Speech Differences And Stutter Series-Disabled Legend Sir Winston Churchill

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchil was born on 30 November 1874. On 15 January 1965 Winston Churchill suffered a severe stroke that left him gravely ill.  Winston Churchill died at his home 9 days later, at age 90, on the morning of Sunday 24 January 1965, coincidentally 70 years to the day after his father’s death.

By decree of the Queen, his body lay in state for 3 days and a state funeral service was held at St Paul’s Cathedral. This was the 1st state funeral for a non-royal family member since 1914, and no other of its kind has been held since. As his coffin passed down the Thames on the Havengore, dockers lowered their crane jibs in a salute. The Royal Artillery fired a 19-gun salute (as head of government), and the RAF staged a fly-by of 16 English Electric Lightning fighters. The funeral also saw the largest assemblage of statesmen in the world until the 2005 funeral of Pope John Paul II, one of whom, President Luis Giannattasio of Uruguay, died shortly after representing his country at the event. In the fields along the route, and at the stations through which the train passed, thousands stood in silence to pay their last respects. At Winston Churchill’s request, he was buried in the family plot at St Martin’s Church, Bladon, near Woodstock, not far from his birthplace at Blenheim Palace.

Sir Winston Churchill was a British politician known chiefly for his leadership of the United Kingdom during World War II. Sir Winston Churchill served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. A noted statesman and orator, Winston Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a historian, a Nobel Prize-winning writer, and an artist.

During his army career, Winston Churchill saw combat in India, in the Sudan and the Second Boer War. Winston Churchill gained fame and notoriety as a war correspondent and through contemporary books he wrote describing the campaigns. Winston Churchill also served briefly in the British Army on the Western Front in World War I, commanding the 6th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers.

At the forefront of the political scene for almost 60 years, he held many political and cabinet positions. Before the First World War, he served as President of the Board of Trade, Home Secretary and First Lord of the Admiralty as part of the Asquith Liberal government. During the war he continued as First Lord of the Admiralty until the disastrous Battle of Gallipoli caused his departure from government. Winston Churchill returned as Minister of Munitions, Secretary of State for War and Secretary of State for Air. In the interwar years, he served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Conservative government.

After the outbreak of the Second World War, Winston Churchill was again appointed First Lord of the Admiralty. Following the resignation of Neville Chamberlain on 10 May 1940, he became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and led Britain to victory against the Axis powers. Winston Churchill was always noted for his speeches, which became a great inspiration to the British people and embattled Allied forces.

After losing the 1945 election, he became Leader of the Opposition. In 1951, he again became Prime Minister before finally retiring in 1955. Upon his death the Queen granted him the honour of a state funeral, which saw one of the largest assemblies of statesmen in the world.

A descendant of the famous Spencer family, Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, like his father, used the surname Churchill in public life. Winston Churchill’s ancestor George Spencer had changed his surname to Spencer-Churchill in 1817 when he became Duke of Marlborough, to highlight his descent from John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough. Winston Churchill’s father, Lord Randolph Churchill, the 3rd son of John Spencer-Churchill, 7th Duke of Marlborough, was a politician, while his mother, Lady Randolph Churchill (née Jennie Jerome) was the daughter of American millionaire, Leonard Jerome. Born 2 months premature on 30 November 1874 in a bedroom in Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire; he arrived 8 months after his parents’ hasty marriage. Winston Churchill had 1 brother, John Strange Spencer-Churchill.

Independent and rebellious by nature, Winston Churchill generally did poorly in school, for which he was punished. Winston Churchill entered Harrow School on 17 April 1888, where his military career began. Within weeks of his arrival, he had joined the Harrow Rifle Corps. Winston Churchill earned high marks in English and history and was also the school’s fencing champion.

Winston Churchill was rarely visited by his mother (then known as Lady Randolph), and wrote letters begging her to either come to the school or to allow him to come home. Winston Churchill had a distant relationship with his father and once remarked that they barely spoke to each other. Due to his lack of parental contact he became very close to his nanny, Elizabeth Anne Everest, whom he used to call “Woomany”. Winston Churchill’s father died on 24 January 1895, leaving Winston Churchill with the conviction that he too would die young, so should be quick about making his mark on the world.

Winston Churchill described himself as having a “speech impediment” which he consistently worked to overcome. After many years, he finally stated, “My impediment is no hindrance.” Trainee speech therapists are often shown videotapes of Churchill’s mannerisms while making speeches and the Stuttering Foundation of America uses Churchill, pictured on its home page, as one of its role models of successful stutterers. This diagnosis is confirmed by contemporaries writing in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. The Churchill Centre, however, flatly refutes the claim that Winston Churchill stuttered while confirming that he did have difficulty pronouncing the letter ‘S’ and spoke with a lisp. Winston Churchill’s father also spoke with a lisp.

Winston Churchill met his future wife, Clementine Hozier, in 1904 at a ball in Crewe House, home of the Earl of Crewe and his wife Margaret Primrose (daughter of Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery). In 1908, they met again at a dinner party hosted by Lady St Helier. Winston Churchill found himself seated beside Clementine, and they soon began a lifelong romance. Winston Churchill proposed to Hozier during a house party at Blenheim Palace on 10 August 1908, in a small Temple of Diana. On 12September 1908, they were married in St. Margaret’s, Westminster. The church was packed; the Bishop of St Asaph conducted the service. In March 1909, the couple moved to a house at 33 Eccleston Square.

Their 1st child, Diana, was born in London on 11 July 1909. After the pregnancy, Clementine moved to Sussex to recover, while Diana stayed in London with her nanny. On 28 May 1911, their 2nd child, Randolph, was born at 33 Eccleston Square. Their 3rd child, Sarah, was born on 7 October 1914 at Admiralty House. The birth was marked with anxiety for Clementine, as Winston Churchill had been sent to Antwerp by the Cabinet to “stiffen the resistance of the beleaguered city” after news that the Belgians intended to surrender the town.

Clementine gave birth to her 4th child, Marigold Frances Churchill, on 15 November 1918, 4 days after the official end of World War I. In the early months of August, the Churchills’ children were entrusted to a French nursery governess in Kent named Mlle Rose. Clementine, meanwhile, travelled to Eaton Hall to play tennis with Hugh Grosvenor, 2nd Duke of Westminster and his family. While still under the care of Mlle Rose, Marigold had a cold, but was reported to have recovered from the illness. As the illness progressed with hardly any notice, it turned into septicaemia. Following advice from a landlady, Rose sent for Clementine. However the illness turned fatal on 23 August 1921, and Marigold was buried in the Kensal Green Cemetery 3 days later. On 15 September 1922, the Churchills’ last child was born, Mary. Later that month, the Churchills bought Chartwell, which would be Winston Churchill’s home until his death in 1965.

After Winston Churchill left Harrow in 1893, he applied to attend the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. It took 3 attempts before he passed the admittance exam; he applied for cavalry rather than infantry because the entrance requirement was lower and did not require him to learn mathematics, which he disliked. Winston Churchill graduated 8th out of a class of 150 in December 1894, and was then commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 4th Queen’s Own Hussars on 20 February 1895. In 1941, he received the honour of Colonel of the Hussars.

Winston Churchill’s pay as a 2nd lieutenant in the 4th Hussars was £300. However, he believed that he needed at least a further £500 (equivalent to £25,000 in 2001 terms) to support a style of life equal to other officers of the regiment. Winston Churchill’s mother provided an allowance of £400 per year, but this was repeatedly overspent. According to biographer Roy Jenkins, this is one reason he took an interest in war correspondence. Winston Churchill did not intend to follow a conventional career of promotion through army ranks, but to seek out all possible chances of military action and used his mother’s and family influence in high society to arrange postings to active campaigns. Winston Churchill’s writings both brought him to the attention of the public, and earned him significant additional income. Winston Churchill acted as a war correspondent for several London newspapers and wrote his own books about the campaigns.

In 1895, Winston Churchill travelled to Cuba to observe the Spanish fight the Cuban guerrillas; he had obtained a commission to write about the conflict from the Daily Graphic. To his delight, he came under fire for the first time on his 21st birthday. Winston Churchill had fond memories of Cuba as a “…large, rich, beautiful island…” While there, he soon acquired a taste for Havana cigars, which he would smoke for the rest of his life. While in New York, he stayed at the home of Bourke Cockran, an admirer of his mother’s. Bourke Cockran was an established American politician, member of the House of Representatives and potential presidential candidate. Bourke Cockran greatly influenced Winston Churchill, both in his approach to oratory and politics, and encouraging a love of America.

Winston Churchill soon received word that his nanny, Mrs Everest, was dying; he then returned to England and stayed with her for a week until she died. Winston Churchill wrote in his journal “She was my favourite friend.” In My Early Life he wrote: “She had been my dearest and most intimate friend during the whole of the 20 years I had lived.”

In early October 1896, he was transferred to Bombay, British India. Winston Churchill was considered one of the best polo players in his regiment and led his team to many prestigious tournament victories.

About this time Winston Churchill read William Winwood Reade’s Martyrdom of Man, a classic of Victorian atheism, which completed his loss of faith in Christianity and left him with a sombre vision of a godless universe in which humanity was destined, nevertheless, to progress through the conflict between the more advanced and the more backward races. When he was posted to India, and began to read avidly to make up for lost time, he was profoundly impressed by Darwinism. Winston Churchill lost whatever religious faith he may have had through reading Edward Gibbon, he stated, and took a particular dislike to the Catholic Church, as well as Christian missions. Winston Churchill became, in his own words, “a materialist to the tips of my fingers,” and he fervently upheld the worldview that human life is a struggle for existence, with the outcome the survival of the fittest. Winston Churchill expressed this philosophy of life and history in his 1st and only novel, Savrola.

In 1897, Winston Churchill attempted to travel to both report and, if necessary, fight in the Greco-Turkish War, but this conflict effectively ended before he could arrive. Later, while preparing for a leave in England, he heard that 3 brigades of the British Army were going to fight against a Pashtun tribe and he asked his superior officer if he could join the fight. Winston Churchill fought under the command of General Jeffery, who was the commander of the 2nd brigade operating in Malakand, in what is now Pakistan. General Jeffery sent him with 15 scouts to explore the Mamund Valley; while on reconnaissance, they encountered an enemy tribe, dismounted from their horses and opened fire. After an hour of shooting, their reinforcements, the 35th Sikhs arrived, and the fire gradually ceased and the brigade and the Sikhs marched on. Hundreds of tribesmen then ambushed them and opened fire, forcing them to retreat. As they were retreating four men were carrying an injured officer but the fierceness of the fight forced them to leave him behind. The man who was left behind was slashed to death before Winston Churchill’s eyes; afterwards he wrote of the killer, “I forgot everything else at this moment except a desire to kill this man”. However the Sikhs’ numbers were being depleted so the next commanding officer told Winston Churchill to get the rest of the men and boys to safety. Before he left he asked for a note so he would not be charged with desertion. Winston Churchill received the note, quickly signed, and headed up the hill and alerted the other brigade, whereupon they then engaged the army. The fighting in the region dragged on for another 2 weeks before the dead could be recovered. Winston Churchill wrote in his journal: “Whether it was worth it I cannot tell.” An account of the Siege of Malakand was published in December 1900 as The Story of the Malakand Field Force. Winston Churchill received £600 for his account. During the campaign, he also wrote articles for the newspapers The Pioneer and The Daily Telegraph. Winston Churchill’s account of the battle was 1 of his 1st published stories, for which he received £5 per column from The Daily Telegraph.

Winston Churchill was transferred to Egypt in 1898 where he visited Luxor before joining an attachment of the 21st Lancers serving in the Sudan under the command of General Herbert Kitchener. During his time he encountered 2 future military officers, whom he would later work with, during the First World War: Douglas Haig, then a captain and John Jellicoe, then a gunboat lieutenant. While in the Sudan, he participated in what has been described as the last meaningful British cavalry charge at the Battle of Omdurman in September 1898. Winston Churchill also worked as a war correspondent for the Morning Post. By October 1898, he had returned to Britain and begun his 2-volume work; The River War, an account of the reconquest of the Sudan published the following year. Winston Churchill resigned from the British Army effective from 5th May, 1899.

Winston Churchill stood for parliament as a Conservative candidate in Oldham in the by-election of 1899, which he lost, coming 3rd in the contest for 2 seats.

Having failed at Oldham, Winston Churchill looked about for some other opportunity to advance his career. On 12 October 1899, the Second Boer War between Britain and the Boer Republics broke out and he obtained a commission to act as war correspondent for the Morning Post with a salary of £250 per month. Winston Churchill rushed to sail on the same ship as the newly appointed British commander, Sir Redvers Buller. After some weeks in exposed areas he accompanied a scouting expedition in an armoured train, leading to his capture and imprisonment in a POW camp in Pretoria. Winston Churchill’s actions during the ambush of the train led to speculation that he would be awarded the Victoria Cross, Britain’s highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy, but this did not occur. Writing in London to Ladysmith via Pretoria, a collected version of his war reports, he described the experience:

I have had, in the last 4 years, the advantage, if it be an advantage, of many strange and varied experiences, from which the student of realities might draw profit and instruction. But nothing was so thrilling as this: to wait and struggle among these clanging, rending iron boxes, with the repeated explosions of the shells and the artillery, the noise of the projectiles striking the cars, the hiss as they passed in the air, the grunting and puffing of the engine–poor, tortured thing, hammered by at least a dozen shells, any one of which, by penetrating the boiler, might have made an end of all–the expectation of destruction as a matter of course, the realisation of powerlessness, and the alternations of hope and despair–all this for 70 minutes by the clock with only 4 inches of twisted iron work to make the difference between danger, captivity, and shame on the one hand–safety, freedom, and triumph on the other.

Winston Churchill escaped from the prison camp and travelled almost 300 miles (480 km) to Portuguese Lourenço Marques in Delagoa Bay, with the assistance of an English mine manager. Winston Churchill’s escape made him a minor national hero for a time in Britain, though instead of returning home, he rejoined General Buller’s army on its march to relieve the British at the Siege of Ladysmith and take Pretoria. This time, although continuing as a war correspondent, he gained a commission in the South African Light Horse. Winston Churchill was among the 1st British troops into Ladysmith and Pretoria. Winston Churchill and his cousin, the Duke of Marlborough, were able to get ahead of the rest of the troops in Pretoria, where they demanded and received the surrender of 52 Boer prison camp guards.

In 1900, Winston Churchill returned to England on the RMS Dunottar Castle, the same ship on which he set sail for South Africa 8 months earlier. Winston Churchill here published London to Ladysmith and a 2nd volume of Boer war experiences, Ian Hamilton’s March. After standing again and winning in Oldham in the 1900 general election he embarked on a speaking tour of Britain, followed by tours of the United States and Canada, earning in excess of £5,000.

In 1900, he retired from regular army and in 1902 joined the Imperial Yeomanry where he was commissioned as a Captain in the Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars on 4 January 1902. In April 1905, he was promoted to Major and appointed to command of the Henley Squadron of the Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars. In September 1916, he transferred to the territorial reserves of officers where he remained till retiring in 1924.

Winston Churchill was First Lord of the Admiralty at the start of World War I, but was obliged to leave the war cabinet after the disastrous Battle of Gallipoli. Winston Churchill attempted to obtain a commission as a brigade commander, but settled for command of a battalion. After spending some time with the Grenadier Guards he was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel, commanding the 6th Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers, on 1 January 1916. Correspondence with his wife shows that his intent in taking up active service was to rehabilitate his reputation, but this was balanced by the serious risk of being killed. As a commander he continued to exhibit the reckless daring which had been a hallmark of all his military actions, although he disapproved strongly of the mass slaughter involved in many western front actions.

Lord Deedes explained to a gathering of the Royal Historical Society in 2001 why Winston Churchill went to the front line: “He was with Grenadier Guards, who were dry [without alcohol] at battalion headquarters. They very much liked tea and condensed milk, which had no great appeal to Winston Churchill, but alcohol was permitted in the front line, in the trenches. Winston Churchill suggested to the colonel that he really ought to see more of the war and get into the front line. This was highly commended by the colonel, who thought it was a very good thing to do.”

Winston Churchill stood again for the seat of Oldham at the 1900 general election. After winning the seat, he went on a speaking tour throughout Britain and the United States, raising £10,000 for himself. In Parliament, he became associated with a faction of the Conservative Party led by Lord Hugh Cecil; the Hughligans. During his first parliamentary session, he opposed the government’s military expenditure and Joseph Chamberlain’s proposal of extensive tariffs, which were intended to protect Britain’s economic dominance. Winston Churchill’s own constituency effectively deselected him, although he continued to sit for Oldham until the next general election. After the Whitsun recess in 1904 he crossed the floor to sit as a member of the Liberal Party. As a Liberal, he continued to campaign for free trade. When the Liberals took office with Henry Campbell-Bannerman as Prime Minister, in December 1905, Winston Churchill became Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies dealing mainly with South Africa after the Boer War. From 1903 until 1905, Winston Churchill was also engaged in writing Lord Randolph Churchill, a 2-volume biography of his father which was published in 1906 and received much critical acclaim.

Following his deselection in the seat of Oldham, Winston Churchill was invited to stand for Manchester North West. Winston Churchill won the seat at the 1906 general election with a majority of 1,214 and represented the seat for 2 years, until 1908. When Campbell-Bannerman was succeeded by Herbert Henry Asquith in 1908, Winston Churchill was promoted to the Cabinet as President of the Board of Trade. Under the law at the time, a newly appointed Cabinet Minister was obliged to seek re-election at a by-election; Winston Churchill lost his seat but was soon back as a member for Dundee constituency. As President of the Board of Trade he joined newly appointed Chancellor Lloyd George in opposing First Lord of the Admiralty, Reginald McKenna’s proposed huge expenditure for the construction of Navy dreadnought warships, and in supporting the Liberal reforms. In 1908, he introduced the Trade Boards Bill setting up the 1st minimum wages in Britain, In 1909, he set up Labour Exchanges to help unemployed people find work. Winston Churchill helped draft the 1st unemployment pension legislation, the National Insurance Act of 1911.

