Monday, February 11, 2013

bee gees

Barry Alan Crompton Gibb, CBE (born 1 September 1946) is a musician, singer and songwriter and producer, who rose to worldwide fame as a founding member of the Bee Gees. He is also the eldest and last surviving Gibb brother.

With his younger brothers, twins Robin and Maurice, he formed the Bee Gees, one of the most successful pop groups in the history of music. Their younger brother Andy was also a popular singer. The trio got their start in Australia and found major success when they returned to England.

Known for his high-pitched falsetto singing voice, Gibb shares the record with John Lennon and Paul McCartney for consecutive Billboard Hot 100 Number Ones as a writer with six. The book of Guinness World Records lists Barry Gibb as the second most successful songwriter in history behind Paul McCartney.

Early life

Barry Gibb was born to Barbara (née Pass) and Hugh Gibb (d. 1992) in the Isle of Man. He has an older sister, Lesley Evans (b. 1945), and had three younger brothers, fraternal twins Robin (1949–2012) and Maurice (1949–2003), and Andy (1958–88).

He started school on 4 September 1951, three days after his fifth birthday, attending Braddan school. He and his family moved to Chorlton-cum-Hardy in Manchester in 1953, and they formed a band called The Rattlesnakes, with Gibb on guitar, Paul Frost on drums, Kenny Horrocks on tea-chest bass, and Robin and Maurice on vocals. The Rattlesnakes' first performance was on 28 December 1957 around 11.10 a.m.

When he was 12 years old, his family moved to Brisbane, Australia, settling in one of the city's poorest suburbs, Cribb Island. The suburb was later bulldozed to make way for Brisbane Airport. It was in Australia that Gibb and his brothers Robin and Maurice started performing as the Bee Gees.

Personal life

Barry Gibb's first marriage was to Maureen Bates, whom he married on 22 August 1966, when he was 19 years old. The couple lived together for only a short time, and were divorced in 1970. On 1 September 1970 (his 24th birthday), he married the former Miss Edinburgh, Linda Gray. They have five children, Stephen (born 1973), Ashley (born 1977), Travis (born 1981), Michael (born 1984) and Alexandra (born 1991).

In 1994, Barry Gibb, along with brothers Robin and Maurice, was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame; in 1997 they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

On 2 May 2004, Barry and Robin Gibb received the CBE award at Buckingham Palace, along with their nephew Adam, who collected the posthumous award in honour of his father, Maurice.

In January 2006, Gibb purchased the former home of country singers Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash in Hendersonville, Tennessee, intending to restore it and turn it into a songwriting retreat. The house was destroyed by fire on 10 April 2007 while under renovation.

On 10 July 2009, Gibb was made a Freeman of the Borough of Douglas (Isle of Man). The award was also bestowed upon his brother Robin, and posthumously upon his brother Maurice.

In 2009, Barry and Linda Gibb became US citizens. They have a dual citizenship.


Gibb had a highly successful career as a member of the Bee Gees, a group near the top of the all-time top-sellers list. When the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, their citation read "Only Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Garth Brooks and Paul McCartney have outsold the Bee Gees". The trio's contribution to Saturday Night Fever pushed the film's soundtrack past the 40 million mark in sales. It reigned as the top-selling album until Michael Jackson's Thriller. They are the only group in pop history to write, produce and record six straight No.1 hits. They have 16 Grammy nominations and nine Grammy wins.

Barry Gibb is also a prolific and successful songwriter. In 1977, Gibb saw five of his songs simultaneously enter the Top Ten of the Billboard Hot 100, and for one week in March, four of the top five songs were written by him. His songs were No. 1 for 27 out of 37 weeks from 24 December 1977 to 2 September 1978. Gibb also holds a very unusual record, in that he is the only songwriter in history to write four successive US number one hits: in 1978, the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive" was replaced at number one by Andy Gibb's single, "Love Is Thicker Than Water", followed by the Bee Gees' "Night Fever" for their longest run, seven weeks. This was then replaced by Yvonne Elliman's "If I Can't Have You".

