Sunday, 4 December 2016


2016 Kennedy Center Honors, Saluting the Eagles, James Taylor and Others

The 39th annual Kennedy Center Honors ceremony, last night in Washington, D.C.

The Eagles originally were to have been saluted at the 2015 edition of the Kennedy Center Honors, but that was postponed because founding singer/guitarist Glenn Frey was experiencing serious health issues that sadly claimed his life this past January.

The gala to air this 27 December on CBS at 9 p.m. ET/PT. 

The five recipients of the 39th Annual Kennedy Center Honors pose for a group photo following a dinner hosted by United States Secretary of State John F. Kerry in their honor at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. on December 3, 2016. The 2016 honorees are: Argentine pianist Martha Argerich; rock band the Eagles; screen and stage actor Al Pacino; gospel and blues singer Mavis Staples; and musician James Taylor. From left to right back row: Ricky Kirshner, Glenn Weiss, Joe Walsh, Don Henley, Cindy Frey, wife of Glenn Frey, who passed away earlier this year, and Timothy B. Schmidt of the rock band "The Eagles" and David M. Rubenstein, Chairman, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Front row, left to right: United States Secretary of State John Kerry, Al Pacino, Mavis Staples, Martha Argerich, James Taylor and Deborah F. Rutter, President of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Saturday, 3 December 2016


Mary McCartney revealed she wants to team up with Liverpool FC – but she is still trying to persuade the club. Mary said she is fascinated by the rituals of footballers.
Her first solo exhibition was a photographic study behind the scenes of the Royal Ballet and she said she would like to do something similar with Liverpool.

She said: “I really want to go and get embedded with a football team, I really want to go to Liverpool but they won’t let me.“Like I did with the Royal Ballet, I’ve been writing to Liverpool FC but they are not having me yet but I’m going to keep trying.It’s a difficult thing to agree to allow someone in, they have to focus and you can’t just go in. I understand why they are reluctant but I think they should just let me do it.It’s the devotion and the commitment, it’s the physicality and dedicating a bit portion of your life to something.”
If she does not succeed with the Reds she said she would be willing to look elsewhere, possibly in the direction of Everton, Sir Paul’s preferred team.

She said: “I think I would try another team, I would have to think about it. My husband is a Liverpool fan but my dad’s family are Everton.
“Maybe we will have to go there next but maybe they won’t be happy if they know I asked Liverpool first!”
“It is a hard thing, it’s a private space and it would be nerve-wracking, I would find it quite daunting the challenge of showing the less seen aspects of what goes on behind the scenes.
“Also football is quite superstitious so if I went and did a game and they lost then I think they would never want me back but if I did it and they won they might allow me back.”
She has just produced a book of photographs from a night she spent backstage at an all-male production of Twelfth Night starring Mark Rylance in 2013 where she again examines the rituals of a performance.

Friday, 2 December 2016


Jump aboard the WhiteFeatherFlier, a magical plane that can go wherever you want, just point it up in the air, or down into the water (a la Press Here.) The WhiteFeatherFlier’s mission is to take children to places all over the world, engage them in helping to save the environment, and to teach them how to keep it clean for future generations.
An interactive, inspiring, and lyrical story about how children can change the word and make it a better place.
Julian Lennon and Bart Davis have committed their full support to promote this book through Lennons’ charitable foundation ( and his social media platform (1.3 million Facebook fans and 198,000 Twitter followers). Lennon will write an original song to accompany the story. All proceeds from the book will go to his foundation. This is the first in a planned trilogy. 
Pre-order..... HERE


At first, photographer Harry Benson said no to taking pictures of The Beatles.
It was 1964 and the Scottish-born photojournalist wanted to travel to Uganda for a story about its newfound independence, not take pictures of some British rock-and-roll band on its way up, which his editor had asked him to cover.

“I knew who The Beatles were, but they hadn’t had their big breakthrough yet,” Benson, now 87, tells PEOPLE.
His trip to Africa was not to be. At 11 p.m., the night before Benson was set to fly there, his editor at The Daily Express in London called him and told him that indeed, the big boss was sending him to Paris the next morning to photograph the band.
Any reservations Benson had faded the minute he heard The Beatles sing All My Loving in Paris, where they were performing just before they headed to the United States for the first time.