Winston Churchill also assisted in passing the People’s Budget becoming President of the Budget League, an organisation set up in response to the opposition’s “Budget Protest League”. The budget included the introduction of new taxes on the wealthy to allow for the creation of new social welfare programmes. After the budget bill was sent to the Commons in 1909 and passed, it went to the House of Lords, where it was vetoed. The Liberals then fought and won 2 general elections in January and December of 1910 to gain a mandate for their reforms. The budget was then passed following the Parliament Act of 1911 for which he also campaigned. In 1910, he was promoted to Home Secretary. Winston Churchill’s term was controversial, after his responses to the Siege of Sidney Street and the dispute at the Cambrian Colliery and the suffragettes.

In 1910, a number of coal miners in the Rhondda Valley began what has come to be known as the Tonypandy Riot. The Chief Constable of Glamorgan requested troops be sent in to help police quell the rioting. Winston Churchill, learning that the troops were already travelling, allowed them to go as far as Swindon and Cardiff but blocked their deployment. On 9 November, the Times criticised this decision. In spite of this, the rumour persists that Winston Churchill had ordered troops to attack, and his reputation in Wales and in Labour circles never recovered.

In early January 1911, Winston Churchill made a controversial visit to the Siege of Sidney Street in London. There is some uncertainty as to whether he attempted to give operational commands, and his presence attracted much criticism. After an inquest, Arthur Balfour remarked, “he [Churchill] and a photographer were both risking valuable lives. I understand what the photographer was doing, but what was the right honourable gentleman doing?” A biographer, Roy Jenkins, suggests that he went simply because “he could not resist going to see the fun himself” and that he did not issue commands.

Winston Churchill’s proposed solution to the suffragette issue was a referendum on the issue, but this found no favour with Herbert Henry Asquith and women’s suffrage remained unresolved until after the First World War.

In 1911, Winston Churchill was transferred to the office of the First Lord of the Admiralty, a post he held into World War I. Winston Churchill gave impetus to several reform efforts, including development of naval aviation (he undertook flying lessons himself), the construction of new and larger warships, the development of tanks, and the switch from coal to oil in the Royal Navy.

On 5 October 1914, Winston Churchill went to Antwerp which the Belgian government proposed to evacuate. The Royal Marine Brigade was there and at Winston Churchill’s urgings the 1st and 2nd Naval Brigades were also committed. Antwerp fell on 10 October with the loss of 2500 men. At the time he was attacked for squandering resources. It is more likely that his actions prolonged the resistance by a week (Belgium had proposed surrendering Antwerp on 3 October) and that this time saved Calais and Dunkirk.

Winston Churchill was involved with the development of the tank, which was financed from naval research funds. Winston Churchill then headed the Landships Committee which was responsible for creating the 1st tank corps and, although a decade later development of the battle tank would be seen as a tactical victory, at the time it was seen as misappropriation of funds. In 1915, he was one of the political and military engineers of the disastrous Gallipoli landings on the Dardanelles during World War I. Winston Churchill took much of the blame for the fiasco, and when Prime Minister Asquith formed an all-party coalition government, the Conservatives demanded his demotion as the price for entry.

For several months Winston Churchill served in the sinecure of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. However on 15 November 1915 he resigned from the government, feeling his energies were not being used and, though remaining an MP, served for several months on the Western Front commanding the 6th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers, under the rank of Colonel. In March 1916, Winston Churchill returned to England after he had become restless in France and wished to speak again in the House of Commons. In July 1917, Winston Churchill was appointed Minister of Munitions, and in January 1919, Secretary of State for War and Secretary of State for Air. Winston Churchill was the main architect of the 10 Year Rule, a principle that allows the Treasury to dominate and control strategic, foreign and financial policies under the assumption that “there would be no great European war for the next 5 or 10 years”.

A major preoccupation of his tenure in the War Office was the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War. Winston Churchill was a staunch advocate of foreign intervention, declaring that Bolshevism must be “strangled in its cradle”. Winston Churchill secured, from a divided and loosely organised Cabinet, intensification and prolongation of the British involvement beyond the wishes of any major group in Parliament or the nation—and in the face of the bitter hostility of Labour. In 1920, after the last British forces had been withdrawn, Winston Churchill was instrumental in having arms sent to the Poles when they invaded Ukraine. Winston Churchill became Secretary of State for the Colonies in 1921 and was a signatory of the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, which established the Irish Free State. Winston Churchill was involved in the length negotiations of the treaty and to protect British maritime interests, he engineered part of the Irish Free State agreement to include 3 Treaty Ports—Queenstown (Cobh), Berehaven and Lough Swilly—which could be used as Atlantic bases by the Royal Navy. Under the terms of the Anglo-Irish Trade Agreement the bases were returned to the newly renamed “Ireland” in 1938.

In September, the Conservative Party withdrew from the Coalition government following a meeting of backbenchers dissatisfied with the handling of the Chanak Crisis, a move that precipitated the looming October 1922 General Election. Winston Churchill fell ill during the campaign, and had to have an appendicectomy. This made it difficult for him to campaign, and a further setback was the internal division that continued to beset the Liberal Party. Winston Churchill came only 4th in the poll for Dundee, losing to the prohibitionist Edwin Scrymgeour. Winston Churchill later quipped that he left Dundee “without an office, without a seat, without a party and without an appendix”. Winston Churchill stood for the Liberals again in the 1923 general election, losing in Leicester, and then as an independent, first without success in a by-election in the Westminster Abbey constituency, and then successfully in the general election of 1924 for Epping. The following year, he formally rejoined the Conservative Party, commenting wryly that “anyone can rat, but it takes a certain ingenuity to re-rat.”

Winston Churchill was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1924 under Stanley Baldwin and oversaw Britain’s disastrous return to the Gold Standard, which resulted in deflation, unemployment, and the miners’ strike that led to the General Strike of 1926. Winston Churchill’s decision, announced in the 1924 Budget, came after long consultation with various economists including John Maynard Keynes, the Permanent Secretary to the Treasury, Sir Otto Niemeyer and the board of the Bank of England. This decision prompted Keynes to write The Economic Consequences of Winston Churchill, arguing that the return to the gold standard at the pre-war parity in 1925(£1=$4.86) would lead to a world depression. However, the decision was generally popular and seen as ‘sound economics’ although it was opposed by Lord Beaverbrook and the Federation of British Industries.

Winston Churchill later regarded this as the greatest mistake of his life. However in discussions at the time with former Chancellor McKenna, Winston Churchill acknowledged that the return to the gold standard and the resulting ‘dear money’ policy was economically bad. In those discussions he maintained the policy as fundamentally political – a return to the pre-war conditions in which he believed. In his speech on the Bill he said “I will tell you what it [the return to the Gold Standard] will shackle us to. It will shackle us to reality.”

The return to the pre-war exchange rate and to the Gold Standard depressed industries. The most affected was the coal industry. Already suffering from declining output as shipping switched to oil, as basic British industries like cotton came under more competition in export markets, the return to the pre-war exchange was estimated to add up to 10% in costs to the industry. In July 1925, a Commission of Inquiry reported generally favouring the miners, rather than the mine owners’ position. Baldwin, with Winston Churchill’s support proposed a subsidy to the industry while a Royal Commission prepared a further report.

That Commission solved nothing and the miners dispute led to the General Strike of 1926, Winston Churchill was reported to have suggested that machine guns be used on the striking miners. Winston Churchill edited the Government’s newspaper, the British Gazette, and, during the dispute, he argued that “either the country will break the General Strike, or the General Strike will break the country” and claimed that the fascism of Benito Mussolini had “rendered a service to the whole world,” showing, as it had, “a way to combat subversive forces”—that is, he considered the regime to be a bulwark against the perceived threat of Communist revolution. At one point, Winston Churchill went as far as to call Mussolini the “Roman genius… the greatest lawgiver among men.”

Later economists, as well as people at the time, also criticised Winston Churchill’s budget measures. These were seen as assisting the generally prosperous rentier banking and salaried classes (to which Winston Churchill and his associates generally belonged) at the expense of manufacturers and exporters which were known then to be suffering from imports and from competition in traditional export markets, and as paring the Armed Forces too heavily.

The Conservative government was defeated in the 1929 General Election. Winston Churchill did not seek election to the Conservative Business Committee, the official leadership of the Conservative MPs. Over the next 2 years, Winston Churchill became estranged from the Conservative leadership over the issues of protective tariffs and Indian Home Rule and by his political views and by his friendships with press barons, financiers and people whose characters were seen as dubious. When Ramsay MacDonald formed the National Government in 1931, Winston Churchill was not invited to join the Cabinet. Winston Churchill was at the low point in his career, in a period known as “the wilderness years”.

Winston Churchill spent much of the next few years concentrating on his writing, including Marlborough: His Life and Times—a biography of his ancestor John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough—and A History of the English Speaking Peoples (though the latter was not published until well after World War II), Great Contemporaries and many newspaper articles and collections of speeches. Winston Churchill was one of the best paid writers of his time. Winston Churchill’s political views, set 4th in his 1930 Romanes Election and published as Parliamentary Government and the Economic Problem (republished in 1932 in his collection of essays “Thoughts and Adventures”) involved abandoning universal suffrage, a return to a property franchise, proportional representation for the major cities and an economic ‘sub parliament’.

Winston Churchill opposed Mohandas Gandhi’s peaceful disobedience revolt and the Indian Independence movement in the 1930s, arguing that the Round Table Conference “was a frightful prospect”. Later reports indicate that Winston Churchill favoured letting Gandhi die if he went on hunger strike. During the 1st 1/2 of the 1930s, Winston Churchill was outspoken in his opposition to granting Dominion status to India. Winston Churchill was one of the founders of the India Defence League, a group dedicated to the preservation of British power in India. In speeches and press articles in this period he forecast widespread British unemployment and civil strife in India should independence be granted. The Viceroy Lord Irwin who had been appointed by the prior Conservative Government engaged in the Round Table Conference in early 1931 and then announced the Government’s policy that India should be granted Dominion Status. In this the Government was supported by the Liberal Party and, officially at least, by the Conservative Party. Winston Churchill denounced the Round Table Conference.

At a meeting of the West Essex Conservative Association specially convened so Winston Churchill could explain his position he said, “It is alarming and also nauseating to see Mr Gandhi, a seditious Middle-Temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir of a type well-known in the East, striding half-naked up the steps of the Vice-regal palace…to parley on equal terms with the representative of the King-Emperor.” Winston Churchill called the Indian Congress leaders “Brahmins who mouth and patter principles of Western Liberalism.”

There were 2 incidents which damaged Winston Churchill’s reputation greatly within the Conservative Party in the period. Both were taken as attacks on the Conservative front bench. The 1st was his speech on the eve of the St George by-election in April 1931. In a secure Conservative seat, the official Conservative candidate Duff Cooper was opposed by an independent Conservative. The independent was supported by Lord Rothermere, Lord Beaverbrook and their respective newspapers. Although arranged before the by election was set, Winston Churchill’s speech was seen as supporting the independent candidate and as a part of the Press Baron’s campaign against Baldwin. Baldwin’s position was strengthened when Duff Cooper won and when the civil disobedience campaign in India ceased with the Gandhi-Irwin Pact. The 2nd issue was a claim that Sir Samuel Hoare and Lord Derby had pressured the Manchester Chamber of Commerce to change evidence it had given to the Joint Select Committee considering the Government of India Bill and in doing so had breached Parliamentary privilege. Winston Churchill had the matter referred to the House of Commons Privilege Committee which after investigations, in which Winston Churchill gave evidence reported to the House that there had been no breach. The report was debated on 13 June. Winston Churchill was unable to find a single supporter in the House and the debate ended without a division.

Winston Churchill permanently broke with Stanley Baldwin over Indian independence and never held any office while Stanley Baldwin was Prime Minister. Some historians see his basic attitude to India as being set out in his book My Early Life (1930). Historians also dispute his motives in maintaining his opposition. Some see him as trying to destabilise the National Government. Some also draw a parallel between Winston Churchill’s attitudes to India and those towards the Nazis.

Beginning in 1932, when he opposed those who advocated giving Germany the right to military parity with France, Winston Churchill spoke often of the dangers of Germany’s rearmament. Winston Churchill later, particularly in The Gathering Storm, portrayed himself as being for a time, a lone voice calling on Britain to strengthen itself to counter the belligerence of Germany. However Lord Lloyd was the 1st to so agitate. Winston Churchill’s attitude toward the fascist dictators was ambiguous. In 1931, he warned against the League of Nations opposing the Japanese in Manchuria “I hope we shall try in England to understand the position of Japan, an ancient state…. On the one side they have the dark menace of Soviet Russia. On the other the chaos of China, 4 or 5 provinces of which are being tortured under Communist rule”. In contemporary newspaper articles he referred to the Spanish Republican government as a Communist front, and Franco’s army as the “Anti-red movement”. Winston Churchill supported the Hoare-Laval Pact and continued up until 1937 to praise Benito Mussolini.

Speaking in the House of Commons in 1937, Winston Churchill said “I will not pretend that, if I had to choose between communism and Nazism, I would choose communism”. In a 1935 essay, entitled “Hitler and his Choice” as republished in Winston Churchill’s 1937 book Great Contemporaries, Winston Churchill expressed a hope that Hitler, if he so chose, and despite his rise to power through dictatorial action, hatred, and cruelty, he might yet “go down in history as the man who restored honour and peace of mind to the great Germanic nation and brought it back serene, helpful and strong, to the forefront of the European family circle.” Winston Churchill’s 1st major speech on defence on 7 February 1934 stressed the need to rebuild the Royal Air Force and to create a Ministry of Defence; his 2nd, on 13 July urged a renewed role for the League of Nations. These 3 topics remained his themes until early 1936. In 1935, he was one of the founding members of Focus which brought together people of differing political backgrounds and occupations who were united in seeking ‘the defence of freedom and peace’. Focus led to the formation of the much wider Arms and the Covenant Movement in 1936.

Winston Churchill was holidaying in Spain when the Germans reoccupied the Rhineland in February 1936, and returned to a divided England—Labour opposition was adamant in opposing sanctions and the National Government was divided between advocates of economic sanctions and those who said that even these would lead to a humiliating backdown by Britain as France would not support any intervention. Winston Churchill’s speech on 9 March was measured and praised by Neville Chamberlain as constructive. But within weeks Winston Churchill was passed over for the post of Minister for Co-ordination of Defence in favour of the Attorney General Sir Thomas Inskip. Alan Taylor called this; ‘An appointment rightly described as the most extraordinary since Caligula made his horse a consul.’ In June 1936, Winston Churchill organised a deputation of senior Conservatives who shared his concern to see Stanley Baldwin, Neville Chamberlain and Halifax. Winston Churchill had tried to have delegates from the other 2 parties and later wrote “If the leaders of the Labour and Liberal oppositions had come with us there might have been a political situation so intense as to enforce remedial action”. As it was the meeting achieved little, Stanley Baldwin arguing that the Government was doing all it could given the anti-war feeling of the electorate.

On 12 November Winston Churchill returned to the topic. Speaking in the Address in Reply debate after giving some specific instances of Germany’s war preparedness he said ‘’’The Government simply cannot make up their mind or they cannot get the Prime Minister to make up his mind. So they go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all powerful for impotency. And so we go on preparing more months more years precious perhaps vital for the greatness of Britain for the locusts to eat.’’’

R.R. James called this one of Winston Churchill’s most brilliant speeches in this period, Stanley Baldwin’s reply sounding weak and disturbing the House. The exchange gave new encouragement to the Arms and the Covenant Movement.

In June 1936, Walter Monckton told Winston Churchill that the rumours that King Edward VIII intended to marry Mrs Wallis Simpson were true. Winston Churchill then advised against the marriage and said he regarded Mrs Wallis Simpson’s existing marriage as a ‘safeguard’. In November, he declined Lord Salisbury’s invitation to be part of a delegation of senior Conservative backbenchers who met with Stanley Baldwin to discuss the matter. On 25 November he, Attlee and Sinclair met with Stanley Baldwin and were told officially of the King’s intention and asked whether they would form an administration if Stanley Baldwin and the National Government resigned should the King not take the Ministry’s advice. Both Attlee and Sinclair said they would not take office if invited to do so. Winston Churchill’s reply was that his attitude was a little different but he would support the government.

The Abdication crisis became public, coming to head in the 1st fortnight of December 1936. At this time Winston Churchill publicly gave his support to the King. The 1st public meeting of the Arms and the Covenant Movement was on 3 December. Winston Churchill was a major speaker and later wrote that in replying to the Vote of Thanks he made a declaration ‘on the spur of the moment’ asking for delay before any decision was made by either the King or his Cabinet. Later that night Winston Churchill saw the draft of the King’s proposed wireless broadcast and spoke with Beaverbrook and the King’s solicitor about it. On 4 December, he met with the King and again urged delay in any decision about abdication. On 5 December, he issued a lengthy statement implying that the Ministry was applying unconstitutional pressure on the King to force him to make a hasty decision. On 7 December he tried to address the Commons to plead for delay. Winston Churchill was shouted down. Seemingly staggered by the unanimous hostility of all Members he left.

Winston Churchill’s reputation in Parliament and England as a whole was badly damaged. Some such as Alistair Cooke saw him as trying to build a King’s Party. Others like Harold Macmillan were dismayed by the damage Winston Churchill’s support for the King had done to the Arms and the Covenant Movement. Winston Churchill himself later wrote “I was myself smitten in public opinion that it was the almost universal view that my political life was ended.” Historians are divided about Winston Churchill’s motives in his support for Edward VIII. Some such as A J P Taylor see it as being an attempt to ‘overthrow the government of feeble men’. Others such as Rhode James see Winston Churchill’s motives as entirely honourable and disinterested, that he felt deeply for the King.

