The first single from the new album "Just Your Fool" was released in September of the same year reaching the top of the charts
Blue & Lonesome is the twenty-third studio album by British band The Rolling Stones, scheduled to be released on December 2, 2016
"Just Your Fool" "Commit A Crime" "Blue And Lonesome" "All Of Your Love" "I Gotta Go" "Everybody Knows About My Good Thing" "Ride 'Em On Down" "Hate To See You Go" "Hoo Doo Blues" "Little Rain" "Just Like I Treat You" "I Can not Quit You Baby"
The Beatles: Eight Days a Week
The Beatles: Eight Days a Week â€“ The Touring Years is a 2016 documentary film directed by Ron Howard about The Beatles' career during their touring years from 1962 to 1966, from their performances at the Cavern Club in Liverpool to their final concert in San Francisco in 1966. The film was released theatrically on 15 September 2016 in the United Kingdom and 16 September in the United States, and started streaming on Hulu on 17 September 2016.
Dr. Strange, Marvel's latest superproduction, remains the top US box-office dominator for the second consecutive weekend as the most viewed film. According to data reported by the specialized website Box Office Mojo, Dr. Strange collected US $ 43 million this weekend in the United States, while its cumulative international income is already up to 492.6 million. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, the film tells the story of an arrogant neurosurgeon who, after a terrible accident, travels to recover to Kathmandu, where he will open the doors to an unknown dimension and powers that will make him the supreme sorcerer. For its part, the animated film Trolls was the second place to add 35 million dollars. With the voices in its original version of Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake, this feature films the characters of the Troll toy dolls and tells the story of Poppy and Branch, two Trolls who must face a great adventure to save their world. Arrival, the new proposal of the Canadian Denis Villeneuve and that has Amy Adams as visible head of its distribution, collected in its first weekend in the great screen 24 million dollars. The film tells how a linguistic expert is claimed by the US government to try to communicate with aliens who have reached 12 different points on Earth with unknown intentions. It also premiered well at Almost Christmas, which grossed $ 15.6 million.
This Kimberly Elise, Omar Epps, Danny Glover and Mo'Nique cast in the cast, is the first meeting of a dysfunctional family since the death of the clan matriarch.
The film of action of Marvel 'Doctor Strange' is one of the cinematographic successes of the year within the sort of comic. Now also marks a new bar for the year 2016 surpassing 500 million dollars in the box office world just three weeks since its release in theaters. In addition, he also remains in the top spot in the United States at the beginning of the week. The Marvel film 'Doctor Strange' was supported by a huge success at the United States box office. Now it also surpasses 500 million dollars worldwide, with a partial of nothing more and no less than more than 100 million dollars in the international segment. Not forgetting that now also starts the week in the United States placing in the first place facing the weekend. Recall that the film 'Doctor Strange' surpassed the mark of 355 million dollars in its first ten days of life in the international billboards. Without a doubt a notable success for the production directed by Scott Derrickson. Like 'Captain America 3 Civil War', the new film continues to strongly support the outcome outside US borders. And especially in the Asian market. The future of the character is linked to 'The Avengers 3', with Anthony and Joe Russo in the direction. As happened with the last two installments of the saga Captain America.
Standing Rock Protesters React to Life Under Trump Back in September, many of the protesters at the Standing Rock camp cared little who won the presidential election. "Whoever wins, we're still going to have to live with these fuckers," Chas Jewett told Rolling Stone, gesturing to the Dakota prairie, which would soon go in a landslide for Trump. RELATED How Musicians Are Joining Fight at Standing Rock Dave Matthews, Jackson Browne and more on why they felt urgent need to assist North Dakota protestors Indian country, by contrast, broke hard for Bernie Sanders, and Jewett's sedan, like many of the vehicles parked in the camp, sported Bernie stickers. Many Native Americans at the camp had cast their first primary votes for Sanders, who took a strong position against the 1,172-mile Dakota Access Pipeline, which is intended to move oil from the shale fields of North Dakota to Illinois. Protesters â€“ though they prefer the term "protectors" â€“ fear the
consequences of a spill where the pipeline crosses under the Missouri River. There's also a larger political question: The pipeline crosses through territory ceded to the Great Sioux Nation by the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie, and the Sioux say they weren't properly consulted for construction on their land. When Hillary Clinton got the nomination, the protesters had largely lost interest in the election. (Clinton's campaign released a tepid statement in late October reminding both sides to "respect demonstrators' rights to protest peacefully, and workers' rights to do their jobs safely.") Jewett, a Lakota from Cheyenne River and a longtime progressive organizer, had fallen into a deep depression after Sanders lost. She had dealt her entire life with both the casual racism of Dakota ranchers and the paternalism of federal Indian policy, having grown up on a ranch watching white neighbors get easy credit while her father had to go, hat in hand, to the Bureau of Indian Affairs every time he needed a loan for equipment. Things weren't much better now. In 2015, a federal court found that South Dakota's child welfare services department had been taking Native children from their families and tribes and placing them in white homes, in violation of federal law. And there were smaller indignities: Earlier this year, in Rapid City, where Jewett lives, white men threw beer on some Native teens who were on a class trip to a hockey game, demanding they go back to the reservation; local headlines asked if the Native kids had stood for the Pledge of Allegiance at the game. (They had.) "For once," Jewett said of Sanders' run, "we'd had an
actual alternative â€“ someone who wasn't just, frack shit, bomb shit." It was September, and no one thought yet that Trump could actually win. But "America deserves Trump," she said, poking the fire with black satisfaction. "America is Trump."
