Schizophrenia Series-Disabled Legend Peter Green

Peter Green, Peter Allen Greenbaum, was born on 29 October 1946, in Bethnal Green, London. Peter Green is a British blues-rock guitarist and founder of the band Fleetwood Mac.

A figurehead in the British blues movement, Peter Green inspired B. B. King to say, “He has the sweetest tone I ever heard; he was the only one who gave me the cold sweats.” Peter Green’s playing was marked with a distinctive vibrato and economy of style, as well as a unique tone from his 1959 Gibson Les Paul. A result of the guitar’s neck pickup magnet being reversed to produce an ‘out of phase’ sound. Peter Green used a Fender Stratocaster on the track “Albatross”, and used a National resonator guitar on “Oh Well Part I”.

Petr Green played lead in Peter Bardens’ band, Peter B’s Looners, in 1966. After a 3month stint, he had the opportunity to fill in for Eric Clapton in John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers for 3 gigs. Upon Eric Clapton’s permanent departure not long after, he was hired full-time.

Peter Green made his full album debut with the Bluesbreakers with A Hard Road. It featured 2 compositions by Peter Green, “The Same Way” and “The Supernatural”. The latter was 1 of Peter Green’s 1st extended instrumentals, which would soon become a trademark.

In 1967, Peter Green decided to form his own blues band, and left Mayall’s Bluesbreakers after appearing on just 1 album (just as Eric Clapton had done).

The name of Peter Green’s new band was Fleetwood Mac. Originally billed as “Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac”; it originated from the band’s rhythm section that comprised Mick Fleetwood and John McVie. In the mid 1970s the re-organised band topped the charts with mainstream pop/rock, but initially it was a straight-up blues-rock band playing blues classics and some original material. Peter Green wrote the song “Black Magic Woman” that was eventually picked up by Santana. Peter Green was the leader of the group throughout its initial period of success in the late 1960s, with hits including “Oh Well”, “Man of the World”, “The Green Manalishi” and the British Charts #1 hit, “Albatross”.

Following the release of “Albatross” and his consequent rise in fame, Peter Green struggled with success and the spotlight. After a gig in Munich while touring Europe, Peter Green binged for 3 days on LSD. In his own words, he “went on a trip, and never came back.”

Communard Rainer Langhans mentions in his autobiography that he and Uschi Obermaier met Peter Green in Munich, where they invited him to their “High-Fish-Commune”. They were not really interested in Peter Green. They just wanted to get in contact with Mick Taylor; Langhans and Obermaier wished to organise a “Bavarian Woodstock.” They wanted Jimi Hendrix and The Rolling Stones as the leading acts of their Bavarian open air festival. They needed the “Green God” just to get in contact with The Rolling Stones via Mick Taylor.

Peter Green’s personality changed drastically after the episode: he began wearing a robe, grew a beard, and wore a crucifix on his chest (this last despite having been raised Jewish). Peter Green’s use of LSD may have incited his schizophrenia. Peter Green quit Fleetwood Mac in 1970, performing his final show as a member on 20 May 1970. Peter Green recorded a jam session The End of the Game and faded into obscurity, taking on a succession of menial jobs. It was during this period that Peter Green sold his trademark 1959 Sunburst Gibson Les Paul Standard to Irish guitarist Gary Moore.

Peter Green had a brief reunion with Fleetwood Mac when Jeremy Spencer left the group (Peter Green flew to the USA to help them complete the tour) and he was also an uncredited guest on their 1973 Penguin album on the track “Night Watch”. Peter Green also appears on the track “Brown Eyes” from 1979’s Tusk.

