Life is what happens when you are making other plans~ John Lennon
An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind~Gandhi
The time is always right to do what is right~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Liev Schreiber

One role this actor is known for is playing Victor Creed in X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Birth Name: Isaac Live Schreiber
DOB: 10/4/1967
Where: San Francisco, California
Height: 6'3''

-Thin build yet towering height
-Known for playing tough guys with an unpredictable personality and a temper
-Known for playing upper-class figures who could be considered sinister

-Was raised in the Lower East Side in New York
-He attended the London Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1992 and graduated from the Yale School of Drama
-His last name translates from the German word for "writer"
-He has German, Swiss, Dutch, Danish, English, French, Norwegian, Belgian (Flemish), Scottish and Welsh ancestry from his father's side while he has Ashkenazi Jewish (Polish and Russian) from his mother's side
-Growing up, his mother didn't allow him to watch color movies. The first movie in color he saw was Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)
-Hugh Jackman and Dustin Hoffman are good friends
-Expressed an interest in pursuing the role of District Attorney Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight, but lost out to Aaron Eckhart
-He appeared in two films with Hugh Jackman: 2001's Kate & Leopold and 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine


Mixed Nuts (1994)
The Daytrippers (1996)
Carl Petrovic
Ransom (1996)
Clark Barnes
Scream (1996)
Cotton Weary
His and Hers (1997)
Phantoms (1998)
Deputy Stuart "Stu" Wargle
Twilight (1998)
Jeff Willis
A Walk on the Moon (1999)
Marty Kantrowitz
Kate & Leopold (2001)
Stuart Bessler
The Sum of All Fears (2002)
John Clark
The Manchurian Candidate (2004)
Raymond Shaw
The Omen (2006)
Robert Thorn
The Painted Veil (2006)
Charlie Townshend
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Michael Keppler
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
Victor Creed
Taking Woodstock (2009)
Repo Men (2010)
Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013)
Lyndon B. Johnson

What Does This Button Do?

This is the title of the recently released memoir, written entirely in his hand, by none other than Iron Maiden front man Bruce Dickinson. There is no reason to doubt the validity of the information in this book considering it was written by him. It is funny in parts because he adds his own little thoughts and comments.
This book, like most if not all biographies/autobiographies, takes readers on the journey from day one of his life to current day.

His parents, Sonia Hartley-Dickinson and Bruce Dickinson Sr, were just 16 and 17 when they got married and had little Paul Bruce Dickinson. Because they were so young when they had him, Bruce's parents were on a very poor financial standing and sent the young boy to live with his maternal grandparents. His maternal grandmother all but referred to him as the spawn of Satan, the reason her daughter disappeared while his maternal grandfather raised him like the son he never had. To get back on a very even financial keel, his parents flipped houses. They would buy and redo houses and then sell them. Bruce spent most of his childhood moving from house to house. He jokingly says that most people have addictions. His parents' addiction was moving houses.

Like most kids, he was bullied. He went to a variety of schools, ranging from extremely rough Manton Primary to Manor Top Primary, to the somewhat more posh Sharrow Vale Junior to straight up boarding school Oundle. At every school, he was given the annoying label of "new kid" and thus was subject to midnight beatings with pillows, clothes being sodden with water when he was elsewhere, dried eggs in his bed and other tortures. But one lesson his grandfather instilled in him was to never let someone get the best of you. They might be bigger than you, but they are most certainly not better. He also taught young Paul (his proper first name, as he was still going by that name at the time) to defend himself, but quickly had to reiterate the idea of when to hit and when not to hit. Something hardly anyone at all knows about Bruce is that he has a sister who is six years younger than he, Helena. While Bruce describes his birth as "accidental", her birth was planned, as in his parents planned on having a child while Bruce's birth could be described using the title of one of his solo albums, an "Accident of Birth".