Trump's victory came the week after a protester advance against the Dakota Access site â€“ a poorly planned gamble that had provoked a crushing police response, with hundreds of officers in riot gear and armored vehicles firing rubber bullets and tear gas into the crowd and arresting more than 100. The clash had brought more visibility to the protesters' cause, but at the cost of injuries and the loss of a strategically important camp blocking the pipeline. Cops forced activists so far from the construction site that people were suggesting approaching via rafts over the frigid river. Last week, things reached an even higher pitch as a police bottled protesters on a bridge while battering them in sub-freezing temperatures with water cannons, pepper spray, tear gas and concussion grenades â€“ one of which seems to have "blown away" much of the left arm of
a young New York protester, Sophia Wilansky, according to her father. She was taken to the hospital along with 26 others; 300 protesters in total were reported injured by camp medics. Few in camp think it likely that Trump, who put expanding shale gas and approving pipelines like the Keystone XL in his top-ten priorities for the start of his presidency, is going to de-escalate things. "People are pretty darn scared," says Ken Abrahamson after Trumpâ€™s win. Abrahamson is an Iraq War veteran from Colorado who had come to Standing Rock to support a Lakota former squadmate. "People are just waiting for the National Guard to come in and start pegging us with rubber bullets." He notes a new sense of urgency around camp â€“ the feeling that all hope now rests on convincing Obama to kill the Dakota Access before he leaves office. "A lot of people are thinking if we don't win by January, we're screwed." Ever since the Keystone XL protests, the Midwestern land rights and climate movements have relied on influencing Obama personally through letter-writing campaigns, spectacle-heavy demonstrations and old-fashioned lobbying. This had been effective: For instance, it was the State Department's decision to pull the Keystone XL permit. At Standing Rock, it was an 11th-hour executive action by the Obama administration that temporarily stopped construction, although skirmishes continue. The Morton County Sheriff's Department has made over 400 arrests so far. Obama's reliance on executive actions makes the movement's gains fragile. Trump has in the past
gotten into nasty tiffs with Northeastern tribes over casino projects, describing them basically as you might expect. "With Clinton, it had seemed like we would have to do what we did during the Democratic primary," says Tara Houska, an Ojibwe woman who served as Bernie Sanders' Native American advisor. "We buckle down, work hard, push her, force her position to be one that aligns with the people. But now, it's a very different ballgame. Now we're going to mobilize to save what's already in place" â€“ like the EPA and federal wildlands protections â€“ "and keep things from moving backwards."
At the active standoff beside Standing Rock, the question of Trump's character has taken on a certain immediacy. Leland Dick, an enormous man from the Burns Paiute of Oregon who had been involved in last winter's battle against Amon Bundy and his followers at the Malheur wildlife refuge, says he thinks the cops will start using real bullets soon. Lou Grassrope, a lifelong grassroots activist and head of a contingent of the Lower Brule Sioux, says that
under Trump, "We can see that what we're facing here is National Guard and police officers that have have fallen back into the same pathway of cowboy and Indian wars. “We're having to face that it might result in all of our deaths, going forward," he says. Still, he remains committed to the experiment at Standing Rock. In the face of outside forces and the larger political winds sweeping the U.S., Grassrope and others are struggling to build a new form of Indian government at Standing Rock, in which the traditional leadership of the Oceti Sakowin, the seven council fires of the Great Sioux Nation, operates as a sovereign state in a way not seen in over a century. This plays out on the ground in numerous small ways: The same week as the election, the council voted – on recommendation from the women's council – to banish from the camp a young man accused of attempted rape. The women paraded him around the camp calling out what trash he was, then cut off his braids and threw him out of camp. Meanwhile, volunteers and donations continue to pour into camp. In the aftermath of the elections, there were reportedly as many as 12,000 people in the protest camps, making it one of the largest settlements in Lakota country, a sprawling town with free clinics, schools and communal dining halls, as well as roving herbalists, acupuncturists and masseuses. Even in its darker moments, the camp has a powerful network of support, including donations and attention from the rest of the country; after Sophia Wilansky's arm was blown open, a
GoFundMe set up by her family to pay for her medical care raised $120,000 in seven hours. Even with the violence on the perimeter, in an area of staggering poverty and crime, the Oceti Sakowin camp remains an island of prosperity and safety. "We have no hunger here," says Myron Dewey, a Paiute and Shoshone blogger who filmed a bison stampede last month that got passed widely around the internet. "There's no one homeless. We have free health care, free mental health care. You want to see where America is great again? Come here."
Freddie Mercury: 10 Things You Didn't Know Queen Singer Did
"Lover of life, singer of songs." The simple epitaph, penned by Queen bandmate Brian May, goes a long way in describing the complex figure known across the globe as Freddie Mercury. "To me that summed it up, because he lived life to the fullest," remembered May in a BBC documentary. "He was a generous man, a kind man, an impatient man, sometimes. But utterly dedicated to what he felt was important, which was making music." RELATED Remembering Queen's Last Masterpiece, 'Innuendo' Much like Bowie's 'Blackstar,' the band's final album of Mercury's lifetime boldly confronted mortality Born Farrokh Bulsara in the British protectorate of Zanzibar, Freddie's oversized talent was matched only by his flamboyance and exuberance. These qualities merged to create masterpieces of the group's songbook, and some of the greatest live
performances on record. In life, his four-octave voice – since studied by scientists in an attempt to unlock the secrets of its intricacies and awesomeness – raised the bar for what a rock singer could be. In death, he gave voice to the millions suffering from AIDS. In honor of the 25th anniversary of his passing, here are some lesser-known elements of Mercury's incredible legacy. 1. He released a pre-Queen solo single covering the Ronettes and Dusty Springfield – and mocking Gary Glitter.
