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Welcome to my Blog!
Anybody, providing he knows how to be amusing, has the right to
talk about himself. -
In 2013 I started a series of photo albums on Blurb.com, named '36Exp' (a subject adressed in 36 exposures, a reference to the exposures on most common rolls of 35 mm film: 12, 24 & 36.). The books can be ordered directly from the Blurb.com website.
I'M YOUR MAN, THE LIFE OF LEONARD COHEN by SYLVIE SIMMONS | BOOKS
UPDATE: Leonard Cohen died 07Nov2016. See Blog 2016 Q4.
NIETS DAN DE WAARHEID - ANNA POLITKOVSKAJA | BOOKS
Feels good, somehow, to be able to finish this book for the end of the year. And it coincided nicely with the book by Eddy van Wessels (below) which I acquired this month.
The English title of this book is 'Nothing But The Truth, Selected Dispatches'.
Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and State Duma Deputy Alexander Lebedev own 49% of the newspaper and the paper's staff controls the remaining 51% of shares. In fact Gorbachev used the money from his 1990 Nobel Peace Prize to help set up Novaya Gazeta in 1993 and purchased its first computers.
With reporters regularly being killed one can only wonder how long such an enterprise can exist.
About the book.
Politkovskaya never relents, never holds back. Her revulsion for the wild men of the Red Army as they rape and kill, for the corrupt warlords who take over in Grozny, for Vladimir Putin and his corrupt cronies.
The book is not by chronological order, but rather by the subjects Politkovskaja adressed. It starts with the two wars in Chechnya and one is taken aback by Anna's ferocity. She visited Chechnya several times and was also involved in the Beslan (North Ossetia) hostage situation where Russian soldiers intervened - which cost the lifes of 331 hostages including 186 children.
She did not stay behind her desk to write her stories, she became deeply involved. She raised questions such as 'how can it be that Chechen women turn suicide bombers?'.
At this time, in 2004, an attempt to poison her was made. She often received death threats, was detained in Chechnya and subjected to a mock execution. But she remained undeterred.
Chechnya is one of several countries in the area that show an increase in Islam followers. President Jeltsin started the first war, 'assisting' local fractions in defending religious freedom (Christian Orthodox). President Putin followed this up, replacing the loyal locals with less scruplulous henchmen, such as Ramzan Kadyrov.
Russia is no democracy and has a week legal system; small wonder corruption and repression rule in these Russian satellite states (Chechnya, North Ossetia, Dagestan, Karachai-Cherkessia, Kabardino-Balkaria) too. People are tortured, people disappear without trace.
Chechnya is divided in many tribal fractions, each trying to get the upper hand in a fight for power and supremacy.
The First Chechen War, also known as the War in Chechnya, was a conflict between the Russian Federation and the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, fought from December 1994 to August 1996. After the initial campaign of 1994–1995, culminating in the devastating Battle of Grozny, Russian federal forces attempted to seize control of the mountainous area of Chechnya but were set back by Chechen guerrilla warfare and raids on the flatlands despite Russia's overwhelming manpower, weaponry, and air support.
The Second Chechen War was launched by the Russian Federation starting 26 August 1999, in response to the Invasion of Dagestan by the Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade (IIPB).
Somewhere in the book I read a remark: 'Russia does not suffer under the oppression of the law' or something similar. An apt exemple was offered to us recently when the crew of the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise received sentencing but nobody could explain what the verdict exactly entailed. This is because a verdict by the judge needs to allow politics to have their influence too and therefor in due course the ruling is 'explained' by 'legal experts'.
Anyone going against the politics of Putin, such as the investigative journalism by the Novaya Gazeta and vitriolic writers such as Anna, run the risk of suffering the wrath of Tsar Putin and this may result in a 'punishment' (e.g. a beating) or may be terminal.
