Schizophrenia Series-Disabled Legend Roger Kynard

Roky Erickson was born Roger Kynard Erickson on 15 July, 1947. Roky Erickson is an American singer, songwriter, harmonica player and guitarist from Texas. Roky Erickson was a founding member of the 13th Floor Elevators and pioneer of the psychedelic rock genre.

Roky Erickson was interested in music from his youth: he played piano from the age of 5 and took up guitar at the age of 12. Roky Erickson attended school in Austin and dropped out of Travis High School in 1965, 1 month before graduating, rather than cut his hair to conform to the school dress code. Roky Erickson’s 1st notable group was The Spades, who scored a regional hit with Roky Erickson’s song “We Sell Soul”; this song is included on the compilation album Highs in the Mid 60s, Volume 17(although the songwriter is identified as Emil Schwartze on the track listing on this album).

Roky Erickson co-founded the 13th Floor Elevators in late 1965. Roky Erickson and bandmate Tommy Hall were the main songwriters. Early in her career, singer Janis Joplin considered joining the Elevators, but Family Dog’s Chet Helms persuaded her to go to San Francisco, California, USA instead, where she found major fame.

In 1966 (Roky Erickson was 19 years old) the band released their debut album The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators. Psychedelic Sounds had the band’s only charting single, Roky Erickson’s “You’re Gonna Miss Me.” A stinging post-romantic breakup song, the single remains probably Roky Erickson’s best-known work: it was a major hit on local charts in the U.S. southwest, and appeared at lower position on national singles charts as well. Critic Mark Deming writes that “If Roky Erickson had vanished from the face of the earth after The 13th Floor Elevators released their epochal debut single, ‘You’re Gonna Miss Me,’ in early 1966, in all likelihood he’d still be regarded as a legend among garage rock fanatics for his primal vocal wailing and feral harmonica work.”

In 1967, the band followed up with Easter Everywhere, perhaps the band’s most focused effort, featuring the epic track “Slip Inside This House”, and a noted cover of Bob Dylan’s “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.”

After the band’s 3rd album, Live, which featured audience applause dubbed over studio recordings of cover versions and older material, The 13th Floor Elevators released their 4th and final album Bull of the Woods in 1968. Due to Roky Erickson’s health and legal problems, his contribution to the album is limited, with guitarist Stacy Sutherland taking more of a leading role.

In 1968, while doing a stint at Hemisfair, Roky Erickson started speaking nonsense. Roky Erickson was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and sent to a Houston psychiatric hospital, where he involuntarily received electroconvulsive therapy.

The Elevators were vocal proponents of mescaline (peyote), LSD, and marijuana use, and were subject to extra attention from police. In 1969, Roky Erickson was arrested for possession of 1 marijuana joint in Austin. Facing a 10 year prison term, Roky Erickson pled not guilty by reason of insanity. Roky Erickson was 1st sent to the Austin State Hospital. After several escapes, he was sent to the Rusk State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, where he was subjected to more electroconvulsive therapy and Thorazine treatments, ultimately remaining in custody until 1972.

When released from the state hospital, Roky Erickson’s mental outlook had changed. In 1974, he formed a new band which he called Bleib Alien, Bleib being an anagram of Bible and/or German for Stay, and “Alien” being a pun on the German word “Allein” (“alone”) – the phrase in German therefore being “Remain alone”. Roky Erickson’s new band exchanged the psychedelic sounds of The 13th Floor Elevators for a more heavy metal sound that featured lyrics on old horror film and science fiction themes. “2Headed Dog (Red Temple Prayer)” (produced by The Sir Douglas Quintet’s Doug Sahm) was released as a single.

The new band renamed itself Roky Erickson and the Aliens. In 1979, Roky Erickson recorded 15 new songs with producer Stu Cook, former bass player of Creedence Clearwater Revival. These efforts were released in 2 “overlapping” LPs – TEO/CBS UK, and The Evil 1/415 records. Stu Cook also played bass on 2 tracks, “Sputnik” and “Bloody Hammer.” Roky Erickson also performed with The Nervebreakers as his backup band at The Palladium in Dallas in 1979. A recording was issued on the French label New Rose and was recently re-issued elsewhere. In 1982, Roky Erickson asserted that a Martian had inhabited his body. Roky Erickson later reported to friends that aliens were coming to Earth to harm him, and asked a Notary Public to witness an official declaration that he was himself an alien, hoping that this would convince the aliens to leave him alone.