While Mercury's first appearance on vinyl predates any release from Queen, it does feature two of his bandmates and a characteristic dose of irreverence. In early 1973, the fledgling band was recording its debut album at London's Trident Studios, a cuttingedge facility that had recently been utilized by David Bowie and the Beatles. Though it was an honor to follow in such prestigious footsteps, Queen's lowly status meant that they were only allowed to record during off-peak hours: usually between 3 and 7 a.m. "They were given what was called 'Dark Time,'" producer John Anthony told band biographer Mark Blake in Is This the Real Life? The Untold Story of Queen. "That's when an engineer can produce his favorite band or a tea boy can be used as a tape op." One night, while waiting for their studio to become free, Mercury was approached by Trident's house
engineer, Robin Geoffrey Cable. Cable had been trying to recreate record producer Phil Spector's famed "Wall of Sound" style, and felt that the Queen singer's voice would be a perfect addition to the project. Mercury then enlisted the musical services of Brian May and Roger Taylor, and together they recorded covers of the Ronettes' "I Can Hear Music" (then recently revitalized by the Beach Boys) and Carole King and Gerry Goffin's "Goin' Back," made famous by Dusty Springfield. The results were deemed adequate and Cable suggested readying the tracks for release. Mercury agreed, but with Queen's debut nearing completion, he insisted on using a pseudonym to avoid confusing the public. He settled on the outlandish name Larry Lurex, which he admitted was a "personal piss-take" on Gary Glitter, who ruled the British charts at the time. The surname was borrowed from a brand of metallic yarn used in bodysuits favored by Glitter and the glam-rock elite.
Glitter â€“ still decades away from disgrace and incarceration for sex crimes â€“ wielded a massive army of fans, none of whom appreciated Mercury's jab. They refused to buy the song out of spite, and many DJs declined to play it. Larry Lurex's one and only single sank like a stone when it was released in late June. Queen's first album, released just a week later, performed somewhat better. Though Mercury continued to funnel his energy into the band, he was miffed on principle by Larry
Lurex's failure. "I thought it was great!" he said later. "Let's face it, it's the highest honor for any performer to have people copying you. It's a form of flattery and it was only meant in fun. Anyway, what does it matter? After Elvis Presley, it's all parody, isn't it?" The experience didn't sour his relationship with Cable. When the band was recording its next album, Queen II, the following year, he tapped the engineer to recreate the Wall of Sound style on the track "Funny How Love Is." 2. He designed the band's "royal crest" logo. It should come as no surprise that the name Queen emerged from the mind of Freddie Mercury. The band's short list also included Build Your Own Boat, the Grand Dance and the Rich Kids, but none of those monikers came close to matching the full scope of the singer's vision. "The concept of Queen is to be regal and majestic," he told British music weekly Melody Maker. "We want to be dandy. We want to shock and be outrageous." Queen fit the bill. In addition to the name, Mercury also designed the band's distinctive logo, his interpretation of a royal crest. Calling upon his skills honed at London's Ealing Art College â€“ where Pete Townshend and Ronnie Wood also received training â€“ he began sketching the coat of arms for use on the cover of their debut. It incorporated the zodiac signs of all four members: two lions for Leos John Deacon and Roger Taylor, and a crab to represent Brian May's Cancer sign. Mercury represented himself with two fairies, which he cheekily insisted were merely symbols of Virgo. All were dwarfed by a massive
phoenix, a symbol of hope and renewal, borrowed from the crest of his childhood alma mater, St. Peter's School. At the center of it all is an elegant "Q" â€“ with a crown at the center, naturally. 3. He built a stage for David Bowie, and sold him a pair of vintage boots. Bowie and Mercury famously joined forces on the worldwide smash "Under Pressure" in 1981, but their relationship actually stretched back to the late Sixties, when both were relative unknowns. Bowie had slightly more clout at the time, and was booked to play a small lunchtime set at Ealing Art College. A fascinated Mercury followed him around, offering to carry his gear. Bowie soon put him to work pushing tables together as a makeshift stage. Not long after, Mercury and Roger Taylor opened a stall at Kensington Market, where they sold vintage clothing to supplement their meager income from music. "We got into old Edwardian clothes," Taylor told Blake. "We'd get bags of silk scarves from dodgy dealers. We'd take them, iron them, and flog them." Brian May recalls being less impressed by the quality of clothes. "Fred would bring home these great bags of stuff, pull out some horrible strip of cloth and say, 'Look at this beautiful garment! This is going to fetch a fortune!' And I'd say, 'Fred, that is a piece of rag.'" Mercury and Taylor were not well suited to run their own business, and the kindly Alan Mair, who managed the clothing stall across the aisle, ultimately hired them. "He was always efficient, he was very polite," Mair said of Mercury in the BBC documentary Freddie's Millions. "No one ever
complained about him, he never had any attitude problems. He always got there a bit later, but that didn't matter." Mair was a mutual acquaintance of Bowie's early manager, and one day the future Starman himself wandered into their stall. "'Space Oddity' had been a hit, but he said he had no money," Mair says in Is This The Real Life. "Typical music biz! I said, 'Look, have them for free.' Freddie fitted Bowie for the pair of boots. So there was Freddie Mercury, a shop assistant, giving pop star David Bowie a pair of boots he couldn't afford to buy." 4. He accidentally gave the Sex Pistols their big break – and probably regretted it.