Putin made a statement after her death that Politkovskaja was known outside Russia, but within Russia her influence was minimal, negligent. He did not realize at the time that this only underlines Russia's sad state of affairs on matters of a critical press.
Anna certainly illustrated how Russia differs from Europe; how brutality, nepotism and oppression live next door to the much kinder, softer, cultural and educated lifestyles of Europe. We should be warned.
Politkovskaya was born Anna Mazepa in New York City in 1958. Her parents, diplomats at the United Nations, were Ukrainian.
Wikipedia - Anna_Politkovskaya
EDGE OF CIVILIZATION by EDDY VAN WESSEL | PHOTOGRAPHY
Eddy van Wessel (b.1965) is a war photographer from the Netherlands (presently living in Sweden with his family). He has a clear signature in his work, which shows a deep involvement and he can be found at the heart of the action.
Two years ago I went to his photo exhibition 'War, My Personal History' and this month I received my pre-ordered copy of the book 'The Edge of Civilization'.
During the early 1990s I visited a photographer who was kind enough to display some of my photos on his website, which was still very much a novelty by then.
The photos in this book illustrate the devastation not only of buildings and infrastructure, but shows the effects in the eyes of survivors, scar tissue on their souls but also a fighting spirit gleaming in those eyes.
Since it was easier to join the rebels in Chechnya and Syria than the regular army, it was the rebels he followed. He remained an observer and was aware he had to remain sharp to survive: when he was offered to cross the street with a possibility of snipers present he realized the rebels would benefit if a Western journalist/photographer was killed by the Governmental troops.
Eddy van Wessel's work has won him many international prices and in 2012 he won the 'Zilveren Camera' in the Netherlands for his series on the violence in Syria.
THE RUINS OF DETROIT by YVES MARCHAND & ROMAIN MEFFRE | PHOTOGRAPHY
For some time I had been considering buying this ultimate Urbex photobook and in the end I received it as an anniversary gift recently. At the time of this writing I am browsing it for a 3rd time, each time focussing on details I had failed to notice earlier and reading with more care the captions (I am very much a 'where & when person').
Review from The Guardian (Sean O"Hagan):
THE BED OF PROCRUSTES by NASSIM NICHOLAS TALEB | BOOKS
This book introduced me to the 'aphorism' and Mr Taleb produces a very interesting series of brain-breaking aphorisms. I must admit that quite a few went beyond my limited comprehension, but many were (often humorous if not cynical) eye-openers.
It is extremely foolhardy to try to paraphrase any of Mr. Taleb’s pronouncements. This is a man who suffers fools impatiently, and his intellect makes his hauteur largely justified.
END IN TEARS by RUTH RENDELL | BOOKS
'End in Tears' is another Ruth Rendell 'Inspector Wexford'-novel.
A lump of concrete dropped deliberately from a little stone bridge over a relatively unfrequented road kills the wrong person. The driver behind is spared. But not for long. Then a second young woman is murdered: what connected them?
Both young women had given birth to a child at a very young age, but one kept it and the other had put it up for adoption. The subject of 'surrogacy' surfaces. But this does not bring Chief Inspector Wexford and Detective Inspector Mike Burden any closer to a motive for the murders.
Meanwhile we read how Wexford's daughter Sylvia has decided to carry a child for her ex-husband and his new partner. This causes strain throughout the Wexford household and adresses the emotinal strain surrounding surrogacy.
We also follow the awkward relationship between Detective Sergeant Hannah Goldsmith and Constable 'Bal' Baljinder.
A good read, though at times I found it difficult to follow the who's who in all this.
BECK | CRIME DRAMA (DVD)
This dvd box contained 3 dvd's with 6 episodes, containing the filming of the Sjöwall & Wahlöö series, 'The Stories of a Crime', produced in 1993 & 1994.
Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö were a wife and husband team of detective writers from Sweden. Together they conceived and wrote a series of 10 novels, about the exploits of detectives from the special homicide commission of the national police in which the character of Martin Beck was the main protagonist.
