Tag Archives: Canterbury

Almanac – June 15

1381 – Wat Tyler murdered. A leader of the 1381 Peasants’ Revolt, he marched a group of protesters from Canterbury to the capital to oppose the institution of a poll tax.

While the brief rebellion enjoyed early success, Tyler was killed by officers of King Richard II during negotiations at Smithfield in London.

 

 

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1785 – Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and  Pierre Romain  became the first-ever known  casualties of an air crash when their hot air balloon exploded during their attempt to cross the English Channel.
After making some progress, a change of wind direction pushed them back to land some 5 km from their starting point.

The balloon suddenly deflated (without the envelope catching fire) and crashed near Wimereux in the Pas-de-Calais, from an estimated height of 1,500 feet.
A commemorative obelisk was later erected at the site of the crash.

 

 

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1878 – Eadweard Muybridge, an English photographer,  took a series of photographs to prove that all four feet of a horse leave the ground when it runs; the study became the basis of motion pictures.

 

 

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Almanac – March 13

1911 – L. Ron Hubbard born. American pulp fiction author and the founder of the Church of Scientology.

After establishing a career as a writer, becoming best known for his science fiction and fantasy stories, he developed a self-help system called Dianetics which was first published in May 1950.

He subsequently developed his ideas into a wide-ranging set of doctrines and rituals as part of a new religious movement that he called Scientology.

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1998 – Judge Dread died. English reggae and ska musician. He was the first white recording artist to have a reggae hit in Jamaica, and the BBC has banned more of his songs than any other recording artist due to his frequent use of sexual innuendo and double entendres.

After a brief spell as a professional wrestler (performing under the name “The Masked Executioner”), and as a debt collector for Trojan Records, he worked as a DJ on local radio and ran his own sound system.

When Prince Buster had a big underground hit in 1969 with “Big 5”,  Dread capitalized on it with the recording of his own “Big Six”, based on Verne & Son‘s “Little Boy Blue“, which was picked up by Trojan boss Lee Gopthal, and released on Trojan’s ‘Big Shot’ record label under the  name Judge Dread, the name taken from another of Prince Buster’s songs.

“Big Six” reached #11 in the UK Singles Chart in 1972, selling over 300,000 copies and spending six months on the chart, despite getting no radio airplay due to its lyrics.

Further hit singles followed with “Big Seven” (co-written by Rupie Edwards) and “Big Eight” — both following the pattern of lewd versions of nursery rhymes over a reggae backing.

Dread had 11 UK chart hits in the 1970s, which was more than any other reggae artist (including Bob Marley). The Guinness Book of World Records credits Judge Dread for having the highest number of banned songs of all time, 11.

He died from a heart attack as he walked off stage after performing at The Penny Theatre in Canterbury.

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Almanac – January 28

1941 – King Tubby born.  Jamaican electronics and sound engineer, known primarily for his influence on the development of dub in the 1960s and 1970s. Born Osbourne Ruddock, Tubby’s innovative studio work, which saw him elevate the role of the mixing engineer to a creative fame previously only reserved for composers and musicians, would prove to be influential across many genres of popular music. He is often cited as the inventor of the concept of the remix, and so may be seen as a direct antecedent of much dance and electronic music production.

Mikey Dread stated “King Tubby truly understood sound in a scientific sense. He knew how the circuits worked and what the electrons did. That’s why he could do what he did”.

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1945 – Robert Wyatt born. English musician, and founding member of the influential Canterbury scene band Soft Machine, with a long and distinguished solo career. In 1973, at a party, while  inebriated he fell from a fourth floor window. He was paralysed from the waist down and consequently uses a wheelchair.

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Almanac – August 16

1819 – The Peterloo Massacre took place in Manchester, when the Militia attacked an orderly group of people gathered to listen to speakers on parlimentary reform, at which the well-known radical politician Henry Hunt was to speak. The crowd, numbering some 60,000 and including many women and children, was unarmed and entirely peaceful. The magistrates, who had brought in special constables from Lancashire and the Cheshire Yeomanry, nevertheless became nervous and ordered Hunt’s arrest.

As the yeomanry attempted to obey them, they were pressed by the mob. The hussars were sent in to “help”, and, in the general panic which followed, 11 people were killed and about 500 injured. The ‘massacre’ aroused great public indignation, but the government stood by the magistrates and passed the Six Acts to control future agitation.

1920 – Charles Bukowski born. German-born American poet, novelist and short story writer. His writing was influenced by the social, cultural and economic ambience of his home city of Los Angeles. It is marked by an emphasis on the ordinary lives of poor Americans, the act of writing, alcohol, relationships with women and the drudgery of work. Bukowski wrote thousands of poems, hundreds of short stories and six novels, eventually publishing over sixty books. In 1986 Time called Bukowski a “laureate of American lowlife”.

1938 – Robert Johnson died.  American blues singer and musician. His landmark recordings from 1936–37 display a combination of singing, guitar skills, and songwriting talent that has influenced later generations of musicians, and, if not exactly a father of rock n roll, at the very least an uncle. His shadowy, poorly documented life and death at age 27 have given rise to much legend, including a Faustian-style  myth – music skills obtained from the Devil at a crossroads. His death – possibly murdered by poison –  is even more shadowy – three different burial grounds claim to house his remains.

1945 – Kevin Ayers born.  English singer-songwriter and  a major influential force in the English psychedelic movement. BBC DJ John Peel wrote in his autobiography that “Kevin Ayers’ talent is so acute you could perform major eye surgery with it.”  Ayers was a founding member of the pioneering psychedelic band Soft Machine in the late 1960s, and was closely associated with the Canterbury scene.

1956 – Bela Lugosi died.  Hungarian actor of stage and screen. He was best known for having played Count Dracula in the Broadway play and subsequent film version, as well as having starred in several of Ed Wood’s low budget films in the last years of his career, including Plan 9 From Outer Space.

1962 – Beatles drummer Pete Best was fired by manager Brian Epstein and replaced with the more image-friendly Ringo Starr. Who said the Beatles weren’t a manufactured boy band ?

1977 – Elvis Presley died.

Mr. Frankenstein

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