Winston Churchill later sought to portray himself as an isolated voice warning of the need to rearm against Germany. While it is true that he had little following in the House of Commons during much of the 1930s he was given considerable privileges by the Government. The “Churchill group” in the later half of the decade consisted only of himself, Duncan Sandys and Brendan Bracken. It was isolated from the other main factions within the Conservative Party pressing for faster rearmament and a stronger foreign policy. In some senses the ‘exile’ was more apparent than real. Winston Churchill continued to be consulted on many matters by the Government or seen as an alternative leader.

Winston Churchill giving his famous ‘V’ sign standing for “Victory”. Even during the time Winston Churchill was campaigning against Indian independence, he received official and otherwise secret information. From 1932, Winston Churchill’s neighbour, Major Desmond Morton with Ramsay MacDonald’s approval, gave Winston Churchill information on German air power. From 1930 onwards Major Desmond Morton headed a department of the Committee of Imperial Defence charged with researching the defence preparedness of other nations. Lord Swinton as Secretary of State for Air, and with Stanley Baldwin’s approval, in 1934 gave Winston Churchill access to official and otherwise secret information.

Lord Swinton did so, knowing Winston Churchill would remain a critic of the government but believing that an informed critic was better than one relying on rumour and hearsay. Winston Churchill was a fierce critic of Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of Adolf Hitler and in a speech to the House of Commons, he bluntly and prophetically stated, “You were given the choice between war and dishonour. You chose dishonour, and you will have war.

After the outbreak of World War II, on 3 September 1939 the day Britain declared war on Germany, Winston Churchill was appointed First Lord of the Admiralty and a member of the War Cabinet, just as he had been during the first part of World War I. When they were informed, the Board of the Admiralty sent a signal to the Fleet: “Winston is back”. In this job, he proved to be one of the highest-profile ministers during the so-called “Phony War”, when the only noticeable action was at sea. Winston Churchill advocated the pre-emptive occupation of the neutral Norwegian iron-ore port of Narvik and the iron mines in Kiruna, Sweden, early in the war. However, Neville Chamberlain and the rest of the War Cabinet disagreed, and the operation was delayed until the successful German invasion of Norway.

On 10 May 1940, hours before the German invasion of France by a lightning advance through the Low Countries, it became clear that, following failure in Norway, the country had no confidence in Neville Chamberlain’s prosecution of the war and so Neville Chamberlain resigned. The commonly accepted version of events states that Lord Halifax turned down the post of Prime Minister because he believed he could not govern effectively as a member of the House of Lords instead of the House of Commons. Although the Prime Minister does not traditionally advise the King on the former’s successor, Neville Chamberlain wanted someone who would command the support of all 3 major parties in the House of Commons. A meeting between Neville Chamberlain, Lord Halifax, Winston Churchill and David Margesson, the government Chief Whip, led to the recommendation of Winston Churchill, and, as a constitutional monarch, George VI asked Winston Churchill to be Prime Minister and to form an all-party government. Winston Churchill’s 1st act was to write to Neville Chamberlain to thank him for his support.

Winston Churchill had been among the 1st to recognise the growing threat of Hitler long before the outset of the Second World War, and his warnings had gone largely unheeded. Although there was an element of British public and political sentiment favouring negotiated peace with a clearly ascendant Germany, among them the Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax, Winston Churchill nonetheless refused to consider an armistice with Hitler’s Germany. Winston Churchill’s use of rhetoric hardened public opinion against a peaceful resolution and prepared the British for a long war. Coining the general term for the upcoming battle, Winston Churchill stated in his “finest hour” speech to the House of Commons on 18 June 1940, “I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin.” By refusing an armistice with Germany, Winston Churchill kept resistance alive in the British Empire and created the basis for the later Allied counter-attacks of 1942-45, with Britain serving as a platform for the supply of Soviet Union and the liberation of Western Europe.

In response to previous criticisms that there had been no clear single minister in charge of the prosecution of the war, Winston Churchill created and took the additional position of Minister of Defence. Winston Churchill immediately put his friend and confidant, the industrialist and newspaper baron Lord Beaverbrook, in charge of aircraft production. It was Lord Beaverbrook’s business acumen that allowed Britain to quickly gear up aircraft production and engineering that eventually made the difference in the war.

Winston Churchill’s speeches were a great inspiration to the embattled British. Winston Churchill’s 1st speech as Prime Minister was the famous “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat”. Winston Churchill followed that closely with 2 other equally famous ones, given just before the Battle of Britain. One included the words:

we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.

The other:

Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, ‘This was their finest hour’.

At the height of the Battle of Britain, his bracing survey of the situation included the memorable line “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few”, which engendered the enduring nickname “The Few” for the Allied fighter pilots who won it. One of his most memorable war speeches came on 10 November 1942 at the Lord Mayor’s Luncheon at Mansion House in London, in response to the Allied victory at the Second Battle of El Alamein. Winston Churchill stated:

This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

Without having much in the way of sustenance or good news to offer the British people, he took a political risk in deliberately choosing to emphasise the dangers instead.

“Rhetorical power,” wrote Winston Churchill, “is neither wholly bestowed, nor wholly acquired, but cultivated.” Not all were impressed by his oratory. Robert Menzies, who was the Prime Minister of Australia, said during World War II of Winston Churchill: “His real tyrant is the glittering phrase so attractive to his mind that awkward facts have to give way.” Another associate wrote: “He is . . . the slave of the words which his mind forms about ideas. . . . And he can convince himself of almost every truth if it is once allowed thus to start on its wild career through his rhetorical machinery.”

Winston Churchill’s good relationship with Franklin D. Roosevelt secured vital food, oil and munitions via the North Atlantic shipping routes. It was for this reason that Winston Churchill was relieved when Franklin D. Roosevelt was re-elected in 1940. Upon re-election, Franklin D. Roosevelt immediately set about implementing a new method of providing military hardware and shipping to Britain without the need for monetary payment. Put simply, Franklin D. Roosevelt persuaded Congress that repayment for this immensely costly service would take the form of defending the US; and so Lend-lease was born. Winston Churchill had 12 strategic conferences with franklin D. Roosevelt which covered the Atlantic Charter, Europe 1st strategy, the Declaration by the United Nations and other war policies. After Pearl Harbour was attacked, Winston Churchill’s first thought in anticipation of US help was, “We have won the war!” On 26 December 1941, Winston Churchill addressed a joint meeting of the US Congress, asking of Germany and Japan, “What kind of people do they think we are?” Winston Churchill initiated the Special Operations Executive (SOE) under Hugh Dalton’s Ministry of Economic Warfare, which established, conducted and fostered covert, subversive and partisan operations in occupied territories with notable success; and also the Commandos which established the pattern for most of the world’s current Special Forces. The Russians referred to him as the “British Bulldog”.

Winston Churchill’s health was fragile, as shown by a mild heart attack he suffered in December 1941 at the White House and also in December 1943 when he contracted pneumonia. Despite this, he travelled over 100,000 miles (160,000 km) throughout the war to meet other national leaders. For security, he usually travelled using the alias Colonel Warden. Winston Churchill was party to treaties that would redraw post-World War II European and Asian boundaries. These were discussed as early as 1943. Proposals for European boundaries and settlements were officially agreed to by Harry S Truman, Winston Churchill, and Stalin at Potsdam. At the 2nd Quebec Conference in 1944 he drafted and, together with US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, signed a toned-down version of the original Morgenthau Plan, in which they pledged to convert Germany after its unconditional surrender “into a country primarily agricultural and pastoral in its character.” Winston Churchill’s strong relationship with Harry Truman was also of great significance to both countries. While he clearly regretted the loss of his close friend and counterpart Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill was enormously supportive of Harry Truman in his 1st days in office, calling him, “the type of leader the world needs when it needs him most.”

When Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, Winston Churchill, a vehement anti-Communist, famously stated “If Hitler were to invade Hell, I should find occasion to make a favourable reference to the Devil,” regarding his policy toward Stalin. Soon, British supplies and tanks were flowing to help the Soviet Union.

The settlement concerning the borders of Poland, that is, the boundary between Poland and the Soviet Union and between Germany and Poland, was viewed as a betrayal in Poland during the post-war years, as it was established against the views of the Polish government in exile. It was Winston Churchill, who tried to motivate Mikołajczyk, who was Prime Minister of the Polish government in exile, to accept Stalin’s wishes, but Mikołajczyk refused. Winston Churchill was convinced that the only way to alleviate tensions between the 2 populations was the transfer of people, to match the national borders.

As he expounded in the House of Commons on 15 December 1944, “Expulsion is the method which, insofar as we have been able to see, will be the most satisfactory and lasting. There will be no mixture of populations to cause endless trouble… A clean sweep will be made. I am not alarmed by these transferences, which are more possible in modern conditions.” However the resulting expulsions of Germans was carried out by the Soviet Union in a way which resulted in much hardship and, according to a 1966 report by the West German Ministry of Refugees and Displaced Persons, the death of over 2.1,000,000. Winston Churchill opposed the effective annexation of Poland by the Soviet Union and wrote bitterly about it in his books, but he was unable to prevent it at the conferences.

During October 1944, he and Eden were in Moscow to meet with the Russian leadership. At this point, Russian forces were beginning to advance into various eastern European countries. Winston Churchill held the view that until everything was formally and properly worked out at the Yalta conference, there had to be a temporary, war-time, working agreement with regard to who would run what. The most significant of these meetings were held on 9 October 1944 in the Kremlin between Winston Churchill and Stalin. During the meeting, Poland and the Balkan problems were discussed. Winston Churchill recounted his speech to Stalin on the day:

Let us settle about our affairs in the Balkans. Your armies are in Rumania and Bulgaria. We have interests, missions, and agents there. Don’t let us get at cross-purposes in small ways. So far as Britain and Russia are concerned, how would it do for you to have 90% predominance in Rumania, for us to have 90% of the say in Greece, and go 50/50 about Yugoslavia?

Stalin agreed to this Percentages Agreement, ticking a piece of paper as he heard the translation. In 1958, 5 years after the recount of this meeting was published (in The Second World War), authorities of the Soviet denied that Stalin accepted the “imperialist proposal”.

Between 13 February and 15 February 1945, British and the US bombers attacked the German city of Dresden, which was crowded with German wounded and refugees. Because of the cultural importance of the city, and of the number of civilian casualties close to the end of the war, this remains one of the most controversial Western Allied actions of the war. Following the bombing Winston Churchill stated in a top secret telegram:

It seems to me that the moment has come when the question of bombing of German cities simply for the sake of increasing the terror, though under other pretexts, should be reviewed … I feel the need for more precise concentration upon military objectives such as oil and communications behind the immediate battle-zone, rather than on mere acts of terror and wanton destruction, however impressive.

On reflection, under pressure from the Chiefs of Staff and in response to the views expressed by Sir Charles Portal (Chief of the Air Staff,) and Arthur Harris (AOC-in-C of Bomber Command,) among others, Churchill withdrew his memo and issued a new one. This final version of the memo completed on 1 April 1945, stated:

It seems to me that the moment has come when the question of the so called ‘area-bombing’ of German cities should be reviewed from the point of view of our own interests. If we come into control of an entirely ruined land, there will be a great shortage of accommodation for ourselves and our allies … We must see to it that our attacks do no more harm to ourselves in the long run than they do to the enemy’s war effort.

Ultimately, responsibility for the British part of the attack lay with Winston Churchill, which is why he has been criticised for allowing the bombings to happen. The German historian Jörg Friedrich, claims that “Winston Churchill’s decision to [area] bomb a shattered Germany between January and May 1945 was a war crime” and writing in 2006 the philosopher A. C. Grayling questioned the whole strategic bombing campaign by the RAF presenting the argument that although it was not a war crime it was a moral crime and undermines the Allies contention that they fought a just war.

On the other hand, it has also been asserted that Winston Churchill’s involvement in the bombing of Dresden was based on the strategic and tactical aspects of winning the war. The destruction of Dresden, while immense, was designed to expedite the defeat of Germany. As the historian Max Hastings said in an article subtitled, “the Allied Bombing of Dresden”: “I believe it is wrong to describe strategic bombing as a war crime, for this might be held to suggest some moral equivalence with the deeds of the Nazis. Bombing represented a sincere, albeit mistaken, attempt to bring about Germany’s military defeat.” Furthermore British historian, Frederick Taylor asserts that “All sides bombed each other’s cities during the war. Half a million Soviet citizens, for example, died from German bombing during the invasion and occupation of Russia. That’s roughly equivalent to the number of German citizens who died from Allied raids. But the Allied bombing campaign was attached to military operations and ceased as soon as military operations ceased.”

In June 1944, the Allied Forces invaded Normandy and pushed the Nazi forces back into Germany on a broad front over the coming year. After being attacked on 3 fronts by the Allies, Germany was soon defeated. On 7 May 1945 at the SHAEF headquarters in Rheims the Allies accepted Germany’s surrender. On the same day in a BBC news flash John Snagge announced that 8 May would be Victory in Europe Day. On Victory in Europe Day, Winston Churchill broadcast to the nation that Germany had surrendered and that a final cease fire on all fronts in Europe would come into effect at 1 minute past midnight that night. Afterwards Winston Churchill told a huge crowd in Whitehall: “This is your victory.” The people shouted: “No, it is yours”, and Winston Churchill then conducted them in the singing of Land of Hope and Glory. In the evening he made another broadcast to the nation asserting the defeat of Japan in the coming months. The Japanese later surrendered on 15 August 1945.

As Europe celebrated peace at the end of 6 years of war, Winston Churchill was concerning on the possibility that the celebrations would soon be brutally interrupted. Winston Churchill concluded that the UK and the US must prepare for the Red Army ignoring previously-agreed frontiers and agreements in Europe “to impose upon Russia the will of the United States and the British Empire.” According to the Operation Unthinkable plan ordered by Winston Churchill and developed by the British Armed Forces, the Third World War could have started on 1 July 1945 with a sudden attack against the allied Soviet troops. The plan was rejected by the British Chiefs of Staff Committee as militarily unfeasible. However this decision didn’t stop the further development of the war plans: with the beginning Arms race the militarily unfeasible Third World War was developed into the Cold War doctrine.

Although Winston Churchill’s role in World War II had generated him much support from the British population, he was defeated in the 1945 election. Many reasons for this have been given, key among them being that a desire for post-war reform was widespread amongst the population and that the man who had led Britain in war was not seen as the man to lead the nation in peace.

For 6 years he was to serve as the Leader of the Opposition. During these years Winston Churchill continued to have an impact on world affairs. In 1946, he gave his Iron Curtain speech which spoke of the USSR and the creation of the Eastern Bloc. He declared:

Winston Churchill with American General Dwight D. Eisenhower and Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery at a meeting of NATO in October 1951, shortly before Winston Churchill was to become Prime Minister for a 2nd time. From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an Iron Curtain has descended across the continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere.

Winston Churchill also argued strongly for British independence from the European Coal and Steel Community, which he saw as a Franco-German project. Winston Churchill saw Britain’s place as separate from the continent, much more in-line with the countries of the Commonwealth and the Empire and with the United States, the so-called Anglosphere.

After the General Election of 1951, Winston Churchill again became Prime Minister. Winston Churchill’s 3rd government—after the wartime national government and the brief caretaker government of 1945—lasted until his resignation in 1955. Winston Churchill’s domestic priorities in his last government were overshadowed by a series of foreign policy crises, which were partly the result of the continued decline of British military and imperial prestige and power. Being a strong proponent of Britain as an international power, Winston Churchill would often meet such moments with direct action. One example was his dispatch of British troops to Kenya to deal with the Mau Mau rebellion. Trying to retain what he could of the Empire, he once stated that, “I will not preside over a dismemberment.”

This was followed by events which became known as the Malayan Emergency. In Malaya, a rebellion against British rule had been in progress since 1948. Once again, Winston Churchill’s government inherited a crisis, and Winston Churchill chose to use direct military action against those in rebellion while attempting to build an alliance with those who were not. While the rebellion was slowly being defeated, it was equally clear that colonial rule from Britain was no longer sustainable.

Winston Churchill also devoted much of his time in office to Anglo-American relations and although Winston Churchill did not get on well with President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Winston Churchill attempted to maintain the special relationship with the United States. Winston Churchill made 4 official transatlantic visits to America during his 2nd term as Prime Minister.

In June 1953, when he was 78, Winston Churchill suffered a stroke at 10 Downing Street. News of this was kept from the public and from Parliament, who were told that Winston Churchill was suffering from exhaustion. Winston Churchill went to his country home, Chartwell, to recuperate from the effects of the stroke which had affected his speech and ability to walk. Winston Churchill returned to public life in October to make a speech at a Conservative Party conference at Margate. However, aware that he was slowing down both physically and mentally, Winston Churchill retired as Prime Minister in 1955 and was succeeded by Anthony Eden.

Winston Churchill spent much of his retirement at his home Chartwell in Kent. Winston Churchill purchased it in 1922 after his daughter Mary was born. After leaving the premiership, Winston Churchill spent less time in parliament until he stood down at the 1964 General Election. As a mere “back-bencher,” Winston Churchill spent most of his retirement at Chartwell and at his home in Hyde Park Gate, in London. As his mental and physical faculties decayed, he began to lose the battle he had fought for so long against the “black dog” of depression. In 1963, US President John F. Kennedy, acting under authorisation granted by an Act of Congress, proclaimed him an Honourary Citizen of the United States, but he was unable to attend the White House ceremony.