JOHN GORKA at THE PARADISO (15DEC2013) | SINGERSONGWRITER
John Gorka is a contemporary American folk musician.
At this performance I bought the CD 'Red Horse', which is a collaboration with Eliza Gilkyson, Lucy Kaplansky and John Gorka.
GURF MORLIX & RAY BONNEVILLE | SINGERSONGWRITERS
On 07Dec2013 Gurf Morlix and Ray Bonneville played at InTheWoods.nl (Lage Vuursche, Utrecht, Netherlands), promoting Morlix' latest album:
Gurf Morlix Finds The Present Tense.
Ray Bonnevile is a singersongwriter in his own right, but both have their homebase in Austin,TX and it is a natural turn of events he plays harmonica on this album. Ray will have a new album out in 2014.
They played well together.
Brian Wilson sang about good vibrations, but that was in the 1960s. Gurf Morlix lives in the present, where life is tense. Every day the headlines ring with crisis and new traumas. Morlix feels vibrations of a more depressing kind.
The low key way in which Morlix delivers his lines and the lilting instrumental background contrasts with his self-described feelings in an odd way. One is supposed to believe he’s being burned up by hot emotions as he sings and plays in a slow and quiet manner.
Morlix’s stoicism, both vocally and instrumentally, may be his greatest strength. It allows him to represent those who feel their lives have already been taken by forces beyond their control on every level.
More on this review HERE..
Gurf Morlix website
Photos I took at the concert: Flickr.com
Bang Bang Bang
Series of Closin'Doors
Two Bends in the Road (Ray Bonnevile)
Blonde of Mine (Ray Bonneville)
INSPECTOR LEWIS | CRIME DRAMA (TV-SERIES)
Last weekend I watched the final episode, 'Intelligent Design', of the Lewis tv-series. I have followed this series religiously over the past years (as I did with the Inspector Morse series).
DI Robbie Lewis (Kevin Whately) and DS James Hathaway (Laurence Fox) seem to have solved their last murder mystery, so much was clear from the final scene though there was no large "THE END" announced when the credits started running.
SAUL LEITER - R.I.P. | PHOTOGRAPHY
Saul Leiter (b.1923 - d.26Nov2013) was an American photographer and painter whose early work in the 1940s and 1950s was an important contribution to what came to be recognized as the New York School.
THE PLACES WE LIVE by JONAS BENDIKSEN | PHOTOBOOK
TAO OF TRAVEL by PAUL THEROUX | BOOKS
For decades I have been reading the (travel) books written by Paul Theroux, starting with 'Riding the Iron Rooster' as a preparation for my trip to China in 1989.
This book isn't about experiences or sightings while travelling, but rather a literary analysis of what travel can entail, with statements by Paul Theroux himself (at first he quotes from his own work quite a lot), but also by a great many other literary travellers: Henry Fielding, Samuel Johnson, Sir Francis Galton, Robert Louis Stevenson, Freya Stark, Lévi Strauss, Evelyn Waugh and Paul Bowles.
Other chapters include 'Travelers on Their Own Books', 'The Things They Carried', 'Fears Neuroses and Other Conditions', 'Travel as an Ordeal', 'When You're Strange', 'Writers and Places They Never Visited', 'Five Travel Epiphanies' and many other delightful subjects.
A lovely book to pick up for a few chapters every now and then; and this edition I have I love for the shape and form. Besides a love for travel this book breathes a love for books, simply wonderful.
ENDEAVOUR | TV CRIME DRAMA
Endeavour is a television detective series, which is a prequel to the long-running adaptation of Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse novels.
I was pleasantly surprised by the few episodes I've seen when broadcasted on the BBC and recently made a point of watching the complete series 1 (episodes 2 - 5) aired on Belgian tv.
ITV broadcast a pilot episode in the UK on 02Jan2012. It starred Shaun Evans as the eponymous police detective in his early career.