On December 1st, 1976, Queen was booked on the early evening talk show Today with Bill Grundy to promote their upcoming album, A Day at the Races. But when Mercury had to make a visit to the dentist – apparently his first in 15 years – EMI, the band's label, sent their new signing: the Sex Pistols. The free drinks thoughtfully provided backstage by the television producers ensured that the unruly punks were in especially naughty form. Egged on by a combative Grundy, who was supposedly just as drunk as they were, Steve Jones and John Lydon (a.k.a. Johnny Rotten) both uttered numerous obscenities on air, including the unforgivable "fuck." Even though the program only broadcast in the Greater London area, the swift backlash in the press vaulted the Sex Pistols into the national spotlight.
"The Filth and the Fury!" screamed the front-page Daily Mirror headline, and numerous other tabloids followed suit. According to legend, one particularly outraged truck driver smashed his television set. Conservative members of the London City Council described the Sex Pistols as "nauseating" and "the antithesis of humankind." Many dates on their imminent Anarchy Tour of the U.K. were canceled or protested, but the media scrutiny only increased their popularity. The Sex Pistols, as a rule contemptuous of superstar bands, held particular disdain for the pomp, pageantry and virtuosity of Queen. And the feelings were apparently mutual. Mercury was never a fan of their rough-edged brand of rock. "He told me he didn't understand the whole punk thing," an EMI executive told Blake. "That wasn't music to him." Their paths would overlap in 1977 at London's Wessex Studios, where the Sex Pistols were recording their debut. "We used to bump into them in the corridors," May recalled to Blake. "I had a few conversations with John Lydon, who was always very respectful. We talked about music." But Roger Taylor was much less complimentary about the band's bassist. "Sid [Vicious] was a moron. He was an idiot," he remembered in the documentary Queen: Days of Our Lives. On one memorable occasion, Vicious drunkenly wandered into Queen's studio and tried to pick a fight with Mercury by snarling: "Have you succeeded in bringing ballet to the masses yet?" â€“ a reference to a particularly flamboyant boast the singer had made in a recent NME interview.
Mercury was not so easily rattled. "I called him 'Simon Ferocious' or something and he didn't like it at all," he claimed later in a television interview. "I said, 'What are you going to do about it?' And he had all these [cuts] â€“ he was very well marked â€“ so I said, 'Make sure to scratch yourself in the mirror properly today because tomorrow you're going to get something else.' He hated that I could even speak like that. I think we survived that test." 5. He performed with the Royal Ballet Company.
The Sex Pistols couldn't have known it, but soon Mercury would make good on his avowal to bring ballet to the masses. In August 1979, Royal Ballet principle Wayne Eagling went looking for a particularly limber star to join their ranks for a charity gala performance. After Kate Bush turned them down, Eagling turned his attention to Mercury. Though his initial reaction was less than favorable ("I thought they were mad!"), he eventually warmed to the idea after speaking to the head of EMI, Sir Joseph Lockwood, who also happened to be the chairman of the Royal Ballet board of governors. "Freddie had a general interest in the ballet, but Lockwood really got him fired up," said Queen manager John Reid in The Great Pretender. "He was fascinated by the scale. It was epic. And everything about Freddie's performance was epic." It was a perfect match. Despite Mercury's athletic performances with Queen, it would take intense rehearsals to get him
up to par. "They had me practicing at the barre and all that, stretching my legs ... trying to do things in a week that they'd been doing for years," he told The London Evening News. "It was murder. After two days I was in agony. It was hurting me in places I didn't know I had, dear." Mercury made his grand debut on Saturday, October 7th, 1979, at London's Coliseum Theater before 2,500 patrons. He sang "Bohemian Rhapsody" and Queen's upcoming single, "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," to live orchestral backing, all while being hoisted aloft by three shirtless men. By the end of the performance he donned a silver bodysuit, and executed several formidable full-body flips. "There was only one person in the world that could have gotten away with it," Roger Taylor, who was in the audience, told Blake. "Freddie was performing in front of a very stiff Royal Ballet audience, average age 94, who did not know what to make of this silver thing that was being tossed around onstage in front of them. I thought it was very brave and absolutely hilarious." Mercury himself approached the moment with good humor. "I wasn't quite Baryshnikov, but wasn't bad for an aging beginner. I'd like to see Mick Jagger or Rod Stewart try that!" 6. He wrote "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" in the bathtub.
Queen decamped to Munich in June 1979 to work on the album that would eventually be The Game.
