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Biographies

BIOGRAPHIES

Flick of the Finger band and artist biographies from some of the worlds most prolific Rock n' Roll greats! Read up on all you need to know and more...

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Sonic Youth Slept on My Floor: A brilliant insight into the Hacienda, ‘Madchester’ and what Morrissey had for tea

Dave Haslam in a Birmingham Town Hall When the opportunity arose to either spend the evening with former Hacienda resident superstar DJ Dave Haslam talking about his new book ‘Sonic Youth Slept on My Floor’, or a night in with Love Island eating my body weight in biscuits, it was a no brainer. Sorry Dave, I’ll catch you next time, I promise. Clearly I jest. This was an event not… Keep Reading

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Manchester North Of England, 1977-1993

Very occasionally a compilation record comes around which you feel might have been specially for you. Manchester North Of England is just such a record, as Cherry Red Records with the help of Manchester District Music Alliance have produced a set of 7 CD’S covering the Manchester music scene between 1977 and 1993 which in one fell swoop replaces most of my singles collection from that period and gives the… Keep Reading

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Richard Ashcroft: All You Need To Know + Tickets…

With Richard Ashcrofts 2017 shows (get tickets) becoming ever so close, here’s a little light reading for you to get you in the mood… Ashcroft was born on September 11, 1971, and grew up the eldest of three children in the Wigan suburb of Billinge, England. While Ashcroft was attending Upholland Comprehensive School (along with future Verve members Simon Tong and Peter Salisbury), his father died of a blood clot… Keep Reading

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Stevie Ray Vaughan

Before his untimely death in 1990, guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan had become the leading figure in the blues-rock-revival he spearheaded in the mid-’80s. Vaughan’s first musical inspiration was his older brother Jimmie, a guitarist who later helped form the Fabulous Thunderbirds. Together, the brothers immersed themselves in the work of blues guitar greats like B.B. King, Alberty King, and Freddie Kings, and early rock guitarists like Lonnie Mack (whose 1985… Keep Reading

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Sly & The Family Stone

Sylvester Stewart was born the second of five children (Loretta, Sylvester, Freddie, Rose, and Vaetta, known as Vet) in Denton, Texas, on March 15, 1944. His devout African-American family was affiliated with the Church Of God In Christ (COGC) and took their beliefs with them when they moved to Vallejo, California, a northwest suburb of San Francisco. Reared on church music, Sylvester was eight years old when he and three… Keep Reading

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My Chemical Romance

Formed in 2001, My Chemical Romance played a big part in bringing emo mainstream. The band fused the rage of 1980s hardcore with gloomy introspection and a strong pop sensibility. Their mass appeal owed both to the cathartic nature of their songs and the band’s sense of theatre: Their 2006 record The Black Parade, a concept album about a dying man, featured angst-y, Queen-sized choruses. During concerts from the era… Keep Reading

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My Bloody Valentine

Led by guitar visionary Kevin Shields, My Bloody Valentine were one of the most unique bands of the alt-rock era, introducing a groundbreaking concoction of discordant effects and fragile melodies and kick-starting Britain’s late-Eighties dream-pop scene. After moving from New York to Ireland at age six, Shields befriended Colm O’Ciosoig, who shared his obsession with pop music. In 1984 the two formed My Bloody Valentine, named for a B movie,… Keep Reading

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Motorhead

Known to produce no less than 126 decibels in its live shows England’s Motörhead is easily one of the world’s loudest rock & roll bands. The heavy-metal group’s raunchy leather biker image underlined its fascination with violence, as did such album titles as Overkill, Bomber, and Iron Fist. Motörhead ‘s hard-and-fast sound prefigured the thrash and speed-metal genres of the late ’80s and ’90s, and the group was cited as… Keep Reading

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Motley Crue

The poster boys for Eighties hair metal, Mötley Crüe parlayed whip-lash hard-rock songs, melodic power ballads and a hedonistic image into platinum-level heavy-metal superstardom, topping the charts with Dr. Feelgood (Number One, 1989) and coming close with Theatre of Pain (Number Six, 1985), Girls, Girls Girls (Number Two, 1987) and a greatest-hits collection, Decade of Decadence – ’81-’91 (Number Two, 1991). The Crue still record and tour, though many Americans… Keep Reading

