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Freddy Mercury

Someone To Love

Legendary Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, one of the greatest and most charismatic rock performers of all time, died 25 years ago, on Nov. 24, 1991. The official cause of death was bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS. Mercury would have turned 70 years old this year.

He’s “the most inspirational frontman of all time,” says My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way. A hard-rock hammerer, a disco glitterer, a rockabilly lover boy, Freddie Mercury was dynamite with a laser beam, his four-octave range overdubbed into a shimmering wall of sound on records such as “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Killer Queen.” Even as he was dying, Mercury threw himself into his majestic, operatic singing. Queen’s Brian May recalls that Mercury could hardly walk when the band recorded “The Show Must Go On” in 1990. “I said, ‘Fred, I don’t know if this is going to be possible to sing,’ ” May says. “And he went, ‘I’ll fing do it, darling’ — vodka down — and went in and killed it, completely lacerated that vocal.”

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Lemmy was the ultimate bachelor. The frontman was never married and he even hated the thought of living with a woman. He once said: "If you move in with someone, you lose all respect for them. All them dirty knickers on the towel rail, all that snorting and farting. Does that appeal to you? Because it doesn't to me. "When you first start dating someone, it's all about being on your best behaviour, and that initial magic. I never wanted the magic to stop." Brilliant.

Lemmy was the ultimate bachelor. The frontman was never married and he even hated the thought of living with a woman. He once said: “If you move in with someone, you lose all respect for them. All them dirty knickers on the towel rail, all that snorting and farting. Does that appeal to you? Because it doesn’t to me. “When you first start dating someone, it’s all about being on your best behaviour, and that initial magic. I never wanted the magic to stop.” Brilliant.

Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister

1945 -2015

Born to Lose, Lived to Win

Baddest Mother…… of Rock ‘n’ Roll

This is for Nige Baby…

Lemmy was a true hell-raiser and his tales of half a century of hard partying often left interviewers lost for words. Even in his older years he’d hang out in The Rainbow Bar on Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, with a glass of bourbon in one hand and a Marlboro red in the other, wearing his famous cowboy hat and the Iron Cross around his neck. And he sure lived life to the full. So much so, fans were beginning to think he was actually immortal.

He previously admitted he drank a bottle of Jack Daniel’s every day from the age of 30, he took speed for THREE decades, had run ins with the police and was rumoured to have bedded 2,000 women.

Lemmy made the shocking admission about his whisky addiction in the documentary Live Fast Die Old and fans were stunned when he revealed he’d cleaned up his act in 2013 after a health scare.

But he didn’t give up on his unhealthy lifestyle altogether, instead, he cut down on cigarettes and swapped from Jack Daniel’s and coke to vodka and orange – reportedly to help with his diabetes. Although, during an interview his assistant wondered whether swapping from one 40 per cent spirit topped with sugar to another 40 per cent spirit topped with sugar was really going to help.

“I like orange juice better,” Lemmy said. “So, Coca-Cola can f off.”

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John Phillips may easily be called one of the best pop songwriters of the later 20th century. He honed his songwriting and arranging skills with singing groups that gained a modicum of success. But his crowning musical achievement was the work he did with his '60s group the Mamas and the Papas. Photo: MTV

John Phillips may easily be called one of the best pop songwriters of the later 20th century. He honed his songwriting and arranging skills with singing groups that gained a modicum of success. But his crowning musical achievement was the work he did with his ’60s group the Mamas and the Papas. Photo: MTV

Forbidden Fruit

A Lifetime of Debauched and Reckless Behaviour

John Phillips, destructiveness was too extravagant even for Keith Richards, who once kicked Phillips out of his house for being too uncontrollable

Unlike some other musician/addiction profiles, the John Phillips story is not necessarily one with a cheerful ending.

Mackenzie Phillips, his daughter, was 10 years old when her father taught her how to roll a joint. She had her first taste of cocaine at age 11. At 14, she landed a role in the film American Graffiti , and one week after her 18th birthday, she was arrested for the first time.