Winston Churchill was also an accomplished artist and took great pleasure in painting, especially after his resignation as First Lord of the Admiralty in 1915. Winston Churchill found a haven in art to overcome the spells of depression—or as he termed it, the “Black Dog”—which he suffered throughout his life. As William Rees-Mogg has stated, “In his own life, he had to suffer the ‘black dog’ of depression. In his landscapes and still lives there is no sign of depression”. Winston Churchill is best known for his impressionist scenes of landscape, many of which were painted while on holiday in the South of France or Morocco. Winston Churchill continued his hobby throughout his life and painted dozens of paintings, many of which are on show in the studio at Chartwell.

Winston Churchill as a historian and writer.

Despite his lifelong fame and upper-class origins Winston Churchill always struggled to keep his income at a level that would fund his extravagant lifestyle. MPs before 1946 received only a nominal salary (and in fact did not receive anything at all until the Parliament Act of 1911) so many had secondary professions from which to earn a living. From his 1st book in 1898 until his 2nd stint as Prime Minister, Winston Churchill’s income was almost entirely made from writing books and opinion pieces for newspapers and magazines. The most famous of his newspaper articles are those that appeared in the Evening Standard from 1936 warning of the rise of Hitler and the danger of the policy of appeasement.

Winston Churchill was also a prolific writer of books, writing a novel, 2 biographies, 3 volumes of memoirs, and several histories in addition to his many newspaper articles. Winston Churchill was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature “for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values”. 2 of his most famous works, published after his 1st premiereship brought his international fame to new heights, were his 6-volume memoir The Second World War and A History of the English-Speaking Peoples; a 4-volume history covering the period from Caesar’s invasions of Britain (55 BC) to the beginning of the First World War (1914).

Honours:

Aside from receiving the great honour of a state funeral, Winston Churchill also received numerous awards and honours, including being made the 1st Honourary Citizen of the United States. Winston Churchill received the Nobel Prize in Literature for his numerous published works, especially his 6-edition set The Second World War. In a 2002 BBC poll of the “100 Greatest Britons”, he was proclaimed “The Greatest of Them All” based on approximately a million votes from BBC viewers. Winston Churchill was also rated as one of the most influential leaders in history by Time magazine.

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust:

When Winston Churchill was 88 he was asked by the Duke of Edinburgh how he would like to be remembered. Winston Churchill replied with a scholarship like the Rhodes scholarship but for the wider masses. After his death, the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust was established in Great Britain and Australia. A Churchill Trust Memorial Day was held in Australia, raising $AUD4.3,000,000. Since that time the Churchill Trust in Australia has supported over 3,000 scholarship recipients in a diverse variety of fields, where merit, either on the basis of past experience, or potential, and the propensity to contribute to the community have been the only criteria. The Churchill Trust is today one of the most prestigious fellowships in the Commonwealth.

It is alleged that while Home Secretary in 1910, Winston Churchill proposed the sterilisation of 100,000 “mental degenerates”, and the dispatch of tens of thousands of others to state-run labor camps, so as to save the “British race” from inevitable decline as its “inferior” members were allowed to breed.

Poison gas:

It is sometimes claimed that Winston Churchill advocated the use of poison gas on Kurdish tribesmen in Mesopotamia. This accusation is based almost entirely on a War Office minute of 12 May 1919, in which Winston Churchill argued for the use of tear gas:

I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas. We have definitely adopted the position at the Peace Conference of arguing in favour of the retention of gas as a permanent method of warfare. It is sheer affectation to lacerate a man with the poisonous fragment of a bursting shell and to boggle at making his eyes water by means of lachrymatory gas. I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes. The moral effect should be so good that the loss of life should be reduced to a minimum. It is not necessary to use only the most deadly gasses: gasses can be used which cause great inconvenience and would spread a lively terror and yet would leave no serious permanent effects on most of those affected.

If British forces did consider the use of poison gas in putting down Kurdish rebellions, there is no evidence that it was ever used.

Winston Churchill was well known for his interest in Bezique, a 2 player game. On a trip to the United States of America in March 1946, he famously lost a lot of money in a game with Harry Truman and his advisors. Winston Churchill revealed that he learnt to play while serving in the Boer War. Following on Winston Churchill’s interests, the Churchill Regular Association for Poker exists to this day at Churchill College, Cambridge. In a recent interview, Donald Trump listed Winston Churchill as one of the people he would most like to play poker with.

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Speech Differences And Stutter Series-Disabled Legend Shane Yellowbird

Shane Yellowbird is a Canadian country music singer/songwriter from Hobbema, Alberta. In 2007, Shane Yellowbird was named the Aboriginal Entertainer of the Year at the Aboriginal People’s Choice Music Awards, Chevy Trucks Rising Star of the Year at the Canadian Country Music Awards, and had 1 of the 10 most played country music songs of the year in Canada.

Shane Yellowbird released his debut album, Life Is Calling My Name, in 2006. The album includes the singles “Beautiful Concept,” “They’re All About You,” “Pickup Truck” and “I Remember the Music.” In November of 2006, Yellowbird won 2 awards at the Aboriginal People’s Choice Music Awards ceremony, including Best New Artist, Single of the Year (“Beautiful Concept”) and Best Video (“Beautiful Concept”). Shane Yellowbird opened for Emerson Drive on their cross-Canada tour, and was chosen to represent his native Canada by performing at the 4th Annual Global Artist Party at the CMA Music Festival in June of 2007. Shane Yellowbird was named the Chevy Trucks Rising Star of the Year at the 2007 Canadian Country Music Awards.

“Pickup Truck,” Shane Yellowbird’s 3rd single, also became his 1st Top 5 song on the Canadian Country Singles chart in the summer of 2007. The song also peaked at No. 64 on the all-genre Canadian Hot 100, while the video topped the CMT Chevy Top 20 in July. It was 1 of the 10 most played country music songs of the year in Canada. Shane Yellowbird opened the 2007 Aboriginal People’s Choice Music Awards, starring with Lorne Cardinal and Gabrielle Miller of Corner Gas. Later that evening, he was named the Aboriginal Entertainer of the Year. Shane Yellowbird also won awards for Best Country CD (Life Is Calling My Name) and Best Music Video (“Pickup Truck”). Shane Yellowbird also won 3 trophies at the 2007 Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards, including Best Male Artist, Best Country Album and Best Album of the Year (Life Is Calling My Name). Shane Yellowbird was also nomiated for the 2008 Juno Award for Country Recording of the Year, for Life Is Calling My Name.

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Schizophrenia Series-Disabled Legend Bob Mosley

Bob Mosley was born James Robert Mosley, on 4 December, 1942, in Paradise Valley, California, USA. Bob Mosley is principally known as the bass player and one of the songwriters and vocalists for the band Moby Grape. Bob Mosley has also developed a career as a solo artist. 3 of his best known songs with Moby Grape are “Mr. Blues”, from the 1st Moby Grape album (1967), “Bitter Wind”, from Wow/Grape Jam (1968) and “Gypsy Wedding”, from 20 Granite Creek (1971). Bob Mosley has had a varied career, including a period in 1977 playing with Neil Young in a band called The Ducks, which had a brief life and lamented demise.

Bob Mosley’s career has been plagued by the challenges of schizophrenia, as was the case with Moby Grape bandmate Skip Spence. Both musicians were homeless for several years. Bob Mosley’s schizophrenia was 1st diagnosed after he left Moby Grape in
1969,following the release of Moby Grape ’69. Bob Mosley shocked the remaining band members, in leaving the band to join the Marines. It was during basic training with the Marines that Bob Mosley was 1st diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic. Bob Mosley was discharged from the Marines 9 months after basic training.

In 1996, 3 of Bob Mosley’s fellow band members, Jerry Miller, Peter Lewis and Don Stevenson, in part reformed Moby Grape with the objective of helping Bob Mosley recover emotionally and financially. Bob Mosley describes the circumstances as follows: “In 1996, Peter Lewis picked me up along the side of a San Diego freeway where I was living, to tell me a ruling by San Francisco Judge Garcia gave Moby Grape their name back. I was ready to go to work again.”

Unlike bandmate Skip Spence, whose musicial output largely ceased within a few years of the onset of schizophrenia, Bob Mosley has been able to continue to write songs and record music for much of his life. Bob Mosley’s most recent solo release is True Blue, released on the Taxim label in 2005.

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Schizophrenia Series-Disabled Legend James Beck Gordon

Jim Gordon was born James Beck Gordon in 1945 Los Angeles, California, USA. James Beck Gordon is an American recording artist, musician and songwriter. The Grammy Award winner was one of the most requested session drummers in the late 1960s and 1970s and was a member of the blues-rock supergroup, Derek & The Dominos.

James Beck Gordon began his career backing the Everly Brothers in 1963 at the age of 17, he went on to become one of the most sought after recording session drummers in Los Angeles where, in 1968, he recorded with Mason Williams on the hit “Classical Gas”. During this period, he performed on many notable recordings including Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys, Gene Clark with the Gosdin Brothers by Gene Clark and The Notorious Byrd Brothers by The Byrds. James Beck Gordon at the top of his career was so busy as a studio musician that he would fly back to Los Angeles every night when playing in Las Vegas to do 2 or 3 record dates, then return in the afternoon in time for the 8pm show at Caesars Palace.

In 1969 and 1970, he toured as part of the backing band for the group Delaney & Bonnie, which at the time included Eric Clapton. Eric Clapton subsequently took over the group’s rhythm section — James Beck Gordon, bassist Carl Radle and keyboardist-singer-songwriter, Bobby Whitlock. They formed a new band which was eventually called Derek & The Dominos. The band’s 1st studio work was as the house band for George Harrison’s 3 disc set All Things Must Pass. James Beck Gordon then played on the Derek & The Dominos’ 1970 double album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, James Beck Gordon contributing the elegiac piano coda for the title track, “Layla”, co written by James Beck Gordon and Eric Clapton. James Beck Gordon also toured with the band on subsequent U.S. and UK tours, but the group split in spring 1971 before having completed the recording of their 2nd album.

In 1970, James Beck Gordon was part of Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour. In 1971, he toured with Traffic, appearing on 2 albums with them, including The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys. Later in 1972, James Beck Gordon was part of Frank Zappa’s 20-piece “Grand Wazoo” big band tour, and the subsesequent 10-piece “Petit Wazoo” band. Perhaps his most well-known recording with Frank Zappa was the title track of the 1974 album Apostrophe (‘), a jam with Frank Zappa and Tony Duran on guitar and Jack Bruce on bass guitar, for which both Bruce and James Beck Gordon received a writing credit. James Beck Gordon worked with Chris Hillman again when he was the drummer in the Souther-Hillman-Furay Band from 1973 to 1975. Some of his best work was with Dave Mason on his 1970 album Alone Together, where James Beck Gordon set new standards for rock drumming.

James Beck Gordon was also the drummer on the Incredible Bongo Band’s Bongo Rock album, released in 1972. James Beck Gordon’s drum break on the LP’s version of “Apache” has been repeatedly sampled by rap music artists.

In the late 1970s, James Beck Gordon complained of hearing voices in his head, primarily those of his mother. Unfortunately, his physicians did not diagnose his condition as schizophrenia and instead treated him for alcohol abuse.

In June 1983, he murdered his mother. It was not until his trial in 1984 that he was properly diagnosed. Due to the fact that his attorney was unable to use the insanity defense, he was sentenced to 16 years to life in prison with a possibility of parole. James Beck Gordon has served his sentence at the California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo, Atascadero State Hospital in Atascadero, and the State Medical Corrections Facility in Vacaville. As of 2008, he remains incarcerated. Currently, there is a petition on line to assist him in either being released from prison or placed in a facility where he is able to receive more sophisticated treatment.

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Schizophrenia Series-Disabled Legend Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac (pronounced /ˈkɛɹəwæk/; was born on 12 March, 1922 and died on 21 October, 1969 at St. Anthony’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida, one day after being rushed with severe abdominal pain from his St. Petersburg home by ambulance.

Jack Kerouac’s death, at the age of 47, resulted from an internal hemorrhage(bleeding esophageal varices) caused by cirrhosis, the result of a lifetime of heavy drinking. At the time of his death, he was living with his 3rd wife Stella, and his mother Gabrielle. Jack Kerouac is buried in his home town of Lowell and was honoured posthumously with a Doctor of Letters degree from his hometown’s University of Massachusetts Lowell on 2 June, 2007.

Jack Kerouac was an American novelist, writer, poet, and artist from Lowell, Massachusetts. Along with William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, he is amongst the best known of the writers (and friends) known as the Beat Generation.

Jack Kerouac’s work was very popular, but received little critical acclaim during his lifetime. Today, he is considered an important and influential writer who inspired others, including Hunter S. Thompson, Tom Robbins, Lester Bangs, Richard Brautigan, Ken Kesey, and writers of the New Journalism. Jack Kerouac also influenced musicians such as The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Barenaked Ladies, Tom Waits, Simon & Garfunkel, Ulf Lundell and Jim Morrison. Jack Kerouac’s best-known books are On the Road, The Dharma Bums, Big Sur, The Subterraneans, and Visions of Cody.

Jack Kerouac was born Jean Louis Kirouac, in Lowell, Massachusetts to French-Canadian parents, Léo-Alcide Kerouac and Gabrielle-Ange Lévesque, natives of the province of Quebec, Canada. Like many other Quebecers of their generation, the Lévesques and Kerouacs were part of the Quebec emigration to New England to find employment. Jack Kerouac’s father was related to Brother Marie-Victorin (né Conrad Kirouac), one of Canada’s most prominent botanists and his mother was 2nd cousin to future Quebec premier René Lévesque.

Jack Kerouac often gave conflicting stories about his family history and the origins of his surname. Though his father was born to a family of potato farmers in the village of St-Hubert, he often claimed aristocratic descent, sometimes from a Breton noble granted land after the Battle of Quebec, whose sons all married Native Americans. However, research has shown him to be the descendant of a middle-class merchant settler, whose sons married French Canadians. Jack Kerouac was part Native American through his mother’s largely Norman-side of the family. Jack Kerouac also had various stories on the etymology of his surname, usually tracing it back to Irish, Breton, or other Celtic roots. In one interview he claimed it was the name of a dead Celtic language and in another said it was from the Irish for “language of the water” and related to “Kerwick”. The name, though Breton, seems to derive from the name of one of several hamlets in Brittany near Rosporden.

Jack Kerouac did not start to learn English until the age of 6, and at home, he and his family spoke Joual, a Quebec French dialect. When he was 4 he was profoundly affected by the death of his 9-year-old brother, Gérard, from rheumatic fever, an event later described in his novel Visions of Gerard. Some of Jack Kerouac’s poetry was written in French, and in letters written to friend Allen Ginsberg towards the end of his life he expressed his desire to speak his parents’ native tongue again. Recently, it was discovered that Jack Kerouac first started writing On the Road in French, a language in which he also wrote 2 unpublished novels. The writings are in dialectal Quebec French, and predate the 1st plays of Michel Tremblay by a decade.

Jack Kerouac’s athletic prowess led him to become a 100-meter hurdler on his local high school track team, and his skills as a running back in American football earned him scholarship offers from Boston College, Notre Dame and Columbia University. Jack Kerouac entered Columbia University after spending a year at Horace Mann School, where he earned the requisite grades to matriculate to Columbia. Jack Kerouac cracked a tibia playing football during his freshman season, and he argued constantly with coach Lou Little who kept him benched. While at Columbia, Jack Kerouac wrote several sports articles for the student newspaper, the Columbia Daily Spectator.

When his football career at Columbia soured, especially because of conflict with Lou Little, Jack Kerouac dropped out of the university, though he continued to live for a period on New York City’s Upper West Side with his girlfriend, Edie Parker. It was during this time that he met the people — now famous — with whom he will always be associated, the subjects injected into many of his novels: the so-called Beat Generation, including Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassady, John Clellon Holmes, Herbert Huncke and William S. Burroughs. Jack Kerouac joined the United States Merchant Marine in 1942, and in 1943 joined the United States Navy, but was honorably discharged during World War II on psychiatric grounds (he was of “indifferent character” with a diagnosis of “schizoid personality”).

In 1944, Jack Kerouac was arrested as a material witness in the murder of David Kammerer, who’d been stalking Jack Kerouac’s friend Lucien Carr since Lucien Carr was a teenager in St. Louis. (William Burroughs was himself a native of St. Louis, and it was through Lucien Carr that Jack Kerouac came to know both Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg.) When David Kammerer’s obsession with Lucien Carr turned aggressive, Lucien Carr stabbed him to death and turned to Jack Kerouac for help. Together, they disposed of evidence. As advised by Burroughs, they turned themselves in. Jack Kerouac’s father refused to pay his bail. Jack Kerouac then agreed to marry Edie Parker if she’d pay it. Their marriage was annulled a year later, and Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs briefly collaborated on a novel about the David Kammerer killing entitled And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks. Though the book was not published during the lifetimes of either Jack Kerouac or William Burroughs, an excerpt eventually appeared in Word Virus: A William S. Burroughs Reader (and as noted below, the book is now scheduled for publication in late 2008). Jack Kerouac also later wrote about the killing in his novel Vanity of Duluoz.

Beginning of the original typed roll where Jack Kerouac wrote On the Road. The 1st sentence is: “I first met met Neal not long after my father died…” Later it would be replaced by the definitive one: “I first met Dean not long after my wife and I split up”.Later, he lived with his parents in the Ozone Park neighborhood of Queens, after they, too, moved to New York. He wrote his first novel, The Town and the City, and, according to at least John Clellon Holmes, began the famous On the Road around 1949 while living there. Jack Kerouac’s friends jokingly called him “The Wizard of Ozone Park,” a spoof of Thomas Edison’s “Wizard of Menlo Park” nickname while simultaneously alluding to the title character of the film The Wizard of Oz and a shortened form of the word “ozone”.

Jack Kerouac tended to write constantly, carrying a notebook with him everywhere. Letters to friends and family members tended to be long and rambling, including great detail about his daily life and thoughts. Prior to becoming a writer, he tried a varied list of careers. Jack Kerouac was a sports reporter for The Lowell Sun; a temporary worker in construction and food service; a United States Merchant Marine and he joined the United States Navy twice.