Mercury had just checked in at the glittering Bayerischer Hof hotel and stepped into the bath to wash away the travel grime when a melody came to him. It was a hiccup-y rockabilly number, somewhat tongue-in-cheek. It had affectionate elements of the recently departed Elvis Presley, who had been a major vocal influence on the young Mercury. Calling for assistant Peter Hince to fetch him an acoustic guitar, he wrapped a towel around his body and began to bash out the skeleton of what might be the most uncharacteristically simple song he ever wrote. "'Crazy Little Thing Called Love' took me five or 10 minutes," he admitted to Melody Maker in 1981. "I did that on the guitar, which I can't play for nuts, and in one way it was quite a good thing because I was restricted, knowing only a few chords. It's a good discipline because I simply had to write within a small framework. I couldn't work through too many chords and because of that restriction I wrote a good song, I think." With the structure in place, he immediately bolted to Musicland Studios, calling ahead to tell engineer Reinhold Mack to be ready to record. "I was very quick and had everything set up in almost no time," Mack says in Days of Our Lives. The band was all present except for May, but Mercury was undeterred. In fact, he was slightly relieved to be momentarily free of May's perfectionist impulses. "[Mercury said,] 'Quickly, let's finish it before Brian gets here, otherwise it takes a little longer,'" Mack laughs. Sure enough, it was just about done by the time May arrived. "Brian isn't going to like it," Mercury was
heard to remark. And he didn't. Something about the song didn't appeal to him initially, and he particularly resented being asked to swap his trademark Red Special guitar (used on nearly all Queen recordings to that point) for a more Fifties Fender Telecaster. "I wasn't happy," May told Blake. "I kicked against it, but I saw that it was the right way to go." It was. The song was released as a pre-album single that fall, and it shot to Number One across the globe. "We were still making the record, we hadn't nearly finished the album," remembers Taylor in Days of Our Lives. "We were going out in Munich and someone came up and said, 'It's gone to Number One in America.' And we were going, 'Yeah! More drinks!'" 7. He dressed Lady Diana in drag and snuck her into a gay club. By the mid-Eighties, Queen's proximity to royalty went well beyond their name. Mercury had become a friend of Lady Diana Spencer, then the Princess of Wales. The so-called "People's Princess" had endeared herself to a nation with her down-to-earth manner, but the constant media harassment was a tremendous strain on the young royal. So Mercury conspired to give her a night on the town. According to a 2013 memoir by actress Cleo Rocos, Diana and Mercury spent the afternoon at English comedian Kenny Everett's home, "drinking champagne in front of reruns of The Golden Girls with the sound turned down" and improvising dialogue with "a much naughtier storyline." When Diana inquired about their evening plans, Mercury
said they were planning to visit the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, one of the most iconic gay venues in London. The princess insisted that she come along and blow off some steam. The Royal Vauxhall was well known for its rough crowd, and fights often broke out between patrons â€“ perhaps not the best place for a princess. "We pleaded, 'What would be the headline if you were caught in a gay bar brawl?'" writes Rocos. "But Diana was in full mischief mode. Freddie said, 'Go on, let the girl have some fun.'" A disguise was essential to the plan's success, so Everett donated the outfit he had planned to wear: an army jacket, dark aviator sunglasses and a leather cap to conceal her hair. "Scrutinizing her in the half light," Rocos continues, "we decided that the most famous icon of the modern world might just â€“ just â€“ pass for a rather eccentrically dressed gay male model." The group managed to sneak Diana into the bar undetected. The crowd, distracted by the presence of Mercury, Everett and Rocos, ignored the Princess completely, leaving her free to order drinks for herself. "We inched through the leather throngs and thongs, until finally we reached the bar. We were nudging each other like naughty schoolchildren. Diana and Freddie were giggling, but she did order a white wine and a beer. Once the transaction was completed, we looked at one another, united in our triumphant quest. We did it!" Not wishing to push their luck, they left only 20 minutes later. But for Diana, the brief chance to shed the weight of celebrity was precious. "We must
do it again!" she enthused as they made their way back to her home at Kensington Palace. Following Mercury and Everett's AIDS-related deaths in the early Nineties, Diana became the patron of the National AIDS Trust, one of the U.K.'s leading organizations devoted to the illness. Their night at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern was turned into a 2016 musical, which was performed at the venue. 8. He recorded songs with Michael Jackson, but the King of Pop's pet llama interrupted the sessions.
Mercury's love of Michael Jackson dates back to his pre-Queen days, when he would loudly sing the praises of the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" to his hard rock-loving roommates. "Freddie was in awe of Michael," his personal assistant Peter Freestone told Blake. When Jackson scaled new artistic and commercial heights with his chartbusting Thriller in 1982, it seemed like the perfect time for the King of Pop and the Queen frontman to join forces. Mercury traveled to Jackson's home studio in Encino, California, in the spring of 1983 to begin work on three demos. "There Must Be More to Life Than This," which had its genesis during sessions for Queen's 1982 album, Hot Spaces, lacked a complete set of lyrics, and Mercury can be heard encouraging Jackson to ad lib on session tapes. "State of Shock" was a tune that Jackson had composed largely on his own, whereas "Victory" was co-written by the two men.
Bootlegs of the demos reveal strong efforts, though they were ultimately left incomplete. A revised version of "There Must Be More to Life Than This" saw inclusion on Mercury's 1985 solo album, Mr. Bad Guy, while "State of Shock" was issued as a 1984 single by the Jacksons featuring Mick Jagger. The track "Victory" remains in the vault to this day. Publicly, Mercury was very diplomatic in explaining exactly why the partnership failed to flourish. "We never seemed to be in the same country long enough to actually finish anything completely," he said in 1987. But another interview from the same period belayed hints of frustration with the King of Pop. "He simply retreated into his own little world. We used to have great fun going to clubs together but now he won't come out of his fortress and it's very sad." According to Queen's manager, Jim Beach, Jackson's idiosyncrasies, which have since been well documented, began to grate on Mercury in the studio. "I suddenly got a call from Freddie saying, 'Can you get on over here? Because you've got to come get me out of this studio,'" he revealed in The Great Pretender. "I said, 'What's the problem?' And he said, 'I'm recording with a llama. Michael's bringing his pet llama into the studio everyday and I'm really not used to recording with a llama. I've had enough and I'd like to get out.'" Jackson, for his part, may have had issues with Mercury's quirks, too. According to a story sold to The Sun by Mercury's former personal assistant, sessions broke down when Jackson caught his
singing partner snorting cocaine through a hundreddollar bill. In any event, Mercury remained prickly about the failed collaboration for the rest of his life. "Fred came out of it all a little upset because some of the stuff he did with Michael got taken over by the Jacksons and he lost out," says May in Is This the Real Life. A duet version of "There Must Be More to Life Than This," revamped by producer William Orbit, was issued on the 2014 Queen Forever compilation. The other two titles remain unreleased. 9. He used to call his cats while away on tour â€“ and even wrote a song for his favorite, Delilah.