As a songwriter Gibb has had No. 1 songs in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s 1990s and 2000s, when "Islands in the Stream" became No. 1 in the UK as the comic relief single for 2009. His songs have been recorded by numerous artists, including Jose Feliciano, Al Green, Wyclef Jean, Janis Joplin, Jimmy Little, Barry Manilow, Olivia Newton-John, Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley, Kenny Rogers, Diana Ross, Nina Simone, Barbra Streisand, Tina Turner, Conway Twitty, Frankie Valli, Luther Vandross, Sarah Vaughn, Jennifer Warnes, Dionne Warwick and Andy Williams. Gibb has also produced albums for Andy Gibb, Kenny Rogers, Diana Ross, Barbra Streisand and Dionne Warwick.

from various sources

Sunday, February 10, 2013

van halen in

Edward Lodewijk "Eddie" Van Halen (born January 26, 1955) is a Dutch-American guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter and producer. He is best known as the lead guitarist and co-founder of the eponymous hard rock band Van Halen. He is often considered as one of the world's greatest guitarists, with Allan Holdsworth describing him as "Second only to Jimi Hendrix, undoubtedly the most influential, original, and talented rock guitarists of the 20th century." In 2012, Guitar World's poll named him as the greatest guitarist of all-time.

Early life

Born January 26, 1955, in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, Edward Lodewijk van Halen is a son of clarinetist, saxophonist and pianist father Jan van Halen and mother Eugenia. Eugenia van Halen was originally from Indonesia which was a former Dutch colony; Eugenia was half Dutch and half Indonesian. Edward's middle name "Lodewijk" was derived from composer Ludwig van Beethoven (Lodewijk is the Dutch version of Ludwig). Edward continued this naming tradition by naming his son Wolfgang Van Halen after composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. In February 1962, the Van Halen family moved to the United States, settling in Pasadena, California.

Eddie and his older brother Alex learned to play the piano as children. The brothers were shuttled from Pasadena to San Pedro to study with an elderly man who taught them classical piano. Eddie and Alex hated the commute, but continued as their mother would discipline them if they refused to go. Eddie revealed in an interview that he never could read the music; he learned from watching and listening. During recitals of Bach or Mozart, he would simply wing it. Afterward, the judges would comment that he had an interesting interpretation of the classical piece; Eddie thought, "What? I thought I was playing it correctly!" However, playing the piano did not prove to be challenging or interesting to him — he once said in an interview. Consequently, while Alex began playing the guitar, Eddie bought a drum kit and began practicing for hours day after day.

After Eddie heard Alex's performance of the The Surfaris' drum solo in the song "Wipe Out", he grew annoyed that his brother had overtaken his ability and decided to switch and begin learning how to play the electric guitar. He stated as a teen he would often practice while walking around at home with his guitar strapped on or sitting in his room for hours with the door locked. Van Halen notes the importance of supergroup Cream, holding their improvisation in high regard, considering 'I'm so Glad' on 'Goodbye Cream' to be mind-blowing. He once claimed that he had learned almost all of Eric Clapton's solos in the band Cream "note for note". Eddie has stated: "I've always said Eric Clapton was my main influence, but Jimmy Page was actually more the way I am, in a reckless-abandon kind of way."

Eddie and Alex formed their first band with three other boys, calling themselves The Broken Combs, performing at lunchtime at Hamilton Elementary School in Pasadena and this was identified as the first time when the desire to become professional musicians was formed, Eddie was in the 4th grade.


Suffering from lingering injuries from past high-risk acrobatic stage antics and crashes, Eddie Van Halen underwent hip replacement surgery in November 1999, after his chronic avascular necrosis, which he was diagnosed with in 1995, became unbearable. In April 2001, Eddie confirmed that since May 2000, he had been undergoing treatment for tongue cancer. The subsequent surgery removed roughly a third of his tongue. He was declared cancer-free in May 2002. Since the 2004 tour, Eddie Van Halen had largely disappeared from the public eye, with the exception of occasional appearances such as the 14th annual Elton John Academy Awards party and a performance at a Kenny Chesney concert. In December 2004, Eddie attended "Dimebag" Darrell Lance Abbott's funeral, and donated the black and yellow guitar featured on the Van Halen II album inlay, stating that it was always a favorite of Dimebag's. The guitar was put in Darrell's Kiss Kasket and was buried with it.