When she was 10, her dad gave her, her first adult job.

“Dad said, ‘I’m going to give you a project,’ Dad had a job for me! This was exciting. I was in.”

“I got really good at rolling joints. I was the official joint roller for all the adults.”

McKenzie says she was allowed so much freedom as a kid that the only rules her dad gave her were to spend one night a week at home and to always change her clothes before returning in the early morning.

“A lady never wears evening clothes during the day. It’s cheap,” John Phillips, who died in 2001, told her.

He did have one boundary. One day, Mackenzie found a purple pill in her dad’s bedroom.

She instinctively took it. But it turned out not to be just any pill — it was the last of the LSD pills made by the famous drug cook Owsley Stanley, and it was a collector’s item among moneyed celebrity druggies of the time.

“It was as if I’d crashed a normal dad’s Porsche, he said, ‘You took my last hit of Owsley. You’re grounded!’ ”

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Beach Boys in a Yellow Jalopy in 1962. COURTESY OF CAPITOL RECORDS ARCHIVE

Beach Boys in a Yellow Jalopy in 1962. COURTESY OF CAPITOL RECORDS ARCHIVE

The Beach Boys’ Crazy Summer

The 50th Reunion Tour was a World Concert Tour by The Beach Boys

Inside the group’s 50th anniversary 2012 reunion tour: How the legendary group fell apart and came back together and how Brian Wilson gets along with his old bandmates.
“The vibe in Burbank is collegial, but each Beach Boy is locked into his own orbit. Wilson and Love tend to communicate through the musical directors they’ve retained from their respective touring bands; Jardine, Johnston, and Marks hover on the margins. Over lunch, Jardine says he’s been urging Love to open the second half of the set with ‘Our Prayer,’ the hushed choral prelude to Smile, but so far, Love has been brushing him off. ‘With him, you never know if it’s confrontational or uncomfortable because he’s able to mask any kind of negativity,’ Jardine says. ‘You never know if you’ve (expletive) up or not.’ When I mention ‘‘Til I Die,’ a stark Wilson solo composition from 1971, Johnston, who’s sitting nearby, insists that it was ‘the last Brian Wilson recording. Ever. The career ended for me right with that song.’ But why? ‘Because he was still 100 percent,’ Johnston explains. ‘Now, he’s … you know, a senior guy.'”

Brian Wilson, the lumbering savant who wrote, produced and sang an outlandish number of immortal pop songs back in the 1960s with his band, the Beach Boys, is swiveling in a chair, belly out, arms dangling, next to his faux-grand piano at the cavernous Burbank, Calif. studio where he and the rest of the group’s surviving members are rehearsing for their much-ballyhooed 50th Anniversary reunion tour, which was set to start in 2012.

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Keith Moon Iggy Pop Birthday Party 1974 Beverly Hills.

Keith Moon Iggy Pop Birthday Party 1974 Beverly Hills.

“Moon the Loon”

Let’s check out Keith Moon. This is a bumpy, thrill-filled ride. It seems no rocker was crazier than Moonie

Live fast and die young. Hasn’t that been the mantra of many rock stars? Or, as the Who themselves put it, “Hope I die before I get old.”

The lifestyle of Keith Moon, the wild drummer of the Who, one of the greatest rock bands of all time, certainly exemplifies this party-hardy lifestyle. If any rocker has partied harder than Keith Moon, who would it be?

One of the reasons the Who surged to prominence in the middle 1960s was because Keith Moon played the drums like a man possessed by a demon. He hit the drums so hard it appeared he was trying to destroy them – as he played them. And if that wasn’t apparent, after many concerts he would kick his kit about the stage and sometimes fling it into the audience, the consequences of such recklessness be damned.

Keith Moon, commonly known to many as Moon the Loon, was also quite the joker, clown and prankster too, though his sense of humour often rubbed folks the wrong way. For instance, Moon would dress up as a Nazi officer – accentuated by a tiny Hitlerian moustache – and then drive through a Jewish neighbourhood, throwing in a “Sieg heil!” or two along the way. And his penchant for destroying hotel rooms became legendary, even among rockers who found this ritual de rigueur.