“I thought, ‘S—. I’m on the right story! This is the right story!’ The following day they were number one, two and three in America. They became a phenomenon.”
He also got up close and personal with The Beatles in Paris in 1964, capturing some of the most intimate photos ever taken of the band with his famous “Pillow Fight” picture.
While Benson and the Fab Four were staying at the swanky George V Hotel in Paris, he suggested that they have a pillow fight like the one they had had a few nights before.
“John Lennon said, ‘No, we’ll all look childish and silly.’ They all turned and said, ‘Yeah, that’s right. Yeah, yeah…’
“Paul’s sitting there, drinking a brandy. I stretch out on the settee. John slips away and comes up behind him and hits him with a pillow and that was it. Went on for about half an hour.”
He says he knew at that moment that these images would become iconic and that he would soon be leaving Fleet Street in London.
“What that picture meant was that I was coming to America,” he says. “That I was not going back.”


In 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono initiated Rock & Roll Diplomacy which, as with most things John and Yoko, was avant-garde: Bed-Ins, Bagism and the Live Peace in Toronto 1969. As a premiere, they involved a politician, the then Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. In 1971, George Harrison pursued that path, in his own way too: the New York Concert for Bangladesh was specifically linked to the Indian sub-continent. In what would become the first humanitarian Rock concert, Harrison involved UNICEF, a host of Rock stars, such as Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan and Ringo Starr, as well as Ravi Shankar and his Indian musicians. In 1979, Paul McCartney took Rock & Roll Diplomacy to its height. As with everything McCartney, the Concerts for the People of Kampuchea were a super-production, involving the United Nations Secretary General, UNHCR, UNICEF and a most diverse set of three generations of Rock musicians, in London.

1979 was an arguably eventful year. Each month sequenced political developments and cultural rainbows. In January, the United States established diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. Vietnamese troops seized Phnom Penh, ending the Khmer Rouge’s Democratic Kampuchea. Two days later, the Music for UNICEF Concert, featuring, among others, ABBA, the Bee Gees, Donna Summer, Earth, Wind and Fire, and Rod Stewart, was held at the United Nations against hunger and to mark the beginning of the International Year of the Child. In February, Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols died of overdose, and the world’s geostrategic landscape was durably altered in Iran, with the fall of the Imperial Government and the advent of the Islamic Republic, later in April. In March, at the wedding of Eric Clapton and Pattie Boyd, Clapton’s best friend and Boyd’s former husband, George Harrison, was best man: Flower Power was singing its swan song. In May, Margaret Thatcher became the United Kingdom’s first female Prime Minister, while Apocalypse Now received the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or. June was specifically eventful. While Super Tramp released the “Logical Song”, SALT II (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks) was signed, amid nuclear device testing by the US, USSR, and France. Muhammad Ali confirmed his third retirement, and the world witnessed the Second Oil Shock, as a result of the Iranian revolution. In July, as the Walkman hit retail shops, Saddam Hussein became Iraqi President, and the Sandinistas seized power in Nicaragua. In September, MUSE (Musicians United for Safe Energy) organized the No Nukes concerts against the use of nuclear energy. In October, Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, while the Guinness Book of World Records awarded the first ever Rhodium disc to Paul McCartney, as history’s bestselling song-writer and recording artist. November witnessed the storming of the US Embassy in Teheran, while Pink Floyd released The Wall. December ended the year with two major events. On the 25th, the USSR began a decade long invasion of Afghanistan while on 26-29 December, the Concerts for the People of Kampuchea took place in London.

Organized by Paul McCartney and the United Nations, these concerts were in response to the 1975-79 Khmer Rouge’s reign, where three million persons perished in Cambodia. During the concerts, McCartney brought three generations of popular musicians together. The older generation included McCartney and the Wings, The Who and members of Procol Harum. The middle generation was represented by Queen and members of Led Zeppelin. Most notably, there was the new generation of mainly New Wavers and Punk Rockers, such as The Pretenders, Elvis Costello and The Attractions, Ian Dury and the Blockheads, The Clash, and The Specials. “Rockestra“ constituted the pinnacle, the award winning track for the Grammy’s first ever Best Rock Instrumental Performance, composed by McCartney for his 1979 Back to the Egg, and played by a super group composed of McCartney’s Wings, members of Attractions, Faces, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Pretenders, Procol Harum, The Shadows, The Small Faces, and The Who. 

From 1969 to 1979, Lennon, Harrison and McCartney successfully conceptualized, put on track and applied Rock & Roll Diplomacy. At each stage, they heightened and widened both the political and artistic scope. At a time where social media did not exist, these were among the most efficient tools to boost the youth’s public awareness about peace, love, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, however controversial the idea of using entertainment generated funds to alleviate human suffering may be. The McCartney-United Nations Concerts for the People of Kampuchea brought the Beatles’ Rock & Roll Diplomacy trilogy to a closure, laying the foundation for Band Aid, Live Aid, Earth Aid and other benefit Rock concerts. The rest is history.

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