The Town and the City was published in 1950 under the name “John Kerouac,” and, though it earned him a few respectable reviews, the book sold poorly. Heavily influenced by Jack Kerouac’s reading of Thomas Wolfe, it reflects on the generational epic formula and the contrasts of small town life versus the multi-dimensional, and larger, city. The book was heavily edited by Robert Giroux; some 400pages were taken out.

For the next 6 years, John Kerouac wrote constantly. Building upon previous drafts tentatively titled “The Beat Generation” and “Gone on the Road,” Jack Kerouac wrote what is now known as On the Road in April of 1951 while living at 454 West 20th Street in Manhattan with his 2nd wife, Joan Haverty. The book was largely autobiographical and describes Jack Kerouac’s road-trip adventures across the United States and Mexico with Neal Cassady in the late-40’s, as well his relationships with other Beat writers and friends. Jack Kerouac completed the 1st version of the novel during a 3 week extended session of spontaneous confessional prose. Before beginning, Jack Kerouac cut sheets of tracing paper into long strips, wide enough for a type-writer, and taped them together into a 120-foot (37 m) long roll he then fed into the machine. This allowed him to type continuously without the interruption of reloading pages. The resulting manuscript contained no chapter or paragraph breaks and was much more explicit than what would eventually be printed.

Though “spontaneous”, Jack Kerouac had prepared long in advance before beginning to write. In fact, according to his Columbia professor and mentor Mark Van Doren, he had outlined much of the work in his journals over the several preceding years.

Though the work was completed quickly, Jack Kerouac had a long and difficult time finding a buyer. Publishers rejected the manuscript due to its experimental writing style and its sympathetic tone towards minorities and marginalized social groups of post-War America. Many editors were also uncomfortable with the idea of publishing a book that contained, what was for the time, graphic descriptions of drug-use and homosexual behaviour, a move that could result in obscenity charges being filled, a fate that later befell Burroughs’ Naked Lunch and Ginsberg’s Howl.

In late 1951, Joan Haverty left and divorced Jack Kerouac while pregnant. In February of 1952, she gave birth to Jack Kerouac’s only child Jan Kerouac, though he refused to acknowledge her as his own until a blood test confirmed it 9 years later. For the next several years Jack Kerouac continued writing and traveling, taking extensive trips though out the U.S. and Mexico and often fell into bouts of depression and heavy drug and alcohol use. During this period he finished drafts for what would become 10 more novels, including The Subterraneans, Doctor Sax, Tristessa, and Desolation Angels, which chronicle many of the events of these years.

In 1954, Jack Kerouac discovered Dwight Goddard’s A Buddhist Bible at the San Jose Library, which marked the beginning of Jack Kerouac’s immersion into Buddhism. In 1955 Jack Kerouac wrote a biography of Siddhartha Gautama, entitled Wake Up, which was unpublished during his lifetime but eventually serialised in Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, 1993-95.

In 1957, after being rejected by several other firms, On the Road was finally purchased by Viking Press, which demanded major revisions prior to publication. Many of the more sexually explicit passages were removed and, fearing libel suits, pseudonyms were used for the books “characters.” These revisions have often led to criticisms as to the actual spontaneity of Jack Kerouac’s style.

In July 1957, Jack Kerouac moved to a small house at 1418½ Clouser Ave. in the College Park section of Orlando, Florida to await the release of On the Road. A few weeks later, the review appeared in the New York Times proclaiming Jack Kerouac the voice of a new generation. Jack Kerouac was hailed as a major American writer. Jack Kerouac’s friendship with Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs and Gregory Corso, among others, became a notorious representation of the Beat Generation. Jack Kerouac’s fame would come as an unmanageable surge that would ultimately be his undoing. Jack Kerouac’s novel is often described as the defining work of the post-World War II Beat Generation and Jack Kerouac came to be called “the king of the beat generation,” a term that he never felt comfortable with. Jack Kerouac once observed, “I’m not a beatnik, I’m a Catholic.”

The immediate success of On the Road brought Jack Kerouac instant fame. Jack Kerouac soon found he had little taste for celebrity status. After 9 months, he no longer felt safe in public. Jack Kerouac was badly beaten by 3 men outside the San Remo Bar in New York one night. Neal Cassady, possibly as a result of his new notoriety as the central character of the book, was set up and arrested for selling pot.

Publishers were eager for a quick “sequel” to capitalise on On the Road’s success. In response, Jack Kerouac chronicled parts of his own experience with Buddhism, as well as some of his adventures with Gary Snyder and other San Francisco-area poets, in The Dharma Bums, set in California and Washington and published in 1958. It was written in Orlando, Florida between 26 November and 7 December, 1957. To begin writing Dharma Bums, Jack Kerouac typed onto a 10-foot length of teletype paper, to avoid interrupting his flow for paper changes, as he had done 6 years previously for On the Road.

Jack Kerouac was demoralised by criticism of Dharma Bums from such respected figures in the American field of Buddhism as Zen teacher Ruth Fuller Sasaki and Alan Watts. Jack Kerouac wrote to Snyder, referring to a meeting with D. T. Suzuki, that “even Suzuki was looking at me through slitted eyes as tho I was a monstrous imposter”. He passed up the opportunity to reunite with Snyder in California, and explained to Whalen, “I’d be ashamed to confront you and Gary now I’ve become so decadent and drunk and dontgiveashit. I’m not a Buddhist any more.”

Jack Kerouac also wrote and narrated a “Beat” movie entitled Pull My Daisy in 1959. Originally to be called “The Beat Generation”, the title was changed at the last moment when MGM released a film by the same name which sensationalised “beatnik” culture.

John Antonelli’s 1985 documentary Jack Kerouac, the Movie begins and ends with footage of Jack Kerouac reading from On the Road and Visions of Cody on The Tonight Show with Steve Allen in 1957. Jack Kerouac appears intelligent but shy. “Are you nervous?” asks Steve Allen. “Naw”, says Jack Kerouac, sweating and fiddling.

Jack Kerouac developed something of a friendship with the scholar Alan Watts (cryptically named Arthur Wayne in Jack Kerouac’s novel Big Sur, and Alex Aums in Desolation Angels). Jack Kerouac moved to Northport, New York in March 1958, 6 months after releasing On the Road, to care for his aging mother Gabrielle and to hide from his new-found celebrity status.

In 2007, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of On the Road’s publishing, Viking issued two new editions: On the Road: The Original Scroll, and On the Road: 50th Anniversary Edition.[20][21] By far the more significant is Scroll, a transcription of the original draft typed as one long paragraph on sheets of tracing paper which Kerouac taped together to form a 120-foot (37 m) scroll. The text is more sexually explicit than Viking allowed to be published in 1957, and also uses the real names of Kerouac’s friends rather than the fictional names he later substituted.

(Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay paid $2.43,000,000 for the original scroll and is allowing an exhibition tour that will conclude at the end of 2009. The other new issue, 50th Anniversary Edition, is a reissue of the 40th anniversary issue under an updated title.

In March 2008, Penguin Books announced that the Kerouac/Burroughs manuscript, And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks will be published for the first time in November 2008. Previously, a fragment of the manuscript had been published in the Burroughs compendium, Word Virus.

Jack Kerouac is generally considered to be the father of the Beat movement, although he actively disliked such labels, and, in particular, regarded the subsequent Hippie movement with some disdain. Jack Kerouac’s method was heavily influenced by the prolific explosion of Jazz, especially the Bebop genre established by Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, and others. Later, Jack Kerouac would include ideas he developed in his Buddhist studies, beginning with Gary Snyder. Jack Kerouac called this style Spontaneous Prose, a literary technique akin to stream of consciousness. Although Jack Kerouac’s prose were spontaneous and purportedly without edits, he primarily wrote autobiographical novels (or Roman à clef) based upon actual events from his life and the people he interacted with.

Many of his books exemplified this approach including On the Road, Visions of Cody, Visions of Gerard, Big Sur, and The Subterraneans. The central features of this writing method were the ideas of breath (borrowed from Jazz and from Buddhist meditation breathing), improvising words over the inherent structures of mind and language, and not editing a single word (much of his work was edited by Donald Merriam Allen, a major figure in Beat Generation poetry who also edited some of Ginsberg’s work as well). Connected with his idea of breath was the elimination of the period, preferring to use a long, connecting dash instead. As such, the phrases occurring between dashes might resemble improvisational jazz licks. When spoken, the words might take on a certain kind of rhythm, though none of it pre-meditated.

Jack Kerouac greatly admired Gary Snyder, many of whose ideas influenced him. The Dharma Bums contains accounts of a mountain climbing trip Jack Kerouac took with Snyder, and also whole paragraphs from letters Gary Snyder had written to Jack Kerouac. While living with Gary Snyder outside Mill Valley, California in 1956, Jack Kerouac was working on a book centering around Gary Snyder, which he was thinking of calling Visions of Gary.(This eventually became Dharma Bums, which Jack Kerouac described as “mostly about [Snyder]”.)That summer, Jack Kerouac took a job as a fire lookout on Desolation Peak in the North Cascades in Washington, after hearing Gary Snyder’s and Philip Whalen’s accounts of their own lookout stints. Jack Kerouac described the experience in his novel Desolation Angels.

Jack Kerouac would go on for hours, often drunk, to friends and strangers about his method. Allen Ginsberg, initially unimpressed, would later be one of its great proponents, and indeed, he was apparently influenced by Jack Kerouac’s free flowing prose method of writing in the composition of his masterpiece “Howl”. It was at about the time that Jack Kerouac wrote The Subterraneans that he was approached by Allen Ginsberg and others to formally explicate exactly how he wrote it, how he did Spontaneous Prose. Among the writings he set down specifically about his Spontaneous Prose method, the most concise would be Belief and Technique for Modern Prose, a list of thirty “essentials.”

Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for your own joy
Submissive to everything, open, listening
Try never get drunk outside your own house
Be in love with your life
Something that you feel will find its own form
Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind
Blow as deep as you want to blow
Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind
The unspeakable visions of the individual
No time for poetry but exactly what is
Visionary tics shivering in the chest
In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you
Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition
Like Proust be an old teahead of time
Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog
The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye
Write in recollection and amazement for yrself
Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea
Accept loss forever
Believe in the holy contour of life
Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind
Don’t think of words when you stop but to see picture better
Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning
No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge
Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it
Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form
In praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness
Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better
You’re a Genius all the time
Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven
“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars, and in the middle, you see the blue center-light pop, and everybody goes ahh…”
from On the Road

Some believed that at times Jack Kerouac’s writing technique did not produce lively or energetic prose. Truman Capote famously said about Jack Kerouac’s work, “That’s not writing, it’s typing.” Despite such criticism, it should be kept in mind that what Jack Kerouac said about writing and how he wrote are sometimes seen to be separate. According to Carolyn Cassady and other people who knew him he rewrote and rewrote. Some claim his own style was in no way spontaneous. However it should be taken into account that throughout most of the ’50s, Jack Kerouac was constantly trying to have his work published, and consequently he often revised and re-arranged manuscripts in an often futile attempt to interest publishers, as is clearly documented in his collected letters (which are in themselves wonderful examples of his style). The Subterraneans and Visions of Cody are possibly the best examples of Jack Kerouac’s free-flowing spontaneous prose method.

Although the body of Jack Kerouac’s work has been published in English, recent research has suggested that, aside from already known correspondence and letters written to friends and familly, he also wrote unpublished works of fiction in French. A manuscript entitled Sur le Chemin (On the road) completed in 5 days in Mexico during December 1952 is a telling example of Jack Kerouac’s attempts at writing in Joual, a dialect typical of the French-Canadian working class of the time, which can be summarised as a form of expression utilising both old patois and modern French mixed with modern English words (windshield being a modern English expression used casually by some French Canadians even today). Set in 1935, mostly on the American east coast, The short manuscript (50 pages), explores some of the recurring themes of Jack Kerouac’s literature by way of a narrative very close to, if not identical to the spoken word. It tells the story of a group of men, including a young 13-year-old Jack Kerouac to whom he refers to as Ti-Jean, who agree to meet in New York. Ti-Jean and his father Leo (Jack Kerouac’s father’s real name) leave Boston by car, traveling to assist friends looking for a place to stay in the city. The story actually follows 2 cars and their passengers, 1 driving out of Denver and the other from Boston until they eventually meet in a dingy bar in New York’s Chinatown. In it, Jack Kerouac’s “French” is written in a form which has little regard for grammar or spelling, relying often on phonetics in order to render an authentic reproduction of his French-Canadian vernacular. Jack Kerouac does not only use Joual freely but frequently confuses grammatical word genders and verb tenses, a phenomenon typical to the francophone speech pattern of the assimilated French Canadians of the American east coast at the time. Even though this work shares the same title as one of his best known English novels, it is rather the original French version of a short text that would later become Old bull in the Bowery (also unpublished) once translated to English prose by Jack Kerouac himself. Sur le Chemin is Jack Kerouac’s 2nd known French manuscript, the 1st being La nuit est ma Femme written in early 1951 and completed a few days before he began the original English version of On the Road.

Jack Kerouac’s technique was heavily influenced by Jazz, especially Bebop, and later, Buddhism, as well as the famous “Joan Anderson letter”, authored by Neal Cassady.

The Diamond Sutra was the most important Buddhist text for Jack Kerouac, and “probably 1 of the 3 or 4 most influential things he ever read.” In 1955, he began an intensive study of this sutra, in a repeating weekly cycle, devoting 1 day to each of the 6 Pāramitās, and the 7th to the concluding passage on Samādhi. This was his sole reading on Desolation Peak, and he hoped by this means to condition his mind to emptiness, and possibly to have a vision.

Jack Kerouac is considered by some[who?] as the “King of the Beats”, a title with which Jack Kerouac himself was deeply uncomfortable.

Jack Kerouac’s plainspeak manner of writing prose, as well as his nearly long-form haiku style of poetry have inspired countless modern neo-beat writers and artists, such as painter George Condo, poet and philosopher Roger Craton, and filmmaker John McNaughton.

In 1974 the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics was open in his honour by Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman at Naropa University, a private Buddhist University in Boulder, Colorado. The school offers an MFA in Writing & Poetics, a BA in Writing and Literature, a Summer Writing Program, and MFA in Creative Writing.

In 1997, the house on Clouser Avenue where Dharma Bums was written was purchased by a newly formed non-profit group entitled The Jack Kerouac Writers in Residence Project of Orlando, Inc. This group continues to this day to provide aspiring writers to live in the same house Jack Kerouac was inspired in, with room and board covered, for 3 months.

In 2007, Jack Kerouac was awarded a posthumous honourary degree from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

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Schizophrenia Series-Disabled Legend Syd Barrett

Syd Barrett was born Roger Keith Barrett; on 6 January 1946 and died on 7 July 2006. Syd Barrett was an English singer, songwriter, guitarist and artist. Syd Barrett is most remembered as a founding member of British psychedelic rock band Pink Floyd, providing major musical and stylistic direction in their early work, although he left the group in 1968 amidst speculations of mental illness exacerbated by heavy drug use.

Syd Barrett was active as a rock musician for about 7 years, recording 2 albums with Pink Floyd and 2 solo albums before going into self-imposed seclusion lasting more than 30 years. Syd Barrett’s post–rock band life was as an artist and keen gardener, ending with his death in 2006, and a number of biographies have been written about him since the 1980s. During his withdrawal from public life there were numerous speculative, although largely appreciative works about him, most notably his former band Pink Floyd’s 1975 album Wish You Were Here.

Syd Barrett was born in the English city of Cambridge to a middle-class family. Syd Barrett’s father, Arthur Max Barrett, was a prominent pathologist, and both he and his wife, Winifred, encouraged the young Roger (as he was known then) in his music. When Syd Barrett was 3 years old, his family moved to 183 Hills Road. After his brothers and sisters left home, his mother rented out rooms to lodgers, including a future Prime Minister of Japan. Syd Barrett acquired the nickname “Syd” at the age of 14, a reference to an old local Cambridge jazz drummer, Sid Barrett. Syd Barrett changed the spelling in order to differentiate himself from his namesake. Syd Barrett’s father died of cancer on 11 December, 1961, less than a month before Syd Barrett’s 16th birthday. Syd Barrett attended Cambridgeshire High School for Boys, now known as Hills Road 6th Form College in Cambridge, and, from 1962 to 1963/64 and Cambridge College of Arts and Technology (now Cambridge School of Art at Anglia Ruskin University) since 1964. Syd Barrett then enrolled in Camberwell art school in South London in 1964 before forming his 1st band in 1965. During this pre–Pink Floyd time he wrote such tunes as “Effervescing Elephant” to play at local parties.

Starting in 1964, the band that would become Pink Floyd underwent various line-up and name changes such as “The Abdabs”, “The Screaming Abdabs”, “Sigma 6” and “The Meggadeaths”. In 1965, Syd Barrett joined them as “The Tea Set”, and when they found themselves playing a concert with a band of the same name, Syd Barrett came up with the name “The Pink Floyd Sound” (later “The Pink Floyd”). Syd Barrett devised the name “Pink Floyd” by juxtaposing the 1st names of Pink Anderson and Floyd Council whom he had read about in a sleeve note by Paul Oliver for a 1962 Blind Boy Fuller LP (Philips BBL-7512): “Curley Weaver and Fred McMullen, (…) Pink Anderson or Floyd Council—these were a few amongst the many blues singers that were to be heard in the rolling hills of the Piedmont, or meandering with the streams through the wooded valleys”.

While Pink Floyd began by playing cover versions of American R&B songs (in much the same vein as contemporaries The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds and The Kinks), by 1966they had carved out their own style of improvised rock and roll, which drew as much from improvised jazz as it did from British pop-rock, such as that championed by The Beatles. In that year, a new rock concert venue, the UFO, opened in London and quickly became a haven for British psychedelic music. Pink Floyd, the house band, was their most popular attraction, and, after making appearances at the rival Roundhouse, became the most popular musical group of the so-called “London Underground” psychedelic music scene.