Peter Green was diagnosed with schizophrenia, a mental illness commonly characterised by hallucinations and paranoia, and he spent time in psychiatric hospitals undergoing electroconvulsive therapy in the mid-1970s. Many sources attest to his lethargic, trancelike state during this period. In 1977, he was arrested for threatening his accountant, Clifford Davis, with a rifle, but the exact circumstances are the subject of much speculation, the most popular being that Peter Green wanted Clifford Davis to stop sending money to him. After this incident he was sent to a psychiatric institution in London. This was prior to his re-emergence as a recording artist with PVK Records in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Peter Green suffered a relapse in 1984 and effectively lived the life of a tramp-like recluse for 6 years until he was rescued by his brother Len and his wife, going to live with them in Great Yarmouth and regaining some of his former health and strength.

Apart from his solo work in the late 1970s and early 1980s, he contributed to “Rattlesnake Shake” and “Super Brains” on Mick Fleetwood’s solo album, The Visitor, and recorded various sessions with a number of other musicians. Despite some attempts by Sunburst Gibson at a German trade show to start talks about producing a Peter Green signature Les Paul, Peter’s instrument of choice at this time was in fact a Sunburst Gibson ‘Howard Roberts’ Fusion, very often seen accompanying him on stage in recent years.

A 1990s comeback saw Peter Green form the Peter Green Splinter Group, with the assistance of fellow musicians including Nigel Watson and Cozy Powell. The Splinter Group released 9 albums between 1997 and 2003. It was in the latter part of this period that Peter Green picked up a black Sunburst Gibson Les Paul again. Peter Green signed and sold this ebony Les Paul.

A tour was cancelled and recording of a new studio album stopped in early 2004, when Peter Green left the band and moved to Sweden. Shortly thereafter he joined The British Blues All Stars, but their tour in 2005 was also cancelled. Peter Green has said that the medication he takes to treat his psychological problems makes it hard for him to concentrate and saps his desire to pick up a guitar; whether there will be any more public ventures remains to be seen.

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Schizophrenia Series-Disabled Legend Charles Buddy Bolden

Charles “Buddy” Bolden was born on 6 September, 1877 and died on 4 November, 1931. Charles Buddy Bolden was buried in an unmarked grave in Holt Cemetery, a pauper’s graveyard in New Orleans. In 1998 a monument to Charles Buddy Bolden was erected in Holt Cemetery, but his exact gravesite remains unknown.

Charles Buddy Bolden was an African American cornetist and is regarded by contemporaries as a key figure in the development of a New Orleans style of rag-time music which later came to be known as jazz.

Charles Buddy Bolden was known as King Bolden, and his band was a top draw in New Orleans from about 1900 until 1907, when he was incapacitated by schizophrenia, which was called dementia praecox at that time. Charles Buddy Bolden left no known surviving recordings, but he was known for his very loud sound and constant improvisation.

While there is substantial first hand oral history about Charles Buddy Bolden, facts about his life continue to be lost amongst colourful myth. Stories about him being a barber by trade or that he published a scandal-sheet called the “Cricket” have been repeated in print despite being debunked decades earlier.

Charles Buddy Bolden suffered an episode of acute alcoholic psychosis in 1907 at the age of 30. With the full diagnosis of dementia praecox, he was admitted to a mental institution where he spent the rest of his life.

Many early jazz musicians credited Charles Buddy Bolden and the members of his band with being the originators of what came to be known as “jazz”, though the term was not yet in common musical use until after the era of Charles Buddy Bolden’s prominence. At least 1 writer has labelled him the father of jazz. Charles Buddy Bolden is credited with creating a looser, more improvised version of ragtime and adding blues to it; Bolden’s band was said to be the 1st to have brass instruments play the blues. Charles Buddy Bolden was also said to have taken ideas from gospel music heard in uptown African American Baptist churches.

Instead of imitating other cornetists, Charles Buddy Bolden played music he heard “by ear” and adapted it to his horn. In doing so, he created an exciting and novel fusion of rag-time, black sacred music, marching-band music and rural blues. Charles Buddy Bolden rearranged the typical New Orleans dance band of the time to better accommodate the blues; string instruments became the rhythm section, and the front-line instruments were clarinets, trombones, and Charles Buddy Bolden’s cornet. Charles Buddy Bolden was known for his powerful, loud, “wide open” playing style.