It was announced on 05Jun2013 that due to the success of Series 1, including consistently high ratings, ITV had commissioned a 2nd series of 4 episodes of Endeavour. Filming began in September 2013.
It would seem Colin Dexter, author of the Inspector Morse books, was also involved in the screenplay of these series. When Endeavour Morse is wounded he hears from the doctor he will have a bit of a limp; John Thaw, who played Inspector Morse, walked with a remarkable movement with his left leg.
The series are situated in and around Oxford, the famous Colleges and Churches forming a fascinating backdrop. Having recently revisited Oxford, it is fun to watch for clues to find where the filming was done. Obvious landmarks are the Bridge of Sighs in New Collage Lane, the statues in Broad Street (across the road from Blackwell's bookshop) as well as various pubs and bars (e.g. The Turf and the Randolph Hotel come to mind).
WALLANDER | TV-CRIME DRAMA (DVD)
'Wallander' is a Swedish television series, adapted from Henning Mankell's Kurt Wallander novels, starring Krister Henriksson in the title role.
The 1st series of 13 films was produced in 2005 and 2006, with one taken directly from a novel and the remainder with new storylines suggested by Mankell. The 2nd series of 13 films was shown between 2009 and 2010. The stories are set in Ystad, Scania - near the southern tip of Sweden.
The 3 films 'Before the Frost' (#1), 'Mastermind' (#6), and 'The Secret' (#13) were premiered in cinemas, with the rest first released as direct-to-DVD movies.The 1st episode of the 2nd series, 'Hämnden' ('The Revenge'), was released in Swedish cinemas in January 2009; the rest of the series was made for television.
A 3rd and final season, containing six 90 minute episodes, aired in 2013 with Charlotta Jonsson as Linda Wallander. The 1st episode, adapted from the novel 'The Troubled Man', was released in cinemas in January 2013.
VISIT FOAM PHOTO AMSTERDAM GALLERY | PHOTOGRAPHY
CARNIVAL MASKS OF VENICE by J.C. BROWN | PHOTOGRAPHY
The Carnival of Venice (Italian: Carnevale di Venezia) is an annual festival, held in Venice, Italy. The Carnival ends with Lent, forty days before Easter on Shrove Tuesday (Fat Tuesday or Martedì Grasso), the day before Ash Wednesday.
Every February, Venice becomes a living theater as residents and tourists alike take to the canals and streets in fabulous costumes for one of the major events of the year. The tradition of wearing a mask to hide your identity and allow you to misbehave with impunity is ancient, but only in Venice is the tradition kept so alive today.
STREETS (EASTERN EUROPE & FORMER SOVIET UNION by LEO ERKEN | PHOTOGRAPHY
RIPPER STREET | TV-Series
As a lover of history as well as good crime drama, this series is much appreciated by me. Historical events or persons are 'sprinkled' into the stories, e.g. in the 1st episode of the 2nd series Joseph Merrick (for his deformities nicknamed 'The Elephant Man') features.
ZWARTE PIET | ISSUES
POESPAS by SIMON CARMIGGELT | BOOKS (DUTCH)
Simon Carmiggelt (b.07Oct1913 – d.30Nov1987) was a Dutch writer who became a well known public figure in the Netherlands because of his daily newspaper columns and his television appearances.
'Poespas' was published in 1952 and the first series of chapters are observations on cats.
Cats are an enigma and Simon Carmiggelt's writing, crafting sentences you want to reread two or three times before continueing, combine this into wonderful reading material.
But besides cats there is more because 'poespas' is an expression that refers to 'all sorts of going on's..'
The eighteen chapters in this book also include 'Children', 'Father & Son', staying in Paris (France), but mostly observations and encounters with people in the streets and bars of Amsterdam. The chapters more often than not comprise several subjects, probably published as columns in newspaper 'Het Parool' at the time (way before my time!).