By the end of 1966 Pink Floyd had gained a reliable management team in Andrew King and Peter Jenner. The duo soon befriended American expatriate Joe Boyd, who was making a name for himself as one of the more important entrepreneurs on the British music scene. Joe Boyd produced a recording session for the group in January 1967 at Sound Techniques in Chelsea, which resulted in a demo of the single “Arnold Layne”. King and Jenner took the song to the recording behemoth EMI, who were impressed enough to offer the band a contract, under which they would be allowed to record an album. The band accepted. By the time the album was released, “Arnold Layne” had reached number 20 on the British singles charts (despite a ban by Radio London) and a follow-up single, “See Emily Play” had done even better, peaking at number 6.

These 1st 2 singles, as well as a 3rd(“Apples and Oranges”), were written by Syd Barrett, who also was the principal visionary/author of their critically acclaimed 1967 debut album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. The album’s title was taken from the mystical “Pan” chapter of The Wind in the Willows. Of the 11 songs on The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Syd Barrett wrote 8 and co-wrote another 2.

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn was recorded intermittently between January and July 1967 in Studio 2 at Abbey Road Studios. At that same time at Abbey Road the Beatles were recording Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in Studio 1 and the Pretty Things were recording S.F. Sorrow. When The Piper at the Gates of Dawn was released in August of that year, it became a smash hit in the UK, hitting #6 on the British album charts (the album was not nearly so successful in the USA). However, as the band began to attract a large fanbase, the pressures on Syd Barrett contributed to his experiencing increasing psychiatric illness.

Syd Barrett’s behaviour became increasingly unpredictable, partly as a consequence of frequent experimentation with psychedelic drugs such as LSD. Many report having seen him on stage with the group, strumming on 1 chord through the entire concert, or not playing at all. At a show at The Fillmore West in San Francisco, during a performance of “Interstellar Overdrive”, Syd Barrett slowly detuned his guitar. The audience seemed to enjoy such antics, unaware of the rest of the band’s consternation. Before a performance in late 1967, Syd Barrett apparently crushed Mandrax and an entire tube of Brylcreem into his hair, which subsequently melted down his face under the heat of the stage lighting, making him look like “a guttered candle”. Nick Mason later disputed the Mandrax portion of this story, stating that “Syd would never waste good mandies”.

Following a disastrous abridged tour of the United States, David Gilmour (a school friend of Syd Barrett’s) was asked to join the band as a 2nd guitarist to cover for Syd Barrett as Syd Barrett’s erratic behaviour prevented him from performing. For a handful of shows David played and sang while Syd Barrett wandered around on stage, occasionally deigning to join in playing. The other band members soon tired of Syd Barrett’s antics and, in January 1968, on the way to a show at Southampton University, the band elected not to pick Syd Barrett up: 1 person in the car said, “Shall we pick Syd up?” and another person said, “Let’s not bother” (Gilmour interview in Guitar World – January 1995). They attempted to retain him in the group as a songwriter.

There are many stories about Syd Barrett’s bizarre and intermittently psychotic behaviour — some are known to be true. According to Roger Waters, Syd Barrett came into what was to be their last practice session with a new song he had dubbed “Have You Got It, Yet?”. The song seemed simple enough when he first presented it to his bandmates, but it soon became impossibly difficult to learn: while they were practising it, Syd Barrett kept changing the arrangement. Syd Barrett would then play it again, with the arbitrary changes, and sing “Have you got it yet?”. Eventually they realised they never would and that they were simply bearing the brunt of Syd Barrett’s idiosyncratic sense of humour.

Syd Barrett did not contribute any material to the band after A Saucerful of Secrets was released in 1968. Of the songs he wrote for Pink Floyd after The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, only 1 (“Jugband Blues”) made it to the band’s 2nd album; 1 became a less-than-successful single (“Apples and Oranges”), and 2 others (“Scream Thy Last Scream” and “Vegetable Man”) were never officially released. Syd Barrett supposedly spent some time outside the recording studio, waiting to be invited in (he also showed up to a few gigs and glared at Gilmour). Syd Barrett played slide guitar on “Remember a Day” (which had been 1st attempted during the The Piper at the Gates of Dawn sessions) and also played on “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun”. Syd Barrett’s main contribution to the album, “Jugband Blues,” is often seen by Pink Floyd fans as Syd Barrett’s admission that his days in the band were probably numbered (“It’s awfully considerate of you to think of me here/And I’m most obliged to you for making it clear/that I’m not here”, the song opens). In March 1968 it was officially announced that he was no longer a member of Pink Floyd.

After leaving Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett distanced himself from the public eye. However, at the behest of EMI and Harvest Records, he did have a brief solo career, releasing 2 solo albums, The Madcap Laughs and Barrett. Much of the material on both albums dates from Barrett’s most productive period of songwriting, late 1966 to mid 1967, and it is believed that he wrote few new songs after he left Pink Floyd.

The 1st album, The Madcap Laughs, was recorded in 2 distinct sessions, both at Abbey Road Studios: a few tentative sessions took place between May and June 1968 (produced by Peter Jenner), while the bulk of the album was recorded between April and July 1969. The record was produced 1st by Malcolm Jones, a young EMI executive, and then by David Gilmour and Roger Waters. Malcolm Jones states in his book “The Making of the Madcap Laughs” that “when Dave came to me and said that Syd Barrett wanted him and Roger Waters to do the remaining parts of the album, I acquiesced.” A few tracks on the album feature overdubs by members of the band Soft Machine. Syd Barrett also played guitar on the sessions for Soft Machine founder Kevin Ayers’ debut LP Joy of a Toy, although his performance on “Religious Experience” was not released until the album was reissued in 2003.

The 2nd album, Barrett, was recorded more sporadically than the 1st, with sessions taking place between February and July 1970. This effort sounds more polished than the 1st, but Barrett was arguably in a worse state. The album was produced by David Gilmour and featured Gilmour on bass guitar, Rick Wright on keyboard and Humble Pie drummer Jerry Shirley.

Despite the numerous recording dates for his 2 solo albums, Syd Barrett undertook very little musical activity between 1968 and 1972 outside the studio. On 24 February 1970, he appeared on John Peel’s BBC radio programme Top Gear playing 5 songs—only 1 of which had been previously released. 3 would be re-recorded for the Barrett album, while the song “Two of a Kind” was a one-off performance (the song appears on the 2001 compilation The Best of Syd Barrett: Wouldn’t You Miss Me?) with the lyrics and composition having since been credited to Richard Wright. Syd Barrett was accompanied on this session by David Gilmour and Jerry Shirley who played bass and percussion, respectively.

Gilmour and Shirley also backed Syd Barrett for his one and only live concert during this period. The gig took place on 6 June 1970 at the Olympia Exhibition Hall, London, and was part of a Music and Fashion Festival. The trio performed 4 songs, playing for less than half an hour, and because of poor mixing, the vocals were inaudible until part-way through the last number. At the end of the 4th song, Syd Barrett unexpectedly but politely put down his guitar and walked off the stage.

Syd Barrett made 1 last appearance on BBC Radio, recording 3 songs at their studios on 16 February 1971. All 3 came from the Barrett album, and were presumably aired to encourage people to buy the record. After this session, he would take a hiatus from his music career that lasted more than a year, although in an extensive interview with Mick Rock and Rolling Stone in December, he discussed himself at length, showed off his new 12-string guitar, talked about his American tour with Jimi Hendrix, and stated that he was frustrated in terms of his musical work because of his inability to find anyone good to play with.

In 1972, Syd Barrett formed a short-lived band called Stars with ex–Pink Fairies member Twink on drums and Jack Monck on bass. Though the band was initially well received, one of their gigs at the Corn Exchange in Cambridge proved to be disastrous (Monck describes just how disastrous it was in a TV interview in 2001 for the BBC Omnibus series documentary ‘Crazy Diamond’). A few days after this final show, Twink recalled that Barrett stopped him on the street, showed him a scathing review of the gig they had played, and quit on the spot.

In August 1974, Peter Jenner convinced Syd Barrett to return to Abbey Road Studios in hope of recording another album. However, little became of the sessions, which lasted 3 days and consisted of blues rhythm tracks with tentative and disjointed guitar overdubs (the only titled track is “If You Go, Don’t Be Slow”). Once again, Syd Barrett withdrew from the music industry. Syd Barrett sold the rights to his solo albums back to the record label, moved into a London hotel and when the money ran out he walked back to Cambridge to live in his mother’s basement. Further attempts to bring him back (including one endeavour by The Damned who wanted him to produce their 2nd album) were all fruitless. Until his death, Syd Barrett still received royalties from his work with Pink Floyd from each compilation and some of the live albums and singles that had featured his songs; Gilmour has commented that he (Gilmour) “[made] sure the money [got] to him all right”.

According to a 2005 profile by a recent biographer Tim Willis, Syd Barrett, who had reverted to using his original name of Roger, continued to live in his late mother’s semi-detached home in Cambridge, and had returned to his original art-form of painting, creating large abstract canvases. Syd Barrett was also said to have been an avid gardener. Syd Barrett’s main point of contact with the outside world was his sister, Rosemary, who lived nearby. While reclusive, it was his physical health that prompted most concern, being afflicted with stomach ulcers and type 2 diabetes.

Although Syd Barrett had not appeared or spoken in public since the mid-1970s, time did little to diminish interest in his life and work; reporters and fans still travelled to Cambridge to seek him out, despite his attempts to live a quiet life. Many photos of Syd Barrett being annoyed by paparazzi when walking or biking, from the 1980s until his death in 2006, had been published in various media.

Apparently, Syd Barrett was not happy being reminded about his past as a musician and the other members of Pink Floyd had no direct contact with him. However, he did go to his sister’s house in November 2001 to watch the BBC Omnibus documentary made about him – reportedly he found some of it “too noisy”, enjoyed seeing Mike Leonard (of Leonard’s Lodgers) again (whom he called his ‘teacher’), and enjoyed hearing “See Emily Play” again.

Syd Barrett died on Friday 7 July 2006 at his home in Cambridge of pancreatic cancer, but this was usually reported as “complications from diabetes.” The occupation on his death certificate was given as “retired musician.”

In 2006, his home, located in St. Margaret’s Square, was placed on the market and reportedly attracted considerable interest. After over 100 viewings, many by fans, his house was sold to a French couple who bought the house simply because they liked it—reportedly they knew nothing about Syd Barrett. Syd Barrett’s other possessions were auctioned for £120,000. NME produced a tribute issue to Syd Barrett the week after with a photo of the songwriter on the cover. In an interview with The Times, Syd Barrett’s sister revealed that he had written a book: “He read very deeply about the history of art and actually wrote an unpublished book about it, which I’m too sad to read at the moment. But he found his own mind so absorbing that he didn’t want to be distracted.”

According to a local Cambridge newspaper, Syd Barrett left approximately £1.25,000,000 to his 2 brothers and 2 sisters. This income was apparently largely acquired via royalties from Pink Floyd compilations and live recordings which featured songs he had written while with the band.

A tribute concert was held at the Barbican Centre, London on 10 May 2007 with Robyn Hitchcock, Captain Sensible, Damon Albarn, Chrissie Hynde, Kevin Ayers and his Pink Floyd bandmates performing (albeit not on stage at the same time for the last).

Syd Barrett had 1 noted reunion with the members of Pink Floyd in 1975 during the recording sessions for Wish You Were Here. Syd Barrett attended the Abbey Road session unannounced, and watched the band record “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” — as it happened, a song about him. By that time, Syd Barrett had become quite overweight, had shaved off all of his hair, including his eyebrows, and his ex-bandmates did not at first recognise him (one of the photographs in Nick Mason’s book Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd appears to have been taken that day it is captioned: Syd Barrett at Abbey Road Studios, 5th June 1975). Eventually, they realised who he was and Roger Waters was so distressed that he was reduced to tears. A reference to this reunion appears in the film Pink Floyd The Wall (1982), where the character ‘Pink,’ played by Bob Geldof, shaves off his eyebrows (and body hair) after succumbing to the pressures of life and fame.

In an interview for the 2001 BBC Omnibus documentary Syd Barrett: Crazy Diamond (later released on DVD as The Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett Story), the story is told in full. Rick Wright spoke about the session, saying: “One thing that really stands out in my mind, that I’ll never forget; I was going in to the “Shine On” sessions. I went in the studio and I saw this guy sitting at the back of the studio, he was only as far away as you are from me. And I didn’t recognize him. I said, ‘Who’s that guy behind you?’ ‘That’s Syd’. And I just cracked up, I couldn’t believe it… he had shaven all his hair off… I mean, his eyebrows, everything… he was jumping up and down brushing his teeth, it was awful. And, uh, I was in, I mean Roger was in tears, I think I was; we were both in tears. It was very shocking… 7 years of no contact and then to walk in while we’re actually doing that particular track. I don’t know – coincidence, karma, fate, who knows? But it was very, very, very powerful”. In the same documentary, Nick Mason stated: “When I think about it, I can still see his eyes, but… it was everything else that was different”. In that same interview, Roger Waters has said: “I had no idea who he was for a very long time”. David Gilmour stated : “None of us recognised him. Shaved…shaved bald head and very plump”.

In 1988, EMI Records released an album of Barrett’s studio outtakes and previously unreleased material recorded from 1968 to 1970 under the title Opel. The disc was originally set to include the unreleased Barrett Pink Floyd songs “Scream Thy Last Scream” and “Vegetable Man”, which had been remixed for the album by Malcolm Jones. However, the two songs were pulled (reportedly by the remaining members of Pink Floyd) before Opel was finalised.

In 1993 EMI issued another release, Crazy Diamond, a box set of all 3 albums, each loaded with further out-takes from his solo sessions that illustrated vividly Syd Barrett’s inability or refusal to play a song the same way twice.

EMI also released The Best of Syd Barrett: Wouldn’t You Miss Me? in the UK on 16 April, 2001, and in the US on 11 September, 2001. This was the 1st time his song “Bob Dylan Blues” was ever officially released, taken from a demo tape that David Gilmour had kept after an early 1970s recording session. David Gilmour still has the tape, which also contains the unreleased “Living Alone” from the Syd Barrett sessions.

A number of bootleg LPs, CDs and other recordings of Syd Barrett’s live and solo material exist.

For years the “off air” recordings of the BBC sessions with Syd Barrett’s Pink Floyd circulated, until an engineer who had taken a tape of the early Pink Floyd gave it back to the BBC—who played it during a tribute to John Peel on their website. During this tribute, the 1st Peel programme (Top Gear) was aired in its entirety. This show featured 1967 live versions of “Flaming”, “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun”, and a brief 90-second snippet of the instrumental “Reaction in G”.

Syd Barrett’s 1st acoustic guitar Syd Barrett wrote most of the Pink Floyd’s early material. Syd Barrett was also an innovative guitarist, using extended techniques and exploring the musical and sonic possibilities of dissonance, distortion, feedback, the echo machine, tapes and other effects; his experimentation was partly inspired by free improvisation guitarist Keith Rowe. One of Syd Barrett’s trademarks was playing his guitar through an old echo box while sliding a Zippo lighter up and down the fret-board to create the mysterious, otherworldly sounds that became associated with the group. Syd Barrett was known to have used Binson delay units to achieve his trademark echo sounds.

Syd Barrett brought the guitar in a new direction. Syd Barrett’s free-form sequences of sonic carpets pioneered a new way to play the rock guitar. Syd Barrett played several different guitars during his tenure with Pink Floyd, including an old Harmony hollowbody electric, a Harmony acoustic, a Fender acoustic, a single-coil Danelectro 59 DC, several different Fender Telecasters, and a white Fender Stratocaster used in late 1967. However, a silver Fender Esquire with mirrored discs glued to the body was the guitar he was most often associated with and the guitar Syd Barrett himself “felt most close to.”

Many artists have acknowledged Syd Barrett’s influence on their work. Paul McCartney, Pete Townshend, Marc Bolan, and David Bowie were early fans; Jimmy Page, Brian Eno, and The Damned all expressed interest in working with him at some point during the 1970s. David Bowie recorded a cover of “See Emily Play” on his 1973 album Pin Ups. Pete Townshend called Syd Barrett legendary.

Syd Barrett’s decline had a profound effect on Roger Waters’s songwriting, and the theme of mental illness would permeate Pink Floyd’s later albums, particularly 1973’s Dark Side of the Moon and 1975’s Wish You Were Here which was a deliberate and affectionate tribute to Syd Barrett, the songs “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” and the title track being specifically about him. The title track borrows imagery of a “steel rail” from Syd Barrett’s solo song, “If It’s In You,” from the Madcap Laughs album.

In 1987, an album of Barrett cover songs called Beyond the Wildwood was released. The album collected songs from Barrett’s Pink Floyd albums and his solo albums. Artists appearing were UK and USA indie bands including The Shamen, Opal, The Soup Dragons, and Plasticland.

Other artists that have written tributes to Syd Barrett include his contemporary Kevin Ayers, who wrote “Oh Wot a Dream” in his honour (Syd Barrett provided guitar to an early version of Ayers’ song “Religious Experience: Singing a Song in the Morning”). Syd Barrett fan Robyn Hitchcock has covered many of his songs live and on record, and has paid homage to his forebear with the songs “The Man Who Invented Himself” and “(Feels Like) 1974”. The Television Personalities’ track “I Know Where Syd Barrett Lives” from their 1981 album And Don’t the Kids Love It is another tribute. (The Television Personalities became the subject of controversy and derision when, as they had been selected as the opening act on David Gilmour’s About Face tour in the early 1980s, lead singer Dan Treacy decided to read aloud Barrett’s real home address to the audience of thousands. David Gilmour removed them from the tour immediately afterwards.)