On December 5, 2005, Eddie's wife, Valerie Bertinelli, filed for divorce in Los Angeles Superior Court, after four years of separation. On March 8, 2007, Van Halen announced on the official band website that Eddie was entering rehabilitation for unspecified reasons. However, both Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony have made statements indicating that Eddie's personality had changed due to alcohol abuse. Van Halen emerged from rehabilitation and appeared publicly as an honorary official during the April 21, 2007 NASCAR event at Phoenix International Raceway. He also unveiled a new Fender Stratocaster with a paint-job made for the NASCAR races before the ceremony. In 2007, Eddie was honored in the Xbox 360 version of Guitar Hero II. A player receives the "Eddie Van Halen" achievement for hitting 500 or more notes in succession.

Van Halen toured the U.S. and Canada from September 2007 until summer 2008. On October 6, 2008, it was reported that Eddie Van Halen proposed to his girlfriend Janie Liszewski, an actress and stuntwoman who became Van Halen's publicist in 2007. He proposed to her while vacationing in Hawaii. The two married on June 27, 2009 at his Studio City estate, with his son and ex-wife Valerie in attendance. The rocker's brother, Alex Van Halen, officiated the ceremony, while his son served as best man. On January 1, 2011, Eddie attended Valerie Bertinelli's wedding, along with his son Wolfgang. In mid-January 2011, he attended the winter NAMM Show to present his new Wolfgang guitars, sharing the Fender booth with fellow guitar player Yngwie Malmsteen.

Van Halen released their twelfth studio album, A Different Kind of Truth, on February 7, 2012: their first album for 14 years and their first album with David Lee Roth since 1984.

In August 2012, Eddie Van Halen underwent an emergency surgery for a severe bout of diverticulitis. His recovery time is four to six months, causing Van Halen to postpone their Japanese tour, which was originally scheduled to begin in November 2012.

Style and influence

Eddie van Halen's approach to the guitar involves several distinctive components. His use of two-handed tapping, natural and artificial harmonics, vibrato, and tremolo picking, combined with his rhythmic sensibility and melodic approach, have influenced an entire generation of guitarists. The solo in "Eruption" was voted #2 on Guitar World magazine's readers poll of the 100 Greatest Guitar Solos.

from various sources


John Peter Petrucci (born July 12, 1967) is an American virtuoso guitarist and songwriter best known as a founding member of the progressive metal band Dream Theater. Along with his former bandmate Mike Portnoy, he has produced all Dream Theater albums since their 1999 release, Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory until their 2009 release, Black Clouds & Silver Linings, and also produced alone their 2011 release A Dramatic Turn of Events. He is also a backing vocalist for Dream Theater. Petrucci was named as the third player on the G3 tour six times, more than any other invited guitarists. In 2009 he was named the No. 2 Best metal guitarist by Joel McIver in his book The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists. He was also named as one of the "Top 10 Greatest Guitar Shredders of All Time" by GuitarOne magazine. In 2012, Petrucci was ranked the 17th greatest guitarist of all time by a Guitar World magazine readers poll.


John Petrucci was born on July 12, 1967 in Kings Park,  to an Italian American family. He picked up the guitar at the early age of 8 because his older sister was allowed to go to bed later in order to practice the piano. However he decided to quit the guitar when his attempts to stay up late were unsuccessful. He would later pick up the guitar again at the age of 12 when his childhood friend and future Dream Theater keyboardist Kevin Moore invited John to join his cover band.

John attended Berklee College of Music in Boston with childhood friend John Myung (bass), where they met future bandmate Mike Portnoy (drums). These three in addition to Kevin Moore, formed the band Majesty, which would later become Dream Theater.

While Dream Theater is what Petrucci is most commonly associated with, he is also a part of the project band Liquid Tension Experiment and has appeared as a guest on several records by other artists such as the Age of Impact album by the Explorer's Club.

Petrucci has released a guitar instructional video, "Rock Discipline", which covers warm up exercises, exercises to avoid injury while playing, alternate picking, sweep picking, chords and other techniques for developing one's guitar playing. Petrucci also has a book named "Guitar World presents John Petrucci's Wild Stringdom", which was compiled from columns he wrote for Guitar World magazine, bearing that same title.