The subject in question cannot be common enough for Carmiggelt, but his writing turns it into something exceptional and amusing (if you appreciate his dry, wry wit and notice the underlying seriousness).
And while this book was published six decades ago, Carmiggelt's writing is as current and enjoyable as, say, Mark Twain in my opinion.
See also my blog 2012 Q4
PEP | WEEKLY COMIC STRIPS MAGAZINE
Pep was a Dutch weekly magazine which was published during the years 1962 - 1975 for young, male readers. First issue was published on 06oct1962 by De Geïllustreerde Pers NV in Amsterdam (Netherlands). On the cover were Mickey Mouse and Tintin ('Kuifje'), shaking each others hand with the motto: "Mickey & Kuifje in Pep.
The title was explained as: "Pep is an English word for enthusiasm, liveliness, eagerness and fervor.
Initially the magazine published comics strips from Belgium and France, such as Kolonel Clifton (Raymond Macherot), Michel Vaillant, Dan Cooper (Edition Lombard), Hoempa Pa (Goscinny & Uderzo) and Kuifje ('Tintin' by Hergé), as well as stories by Walt Disney-studio (e.g. Spin & Marty, Pietje Pech and Mickey Mouse).
Starting the 1st issue of 1970 a new formula was introduced: new header, more pages (from 32 to 48) and much more focus on Dutch artists. Agent 327 by Martin Lodewijk and De Generaal by Peter de Smet made their debut in Pep.
Besides the comic strips Pep also featured short stories, some of them illustrated by Hans G. Kresse. Letters to the Editor were publised and often replied, adverts, interviews and informative articles on a wide range of subjects (my photos depict music by The Kinks, motorcycles, ...) and centerfolds (pop artists, aviation, etc).
From issue no.6 of 1972 the publisher was named as Oberon BV (Haarlem, Netherlands).
From no.22 (1974) the pages were reduced from 48 to 32. New was a supplement stapled inside the magazine ('Peptoe'), in black & white, 20 pages, on cheaper paper.
The last issue was published in 1975, issue no.39.
Favourite comic strips of mine, which led to collecting complete albums, were: Blueberry, Mick Tangy (Tanguy & Laverdure), Buck Danny, Rob Palland (Bernard Prince), Rik Ringers, Erwin de Geweldenaar, Toenga, Michel Vaillant, Roodbaard and Lucky Luke.
See also my write up my favourite comics on MyBlog 2017Q4
42, DEEP THOUGHT ON LIFE, THE UNIVERSE AND EVERYTHING by MARK VERNON | BOOKS
Mark Vernon used to be a priest in the Church of England and is now a writer, pursuing the ancient philosophers’ great question, how to live? His books cover subjects from friendship and belief, to wellbeing and meaning, and he edits two series from Acumen, The Art of Living and Heretics.
He also writes as a journalist, his work appearing regularly in the Guardian, TLS, Evening Standard and on the BBC. He is a keen blogger, and has also appeared on a wide range of platforms including at the Hay, Edinburgh International, Oxford and Dartington book festivals. His books have appeared in translation around the world.
Mark Vernon takes his inspiration from '42' (referring to the answer given by supercomputer Deep Thought on the question 'the meaning of life' in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) of the funniest, wisest, and quirkiest quotations about the big questions in life, and uses these as starting points for his brilliant observations.
SEASICK STEVE | MUSIC
Had the pleasure of attending a gig of this unique performer: Seasick Steve. He played a packed Vredenburg Leidsche Rijn theatre in Utrecht (Netherlands) on Oct.16th
Steven Gene Wold (born 1941) and commonly known as Seasick Steve, is an American blues musician. He plays (mostly personalized) guitars and sings, usually about his early life.
It was amazing what he can squeeze from those strings!
Despite his age, 72, he throws in everything he's got and his voice is powerful when he rocks, tender when he proclaims poetry or sings a ballad. Oh, and there's a lot of humor!