Likewise, Moon’s partying became monstrous in scope. He even put Jim Morrison to shame. Both would gobble pharmaceuticals by the handfuls, without even knowing for sure what the heck they were. Of course, this heedless self-indulgence came at a price for these rock superstars. Both died young, Moon at the young age of 32, though he probably looked ten years older at the time of his demise in 1978.

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in water

The Girl From Ipanema

Helô Pinheiro would walk past the Veloso bar on the beachfront of Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, every day. She was “tall and tanned and young and lovely” – and she was regaled by the men who drank there.

Summer 1962. Rio de Janeiro. At the Veloso Bar, a block from the beach at Ipanema, two friends—the composer Antonio Carlos Jobim and the poet Vinícius de Moraes—are drinking Brahma beer and musing about their latest song collaboration.

The duo favour the place for the good brew and the even better girl-watching opportunities. Though both are married men, they’re not above a little ogling. Especially when it comes to a neighborhood girl nicknamed Helô. Seventeen-year-old Helôisa Eneida Menezes Pais Pinto is a Carioca—a native of Rio. She’s tall and tan, with emerald green eyes and long, dark wavy hair. They’ve seen her passing by, as she’s heading to the beach or coming home from school. She has a way of walking that de Moraes calls “sheer poetry.”

“When they saw me, they would whistle and shout out, ‘Hey beautiful girl! Come over here,'” says Helô, the girl from Ipanema who inspired the song of the same name. “I did not know who they were until years later.” The barflies she ignored were the composer Tom Jobim and the poet Vinícius de Moraes, who turned desire and frustration into a track that is now second only to the Beatles’ Yesterday, as the most recorded song in the world, a sultry hymn to unrequited lust that launched the bossa nova rhythm across the world.

And everyone was asking: “Who’s that girl?” When the composers revealed their inspiration, Helô, as she is known in Brazil, was astonished. “I told them, ‘I don’t believe you. You are crazy. There are so many beautiful women here.’ But it was me. The song says tall. I am tall. And tanned – I had brown skin from the sun. And young – I was at this time. And I didn’t see them. It was true.”

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If you are serious Lizzie, then name them

Lizzie Marvelly has a shabby column in the NZ Herald that she claims sheds light on sexual abuse in the music industry.

She is also pimping it via Facebook.

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She is being lauded as brave, as well she might be, but not for her shabby hit piece where she doesn’t name a single one of her alleged abusers.

Apparently, we must all take a stand against the gropers and the philanderers:

The stories I’ve shared here are just a selection of the incidents I’ve either experienced or witnessed over my decade in the industry. Writing this, I was reminded of things that I’d repressed. Incidents I’d completely forgotten about. Like being groped on stage at age 19.

Before now I worried that I’d never work again if I dared to speak about the sexual abuse that I’d endured, largely at the hands of powerful older men who had the means to make life difficult for me.

When you’ve been treated like a profit-generating object, styled and moulded to become a brand, it takes some time to realise that you were a person, a young person, who was mistreated by people who should’ve known better.    Read more »

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Frank Sinatra Has a Cold

In the winter of 1965, writer Gay Talese arrived in Los Angeles with an assignment from Esquire to profile Frank Sinatra. The legendary singer was approaching fifty, under the weather, out of sorts, and unwilling to be interviewed. So Talese remained in L.A., hoping Sinatra might recover and reconsider, and he began talking to many of the people around Sinatra — his friends, his associates, his family, his countless hangers-on — and observing the man himself wherever he could. The result, “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold,” ran in April 1966 and became one of the most celebrated magazine stories ever published, a pioneering example of what came to be called New Journalism, a work of rigorously faithful fact enlivened with the kind of vivid storytelling that had previously been reserved for fiction. The piece conjures a deeply rich portrait of one of the era’s most guarded figures and tells a larger story about entertainment, celebrity, and America itself.

