the original WordPress developers, and leaves a lasting legacy and impact on the WordPress community.

The prototypical WordPress developer and blogger, Alex King was a tremendously influential member of the WordPress ecosystem.

He was one of a very small group of people involved during the transition of b2 to WordPress. He helped to create the website that would become the first WordPress.com VIP client. He started the first WordPress-centric consulting agency. He was fundamental to the development and direction of dozens of WordPress features. He even created a small icon that would go on to become the ubiquitous “share icon”.

Alex was a selfless contributor, a driven entrepreneur, and a friend to many. He was also a husband to Heather and a father to Caitlin.

In addition to web work, Alex loved golf and photography. His blog is an outstanding example of the art, where he logged his story, his passions, and his challenges. I could not possibly tell his story better than he himself can.

Following are more valuable links to help remember Alex:

Today is a sad day for the WordPress community, and Alex King will be missed. May he rest in peace.