Wold was born in Oakland, California. When he was 4 years old, his parents split up. His father played boogie-woogie piano and at 5 or 6 years old, Wold tried to learn but could not. At age 8, he learned to play the guitar (he later found out that it was blues) from K. C. Douglas, who worked at his grandfather's garage.
Wold left home at 13 to avoid abuse at the hands of his stepfather, and lived rough and on the road in Tennessee, Mississippi and elsewhere, until 1973. He would travel long distances by hopping freight trains, looking for work as a farm labourer or in other seasonal jobs, often living as a hobo. He's earned the right to play the blues!
He's quoted as having been said: "Hobos are people who move around looking for work, tramps are people who move around but don't look for work, and bums are people who don't move and don't work. I've been all three!"
Wold made his first UK television appearance on Jools Holland's 'Annual Hootenanny' BBC TV show (broadcast on New Year's Eve 2006), where he performed a live rendition of 'Dog House Boogie' on the 'Three String Trance Wonder' and the 'Mississippi Drum Machine' (see below). After that show his popularity exploded in Britain.
He toured in the following years Britain and Europe extensively, took the world by storm; concerts and crowds got bigger, artists lined up to play with him, share a gig.
As in the Vredenburg concert, Dan Magnusson often supports him on drums; and these geezers really know how to rock!
Steve owns and plays several obscure and personalised instruments; check the Wikipedia article for a list (they've all got names of course!).
Seasick Steve is easily afflicted by sea sickness; when he was ill on a ferry from Copenhagen to Norway, later in his life, a friend began playfully using the name and, despite Wold not rising to it for a while, it stuck. Well, as a singer/songwriter & performer he has both feet firmly on the ground, enjoying himself (it shows!) and is going places. Couldn't happen to a nicer man.
A few of my photos on Flickr
PHANTOM by JO NESBØ | BOOKS, CRIME DRAMA
You won't see the end coming, it left me dazed and confused. Thrilling read.
TAGGART TV SERIES | CRIME DRAMA
Taggart is a Scottish detective television programme, created by Glenn Chandler (who has written many of the episodes) and made by STV Productions for the ITV network.
The series revolves around a group of detectives initially in the Maryhill CID of Strathclyde Police, though various storylines have happened in other parts of the Greater Glasgow area.
It was one of the UK's longest-running dramas. The show's 100th story aired on Christmas Eve 2009 on the ITV network.
In May 2011, it was reported that the ITV network had decided to axe Taggart from the network after 28 years.
The Scottish BAFTA-winning pilot episode, 'Killer', broadcast in 1983, directed by Laurence Moody, introduced the character of Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) Jim Taggart (played by Mark McManus until his death in 1994), a tough and experienced detective who had worked his way up through the ranks. The series was renamed 'Taggart'.
In 1987 the character of Mike Jardine (James MacPherson) was introduced, and when Neil Duncan left the series in 1989, a new female sidekick, Jackie Reid (Blythe Duff), was introduced.
McManus died in 1994 in the middle of filming an episode.
When MacPherson left the series in 2002, his character was killed off, and replaced with DCI Matt Burke, formerly of Special Branch (played by Alex Norton).
Much was made of the platonic relationship between Jardine and Reid, with the two being shown to share a brother/sister-like bond. Both pursued a number of relationships with other characters over the years. Reid even got married, but later separated from her husband, who is now dead. The personal relationships of the police officers in this series were shown as nothing to be envious of; Reid once describing herself, Burke, Ross and Fraser as "..three divorcees and a celibate homosexual" (episode 'Penthouse and Pavement').
Despite a new format and the series' continuing popularity in Scotland, viewing figures across the rest of the UK were disappointing. ITV announced in May 2011 that it had decided not to commission any further series.