Joe “King” Oliver, Freddie Keppard, Bunk Johnson, and other early New Orleans jazz musicians were directly inspired by his playing.

Although Charles Buddy Bolden was recalled as having made at least 1 phonograph cylinder, no known recordings of Charles Buddy Bolden have survived.

Some of the songs 1st associated with his band such as the traditional song “Careless Love” and “My Bucket’s Got a Hole in It”, are still standards. Charles Buddy Bolden often closed his shows with the original number “Get Out of Here and Go Home”, although for more “polite” gigs the last number would be “Home! Sweet Home!”.

One of the most famous Charles Buddy Bolden numbers is a song called “Funky Butt” (known later as “Buddy Bolden’s Blues”) which represents one of the earliest references to the concept of “funk” in popular music, now a musical subgenre unto itself. Charles Buddy Bolden’s “Funky Butt” was, as Danny Barker once put it, a reference to the olfactory effect of an auditorium packed full of sweaty people “dancing close together and belly rubbing.” Other musicians closer to Charles Buddy Bolden’s generation explained that the famous tune actually originated as a reference to flatulence.

I thought I heard Buddy Bolden say,
Funky-butt, funky-butt, take it away.

The “Funky Butt” song was one of many in the Charles Buddy Bolden repertory with rude or off-colour lyrics popular in some of the rougher places Charles Buddy Bolden played, and Charles Buddy Bolden’s trombonist Willy Cornish claimed authorship. It became so well known as a rude song that even whistling the melody on a public street was considered offensive. However the strain was incorporated into the early published ragtime number “St. Louis Tickle”.

Sidney Bechet wrote and composed “Buddy Bolden Stomp” in his honour.

Duke Ellington paid tribute to Charles Buddy Bolden in his 1957 suite “A Drum is a Woman”. The trumpet part was taken by Clark Terry.

Dr. John, in the liner notes to his Goin’ Back to New Orleans (1992), describes “I thought I heard Buddy Bolden say” (track 5) as “Jelly Roll Morton’s memory of a jazz pioneer”.

Charles Buddy Bolden has inspired a number of fictional characters with his name. Most famously, Canadian author Michael Ondaatje’s novel Coming Through Slaughter features a “Buddy Bolden” character that in some ways resembles Charles Buddy Bolden, but in other ways is deliberately contrary to what is known about him.

Charles Buddy Bolden is also prominent in August Wilson’s 7 String Guitars. August Wilson’s drama includes a character (King Hedley) whose father, in the play, deliberately named him after King Buddy Bolden. King Hedley constantly sings, “I thought I heard Buddy Bolden say…” and believes that Buddy Bolden will come down and bring him money to buy a plantation.

Additionally, August Wilson’s King Hedley II continues 7 Guitars, thus Charles Buddy Bolden continues in the play as well.

Charles Buddy Bolden is a prominent character in David Fulmer’s murder mystery titled Chasing the Devil’s Tail, being not only a bandleader but also a suspect in the murders. Charles Buddy Bolden also appears by reputation or in person in Fulmer’s other books.

Charles Buddy Bolden is the titular character in the film Bolden!, which is currently in production. Charles Buddy Bolden is being portrayed by Anthony Mackie.

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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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Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Pete Townshend

Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend was born on 19 May 1945 in Chiswick, London. Pete Townshend is an award-winning English rock guitarist, singer, songwriter, composer, and writer, known principally as the guitarist and songwriter for The Who, as well as for his own solo career. Pete Townshend’s career with The Who spans more than 40 years, during which time the band grew to be considered one of the most influential bands of the rock era, in addition to being “possibly the greatest live band ever.

Pete Townshend is the primary songwriter for the Who, writing well over 100 songs for the band’s 11 studio albums, including the rock operas Tommy and Quadrophenia, plus dozens more that appeared as non-album singles, bonus tracks on reissues, and tracks on rarities compilations such as Odds and Sods. Pete has also written over 100 songs for his solo albums and rarities compilations. Although known mainly for being a guitarist, he is also an accomplished singer and keyboard player, and has played many other instruments on his solo albums, and on some Who albums (such as banjo, accordion, synthesizer, piano, bass guitar, drums).