Johnny Depp has shown interest in a biographical film based on Barrett’s life.

Syd Barrett is also portrayed briefly in the opening scene of Tom Stoppard’s play Rock ‘n’ Roll (2006), performing Golden Hair. Syd Barrett’s life and music, including the disastrous Cambridge Corn Exchange concert and his later reclusive lifestyle, are a recurring motif in the work. Syd Barrett died during the play’s run in London.

There has been much speculation concerning Syd Barrett’s psychological well-being. Many believe he suffered from schizophrenia. A diagnosis of bipolar disorder (aka manic depression) has also been considered.

Syd Barrett’s use of psychedelic drugs, especially LSD, during the 1960s is well documented. Some believe that Syd Barrett’s drug use was responsible for, or at least contributed to, his mental illness. In an article published in 2006, David Gilmour was quoted as saying: “In my opinion, his breakdown would have happened anyway. It was a deep-rooted thing. But I’ll say the psychedelic experience might well have acted as a catalyst. Still, I just don’t think he could deal with the vision of success and all the things that went with it.”

Many stories of Syd Barrett’s erratic behaviour off stage as well as on are also well-documented. In Saucerful of Secrets: The Pink Floyd Odyssey, author Nicholas Schaffner interviewed a number of people who knew Syd Barrett before and during his Pink Floyd days. These included friends Peter and Susan Wynne-Wilson, artist Duggie Fields (with whom Syd Barrett shared a flat during the late 1960s), June Bolan and Storm Thorgerson, among others.

“For June Bolan, the alarm bells began to sound only when Syd kept his girlfriend under lock and key for three days, occasionally shoving a ration of biscuits under the door.” A claim of cruelty against Syd Barrett committed by the groupies and hangers-on who frequented his apartment during this period was described by writer and critic Jonathan Meades. “I went [to Syd Barrett’s flat] to see Harry and there was this terrible noise. It sounded like heating pipes shaking. I said, ‘What’s up?’ and he sort of giggled and said, ‘That’s Syd having a bad trip. We put him in the linen cupboard.'” Storm Thorgerson responded to this claim by stating “I do not remember locking Syd up in a cupboard. It sounds to me like pure fantasy, like Jonathan Meades was on dope himself.”

However, in the book Crazy Diamond: Syd Barrett and the Dawn of Pink Floyd, authors Mike Watkinson and Pete Anderson included quotes from a story told to them by Thorgerson that underscored how volatile Barrett could be. “On one occasion, I had to pull him off Lynsey (Syd Barrett’s girlfriend at the time) because he was beating her over the head with a mandolin.”

According to David Gilmour in an interview with Nick Kent, the other members of Pink Floyd approached psychiatrist R.D. Laing with the ‘Barrett problem’. After hearing a tape of a Syd Barrett conversation, Laing declared him incurable.

David Gilmour also proposed, in an interview with the National Post’s John Geiger, that the stroboscopic lights used in their shows combined with the drugs could have had a seriously detrimental effect on Syd Barrett’s mental health if he was a photo-epileptic who suffered partial seizures. When partial seizures occur in the temporal lobes patients are often misdiagnosed with schizophrenia or psychosis.

After Syd Barrett died, his sister, Rosemary Breen, spoke to biographer Tim Willis for The Sunday Times. Rosemary insisted that Syd Barrett neither suffered from mental illness nor received treatment for it at any time since they resumed regular contact in the 1980s. Rosemary allowed that he did spend some time in a private “home for lost souls” — Greenwoods in Essex — but claimed there was no formal therapy programme there. Some years later, Syd Barrett apparently agreed to sessions with a psychiatrist at Fulbourn psychiatric hospital in Cambridge, but Breen claimed that neither medication nor therapy was considered appropriate in her brother’s case.

Syd Barrett’s sister denied he was a recluse or that he was vague about his past: “Roger may have been a bit selfish — or rather self-absorbed — but when people called him a recluse they were really only projecting their own disappointment. Syd Barrett knew what they wanted but he wasn’t willing to give it to them.” Syd Barrett, she said, took up photography, and sometimes they went to the seaside together. “Quite often he took the train on his own to London to look at the major art collections — and he loved flowers. Syd Barrett made regular trips to the Botanic Gardens and to the dahlias at Anglesey Abbey, near Lode. But of course, his passion was his painting”, she said.

A series of events, called “The City Wakes” will be held in Cambridge, UK in October 2008 to celebrate Barrett’s life, art and music. Barrett’s sister, Rosemary Breen, is promoting the 1st ever series of official events in memory of her brother.

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Club Feet or Foot Series-Disabled Legend David Lynch

David Keith Lynch was born on 20 January, 1946 in Missoula, Montana. David Lynch is an American director, screenwriter, producer, painter, cartoonist, composer, video and performance artist. David Lynch has received 3 Academy Award nominations for Best Director, for The Elephant Man (1980), Blue Velvet (1986), and Mulholland Drive (2001). David Lynch has won awards at the Cannes Film Festival and Venice Film Festival. David Lynch is probably best recalled as the director of The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet, Mulholland Dr. and as the creator of the Twin Peaks television series.

Over a lengthy career, David Lynch has employed a distinctive and unorthodox approach to narrative film making (dubbed Lynchian), which has become instantly recognisable to many audiences and critics worldwide. David Lynch’s films are known for surreal, nightmarish and dreamlike images and meticulously crafted sound design. David Lynch’s work often explores the seedy underside of “Small Town U.S.” (particularly Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks), or sprawling California metropolises (Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive and his latest release, Inland Empire). Beginning with his experimental film school feature Eraserhead (1977), he has maintained a strong cult following despite inconsistent commercial success.

David Lynch’s father, Donald, was a U.S. Department of Agriculture research scientist and his mother, Sunny Lynch, was an English language tutor. David Lynch was raised throughout the Pacific Northwest and Durham, North Carolina. David Lynch attained the rank of Eagle Scout and, on his 15th birthday, served as an usher at John F. Kennedy’s Presidential Inauguration. David Lynch is a Presbyterian. David Lynch’s mother’s father, whose last name was Sandholm, moved to the United States from Finland in the 19th century, and David Lynch is one of the most well-known Finnish Americans.

Intending to become an artist, David Lynch attended classes at Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. while finishing high school in Alexandria, Virginia. David Lynch enrolled in the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston for 1 year (where he was a roommate of Peter Wolf) before leaving for Europe with his friend and fellow artist Jack Fisk, planning to study with Austrian expressionist painter Oskar Kokoschka. Although he had planned to stay for 3 years, David Lynch returned to the US after only 15 days.

In 1966, David Lynch relocated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) and made a series of complex mosaics in geometric shapes which he called Industrial Symphonies. David Lynch’s receipt for his 1st camera, purchased in Philadelphia on 25 April, 1967 at Fotorama, lists his residency as 2429 Aspen Street. This house is located in Philadelphia’s Fairmount neighborhood, also known as the Art Museum neighborhood. The receipt can be viewed on The Short Films of David Lynch. At this time, he also began working in film. David Lynch’s 1st short film 6 Men Getting Sick (1966), which he described as “57 seconds of growth and fire, and 3 seconds of vomit”, was played on a loop at an art exhibit. It won the Academy’s annual film contest. This led to a commission from H. Barton Wasserman to do a film installation in his home. After a disastrous 1st attempt that resulted in a completely blurred, frameless print, Barton Wasserman allowed David Lynch to keep the remaining portion of the commission. Using this, he created The Alphabet.

In 1970, David Lynch turned his attention away from fine art and focused primarily on film. David Lynch won a $5,000 grant from the American Film Institute to produce The Grandmother, about a neglected boy who “grows” a grandmother from a seed. The 30minute film exhibited many elements that would become David Lynch trademarks, including unsettling sound and disturbingly surrealistic imagery and a focus on unconscious desires instead of traditional narration.

In 1971, David Lynch moved to Los Angeles to attend the M.F.A. studies at the AFI Conservatory. At the Conservatory, David Lynch began working on his 1st feature-length film, Eraserhead, using a $10,000 grant from the AFI. The grant did not provide enough money to complete the film and, due to lack of a sufficient budget, Eraserhead was filmed intermittently until 1977. David Lynch used money from friends and family, including boyhood friend Jack Fisk, a production designer and the husband of actress Sissy Spacek, and even took a paper route to finish it.

A stark and enigmatic film, Eraserhead tells the story of a quiet young man (Jack Nance) living in an industrial wasteland, whose girlfriend gives birth to a constantly crying mutant baby. David Lynch has referred to Eraserhead as “my Philadelphia story”, meaning it reflects all of the dangerous and fearful elements he encountered while studying and living in Philadelphia. David Lynch said “this feeling left its traces deep down inside me. And when it came out again, it became Eraserhead”.

The final film was initially judged to be almost unreleasable, but thanks to the efforts of The Elgin Theatre distributor Ben Barenholtz, it became an instant cult classic and was a staple of midnight movie showings for the next decade. It was also a critical success, launching David Lynch to the forefront of avant-garde filmmaking. Stanley Kubrick said that it was one of his all-time favorite films. It cemented the team of actors and technicians who would continue to define the texture of his work for years to come, including cinematographer Frederick Elmes, sound designer Alan Splet, and actor Jack Nance.

Eraserhead brought David Lynch to the attention of producer Mel Brooks, who hired him to direct 1980’s The Elephant Man, a biopic of deformed Victorian era figure Joseph Merrick. The film was a huge commercial success, and earned 8 Academy Award nominations, including Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay nods for David Lynch. It also established his place as a commercially viable, if somewhat dark and unconventional, Hollywood director. George Lucas, a fan of Eraserhead, offered David Lynch the opportunity to direct Return of the Jedi, which he refused, feeling that it would be more Lucas’s vision than his own.

Afterwards, David Lynch agreed to direct a big budget adaptation of Frank Herbert’s science fiction novel Dune for Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis’s De Laurentiis Entertainment Group, on the condition that the company release a second David Lynch project, over which the director would have complete creative control. Although Dino De Laurentiis hoped it would be the next Star Wars, David Lynch’s Dune (1984) was a critical and commercial dud, costing $45,000,000 to make, and grossing a mere $27.4,000,000 domestically. The studio released an “extended cut” of the film for syndicated television in which some footage was reinstated; however, certain shots from elsewhere in the film were repeated throughout the story to give the impression that other footage had been added. Whatever the case, this was not representative of David Lynch’s intended cut, but rather a cut that the studio felt was more comprehensible than the original theatrical version. David Lynch objected to these changes and disowned the extended cut, which has “Alan Smithee” credited as the director. This version has since been released on video worldwide.

David Lynch’s 2nd Dino De Laurentiis financed project was 1986’s Blue Velvet, the story of a college student (Kyle MacLachlan) who discovers his small, idealistic hometown hides a dark side after investigating a severed ear he found in a field. The film featured memorable performances from Isabella Rossellini as a tormented lounge singer, and Dennis Hopper as a crude, psychopathic criminal, and the leader of a small gang of backwater hoodlums.

Although David Lynch had found success previously with The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet’s controversy with audiences and critics introduced him into the mainstream, and became a huge critical and commercial success. Thus, the film earned David Lynch his 2nd Academy Award nomination for Best Director. The content of the film and its artistic merit drew much controversy from audiences and critics alike in 1986 and onwards. Blue Velvet introduced several common elements of his work, including abused women, the dark underbelly of small towns, and unconventional uses of vintage songs. Bobby Vinton’s “Blue Velvet” and Roy Orbison’s “In Dreams” are both featured in disturbing ways. It was also the 1st time David Lynch worked with composer Angelo Badalamenti, who would contribute to all of his future full-length films except INLAND EMPIRE.

Woody Allen, whose film Hannah and Her Sisters was nominated for Best Picture, said that Blue Velvet was his favourite film of the year. The film is consistently ranked as one of the greatest American films ever made, and has become a hugely influential motion picture, the impact of which is still being felt in Hollywood and popular culture.

After failing to secure funding for several completed scripts in the late 1980s, David Lynch collaborated with television producer Mark Frost on the show Twin Peaks, which was about a small Washington town that is the location of several bizarre occurrences. The show centered around the investigation by FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) into the death of popular high school student Laura Palmer, an investigation that unearthed the secrets of many town residents, something that stemmed from Blue Velvet. David Lynch directed 6 episodes of the series, including the feature-length pilot, wrote or co-wrote several more and even acted in some episodes.

The show debuted on the ABC Network on 8 April, 1990 and gradually rose from cult hit to cultural phenomenon, and because of its originality and success remains one of the most well-known television series of the decade. Catch phrases from the show entered the culture and parodies of it were seen on Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons. David Lynch appeared on the cover of Time magazine largely because of the success of the series. David Lynch, who has seldom acted in his career, also appeared on the show as the partially-deaf FBI Regional Bureau Chief Gordon Cole, who shouted his every word.

However, David Lynch clashed with the ABC Network on several matters, particularly whether or not to reveal Laura Palmer’s killer. The network insisted that the revelation be made during the 2nd season but David Lynch wanted the mystery to last as long as the series. David Lynch soon became disenchanted with the series, and, as a result, many cast members complained of feeling abandoned. Later, in a roundtable discussion with cast members included in the 2007 DVD release of the series, he stated that he and Mark Frost never intended to ever reveal the identity of Laura’s killer, that ABC forced him to reveal the culprit prematurely, and that agreeing to do so is one of his biggest professional regrets.

It was at this time that David Lynch began to work with editor/producer/domestic partner Mary Sweeney who had been one of his assistant editors on Blue Velvet. This was a collaboration that would last some 11 projects. During this period, Mary Sweeney also gave birth to their son.

Adapted from the novel by Barry Gifford, Wild at Heart was an almost hallucinatory crime/road movie starring Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern. It won the Palme d’Or at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival but was met with a muted response from American critics and viewers. Reportedly, several people walked out of test screenings.

The missing link between Twin Peaks and Wild at Heart, however, is Industrial Symphony No. 1: The Dream of the Broken Hearted. It was originally presented on-stage at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City on 10 November, 1989 as a part of the New Music America Festival. Industrial Symphony No. 1 is another collaboration between composer Angelo Badalamenti and David Lynch. It features 5 songs by Julee Cruise and stars several members of the Twin Peaks cast as well as Nic Cage, Laura Dern and Julee Cruise. David Lynch described this musical spectacle as the “sound effects and music and … happening on the stage. And, it has something to do with, uh, a relationship ending.” David Lynch produced a 50 minute video of the performance in 1990.

Twin Peaks suffered a severe ratings drop and was cancelled in 1991. Still, David Lynch scripted a prequel to the series about the last 7 days in the life of Laura Palmer. The resulting film, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992), flopped at the box office.

As a quick blip during this time period, he and Mark Frost wrote and directed several episodes of the short lived comedy series On the Air for ABC, which followed the zany antics at a 1950s TV studio. In the US, only 3 episodes were aired, although 7 were filmed. In the Netherlands, all 7 were aired by VPRO. BBC2 in the UK also aired all 7 episodes. David Lynch also produced (with Mark Frost) and directed the documentary television series American Chronicles.

David Lynch’s next project was much more low-key: he directed 2 episodes of a 3-episode HBO mini-series called Hotel Room about events that happened in the same hotel room in a span of decades.

David Lynch also had a comic strip – The Angriest Dog in the World – which featured unchanging graphics (various panels showing the angular, angry dog chained up in a yard full of bones) and cryptic philosophical references. It ran from 1983 until 1992in the Village Voice, Creative Loafing and other tabloid and alternative publications.

In 1997, David Lynch returned with the non-linear, noir-like film Lost Highway, co-written by Barry Gifford and starring Bill Pullman and Patricia Arquette. The film failed commercially and received a mixed response from critics. However, thanks in part to a soundtrack featuring David Bowie, Marilyn Manson, Rammstein, Nine Inch Nails and The Smashing Pumpkins, it helped gain Lynch a new audience of Generation X viewers.

In 1999, David Lynch surprised fans and critics with the G-rated, Disney-produced The Straight Story, written and edited by Mary Sweeney, which was, on the surface, a simple and humble movie telling the true story of Iowan Alvin Straight, played by Richard Farnsworth, who rides a lawnmower to Wisconsin to make peace with his ailing brother, played by Harry Dean Stanton. The film garnered positive reviews and reached a new audience for its director.

The same year, David Lynch approached ABC once again with an idea for a television drama. The network gave David Lynch the go-ahead to shoot a 2 hour pilot for the series Mulholland Drive, but disputes over content and running time led to the project being shelved indefinitely.

With $7,000,000 from the French production company Studio Canal, David Lynch completed the pilot as a film. Mulholland Drive is an enigmatic tale of the dark side of Hollywood and stars Naomi Watts, Laura Harring and Justin Theroux. The film performed relatively well at the box office worldwide and was a critical success earning David Lynch a Best Director prize at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival (shared with Joel Coen for The Man Who Wasn’t There) and a Best Director award from the New York Film Critics Association.

In 2002, David Lynch created a series of online shorts entitled Dumbland. Intentionally crude both in content and execution, the 8 episode series was later released on DVD. The same year, David Lynch treated his fans to his own version of a sitcom via his website – Rabbits, 8 episodes of surrealism in a rabbit suit. Later, he showed his experiments with Digital Video (DV) in the form of the Japanese style horror short Darkened Room.

At the 2005 Cannes Film Festival, David Lynch announced that he had spent over a year shooting his new project digitally in Poland. The feature, titled Inland Empire, included David Lynch regulars such as Laura Dern, Harry Dean Stanton, and Mulholland Drive star Justin Theroux, with cameos by Naomi Watts and Laura Harring (actors in the rabbit suits), and a performance by Jeremy Irons. David Lynch described the piece as “a mystery about a woman in trouble”. It was released in December 2006. In an effort to promote the film, David Lynch made appearances with a cow and a placard bearing the slogan “Without cheese there would be no Inland Empire”.