In an unmedicated state, Roky Erickson began a years-long obsession with the mail, often spending hours poring over random junk mail, writing to solicitors and celebrities (dead or living). Roky Erickson was arrested in 1989 on charges of mail theft. Roky Erickson picked up mail from neighbours who had moved and taped it to the walls of his room. Roky Erickson insisted that he never opened any of the mail, and the charges were ultimately dropped.

Several live albums of his older material have been released since then, and in 1990 Sire Records/Warner Bros. Records released a tribute album, Where The Pyramid Meets The Eye produced by WB executive Bill Bentley. It featured versions of Roky Erickson’s songs performed by The Jesus and Mary Chain, R.E.M., ZZ Top, Julian Cope, Bongwater, John Wesley Harding, Doug Sahm and Primal Scream. According to the liner notes, the title of the album came from a remark Roky Erickson made to a friend who asked him to define psychedelic music, to which Roky Erickson reportedly replied “It’s where the pyramid meets the eye, man!” (the quote is also a reference to the Eye of Providence).

In 1995, Roky Erickson released All That May Do My Rhyme on Butthole Surfers drummer King Coffey’s label Trance Syndicate Records. Produced by Texas Tornado bassist Speedy Sparks, Austin recording legend Stuart Sullivan and Texas Music Office director Casey Monahan, the release coincided with the publication of Openers II, a complete collection of Roky Erickson’s lyrics. Published by Henry Rollins’s 2.13.61 Publications, it was compiled and edited by Casey Monahan with assistance from Henry Rollins and Roky Erickson’s youngest brother Sumner Erickson, a classical tuba player.

Sumner Erickson was granted legal custody of Roky in 2001, and established a legal trust to aid his brother. As a result, Roky Erickson received some of the most effective medical and legal aid of his life, the latter useful in helping sort out the complicated tangle of contracts, which had reduced royalty payments to all but nothing for his recorded works. Roky Erickson also started taking medication to control his schizophrenia.

A documentary film on the life of Roky Erickson titled You’re Gonna Miss Me was made by director Keven McAlester and screened at the 2005 SXSW film festival. In September of the same year, Roky Erickson performed his 1st full-length concert in 20years at the annual Austin City Limits Music Festival with The Explosives.

In the 30 December, 2005 issue of the Austin Chronicle, an alternative weekly newspaper in Austin, Texas, Margaret Moser brings up to date the story of Roky Erickson’s recovery with the aid of his brother Sumner. According to the article, Roky Erickson weaned himself off his medication, played at 11 gigs in Austin that year, obtained a driver’s license, owns a car (a Volvo), voted the previous year, and planned to do more concerts with The Explosives in 2006.

In 2007, Roky Erickson played his 1st ever gig in New York City, as well as California’s Coachella Festival and made a stunning debut performance in England to a capacity audience at the Royal Festival Hall, London. Roky Erickson continued to play in Europe, performing for the 1st time in Finland at Ruisrock festival. According to the article in Helsingin Sanomat 8 June 2007, the performance was widely considered the highlight of the festival day.

According to an interview on Sound Opinions on Chicago Public Radio with You’re Gonna Miss Me director Kevin McAlester (7/24/07), Roky Erickson is currently working on a new album with Billy Gibbons, singer and guitarist of ZZ Top, and a longtime admirer of Roky Erickson; Billy Gibbons’ earlier band The Moving Sidewalks had a hit with “99th floor”, which was a tribute of sorts to the Elevators.

On 8th September 2008, Scottish post-rock band Mogwai released the ‘The Batcat EP’. Roky Erickson is featured on 1 of the tracks, ‘Devil Rides’.

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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 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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Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Series-Disabled Legend Jason Becker

Jason Becker, was born on 22 July, 1969. Jason is an American neo-classical metal guitarist and composer. At the age of 16, he became part of the Mike Varney-produced duo Cacophony with his friend Marty Friedman. They released Speed Metal Symphony in 1987 and Go Off! in 1988.