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Moby

Often tagged the king of techno —as well as the first face of techno —Moby is notable among the hordes of anonymous DJs merely because he has stepped out from behind his turntable to seek the attention typically awarded only to rock stars. Yet his music —a symphonic combination of disco beats, punk-rock speed, and anthemic lyrics —withstands the focus. Conveniently, Richard Melville Hall’s nickname, given to him as a… Keep Reading

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Minutemen

The Minutemen were one of the most adventurous hardcore punk bands, taking the music to places no one expected it could go —into funk, free jazz, even folk. Fiercely independent and to the far left politically, the trailblazing power trio delivered brief, angular blasts of formless music at breakneck speeds, though with a gutsy, unaffected groove. Mike Watt and D. Boon were childhood friends in the blue-collar town of San… Keep Reading

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Megadeth

When guitarist Dave Mustaine was booted out of Metallica early in its career, he formed Megadeth, which continued his former group’s thrash-metal style with even more speed and intensity. Mustaine was seven when his parents divorced, and his family wound up living in poverty in the Southern California suburbs. During his teens, Mustaine’s mother was often away, leaving him with his sisters; he told a journalist that a brother-in-law once… Keep Reading

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Meat Loaf

It’s unclear exactly when and how Marvin Lee Aday became Meat Loaf, but by 1966, when he moved from his native Texas to California, he’d formed a band alternately known as Meat Loaf Soul and Popcorn Blizzard, which, until its breakup in 1969, had opened shows for the Who, Iggy Pop and the Stooges, Johnny and Edgar Winter, and Ted Nugent. He then auditioned for and got a part in… Keep Reading

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Joe Cocker

British white-soul singer Joe Cocker parlayed Ray Charles–ish vocals and an eccentric stage presence into a string of late-’60s hits only to suffer from his excesses in drugs and alcohol by the mid-1970s. In the 1980s and 1990s, however, he went from tragic figure to well-respected interpreter, and his gritty, powerful voice remains one of the most distinctive in rock & roll. Cocker attended Sheffield Central Technical School and worked… Keep Reading

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Jackie Wilson

Jackie Wilson was one of the premier black vocalists and performers of the late 1950s and the 1960s. No other singer of his generation so perfectly combined James Brown’s rough, sexy style and Sam Cooke’s smooth, gospel-polished pop. Wilson grew up in a rough section of Detroit. In the late ’40s, he lied about his age, entered the Golden Gloves, and won in his division. He later quit at his… Keep Reading

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Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin was perhaps the premier blues-influenced rock singer of the late Sixties, and certainly one of the biggest female rock stars of her time. Even before her death, her tough blues-mama image only barely covered her vulnerability. The publicity concerning Joplin’s sex life and problems with alcohol and drugs made her something of a legend. In recent years, periodic attempts to recast her life and work within the context… Keep Reading

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Howlin’ Wolf

Delta bluesman Howlin’ Wolf was one of the most influential and imposing musicians of the post-World War II era, and his later electric Chicago blues — featuring his deep, lupine voice — helped shape the sound of rock & roll. Numerous blues-based rock artists, from the Rolling Stones to Eric Clapton, sang his praises and helped sustain his career throughout the 1960s and beyond. Chester Arthur Burnett, named after the… Keep Reading

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Evanescence

Some say the devil is in the details. If that’s true, the particulars of the Evanescence story add up to an epic allegory involving a Judas-like betrayal of the band’s early Christian fanbase during its rise from a little-known Southern goth-metal band with religious underpinnings to a massively successful mainstream band in the secular pop world. From the beginning, Evanescence was well crafted and well-marketed. Lead singer Amy Lee had… Keep Reading

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Elliott Smith

Elliott Smith emerged from the Pacific Northwest rock scene of the early 1990s, a performer soaked in both grunge’s soul-baring angst and Beatles-infused pop. Smith’s refined sense of arrangement and composition made him a singular figure among singer-songwriters and produced a stellar solo catalog until his presumed suicide in 2003. The Texas native, born Stephen Paul Smith, spent his teenage years in Portland, OR. After graduating from Hampshire college in… Keep Reading

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Echo & The Bunnymen

The standard-bearers of Liverpool’s neopsychedelic movement, Echo and the Bunnymen’s moody, atmospheric music combined punk’s energy and edge with the Doors’ poetic theatricality. Self-consciously literary, outspoken, and sometimes arrogant (singer Ian McCulloch was known as “Mac the Mouth”), they never matched their popularity in Europe in the United States. Their influence can be seen in the attitudes and guitar textures of such ’90s English bands as Suede. The Bunnymen were… Keep Reading

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