Despite his almost exclusive focus on America, David Lynch, like Woody Allen, has found a large audience in France; Inland Empire, Mulholland Drive, Lost Highway and Fire Walk With Me were all funded through French production companies.

The most recent work that David Lynch has directed is a fragrance short film/commercial for Gucci. It features 3 prominent models, dancing in what appear to be their own luxurious homes, to the soundtrack of Blondie. A video of the commercial plus a behind-the-scenes video of the making of the commercial is available online at the Gucci website.

In May 2008, David Lynch announced that he was working on a road documentary “about his dialogues with regular folk on the meaning of life, with the likes of 60’s troubadour Donovan and John Hagelin, the physicist, as traveling companions”.

Awards and honours

David Lynch has twice won France’s César Award for Best Foreign Film and served as President of the jury at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival, where he had previously won the Palme d’Or in 1990. On 6 September, 2006 David Lynch received a Golden Lion award for lifetime achievement at the Venice Film Festival. David Lynch also premiered his latest work, Inland Empire, at the festival.

David Lynch has received 4 Academy Award nominations: Best Director for The Elephant Man (1980), Blue Velvet (1986) and Mulholland Drive (2001), as well as Best Adapted Screenplay for The Elephant Man (1980).

David Lynch was also honoured by the French government with the Legion of Honour, the country’s top civilian honour, as Chevalier in 2002 then Officier in 2007.

David Lynch is also widely noted for his collaborations with various production artists and composers on his films and multiple different productions. David Lynch frequently uses Angelo Badalamenti to compose music for his productions, former wife Mary Sweeney as a film editor, casting director Johanna Ray, and cast members Harry Dean Stanton, Jack Nance, Kyle MacLachlan, Naomi Watts, Isabella Rossellini and Laura Dern.

Though interpretations do vary, those who study David Lynch’s work generally do find such images to represent consistent or semi-consistent themes throughout his body of work. Also, David Lynch often includes either small town United States in his films as a setting or location, for example Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet, or sprawling metropolis, for example Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive, where Los Angeles, California becomes the primary location. Beaten or abused women are also a common theme or subject in his productions, as are intimations or explicit mention of sexual abuse and incest (Blue Velvet, Lost Highway, Twin Peaks, Wild At Heart, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me and some would pick up references in Mulholland Dr, The Alphabet and The Grandmother).

On a similar note, he has also developed a tendency during the 2nd half of his career to feature his leading female actors in multiple or “split” roles, thus many of his characters have multiple, fractured identities in his films. Starting with the choice to cast Sheryl Lee both as Laura Palmer and as twin cousin Maddy Ferguson on Twin Peaks it continues to be a primary theme in his later works. In Lost Highway, Patricia Arquette has the dual role of Renee Madison/Alice Wakefield. In Mulholland Drive, Naomi Watts was cast as Diane Selwyn/Betty Elms and Laura Harring as Camilla Rhodes/Rita. The theme is even further carried out by Laura Dern’s performance in his latest production Inland Empire. Though there are instances in these films of men taking on multiple roles, it seems more common for David Lynch to create multi-character roles for his female actors.

Film critic Roger Ebert has been notoriously unfavourable towards David Lynch, even accusing him of misogyny in his reviews of Blue Velvet and Wild at Heart. In early days, Roger Ebert was one of few major critics to dislike Blue Velvet. Roger Ebert seems to have had a change of heart in recent years, as he has written enthusiastic reviews of recent David Lynch films such as The Straight Story and Mulholland Drive.

Unique visuals, often a lot of smoke, saturated and strong colours (especially red), the mix of decaying and rotting environments with aesthetic beauty, minimalist decoration, claustraphobic hallways and staircases, atmospheric lighting, electricity, flickering lights, dark rooms, coffee, lamps, fluorescent lights (especially flickering or damaged), traumatic head injuries and deformities (Blue Velvet, The Elephant Man, “Wild at Heart”, “Lost Highway”, “Mulholland Dr.”), highways or open roads at night (Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, Twin Peaks, Lost Highway, Mulholland Dr.), telephones (“Fire Walk with Me”, “Lost Highway”, “Mulholland Dr.”), dogs, diners (all films with the exception of Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, Inland Empire and The Straight Story feature diners), factories (Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks), red curtains (Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks, Lost Highway, Mulholland Dr., Inland Empire), cigarettes, the binding or crippling of hands or arms, various uses of the color blue and red, angelic or heavenly female figures, and extreme close ups.
Often sets his films in small town USA (Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks, The Straight Story), and on the contrary, large, sprawling cities (often Los Angeles) in some of his films.

Often casts a musician in a supporting role. Sting in Dune, Chris Isaak, David Bowie and Julee Cruise in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, Marilyn Manson, Twiggy Ramirez, and Henry Rollins in Lost Highway, Billy Ray Cyrus, Rebekah Del Rio and Angelo Badalamenti in Mulholland Dr..

Uses many references to France, the French language, culture, people, and names.
Constant references to dreams as a way of connecting the plot and twists in his films, and dreams intertwining with reality.

Frequent use of Roy Orbison songs in his films (In Dreams in Blue Velvet and a Spanish version of Crying in Mulholland Dr.)

Features somewhat obscure and/or lesser-known pop recordings from the middle of America’s 20th century, including “Sixteen Reasons” by Connie Stevens, “Every Little Star” by Linda Scott in “Mulholland Dr.”, and “Honky-Tonk” by Bill Doggett in “Blue Velvet”.

Industrial – atmospheric, dark, brooding, and meticulously timed soundtrack
Interpersonal dialogues and conversations which might often seem, by turns, laconic, aimless, pointless, cryptic, dreamlike, ambiguous. Certainly Lynchian dialogues are polysemous.

Frequent implied thematic discourse revolving around the questions, “What is ‘onstage’?” “What is ‘offstage’?” “What is ‘real life’?” “What is ‘show-biz’?” “What is ‘natural human behavior’?” “What is ‘acting’?”

David Lynch has expressed his admiration for filmmakers Jacques Tati, Stanley Kubrick, Ingmar Bergman and Federico Fellini, writer Franz Kafka (stating “the only artist I felt could be my brother was Kafka”), and artist Francis Bacon. Franz Kafka states that the majority of Stanley Kubrick films are in his top 10, that he really loves Franz Kafka, and that Francis Bacon paints images that are both visually stunning, and emotionally touching. Francis Bacon has also cited the Austrian expressionist painter Oskar Kokoschka as an inspiration for his works. David Lynch has a love for the 1939 version of The Wizard of Oz and frequently makes reference to it in his films, most overtly in Wild at Heart.

An early influence on David Lynch was the book The Art Spirit by American turn-of-the-century artist and teacher Robert Henri. When he was in high school, Bushnell Keeler, an artist who was the stepfather of one of his friends, introduced David Lynch to Robert Henri’s book, which became his bible. As David Lynch said in Chris Rodley’s book Lynch on Lynch, “it helped me decide my course for painting — 100 percent right there.” David Lynch, like Robert Henri, moved from rural America to an urban environment to pursue an artistic career. Robert Henri was an urban realist painter, legitimizing every day city life as the subject of his work, much in the same way that David Lynch first drew street scenes. Robert Henri’s work also bridged changing centuries, from America’s agricultural 19th century into the industrial 20th century, much in the same fashion as David Lynch’s films blend the nostalgic happiness of the 50s to the twisted weirdness of the 80s and 90s.

David Lynch’s influences have also included Luis Buñuel, Werner Herzog, Roman Polanski, Billy Wilder, John Ford, Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Francis Ford Coppola and Ernst Lubitsch. Some of them have cited David Lynch as an influence themselves, most notably Stanley Kubrick, who stated that he modeled his vision of The Shining (1980) upon that of Eraserhead and who, according to David Lynch’s book Catching the Big Fish, once commented while screening Eraserhead for a small group that it was his favourite film. Mario Bava, the prolific Italian horror filmmaker, has frequently been cited as an influence on David Lynch.

Gardenback: After the success he had enjoyed with “The Grandmother”, David Lynch moved to Beverly Hills to participate in the AFI’s Center for Advanced Film. David Lynch began working on a script for a short film called “Gardenback” in 1970. David Lynch spent the whole year working on a 45-page script. The film was to explore the physical materialisation of what grows inside a man’s head when he desires a woman that he sees. This manifestation metamorphoses into a monster.

Cinematographer/director Caleb Deschanel, who was also at the AFI at the time and wanted to shoot the film, introduced David Lynch to a producer at 20th Century Fox. The studio was interested in making a series of low-budget horror films and wanted to expand “Gardenback” into a feature film. The studio was willing to give David Lynch $50,000 to make it but wanted the 45-page script to be expanded. This involved writing dialogue — something David Lynch had never tried before. David Lynch said in Lynch on Lynch, “What I wrote was pretty much worthless, but something happened inside me about structure, about scenes. And I don’t even know what it was, but it sort of percolated down and became part of me. But the script was pretty much worthless. I knew I’d just watered it down.” Consequently, David Lynch became disenchanted with the project. Some of the elements in “Gardenback” would later surface in Eraserhead, such as its main characters Henry and Mary X.

Dune Messiah: David Lynch was in the process of writing the sequel to film Dune(which was partially adapted from the book), but the box office failure of the 1st film killed the project. From the Inner Views David Lynch interview, “…I was really getting into Dune II. I wrote about half the script, maybe more, and I was really getting excited about it. It was much tighter, a better story.” From a Prevue article from 1984: “Lynch has written two sequel screenplays to Dune – Dune Messiah and Children of Dune, based on Herbert’s succeeding novels – which currently await the author’s approval. Back-to-back lensing is expected if the first film is a success. Although Kyle MacLachlan will portray Paul Atreides in the three Dune spectacles, Lynch promises a different cast each time.”

Untitled animated short, 1969 or 1970: Though David Lynch doesn’t remember what the film itself was about, he distinctly recalls that he was paid to produce a short film and the negatives came back from the lab messed up.

Red Dragon: Before making Blue Velvet, the film’s producer, Richard Roth, approached David Lynch with another project — an adaptation of Thomas Harris’ novel, Red Dragon. David Lynch was turned off by the content of the book and Roth subsequently took the project to Michael Mann who went on to direct the film as Manhunter (1986).
The Lemurians: This was a TV show that David Lynch was going to do with Mark Frost based on the continent of Lemuria. Their premise for the show was that Lemurian essence was leaking from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean and becomes a threat to the world. It was intended to be a comedy but when David Lynch and Mark Frost tried to pitch this show to NBC, the network rejected it.

Goddess: When David Lynch and Mark Frost first met, they began working on a project about Marilyn Monroe. David Lynch had been fascinated by the actress’ life and met with Anthony Summers who wrote a biography of the same name. The more they worked on it, the more they became embroiled in conspiracy theories involving Marilyn Monroe and the Kennedys which turned David Lynch off the project. Twin Peaks was created soon after, which has similarities with the story of Marilyn Monroe.

One Saliva Bubble: This was a comedy that David Lynch co-wrote with Mark Frost and intended to direct with Steve Martin and Martin Short starring. It was set in Kansas. Robert Engels describes the premise of the film in Lynch on Lynch: “It’s about an electric bubble from a computer that bursts over this town and changes people’s personalities – like these 5 cattlemen, who suddenly think they’re Chinese gymnasts. It’s insane!”

The White Hotel: David Lynch was attached to Dennis Potter’s adaptation of D.M. Thomas’ novel during the late 1980s.

I’ll Test My Log With Every Branch of Knowledge: Around the time that David Lynch and Catherine Coulson made “The Amputee”, he had an idea for a TV show. David Lynch told Chris Rodley in Lynch on Lynch, “It’s a half-hour television show starring Catherine as the lady with the log. Her husband has been killed in a forest fire and his ashes are on the mantelpiece, with his pipes and his sock hat. He was a woodsman. But the fireplace is completely boarded up. Because she now is very afraid of fire.” This project never got off the ground, but when it came time to film the pilot for Twin Peaks, Lynch remembered this idea and called Coulson up to appear as the Log Lady.

Metamorphosis: This was intended to be an adaptation of the story written by Franz Kafka. David Lynch has expressed on several accounts his desire to film the story of Metamorphosis. David Lynch has even written a script. The main reason that David Lynch has not filmed it is a matter of money and technology involving the transformation of a man into a beetle.

The Dream of the Bovine: David Lynch and Robert Engels wrote the screenplay for this film after Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me. According to Engels in Lynch on Lynch, the film was about “three guys, who used to be cows, living in Van Nuys and trying to assimilate their lives.”

David Lynch speaking in Washington D.C., 23 January, 2007 David Lynch tends to keep his personal life private and rarely comments on his films. However, he does attend public events and film festivals when he or his films are nominated/awarded. Despite this belief, the DVD release of Inland Empire is divided into chapters, with David Lynch explaining why in the “Stories” feature. In addition, on his 2 DVD collections of short films, David Lynch provides short introductions to each film.

In the 1980s, David Lynch expressed that he liked Ronald Reagan and at one point he had dinner with the Reagans at the White House, though he sees himself as a Libertarian or Democrat.

In the “Stories” feature on the Eraserhead DVD, David Lynch mentions that he ate French fries and grilled cheese almost every day while on the set. Despite his professional accomplishments, David Lynch once characterised himself simply as “Eagle Scout, Missoula, Montana”.

In 1967, David Lynch married Peggy Lentz in Chicago, Illinois. They had 1 child, Jennifer Chambers Lynch, born in 1968, who currently works as a film director. They filed for divorce in 1974. On 21 June, 1977, David Lynch married Mary Fisk, and the couple had 1 child, Austin Jack Lynch, born in 1982. They divorced in 1987, and David Lynch began dating Isabella Rossellini, after filming Blue Velvet.

David Lynch and Isabella Rossellini broke up in 1991, and David Lynch developed a relationship with Mary Sweeney, with whom he had 1 son, Riley Lynch, in 1992.

Mary Sweeney also worked as long-time film editor/producer to David Lynch and co-wrote and produced The Straight Story. The 2 married in May 2006, but divorced later in July.

In 2 December, 2005, David Lynch told the Washington Post that he had been practicing Transcendental Meditation (TM) twice a day, for 20 minutes each time, for 32 years. David Lynch was initiated into TM on 1 July, 1973, at 11:00 a.m., in a TM Center at Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles by a teacher he thought “looked like Doris Day”. Since then he never missed a programme. David Lynch advocates its use in bringing peace to the world. In July 2005, he launched the David Lynch Foundation For Consciousness-Based Education and Peace to fund research about TM’s positive effects, and he promotes the technique and his vision by an ongoing tour of college campuses that began in September 2005. A streaming video of one of David Lynch’s public performances is available at his foundation’s website.

David Lynch is working for the establishment of 7 “peace palaces”, each with 8000 salaried people practicing advanced techniques of TM, “pumping peace for the world.” David Lynch estimates the cost at $7,000,000,000. As of December 2005, he had spent $400,000 of his own money and raised $1,000,000 in donations from a handful of wealthy individuals and organisations. In December 2006, the New York Times reported that he continued to have that goal.

David Lynch has written a book, Catching the Big Fish (Tarcher/Penguin 2006), which discusses the impact of TM on his creative process. David Lynch is donating all author’s royalties to the David Lynch Foundation.

David Lynch maintains an interest in other art forms. David Lynch described the 20th century artist Francis Bacon as “to me, the main guy, the number 1 kinda hero painter”. David Lynch continues to present art installations and stage designs. In his spare time, he also designs and builds furniture. David Lynch started building furniture from his own designs as far back as his art school days. David Lynch built sheds during the making of Eraserhead, and many of the sets and furniture used in that movie are made by David Lynch. David Lynch also made some of the furniture for Fred Madison’s house in Lost Highway.

David Lynch was the subject of a major art retrospective at the Fondation Cartier, Paris from March 03-27 May 2007. The show was entitled The Air is on Fire and included numerous paintings, photographs, drawings, alternative films and sound work. New site-specific art installations were created specially for the exhibition. A series of events accompanied the exhibition including live performances and concerts. Some of David Lynch’s art include photographs of dissected chickens and other animals as a “Build your own Chicken” toy ad.

Between 1983 and 1992, David Lynch wrote and drew a weekly comic strip called The Angriest Dog in the World for the L.A. Reader. The drawings in the panels never change — just the captions. The comic strip originated from a time in David Lynch’s life when he was filled with anger.

David Lynch has also been involved in a number of musical projects, many of them related to his films. Most notably he produced and wrote lyrics for Julee Cruise’s 1st 2 albums, Floating into the Night (1989) and The Voice of Love (1993), in collaboration with Angelo Badalamenti who composed the music and also produced. David Lynch has also worked on the 1998 Jocelyn Montgomery album Lux Vivens. David Lynch has also composed bits of music for Wild at Heart, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, Mulholland Drive, and Rabbits. In 2001 he released BlueBob, a rock album performed by David Lynch and John Neff. The album is notable for David Lynch’s unusual guitar playing style: he plays “upside down and backwards, like a lap guitar”, and relies heavily on effects pedals. Most recently David Lynch has composed several pieces for Inland Empire, including 2 songs, “Ghost of Love” and “Walkin’ on the Sky” in which he makes his public debut as a singer.

David Lynch designed his personal website, a site exclusive to paying members, where he posts short videos and his absurdist series Dumbland, plus interviews and other items. The site also features a daily weather report, where David Lynch gives a brief description of the weather in Los Angeles, where he resides. An absurd ringtone (“I like to kill deer”) from the website was a common sound bite on The Howard Stern Show in early 2006.

David Lynch is an avid coffee drinker and even has his own line of special organic blends available for purchase on his website. Called “David Lynch Signature Cup”, the coffee has been advertised via flyers included with several recent Lynch-related DVD releases, including Inland Empire and the Gold Box edition of Twin Peaks. The self-mocking tag-line for the brand is “It’s all in the beans … and I’m just full of beans.”

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