What inspired young Paul to go into music was hearing Deep Purple's "Child in Time" blasting out of the study of one of his fellow Oundle mates. He was struck by the song and asked said classmate what it was, which was returned with a look of stupidity, as if he asked the world's stupidest question. Now Bruce had an idea of what he wanted to do. Like most musicians probably do, Bruce was in the choir in church when he was younger. He was even told that, while at Oundle, where he was also in the choir, that he was definitely not a candidate for singing. He had a letter sent to his house at Oundle, reading something like "Paul Dickinson, Sidney House. Definitely not a singer". How ironic

It was when he was in high school that he discovered he could really sing. While in class one day, he overheard some classmates saying they needed someone on vocals. He stepped in and offered his services. While at rehearsal one day, the bass player of this group tried to hit the high notes on "Let It Be" by The Beatles. Bruce stepped in to bolster said bandmate's vocals and something amazing happened-he could hit the high notes and every note in between. Suddenly, it was as if a light had been switched on. Now Bruce knew what he was made to do-sing! He went out and bought a microphone almost immediately. He decided to at least try and get some kind of education. He sat through exams and passed with enough good grades to get into college, so he applied for Queen Mary College in London, which confused his parents to no end. While happy their number one son was heading off to college, they were confused about the college he chose, as he had never been to London at all.

While moving through various bands like Paradox, Styx (in no relation whatsoever to the AOR band known for "Renegade"), Shots, Speed, he finally managed to get into something big when Samson, a band known for hard rock and boogie rock thrown together with Judas Priest-style breakneck paced playing, had called him up, asking if he was interested in joining them as a front man. He brought his Ian Gillan, Deep Purple influences with him, adding a Gillan-esque wail to almost every song. In fact, he mentions a funny moment in here involving Gillan. When he and Samson had recorded one of their albums in Kingsway Studios, owned by Ian Gillan, Bruce was such a huge Purple fan that nerves overtook him and he had to run to the bathroom lest he throw up on Gillan. Ian had actually gone down to the men's room to check on the young man and to this day, Ian jokes with Bruce about having vomit all over his shirt from the first day they met.

Samson with Mel Gaynor

The moment that history would be forever made was in 1981. Samson was at the 1981 Reading Festival, Iron Maiden were suffering badly because their then singer, Paul Di'Anno, was ruining his voice with substances. Maiden needed a new singer. And fast. Luckily, luck was on Maiden's side. Their manager, Rod Smallwood, was impressed by the vocal acrobatics of Samson's front man, so he and Maiden founding member/bassist Steve Harris auditioned Bruce in an out of the way area of the festival. Bruce felt awkward singing in front of a lot of people. Something must have convinced the large Yorkshireman of this young man's talents, because the next thing he knew, studio time was being booked and Bruce was officially the new Maiden front man.
Iron Maiden 1981

Iron Maiden 1982

Bruce was in Iron Maiden from 1982-1992. He made the majority of the albums with Maiden, each one breaking big records in America, which most if not all bands dream of making it big. As the 1980s started slipping into the 1990s, tensions started rising like floodwaters in the tight world of Maiden. Frustrated over the tensions of writing just as many songs as Steve Harris and yet Steve's songs getting used, Bruce was frustrated and seriously considering quitting. But then, tensions like this may have started as far back as 1984, the year of the World Slavery tour, in support of 1984's Powerslave. To this day, the entire band will describe that as the most punishing tour they have done.

By 1986, the year Somewhere in Time had come out, Bruce was getting increasingly frustrated with the fact that he was writing just as many songs as Steve Harris, but the other band members often laughed because they sounded almost like Bryan Adams-type rock and Spanish guitar-type stuff. Adrian Smith was also getting frustrated. It had nothing to do with songs; he was writing songs, but he felt the band seemed to be chasing trends instead of holding true to who they were. In 1990, the year of No Prayer for the Dying, Adrian quit. 1990 also marks an important time for Bruce-the release of his first solo album, Tattooed Millionaire. He had put his heart and soul in to this, covering and writing the songs he liked, including a successful heavy metal overhaul of the David Bowie/Mott the Hoople classic "All the Young Dudes".

To handle the guitar on No Prayer for the Dying, Bruce had brought in former White Spirit and Gillan guitarist Janick Gers. His high energy antics and dancing on stage would pump some fresh blood in to the band. But all would not be rosy for long. 1992 was the last year for Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden. Fear of the Dark was the last album he would make before pursuing a solo career, with Janick working with him and soon Adrian working with him instead. Janick became the full time replacement for Adrian while Adrian Smith had gone to work with Bruce. The 1990s proved to be, in the eyes of some Maiden fans, a difficult time. From the low-ranking 1990 album No Prayer for the Dying, to the somewhat more successful 1995 The X Factor and 1998 Virtual XI albums, the band had brought in former Wolfsbane front man Bayley Cook aka "Blaze" Bayley. Meanwhile, with Bruce, he was cranking out solo album after solo album-1990's Tattooed Millionaire, 1994's Balls to Picasso, 1996's Skunkworks, 1998's The Chemical Wedding, 2001's The Best of Bruce Dickinson, 2005's Tyranny of Souls.