FRANK SINATRA, holding a glass of bourbon in one hand and a cigarette in the other, stood in a dark corner of the bar between two attractive but fading blondes who sat waiting for him to say something. But he said nothing; he had been silent during much of the evening, except now in this private club in Beverly Hills he seemed even more distant, staring out through the smoke and semidarkness into a large room beyond the bar where dozens of young couples sat huddled around small tables or twisted in the center of the floor to the clamorous clang of folk-rock music blaring from the stereo. The two blondes knew, as did Sinatra’s four male friends who stood nearby, that it was a bad idea to force conversation upon him when he was in this mood of sullen silence, a mood that had hardly been uncommon during this first week of November, a month before his fiftieth birthday.

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Jerry Lee Lewis and wife Shawn Stevens Lewis attend a Pre-GRAMMY Party at the Biltmore Hotel. February 23, 1983| Credit: Ron Galella/Getty Images.

Jerry Lee Lewis and wife Shawn Stevens Lewis attend a Pre-GRAMMY Party at the Biltmore Hotel. February 23, 1983| Credit: Ron Galella/Getty Images.

“The Strange And Mysterious Death of Mrs. Jerry Lee Lewis”

Jerry Lee Lewis (born September 29, 1935) the American singer-songwriter, musician, and pianist, often known by his nickname, The Killer. He is often viewed as “rock & roll’s first great wild man.

Tragedies have cast a pall over much of The Killer’s life. At age 22, after helping lead the rockabilly revolution with such hits as Great Balls of Fire and Whole Lot of Shakin’ Goin’On, he watched his career tailspin into scandal when he took his 13-year-old cousin Myra for his third wife. In 1962 his 3-year-old son, Steve Allen Lewis, named after the talk-show host, drowned in the family pool. Eleven years later Jerry Lee Lewis Jr., 19, was killed in an auto accident. Lewis’ bouts with drink and drugs came to be as commonly publicized as his marital woes, and in 1980 his estranged fourth wife, Jaren, took him to court, accusing him of threatening her life. While awaiting a final divorce decree, Jaren, 39, also drowned in a swimming accident.

The killer was in his bedroom, behind the door of iron bars, as Sonny Daniels, the first ambulance man, moved down the long hall to the guest bed- room to check the report: “Unconscious party at the Jerry Lee Lewis residence.”

Lottie Jackson, the housekeeper, showed Sonny into a spotless room: Gauzy drapes filtered the noonday light; there was nothing on the tables, no clothes strewn about, no dust; just a body on the bed, turned away slightly toward the wall, with the covers drawn up to the neck. Sonny probed with his big, blunt fingers at a slender wrist: it was cold. “It’s Miz Lewis,” Lottie said. “I came in…I couldn’t wake her up….” Sonny already had the covers back, his thick hand on the woman’s neck where the carotid pulse should be: The neck retained its body warmth, but no pulse. Now he bent his pink moon-face with its sandy fuzz of first beard over her pale lips: no breath. He checked the eyes. “Her eyes were all dilated. That’s an automatic sign that her brain has done died completely.”

Matthew Snyder, the second ambulance man, had barely finished Emergency Medical Technician school. He was twenty, blond, beefy, even younger than Sonny, and just starting with the Hernando, Mississippi, ambulance team. Even rookies knew there wasn’t anything uncommon about a run to Jerry Lee’s to wake up some passed-out person. But Matthew saw there was something uncommonly wrong now, as he caught the look of worry and excitement from Sonny over at the bed. “Go ahead and check her over,” said Sonny, and Matthew restarted the process with the woman’s delicate wrist. He saw, up on her forearm, the row of angry little bruises, like someone had grabbed her hard. He saw the little stain of dried blood on the web of her hand. He shook his head at Sonny: no pulse.

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Face of the day

Glenn Frey

Glenn Frey

Glenn Frey, 67, a founding member and guitarist of The Eagles, died on Monday in New York City of complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia…

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