Pete has also written newspaper and magazine articles, book reviews, essays, books, and scripts.

Born into a musical family (his father Cliff Townshend was a professional saxophonist in The Squadronaires and his mother Betty a singer), Pete Townshend exhibited a fascination with music at an early age. Pete Townshend had early exposure to American Rock and Roll (his mother recounts that he repeatedly saw the 1956 film Rock Around the Clock and obtained his first guitar from his grandmother at the age of 12, which he described as a “Cheap Spanish thing”. Townshend’s biggest guitar influences include Link Wray, John Lee Hooker, Bo Diddley and Hank Marvin of The Shadows. 

In 1961Pete Townshend enrolled at Ealing Art College, and a year later he and his school friend from Acton County Grammar School John Entwistle founded their first band, The Confederates, a Dixieland duet featuring Pete Townshend on banjo and Entwistle on horn. From this beginning they moved on to The Detours, a skiffle/rock and roll band fronted by then sheet-metal welder Roger Daltrey. In early 1964, due to another band having the same name, The Detours renamed themselves The Who. Drummer Doug Sandom was replaced by Keith Moon not long afterwards. The band (now comprising Daltrey on vocals and harmonica, Pete Townshend on guitar, Entwistle on bass, and Moon on drums) were soon taken on by a mod publicist (named Peter Meaden) who convinced them to change their name to The High Numbers to give the band more of a mod feel. After bringing out one single (“Zoot Suit”), they dropped Meaden and were signed on by two new managers, Chris Stamp and Kit Lambert. They dropped The High Numbers name and reverted to The Who.

Pete Townshend met Karen Astley (daughter of composer Ted Astley) while in art school and married her in 1968. The couple separated in 1994 and Pete Townshend announced they would divorce in 2000. They have 3 children Emma born in 1969, who is a singer/songwriter, Aminta born in 1971 and Joseph born in 1989. For many years Pete Townshend refused to confirm or deny rumors that he was bisexual. In a 2002 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, however, he explained that, although he engaged in some brief same-sex experimentation in the 1960s, he is hetrosexual. Pete Townshend currently lives with his long-time partner, musician Rachel Fuller, in Richmond, England. Pete Townshend also owns a house in Churt, Surrey, England.

Pete Townshend has woven a long history of involvement with various charities and other philanthropic efforts throughout his career, both as a solo artist and with The Who. Pete’s  first solo concert, for example, was a 1974 benefit show which was organized to raise funds for the Camden Square Community Play Center.

The earliest public example of Pete Townshend’s involvement with charitable causes is the relationship he established with the Richmond-based Meher Baba Association. In 1968, Pete Townshend donated the use of his former Wardour Street apartment to the Meher Baba Association. The following year, the association was moved to another Townshend-owned apartment, the Eccleston Square former residence of wife Karen.

Pete Townshend sat on a committee which oversaw the operation and finances of the center. “The committee sees to it that it is open a couple of days a week, and keeps the bills paid and the library full,” he wrote in a 1970 Rolling Stone article.

In 1969 and 1972 Pete Townshend produced 2 limited-release albums, Happy Birthday and I Am, for the London-based Baba association. This led to 1972’s Who Came First, a more widespread release, 15 percent of the revenue of which went to the Baba association. A further limited release, With Love, was released in 1976. A limited-edition boxed set of all 3 limited releases on CD, Avatar, was released in 2000, with all profits going to the Avatar Meher Baba Trust in India, which provided funds to a dispensary, school, hospital and pilgrimage center.