Prior to the recording process of 1996's Skunkworks, Bruce had been in the progress of obtaining his pilot's license. He was fond of aviation history and was in possession of a twin-engine Cessna plane, which he flew while the band helping him tour the album Skunkworks flew with him. He then thought bigger. And as time went on, he upped his pilot's license to the point where he could now fly large engine Boeing 757's, 747's, 737's. He now could fly Iron Maiden around on a personalized jet dubbed Ed Force One. 2000 would mark the year of the return to Maiden for Bruce and Adrian. At first, it was questionable how a three guitar lineup would work. Adrian was, not shockingly, questioning it, saying "Three guitars? It'll never work!" Steve thankfully proved it wrong. And in no time, all three guitarists got along great, to the point of them being dubbed "The Three Amigos" or the "Triple Axe Attack". The first album with the now reunited band was 2000's Brave New World. The band would churn out album after album, such as 2003's Dance of Death, 2006's A Matter of Life and Death, 2010's The Final Frontier and most recently 2015's The Book of Souls.


It was during the process of making The Book of Souls that Bruce had not been feeling well. He was sweating profusely, seeing blood when he brushed his teeth. After a trip to the doctor and a biopsy on a lump on his neck, it revealed a shocking diagnosis-cancer of the head and neck. Bruce went through aggressive chemotherapy treatments, which thankfully cured it, but had some rather devastating after effects. He was worried about what the guys in the band would think, so he routed it through Rod Smallwood, having him tell the band he had cancer. He described losing his hair almost immediately, losing his appetite, typical symptoms of chemotherapy. He also described, in details better left unsaid but discreetly, issues of not being able to relieve himself in the bathroom. He described intense pain in his mouth from the chemo and having to raid practically every drugstore in London just to find oral anesthetics just to help him sleep. He laughingly mentions that while going through chemo, he lost weight almost immediately, but received six pack abs, but warned that was not the way to do it.

Cancer aside, the chapter in the book that he mentions his cancer is titled, hilariously, Fuck Cancer. That should cause a few giggles. The book is hilarious in some parts, very serious in others, overall a good book. He talks about a type of ale called Red N'Black, The Trooper, referencing surprise surprise, Iron Maiden. He talks about losing his taste buds for a while because of the cancer treatment and relying more on sense of smell when it came to brewing the ale and he even mentioned that he used himself and Nicko as test drinkers, since he and Nicko are the only ale drinkers in the band. Shockingly enough, he doesn't mention meeting his first wife Jane or his second wife Paddy or mention the birth of his kids Austin, Griffin or Kia. He says that it would be overkill to go into detail of how he met his first or second wife or the birth of his children.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Taking Woodstock

For all the lovers of all things hippies, 1960s and retro, this is a movie to watch!!!
-Elliott Teichberg is helping his parents with their run down Catskills resort, the El Monaco. When a permit is pulled for the upcoming Woodstock Arts and Music Fair from nearby Wallkill, Elliott takes a chance and uses his parents' resort to host the upcoming festival and set in motion the era-defining concert of 1969, despite the hostility from the townspeople

-Henry Goodman: Jake Teichberg
-Edward Hibbert: British gentleman
-Imelda Staunton: Sonia Teichberg
-Demetri Martin: Elliott Teichberg
-Kevin Chamberlin: Jackson Spiers
-Emile Hirsch: Billy
-Jeffrey Dean Morgan: Dan
-Eugene Levy: Max Yasgur
-Jonathan Groff: Michael Lang
-Mamie Gummer: Tisha
-Kevin Sussman: Stan
-Live Schreiber: Vilma

Did You Know?
-The cost for a ticket to the Woodstock Arts and Music Fair was $18 in advance, $24 for all three days
-Towards the end of the film, where Elliott and Michael are overlooking the land, Michael says he's going to San Francisco to launch the ultimate free concert-The Rolling Stones. He is referencing the 1969 Altamont concert. This "free" concert was described as the death of the hippie era because four people died, one was murdered, the other three by natural causes or accidents
-This is only the second film to have Liev Schreiber dressing as a woman. His first film in drag was the 1994 film Mixed Nuts
-The motorcycle Michael rides is a BSA 441cc Victor. This was one of the many models made by the Birmingham Small Arms company, which made weapons during WWII and is based in Small Heath, Birmingham, England