To put it mildly, Freddie Mercury was a cat person. He shared his home with a number of furry creatures over the course of his life, and found it difficult to be apart from them. While touring the world with Queen, he habitually called his house in order to speak with his cherished pets. "He'd get to a hotel, we'd dial through and he really would talk to his cats," writes Peter Freestone in his memoir, Mister Mercury. "[Close friend] Mary [Austin] would hold Tom and Jerry in turn up to the receiver to listen to Freddie talking. This continued throughout the years with succeeding feline occupants of his houses." By the time Jim Hutton, Mercury's last romantic partner, moved into his elegant Garden Lodge mansion, the brood had swelled to six: Oscar, Tiffany, Goliath, Miko, Romeo and Delilah. "Freddie
treated the cats like his own children," Hutton writes in his book, Mercury and Me. "He would constantly fuss over them, and if any of them came to any harm when Freddie was away, heaven help us. During the day the cats had the run of the house and grounds, and at night one of us would round them up and bring them inside." Hutton describes one incident when Goliath went missing. "Freddie became frantic, and in deep despair he hurled a beautiful Japanese hibachi [grill] through the window of the guest bedroom." Mercury was prepared to offer a ÂŁ1,000 reward for the missing cat, but thankfully Goliath was recovered before it came to that. "Freddie was over the moon," Hutton writes. "For five minutes or more he poured his attention on the kitten, cuddling and stroking him. Then, like a mother, Freddie scolded the cat, shouting and screaming at tiny Goliath for leaving Garden Lodge. The dark ball of fur just sat there, listening calmly to Freddie's outburst and purring loudly." He reserved a special place for Delilah, whom Hutton refers to as "the little princess" of their home. "Of all the cats at Garden Lodge, Delilah was Freddie's favorite and the one he'd pick up and stroke the most often. When Freddie went to bed, it was Delilah he brought in with us. She'd sleep at the foot of the bed, before slipping out for a night-time prowl." Mercury immortalized the tortoiseshell feline in his song "Delilah." Though the rest of the band were not enamored with the song, they reluctantly acquiesced. May even utilized a much-loathed "talk
box" effect to make cat noises with his guitar. "I finally succumbed and used one," he told Guitar World in 1991. "They wheeled it in and I said, 'Well, I suppose there's no other way I can make "meow" noises.'" The track was included on Innuendo, the last album Queen released during Mercury's lifetime. Considering the singer's ill health, lines like"You make me smile when I'm just about to cry/You bring me hope, you make me laugh â€“ and I like it" are particularly poignant. 10. He insisted that his final resting place remain secret, and the location is a mystery to this day.
Mercury was diagnosed with AIDS during the spring of 1987 and slowly began telling those close to him about his condition. "He invited us over to the house for a meeting and he just told us the absolute facts â€“ the facts that we were starting to realize ourselves, anyway," Taylor said in the documentary Freddie Mercury: The Untold Story. Mercury's increasingly frail appearance and gaunt figure increased media speculation that something was terribly wrong with the seemingly indestructible frontman, but the group closed ranks and vehemently denied any problems. "We hid everything. I guess we lied! Because we were trying to protect him," says May in Days of Our Lives. By the end of 1990, the band completed Innuendo, which featured the melancholy ballad "These Are the Days of Our Lives." Though it doesn't directly address Mercury's physical decline, the song casts a
wistful eye toward Queen's younger days. Fears for his health were made exponentially worse by the music video, shot on May 30th, 1991. The decision to shoot in black and white did little to disguise the extent to which AIDS had ravaged Mercury's body. "He spent hours and hours in makeup sorting himself out so it'd be OK," May told The Independent in 2011. "He actually says a kind of goodbye in the video." Wearing a custom-made vest depicting each of his beloved cats, the final scene shows him staring down the camera with a wry smile before uttering, "I still love you." These were to be his last words on camera. Several weeks before filming, Mercury had been in Montreaux, Switzerland, recording as much as music May, the experience provided Mercury with a badly needed sense of normalcy. "Freddie at that time said, 'Write me stuff. I know I don't have very long. Keep writing me words, keep giving me things â€“ I will sing, and then you can do what you like afterwards and finish it off," he says in Days of Our Lives. Producer Dave Richards noted a sense of urgency in the sessions. Gone were the days of spending hours fine-tuning instrumentation. "He was dying when he did those songs, and he knew he would be dead when they were finished because he said to me, 'I'm going to sing it now because I can't wait for them to do music on this. Give me a drum machine and they'll finish it off.'" May wrote him "Mother Love," a slow-burning epic that Mercury tackled with his usual gusto. "I don't know where he found the energy," May later told The Telegraph. "Probably from vodka. He would get
in the mood, do a little warm-up then say, 'Give me my shot.' He'd swig it down ice cold. Stolichnaya, usually. Then he would say, 'Roll the tape.'" Unable to stand for long periods and forced to walk with a cane, Mercury tracked vocals for "Mother Love" in the control room. "We got as far as the penultimate verse and he said, 'I'm not feeling that great, I think I should call it a day now. I'll finish it when I come back, next time.' But, of course, he didn't ever come back to the studio after that." On the final version, May sings the last verse of the song himself.