Thus the recent episode I recently watched on Belgian tv, 'The Ends of Justice' (episode 6th, first aired 07nov2010), where newly-promoted DI Reid leads the investigation into the fatal stabbing of a busker and sees DI Ross's personal problems continue to affect his professional life, is aptly named and ending Glasgow's crime drama after 28 years.
VERA TV-SERIES, | BRITISH CRIME DRAMA
Stumbled on these series, a title I may have overlooked in the past when browsing what to watch on the box. But truly excellent British crime drama!
Vera is a British detective television series, based on the works of crime author Ann Cleeves.
UNIT ONE (REJSEHOLDET), TV SERIES | SCANIDNAVIAN CRIME DRAMA (DVD)
NOAM CHOMSKY, WRITER | BOOKS
Noam Chomsky was mentioned in books by Rob Wijnberg which I read and his reference sparked an interest with me. So when I came a cross this book MAKING THE FUTURE (subtitled: Occupations, Interventions, Empire and Resistance) I did not hesitate buying it.
And glad I did because this is '5 star quality'!
Avram Noam Chomsky (b. 07Dec1928-) is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, logician, political commentator and activist.
SINGER/SONGWRITERS: KRIS KRISTOFFERSON | MUSIC
When I became interested in music by singer/songwriters, Kris Kristofferson was one of the first I became interested in and I bought the first album of many: 'Songs of Kristofferson' which is a best-of compilation album, released in 1977; it includes tracks from his albums 'Kristofferson', 'The Silver Tongued Devil and I', 'Jesus Was a Capricorn', 'Who's to Bless and Who's to Blame' and 'Surreal Thing'.
In 1960, Kristofferson graduated in English literature and married his long-time girlfriend, Fran Beer. Kris, under pressure from his family, ultimately joined the U.S. Army and achieved the rank of Captain. He became a helicopter pilot after receiving flight training at Fort Rucker, Alabama. He also completed Ranger School. During the early 1960s, he was stationed in West Germany as a member of the 8th Infantry Division.
He decided to leave the Army and pursue songwriting. His family disowned him because of this decision and they never reconciled with him! They saw it as a rejection of everything they stood for, in spite of the fact that Kristofferson has said he is proud of his time in the military, and received the AVA (American Veterans Awards) 'Veteran of the Year Award' in 2003.
He also worked as a commercial helicopter pilot at that time, for a south Louisiana firm called Petroleum Helicopters International (PHI), based in Lafayette, Louisiana.
Kristofferson had previously grabbed Johnny Cash's attention when he landed his helicopter in Cash's yard without prior arrangement and gave him some tapes!
In 1971, Janis Joplin, who dated Kristofferson for some time until her death, had a number-1 hit with 'Me and Bobby McGee', from her posthumous Pearl.
The Songwriters Hall of Fame inducted Kristofferson in 1985, as had the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1977.
In 2004, Kristofferson was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
SINGER/SONGWRITERS: GORDON LIGHTFOOT | MUSIC
As a child I was a fan of the Beatles, but my actual interest in music started at the age of 18 or 19 when I found out about singer/songwriters. The protest songs (Vietnam War) had made the lyrics important. Protest, environmental awareness, poetry- it all came together for me with Bob Dylan, Gordon Lightfoot, Leonard Cohen and Kris Kristofferson.
At some point I was laid up in hospital with a concussion, all I was allowed to do was listen to music. For me that was listening to the American Forces Network, broadcasting from Rhein-Main AFB.
That is how I learned of those North American artists and their music, as most music on the radio in my country was mainly national with some British thrown in (Beatles, Rolling Stones). Very middle of the road anyway.
Gordon Lightfoot added more subjects to my interest in singer/songwriters: history, folklore, travel.
His album 'Summertime Dream' (1976) was the first I bought of his work and it got me hooked: 'The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald' is a true masterpiece while 'Race Among the Ruins' and 'Spanish Moss' have become acclaimed classics as well. Another one in my top 5 of all time favourites is 'Canadian Railroad Trilogy'. Absolutely the best music.