In 2001 John Petrucci was invited by Joe Satriani and Steve Vai to tour with them on the popular G3 guitar tour, which exposed him to a massive number of new fans and inspired him to record a solo album. The album, Suspended Animation, was released on March 1, 2005, and was made available for order from his web site. Petrucci also appeared on the 2005 and 2006 G3 tours, and in 2007, went on G3 tour again, this time with Paul Gilbert and Joe Satriani. In a recent video with Larry DiMarzio, Petrucci revealed that he's been working on a follow up to his 2004 album, "Suspended Animation" along with the new Dream Theater album.

Petrucci also wrote and recorded two instrumental soundtrack songs for a Sega Saturn game titled Digital Pinball: Necronomicon. Each track is roughly two minutes long and they are simply titled "Prologue" and "Epilogue".

According to the spoof rock band, Nightmare Cinema (the Dream Theater members changing instruments playing a gig), he got the "alternate stage name" Johnny James.

Dream Theater bandmate Jordan Rudess revealed in an interview that Petrucci is a practicing Catholic.


He currently lives in St. James, New York with his wife Rena Sands, a guitarist in the all-female heavy metal band Meanstreak, and they have 3 children, Samantha and Renato (who are twins), and Kiarra. He is the uncle of Jake Bowen, one of the guitarists of the progressive metal band Periphery. He is also an avid fan of bodybuilding and dedicates much of his off time to weight training.

He is a voting member of NARAS.

Guitar Technique

Petrucci is respected for his variety of guitar styles and skills. One of the most notable of these is his high speed alternate picking which, as he himself claims, requires a "strong sense of synchronization between the two  hands." John is notable for frequent use of the seven-string electric guitar, which he states is used as a "writing tool", taking advantage of the extended range both for heavier riffing (The Mirror) and to play extended range runs as part of a solo (This Dying Soul). Moreover, Petrucci often combines his metal shredding technique with a slower, emotive soloing style. Indeed, he has cited David Gilmour as an important influence.

In addition, Petrucci is the only band member to have contributed lyrics to every album; he's written lyrics for at least three songs for every single album. These include, among others, the fan favorite Metropolis, Pt. 1: The Miracle and the Sleeper, the heartfelt The Spirit Carries On, the politically charged The Great Debate, the epic In the Presence of Enemies, and the emotional Through Her Eyes. Furthermore, Petrucci has used real-life experiences for lyrical inspiration, which includes songs as The Count of Tuscany, A Nightmare to Remember, Wither and Endless Sacrifice.

from various sources

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner CBE (born 2 October 1951), known by his stage name Sting, is an English musician, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, activist, actor and philanthropist. He was the principal songwriter, lead singer and bassist for the rock band The Police before launching a solo career.

Sting has varied his musical style, incorporating distinct elements of jazz, reggae, classical, New Age, and worldbeat into his music. As a solo musician and member of The Police, Sting has received 16 Grammy Awards for his work, receiving his first Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance in 1981, three Brit Awards – winning Best British Male in 1994, a Golden Globe, an Emmy Award, and several Oscar nominations for Best Original Song. He is a member of both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Early life

Sting was born in Wallsend, North Tyneside, England, the eldest of four children born to Audrey (née Cowell), a hairdresser, and Ernest Matthew Sumner, a milkman and engineer. His siblings were Philip, Angela and Anita. Young Gordon would often assist his father with the early-morning milk-delivery rounds, and by age 10 he became "obsessed" with an old Spanish guitar that had been left behind by an emigrating friend of his father.

He attended St. Cuthbert's Grammar School in Newcastle upon Tyne. He would often sneak into nightclubs like the Club A Go-Go, where he would watch acts such as Cream and Jimi Hendrix, artists who would later influence his own music. After jobs as a bus conductor, a construction labourer, and a tax officer, he attended Northern Counties College of Education, (which later became part of Northumbria University) from 1971 to 1974 and qualified as a teacher. He then worked as a schoolteacher at St. Paul's First School in Cramlington for two years.