Mercury retreated back to his Garden Lodge home after that, drawing support from Jim Hutton and Mary Austin â€“ his former girlfriend, whom he first met in 1970. They had lived together for seven years, and though they no longer shared a home, they still shared each other's lives. In interviews he consistently referred to her as his one true friend, and once told journalist David Wigg that when it came to his will, "I'm leaving it all to Mary and the cats." The delicate Queen classic "Love of My Life" is written in her honor. Austin watched as she saw her soulmate's flame dim. "He'd given himself a limit, and I think that when he couldn't record anymore or have the energy to, it would be the end," she said in The Great Pretender. "Because his life and his joy had been that. And I think without it, he wouldn't have been strong enough to face what he had to face."
Now forced to confront the inevitable, Mercury began to make tentative arrangements for his death. "He suddenly announced one day after Sunday lunch, 'I know exactly where I want you to put me. But no one's to know, because I don't want anyone to dig me up. I just want to rest in peace.'" When Mercury succumbed AIDS-related bronchial pneumonia on November 24th, 1991, his body was cremated at Kensal Green cemetery in West London. His ashes were kept in an urn in Austin's bedroom for two years before she quietly took his remains to their final resting place. "I didn't want anyone to suspect that I was doing anything other than what I would normally do. I said I was going for a facial. I had to be convincing. It was very hard to find the moment," she told The Daily Mail in 2013. "I just sneaked out of the house with the urn. It had to be like a normal day so the staff wouldn't suspect anything – because staff gossip. They just cannot resist it. But nobody will ever know where he is buried because that was his wish." Apparently even Mercury's parents have been kept in the dark about the location, but that hasn't stopped fans from trying to find the place to pay their respects. Some have speculated that he's in his native Zanzibar, while others believe him to be beneath a cherry tree in the garden of his mansion. It seemed like the mystery was solved in 2013, when a plinth bearing Mercury's birth name and birth date was discovered at Kensal Green. "In Loving Memory of Farrokh Bulsara, 5 Sept. 1946 – 24 Nov. 1991," it read, "Pour Etre Toujours Pres De Toi Avec Tout Mon Amour – M." The French translates to
"Always to Be Close to You With All My Love," and many speculate that the "M" in question is for Mary Austin. Austin herself denies the theory. "Freddie is definitely not in that cemetery." The plaque has since been removed. At present, his final resting place remains unknown.
Flashback: See Keith Urban's Dazzling Thanksgiving NFL Halftime Show
When Keith Urban's tour bus pulled up to Cowboys Stadium on Thanksgiving Day 2010, the Dallas Cowboys were in the middle of a losing season. Urban, on the other hand, was riding high on a winning streak. His seventh album Get Closer had hit stores less than 10 days earlier, and the kickoff single "Put You in a Song" was already in the Top 40. To top it off, he'd been picked to perform the halftime show during the Cowboys' turkey day matchup with the New Orleans Saints â€“ one of the most-watched games of the season. RELATED NFL's Best Thanksgiving Games: Bounty Bowls and Butt Fumbles We take a look back at football's best Turkey Day moments â€“ including one Mark Sanchez would probably like to forget
There's plenty of prime-time spectacle in the video above, which shows Urban and company hitting the stage alongside the Cowboys' cheerleading squad. A portion of the stage appears to be made of LED video screens, and several young fans in the front row look as though they were selected by a CW network casting director. The whole presentation feels a bit scripted, perhaps, but the music itself is genuine, with Urban's band performing a guitarheavy grab bag of old standbys and newer material. Backed by a lineup including drummer Chris McHugh, guitarist Brian Nutter and bassist Jerry Flowers, Urban makes the most of his seven minutes on the field, squeezing abbreviated versions of three songs â€“ "Days Go By," "Put You in a Song" and "Better Life" â€“ into a satisfying medley. Intros are shortened and several verses are cut, but every song still features a guitar solo on Urban's Telecaster. You can take the guy out of Nashville, as they say. More than half a decade later, the Dallas Cowboys are still booking country acts for their halftime shows on Thanksgiving afternoon. Eric Church will perform his own set today, hitting the field midway through the Cowboys' battle against the Washington Redskins.