Jason Becker studied the works of violinist Niccolò Paganini and was a playing partner with Marty Friedman. Jason later composed a rendition of Paganini’s 5th Caprice, performing it during an instructional guitar video. Jason Becker’s compositions often include high speed scalar and arpeggio passages, both of which are trademarks of his ‘shred’ style of guitar playing. The song “Serrana”, appearing in the album Perspective, is an example of his sweep-picking skills. Jason demonstrated the arpeggio sequence during a clinic at the Atlanta Institute of Music. A video of this performance first appeared on his Hot Licks guitar instructional video and can now be viewed on YouTube.

Jason Becker started out playing alongside Marty Friedman in the Mike Varney produced duo, Cacophony. Jason Becker and Marty Friedman toured together with Cacophony in Japan and across the United States. In 1989 Jason Becker left to pursue a solo career, releasing his 1st solo album titled ‘Perpetual Burn’ in 1988, and has since released ‘Perspective’, as well as 2 albums of demos, entitled ‘The Raspberry Jams’ and The Blackberry Jams.

At the age of 20, he joined David Lee Roth’s band, replacing Steve Vai, who went on to join Whitesnake. While recording the A Little Ain’t Enough album and preparing for the subsequent tour in 1990, Jason Becker began to feel what he called a “lazy limp” on his left leg. Jason was soon diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and given 3 years to live. Jason could barely finish the recording, using low-gauge (thin) guitar strings and other techniques, which would make it easier to play with his weakening hands. Although he managed to finish the album he did not join the supporting tour due to his inability to perform on stage; former Lizzy Borden guitarist Joe Holmes took Jason Becker’s place on tour.

Jason eventually lost the ability to speak and now communicates with his eyes via a system developed by his father. Although his ALS gradually robbed him of his ability to play guitar, to walk, and eventually even to speak, he still remains mentally sharp and, with the aid of a computer, continues composing. In the back of the Perspective CD case, Jason Becker states “I have Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. It has crippled my body and speech, but not my mind.” Now in his 30s, his medical condition has remained stable since 1997. No recent updates pertaining to Jason’s condition has been heard of aside from him stating that he has felt a little better and gained some weight, but this was in 2003.

In 1996 Jason Becker released an album entitled Perspective, an instrumental album composed by him (with the exception of Bob Dylan’s song “Meet Me in the Morning”). The writing of the music had been started before ALS completely crippled his abilities. By using guitar and later, when he was unable to use both hands, a keyboard, he continued to compose while his disease worsened. However, when Jason Becker could no longer physically play even a keyboard, his friend and music producer Mike Bemesderfer helped him with a music-composing computer program which could read the movements of his head and eyes enabling Json Becker to continue to compose after he lost control of his entire body.

Several years later Jason Becker released Raspberry Jams (1999) and Blackberry Jams (2003), the first contained various unreleased demo-tracks and the latter contained demo-tracks and alternate versions of songs that were later reworked and published into other albums.

2 tribute albums to Jason Becker have been issued. Respectively entitled Warmth in the Wilderness I and Warmth in the Wilderness II, they feature guitarists such as Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert, Marty Friedman, Joe Becker, Rusty Cooley, and Mattias Eklundh. The album profits were sent to Jason Becker to help him with his medical finances.

Shrapnel Records will be releasing a Best of Jason Becker album. The album, is scheduled for release in October and will feature three new songs for the album which will feature Marty Friedman, Greg Howe, Joe Satriani, Michael Lee Firkins, Steve Vai, and Steve Hunter. The album will also feature older, never-heard songs/recordings.

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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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Epilepsy Series-Disabled Legend Nicolo Paganini

Nicolo Paganini was born on 27 October, 1782 and died on 27 May, 1840. Nicolo was an Italian violinist, violist, guitarist, and composer. Nicolo is widely considered to be one of, if not the greatest violinist who ever lived and it is believed to he had epilepsy.

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Epilepsy Series-Disabled Legend Neil Young

Neil Young was born on 12 November, 1945 in Toronto, Ontario. A musician known for his meaningful lyrics and also a spokesman for environmental issues, Neil Young has been labeled one of the greatest guitarists of his time. When he was young his parents divorced and Neil was confronted with many diseases simultaneously. The obstacles in which he faced included Epilepsy, Polio and Diabetes which he did eventually all overcome. Since then he has been a peacekeeper through music and is ever present in the fight for justice and all that has to do with a more peaceful world.

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