Thursday, 19 January 2017

Royal Rumble history (part 2)

1993


Naturally after a once in a lifetime event like the 1992 Royal Rumble, you want to tease that it might happen again. That you've caught lightning in that bottle. So it should come as no surprise to fans of drama that Ric Flair started off the 1993 version. "He survived the hour last year" said Bobby Heenan, slightly confidently but this time, Flair was to get nowhere near that. He was even to see his longevity record smashed by the least likely competitor.


Sunday, 15 January 2017

Royal Rumble history (part 1)





We're a fortnight away from the Royal Rumble match, of which long term readers of this page might recall I am a slight fan.



 

The match itself is much like The Five Doctors anniversary special of Doctor Who. Super fans may point to the performances of Antonio Cesaro for work rate (translation: "gravitas") or those of John Cena for the showbiz glare, but really, the best fun to be had is when you have a big old get together with a decent dose of nostalgia.


Saturday, 31 December 2016

2016 Memoriam: November and December




1st November 2016 – Bap Kennedy, 54



Singer-songwriter who worked with Mark Knopfler, and performed at the 2009 Glastonbury.


 3rd November 2016 – Kay Starr, 94



American jazz singer.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

2016 Memoriam: Terry Wogan


Terry Wogan


 (By Julie anne Johnson from Cheltenham, UK (Terry Wogan°○●○•°) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)



Ah right, well then, settle down by a nice fire, attracted by the prospect of a second custard cream, as we attempt to pay tribute to young Sir Terry of Wogan, the man off the TV. And radio, you say, with some justification.


Sir Terry Wogan was a TV institution in the UK for fifty years. As he himself said in his farewell address to the radio, people had grown up listening to him, and their children now had children of their own. So mum first heard him pre-BBC, and now I'm a dad. Weird thing, time.


(I could carry on in Terry style, but it would be pastiche, and the man deserves far better...)


Friday, 23 December 2016

2016 Memoriam: Gene Wilder and Dame Margaret Anstee


 Gene Wilder




Gene Wilder was an actor of supreme comic timing, who became known to millions of children first and foremost as Willy Wonka. That his Wonka was not the one in the head of the writer is well known, but then, contrary to many expectations, I'm not sure Johnny Depp was either. And anyhow, in this case of Roald Dahl vs the viewing public, Wilder appears to have the overwhelming support of a few billion to one.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

2016 Memoriam: September and October



2nd September 2016 – Rowena Kincaid, 40



BBC weather girl who directed two documentaries about terminal cancer after her own diagnosis. Before I Kick the Bucket is poignant, informative, and actually quite funny in places, and highly recommended.

Monday, 19 December 2016

2016 Memoriam: July and August



1st July 2016 – Yves Bonnefoy, 93

French poet, historian and the man who translated Shakespeare into French. He was winner of the French Academy’s highest prize in 1981.



“Mr. Bonnefoy (pronounced bun-FWA) burst onto the literary scene in 1953 with “On the Motion and Immobility of Douve,” a long poetic sequence that revolved around a mysterious female figure, Douve, whose shifting guises invoked the powers of death and rebirth and poetry itself. The work has often been compared, in impact, to the publication of Paul Valéry’s first column of verse, “La Jeune Parque” (“The Young Fate”), a generation earlier, in 1917. “It was a stunning achievement, a work of extraordinary technical mastery, playing with the traditional alexandrine, the 12-syllable line, but subverting it,” John T. Naughton, the author of “The Poetics of Yves Bonnefoy” (1984), said in an interview. “Readers sensed that a new voice had come on the scene, and that a new generation was coming to prominence after the war.” By 1978, when his collected poems were published, Mr. Bonnefoy’s position as France’s most important poet, and one if its most influential men of letters, was secure. After Roland Barthes died in an accident in 1980, Mr. Bonnefoy was elected his successor to the chair of comparative poetics at the Collège de France, making him the first poet to join the institution since Valéry in 1937.”
William Grimes, Yves Bonnefoy, Pre-Eminent French Poet, Dies at 93, New York Times 5 July 2016



Sunday, 18 December 2016

2016 Memoriam: Chyna


 Chyna




( By pinguino k from North Hollywood, USA [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

Saturday, 17 December 2016

2016 Memoriam: Prince (by Jon Arnold)

(Michael's note: I knew Prince for a few songs - love Gold - but wasn't really a fan. I know lots were though, but no worries, you're in the hands of the superb Mr Arnold for his reminisces about the Artist formerly known...)





Prince




His name was Prince and he was, undoubtedly, funky.


Wednesday, 14 December 2016

2016 Memoriams: May and June




2nd May 2016 – Jonathan Cainer, 58



Daily Mail astrologer.


3rd May 2016 – Kristian Ealey, 38



Brookside and Hollyoaks actor.

Monday, 12 December 2016

2016 Memoriam: Sir George Martin (by M.J. Steel-Collins)



(Article written by M.J. Steel Collins)





The song benefits from one of George Martin's ingenious studio devices: recording specific parts at different tape speeds. Though McCartney handles the piano chords on "Good Day Sunshine," Martin — an accomplished keyboardist who contributed to a number of Beatle recordings — is responsible for the slowed-down honky-tonk piano solo that follows the abbreviated second verse.The result is a peppy break that sounds organic even though it's the product of tape-manipulation trickery. Martin's nuanced approach to recording technology — using it to serve the music, not as a gimmick — is arguably his biggest contribution to Revolver and everything that followed. "George Martin [was] quite experimental for who he was, a grown-up," said McCartney.”
Elvis Costello, on “Good Day Sunshine”, 100 Greatest Beatles Songs, Rolling Stone magazine, 19 September 2011