Revisiting Beatles' Rare, Revelatory 'Strawberry Fields Forever' Early Take
"Strawberry Fields Forever" represents one of the most daunting achievements of the Beatles' career, and a landmark in 20th-century music as a whole, but what if someone was to say there exists a "Strawberry Fields" recording that surpasses the single released in February 1967? A fatuous claim? Or a gateway to the most revealing of all Beatles recordings? RELATED Watch Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr Talk Standing Up to George Martin Bandmates discuss pivotal moment when they insisted on writing, recording original songs in 'Eight Days a Week' extra John Lennon, the song's author, esteemed "Strawberry Fields Forever" in a way he did few of his own compositions. "It's real, you know," he remarked in 1970. "It's about me, and I don't know anything else really. The
only true songs I ever wrote were 'Help!' and 'Strawberry Fields Forever.'" The writing of the latter commenced in September 1966 while Lennon was in Spain for the filming of Richard Lester's How I Won the War. The Beatles may have sensed they had reached a middle-aged point of their career, hence an impetus to look back to childhood, as Lennon now was, Strawberry Fields itself being the Salvation Army children's home where he'd play as a boy, despite his Aunt Mimi's warnings that the grounds were dangerous. Lennon, ever a collector of found sounds, was now finding himself in song, and elected to document the process, beginning with those early demos he made in Spain on a portable recorder. The song is skeletal at this point, less of a ballad and more of a breath of gossamer-like minor keys. There's an intimacy rarely glimpsed in the Beatles' world, with Lennon sounding both unsure of himself, and at his ease, like he's comfortable trusting, in this instance, at least, a compositional process that all will eventually be revealed. The crucial "No one I think is in my tree" line is not present, with the rather unwieldy "There's no one on my wavelength" boast standing in for it, but he has that odd, syntactical stutter-step style of speaking already well established with "That is you can't, you know, tune in but it's all right/I mean it's not too bad." Lennon tended to write swiftly, even if he wrote just one line a day, as he did with "I Am the Walrus." Songs wouldn't gestate over months, but
"Strawberry Fields" was different, the work that mirrored Lennon's own blend of self-doubt and selfassurance. "I was different all my life," he said in 1980. "The second verse goes, 'No one I think is in my tree.' Well, I was too shy and self-doubting. Nobody seems to be as hip as me is what I'm saying. Therefore, I must be crazy or a genius â€“ I mean it must be high or low.'" Indeed. The charting of a genius' inner workings in song form continued back at Lennon's mansion in Kenwood, where he added to the song through the first several weeks of November. This is Lennon up late at night, sometimes stoned, the sound of a man giving in to his internal processes, the pull of childhood, the call of Liverpudlian muses. Again, he's always relaxed, muttering jokes to himself sotto voce when he hits the wrong chord, singing a given section repeatedly, words turning into humming sounds when he can't figure out the words that should come next. He likes the idea of starting the song with the "No one I think is in my tree" line but eventually tucks it further back into the piece. But if you're a Beatles fan, or just someone with a bent for witnessing epiphanic moments, little tops the joy to be sourced from hearing that moment when Lennon's latest holding pattern hums cease and give way to the crucial line: "Let me take you down ..."
Boom, he has it, and we're getting a little closer to making a kind of history. Next up was to bring in the rest of the band and producer George Martin, which occurred at Abbey Road's Studio Two, 50 years ago on November 24th. Engineer Geoff Emerick remembered Lennon's new offering as a "great, great song" when Lennon premiered it on acoustic guitar, sitting on a high stool, for those who would help him shepherd it into final form. Strawberry Fields For Ever [Take 1] The Beatles by unsurpassed2 The bootleg It's Not Too Bad, which runs to almost an hour, compiles what we have of the "Strawberry Fields" recording process, from Spain to Kenwood to London, and it's the package you need to properly hear the first full studio take of the song. For some maddening reason, Paul McCartney and George Harrison's exquisite backing vocals were scrubbed from the version of the first take released on the second Anthology in 1996. One can easily love "Strawberry Fields" in the version it ultimately became famous for, and prefer this earlier take. Lennon sings it even better, for starters, with the sense that he's opening himself up to his mates in a manner maybe one doesn't think to for the masses. Or maybe doesn't first think to. The instrumental underpinning has the quality of a blues from on high, something seraphic crossed with a slowed-down Jimmy Reed beat. You almost wonder if the Beatles would have had the balls to release this version if Lennon wanted it.
Could it have been a hit? It's so personal, a rumination on the very nature of genius, of delving inside one's self so that others might discover new bits in themselves, sans a big, meaty hook, the chorus to sing along to. But we'll never know, because Lennon wasn't satisfied. A different arrangement was attempted four days later, which is also heard on the It's Not Too Bad bootleg. Then a third arrangement followed, which was much heavier, with Ringo Starr starting to figure out the orchestral approach to drumming that would mark the final version, and Harrison stepping up his guitar efforts, finding the tone and filigree that would add so much texture to the classic single.
This was a version approaching proto-metal. Lennon couldn't decide if he wanted to go the ethereal route, or the stomping one, and famously told George Martin to combine the two versions. This was less than practical. "Well, there are two things against it," Martin informed Lennon. "One is that they're in different keys. The other is that they're in different tempos." But for a man who had started his most personal, honest musical journey, within the parameters of a single song, back in Spain, this was merely part of the process. "You can fix it, George," Lennon concluded, and that was that, with Martin now tasked with finding a solution to a problem that seemingly violated the laws of musical physics.
Any Beatles fan knows that this was achieved by slowing down one version and speeding up the other, the keys got within at least shouting distance of each other, meaning that only a musicologist, really, would know that there was that much of a difference. And so, one of the finest Beatles songs, which so many people associate with Lennon, but which required so much of his bandmates â€“ that would be Paul McCartney on the song's signature Mellotron, by the way â€“ and his recording team was completed. But wouldn't you know: Lennon himself was never fully satisfied with the final product, thinking maybe he'd take another pass at some point in life, though he never did. Probably because the journey back to Strawberry Fields, and the journey to "Strawberry Fields" that began in Spain, was the real sound he was chasing.