Sting performed in jazz bands on evenings, weekends, and during breaks from college and from teaching. He played with local jazz bands such as the Phoenix Jazzmen, the Newcastle Big Band, and Last Exit. He gained his nickname after he performed wearing a black and yellow sweater with hooped stripes while onstage with the Phoenix Jazzmen. Bandleader Gordon Solomon thought that the sweater made him look like a bee, which prompted the nickname "Sting". In the 1985 documentary Bring on the Night he was addressed by a journalist as "Gordon", and replied: "My children call me Sting, my mother calls me Sting, who is this Gordon character?" In a 2011 interview for Time magazine, he stated: "I was never called 'Gordon'. You could shout 'Gordon' in the street and I would just move out of your way."

The Police

In January 1977, Sting moved from Newcastle to London, and soon thereafter he joined Stewart Copeland and Henry Padovani (who was soon replaced by Andy Summers) to form the New Wave band The Police. Between 1978 and 1983, they released five chart-topping albums and won six Grammy Awards. Although their initial sound was punk inspired, The Police soon switched to reggae-tinged rock and minimalist pop. Their last album, Synchronicity, which included their most successful song, "Every Breath You Take", was released in 1983. According to Sting, who appeared in the documentary Last Play at Shea, he decided to leave The Police while onstage during the 18 August 1983 concert at Shea Stadium because he felt that playing that venue was "Everest". While never formally breaking up, after Synchronicity the group agreed to concentrate on solo projects. As the years went by, the band members, particularly Sting, dismissed the possibility of reforming. In 2007, however, the band reformed and undertook a world tour.

Personal life

Sting married actress Frances Tomelty from Northern Ireland, on 1 May 1976. Before they divorced in 1984, the couple had two children: Joseph (born 23 November 1976) and Fuchsia Catherine (a.k.a. "Kate", born 17 April 1982). In 1980 Sting became a tax exile and moved to Galway in Ireland. In 1982, shortly after the birth of his second child, Sting separated from Tomelty and began living with actress (and later film producer) Trudie Styler. The couple eventually married on 20 August 1992. Sting and Styler have four children: Bridget Michael (a.k.a. "Mickey", born 19 January 1984), Jake (born 24 May 1985), Eliot Pauline (nicknamed "Coco", born 30 July 1990), and Giacomo Luke (born 17 December 1995). Coco is the current singer and founder of the London based group I Blame Coco. Both of Sting's parents died from cancer in 1987. He did not, however, attend either funeral stating that the media fuss would be disrespectful to his parents. 1995 found Sting preparing for a court appearance against his former accountant who had misappropriated several million pounds of his money. Sting owns several homes worldwide, including Elizabethan manor house Lake House and its 60 acre country estate near Salisbury, Wiltshire; a country cottage in the Lake District; a New York City apartment; a beach house in Malibu; a 600-acre (2.4 km2) estate in Tuscany; and two properties in London: an apartment on The Mall, and an 18th-century terrace house in Highgate. He also owns homes in the Caribbean, including one in the upscale community of Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic. Sting was estimated to have a fortune of £180 million in the Sunday Times Rich List of 2011, making him one of the 10 richest people in the British music industry.

To keep physically fit, for years Sting ran five miles (8 km) a day and performed aerobics. He participated in running races at Parliament Hill and charity runs similar to the British 10K. Around 1990 he met Danny Paradise who introduced him to yoga, and he later began practising regularly. His practice consisted primarily of an Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga series, though now he practices Tantra and Jivamukti Yoga as well. He wrote a foreword to the book Yoga Beyond Belief, written by Ganga White in 2007.

An avid chess player, Sting played Garry Kasparov in an exhibition game in 2000, along with four bandmates: Dominic Miller, Jason Rebello, Chris Botti, and Russ Irwin. Kasparov beat all five simultaneously within 50 minutes.

Formerly eating only animals that he raised himself, Sting now adheres to a macrobiotic diet.

In 1969 Sting read the Gormenghast trilogy by Mervyn Peake and became a passionate fan. He later bought the film rights to the books, and also named household pets, a race horse, his publishing company, and even one of his daughters (Fuchsia) after characters from the books.

Sting is a supporter of Newcastle United, and in 2009, backed a Newcastle United Supporters campaign against the controversial plan of owner Mike Ashley to sell off the naming rights to St James' Park.

Sting is agnostic.

from various sources


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