Unfortunately I have never seen him play life.
Wikipedia (part): Gordon Meredith Lightfoot, Jr. (b. 17Nov1938) is a Canadian singer-songwriter who achieved international success in folk, folk-rock, and country music, and has been credited for helping define the folk-pop sound of the 1960s and 1970s. He has been referred to as Canada's greatest songwriter and internationally as a folk-rock legend.
SINGER/SONGWRITERS : STEVE FORBERT | MUSIC
Samuel Stephen 'Steve' Forbert (b. 13Dec1954) is a singer-songwriter.
THE MILLER TELLS HER TALE by KAREN MILLER | MUSIC
When my son configured my smartphone for me a few years ago, he installed a podcast of The Miller Tells Her Tale. While I don't listen much to music on my phone, it did bring me to regularly download the podcast onto my laptop. Many a wee hour was spent listening to Karen Miller's selection of Americana.
Americana, folk, singer-songwriter, alt-country and country music of independent musicians from all over the world are included. Many a new name (to me) sparks fresh curiosity for the performer(s).
The show is presented by Karen Miller and I very much enjoy her northern accent as well. It's a great job she is doing, promoting great music talents and making it available to the public.
NEW TRICKS TV-SERIES | TV CRIME DRAMA
New Tricks is a British comedy-drama that follows the work of the fictional 'Unsolved Crime and Open Case Squad' (UCOS) of the Metropolitan Police Service.
Originally led by Detective Superintendent Sandra Pullman, it is made up of retired police officers who have been recruited to reinvestigate unsolved crimes. The series title is taken from the proverb 'You can't teach an old dog new tricks', referring to the age of the 3 men involved: Jack, Brian & Gerry.
New Tricks began as a one-off episode, first broadcasted on 27Mar2003. This attracted sufficient viewers for the BBC to commission a series of 6 episodes, which began on 01Apr2004.
Prior to the 9th series premiere, both Amanda Redman (DS Sandra Pullman) and Alun Armstrong (Brian Lane, quite a character, with his wife Esther also often involved too) announced they would be leaving the show after the 10th series.
Gerry Standing (played by Dennis Waterman) is the only character to have appeared in all New Tricks episodes and is the 'Last Man Standing' from the original UCOS team.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Robert Strickland (Anthony Calf, 2004–) is the team's boss and often does a 'high wire act' on the political side of the UCOS investigations.
New Tricks does not have car chases or other spectacular effects or camera work. It is a classic British 'whodunnit', set in the Greater London area and seasoned with humor and some drama. Each episode provides for a solid hour of entertainment and I hope it returns for the 2014 season (and beyond).
DESMOND BAGLEY, WRITER | BOOKS
Desmond Bagley (b.29Oct1923 – d.12Apr1983) was a British journalist and novelist, principally known for a series of best-selling thrillers.
Along with fellow British writers, such as Hammond Innes and Alistair MacLean, Bagley established the basic conventions of the genre: a tough, resourceful, but essentially ordinary hero pitted against villains determined to sow destruction and chaos in order to advance their agenda.
During my teenage years I devoured books by Bagley, which I favoured over (but also highly appreciated) Alistair MacLean and Hammond Innes. Gavin Lyall was another favourite of mine at the time.
Bagley's first published short story appeared in the English magazine Argosy in 1957, and his first novel, 'The Golden Keel' in 1963.
The success of 'The Golden Keel' led Bagley to turn full-time to novel writing by the mid-1960s.
He published a total of 16 thrillers, all craftsmanlike and nearly all best-sellers.
Bagley died of complications resulting from a stroke at a hospital in Southampton. He was 59. His works have been translated into 20+ languages.
THE NAMING OF THE DEAD by IAN RANKIN | BOOKS (CRIME FICTION)
See also this review: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2006/nov/12/crime.fiction