In July 1976, Pete Townshend opened Meher Baba Oceanic, a London activity centre for Baba followers which featured film dubbing and editing facilities, a cinema and a recording studio. In addition, the centre served as a regular meeting place for Baba followers. Pete Townshend offered very economical (reportedly £1 per night) lodging for American Baba followers who needed an overnight stay on their pilgrimages to India. “For a few years, I had toyed with the idea of opening a London house dedicated to Meher Baba,” he wrote in a 1977 Rolling Stone article. “In the 8 years I had followed him, I had donated only coppers to foundations set up around the world to carry out the Master’s wishes and decided it was about time I put myself on the line. The Who had set up a strong charitable trust of its own which appeased, to an extent, the feeling I had that Meher Baba would rather have seen me give to the poor than to the establishment of yet another so-called ‘spiritual center’.”

Pete Townshend also embarked on a project dedicated to the collection, restoration and maintenance of Meher Baba-related films. The project was known as MEFA, or Meher Baba European Film Archive.

Pete Townshend has been an active champion of children’s charities. The debut of Pete Townshend’s stage version of Tommy  took place at San Diego’s La Jolla Playhouse in July 1992. The show was earmarked as a benefit for the London-based Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Foundation, an organization which helps autistic and retarded children.

Pete Townshend performed at a 1995 benefit organized by Paul Simon at Madison Square Garden’s Paramount Theatre, for The Children’s Health Fund. The following year, Pete Townshend performed at a benefit for the Bridge School, a California facility for children with severe speech and physical impairments. In 1997, Pete Townshend established a relationship with Maryville Academy, a Chicago area children’s charity. Between 1997 and 2002, Pete Townshend played 5 benefit shows for Maryville Academy, raising at least $1,600,000. In addition, proceeds from the sales of his 1999 release Pete Townshend Live were also donated to Maryville Academy.

As a member of The Who, Pete Townshend has also performed a series of concerts, beginning in 2000, benefitting the Teenage Cancer Trust in the UK, raising several million pounds. In 2005, Pete Townshend performed at New York’s Gotham Hall for Samsung’s Four Seasons of Hope, an annual children’s charity fundraiser.

The Who rocker Pete Townshend is losing his hearing, and fears the disability will end his songwriting career. Pete Townshend blames his hearing loss on a lifetime spent using headphones, experts say today’s iPod Generation is storing up trouble for the future by listening to music at high volumes.

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Mood Disorders Series-Disabled Legend Kurt Cobain

Kurt Donald Cobain born 20, February 1967 and died on 5 April, 1994 was an American musician, best known for his roles as lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter for the Seattle-based rock band Nirvana. Throughout most of his life, Cobain battled depression, chronic bronchitis, and intense physical pain due to an undiagnosed chronic stomach condition. This last condition was especially debilitating to his emotional welfare, and he spent years trying to find its source. However, none of the doctors he consulted were able to pinpoint the specific cause, guessing that it was either a result of Cobain’s childhood scoliosis or related to the stresses of performing.

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Mood Disorders Series-Disabled Legend Billy Corgan

Billy Corgan – William Patrick Corgan, Jr. Was born on 17 March 1967 in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, U.S.A. Is an American singer, guitarist, and songwriter. Billy Corgan is the vocalist and lead guitarist for alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins. Billy Corgan dated Courtney Love prior to her courtship and marriage to Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. In 1993, he married his longtime girlfriend, museum worker Chris Fabian. Corgan has been writing about his life on his Web site detailing everything from the childhood abuse he says he suffered at the hands of his father and stepmother to his very adult battles with depression and other demons.

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Mood Disorders Series-Disabled Legend Brian Wilson

Brian Douglas Wilson was born on 20 June, 1942 in Hawthorne, California. Brian is an American musician best known as the lead songwriter, bassist, and singer of the American rock band The Beach Boys. Wilson was also the band’s main producer, composer, and arranger. Psychologically overwhelmed by these failures and by the birth of his first child in 1968, Wilson began to take on a diminished creative role within the Beach Boys. After the failure of “Break Away”, Wilson spent the majority of the following three years in his bedroom sleeping, taking drugs, and overeating. Some of his “new” contributions were remnants of SMiLE (e.g., “Surf’s Up”); those that were genuinely new reflected his depression and growing detachment from the world.

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