Bryan Ferry *IX 26 1945 — The Life You Give

While fronting Roxy Music in the 1970s and early '80s, Bryan Ferry devised a blueprint for art rock, and as a solo performer, he brilliantly updated the parameters of the pop songbook. Although Ferry's solo career has included several excellent self-penned tracks, he's best-known for his adventurous interpretations of songs from the rock and pop… Continue reading Bryan Ferry *IX 26 1945 — The Life You Give

The Life You Give: Geddy Lee *VII 29 1953

Few hard rock bassists have been as influential as Rush's Geddy Lee. Born Gary Weinrib on July 29, 1953, in Toronto, his parents migrated from Europe to Canada and got his nickname "Geddy" from when his mother would try to pronounce "Gary" in her accent. Taking up bass as a teenager and influenced by the… Continue reading The Life You Give: Geddy Lee *VII 29 1953

The Life You Give: Brian May *VII 19 1947

Few rock guitarists possess a playing style as instantly recognizable as Queen's Brian May. With his orchestrated guitar armies (multi-tracked guitar lines overdubbed on top of each other) and instantly memorable, well-constructed melodic leads, May is in a class all by himself. Born in Hampton, Middlesex, in July 1947, May showed an interest in music… Continue reading The Life You Give: Brian May *VII 19 1947

The Life You Give: Ray Davies *VI 21 1944

Ray Davies was the lead singer, chief songwriter, and rhythm guitarist in the Kinks, one of the most long-lived of the British Invasion rock groups of the 1960s. In effect, the Kinks had always been merely a backup group for Davies, who wrote and sang nearly all their songs with only the occasional contribution from… Continue reading The Life You Give: Ray Davies *VI 21 1944

The Life You Give: Prince *1958

Prince, born Prince Rogers Nelson, on June 7 1958, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A., is the singer, guitarist, songwriter, producer, dancer, and performer on keyboards, drums, and bass who was among the most talented American musicians of his generation. Like Stevie Wonder, he was a rare composer who could perform at a professional level on virtually… Continue reading The Life You Give: Prince *1958

The Life You Give: Dagmar Krause *1950

It seems odd to consider the work of Dagmar Krause as specifically rock, mainly due to her superb talent singing non-rock popular music. It is because of her association with German progressive rockers Slapp Happy, and British avant-garde prog rockers Henry Cow and the Art Bears that Krause becomes a suitable subject for inclusion in… Continue reading The Life You Give: Dagmar Krause *1950

The Life You Give: John Bonham *1948

Drummer John Bonham, often referred to by his nickname "Bonzo," was one of the most important and influential drummers of the 1960s and '70s -- as a member of Led Zeppelin, he was also a bona fide superstar for the last decade of his life and, along with Ringo Starr of the Beatles, Charlie Watts… Continue reading The Life You Give: John Bonham *1948

The Life You Give: Joe Cocker *1944

After starting out as an unsuccessful pop singer (working under the name Vance Arnold), Joe Cocker found his niche singing rock and soul in the pubs of England with his superb backing group, the Grease Band. He hit number one in the U.K. in November 1968 with his version of the Beatles' "A Little Help… Continue reading The Life You Give: Joe Cocker *1944

The Life You Give: Robert Fripp *1946

A truly singular figure in rock music, Robert Fripp is a guitarist, composer, and bandleader who has brought a unique, strikingly intelligent perspective to his work. One of the most technically gifted guitarists in rock, Fripp is the thinking-person's guitar hero, showing no interest in shredding but eager to challenge himself and blaze new trails… Continue reading The Life You Give: Robert Fripp *1946

The Life You Give: Bono *1960

Bono, born Paul David Hewson, May 10, 1960, in Dublin, Ireland, is lead singer for the popular Irish rock band U2 and prominent human rights activist.He was born of a Roman Catholic father and a Protestant mother (who died when he was just age 14). In Dublin in 1977, he and school friends David Evans… Continue reading The Life You Give: Bono *1960

The Life You Give: Eddie van Halen *1955

Eddie Van Halen belongs in a rarefied group of musicians who changed the very notion of the possibilities of their chosen instrument. In Van Halen's case, he was a guitarist of superlative imagination and skill, innovating and introducing a number of techniques that would soon become part of the arsenal of many guitarists, including finger-tapping,… Continue reading The Life You Give: Eddie van Halen *1955

The Life You Give: Blixa Bargeld *1959

A powerfully influential figure in experimental and avant-garde rock, Blixa Bargeld is best known as one of the founders of the pioneering industrial band Einstürzende Neubauten, as well as for his work with Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds.Blixa Bargeld was born Christian Emmerich in the Friedenau quarter of Berlin, Germany on January 12, 1959.… Continue reading The Life You Give: Blixa Bargeld *1959

Happy Birthday, Ray Shulman *1949 (Gentle Giant)

Ray Shulman was born on December 8 1949, as the younger of three boys to a family of Scottish-Jewish descent in Portsmouth, England. With his brothers, Derek, and Phil, the progressive rock group Gentle Giant was active from 1970 to 1980. Ray was Gentle Giant's bassist, while also playing trumpet, violin, viola, cello, vocals, drums,… Continue reading Happy Birthday, Ray Shulman *1949 (Gentle Giant)

The Life You Give: Ozzy Osbourne *1948

Ozzy Osbourne, born John Michael Osbourne on December 3, 1948, Birmingham, England, is the musician who gained a loyal following as the vocalist for the heavy metal group Black Sabbath before embarking on a successful solo career. Raised in a working-class family, Osbourne dropped out of school at age 15 and held several low-paying jobs.… Continue reading The Life You Give: Ozzy Osbourne *1948

The Life You Give: Jimi Hendrix *Nov 27 1942

Though his active career as a featured artist lasted a mere four years, Hendrix altered the course of popular music and became one of the most successful and influential musicians of his era. An instrumentalist who radically redefined the expressive potential and sonic palette of the electric guitar, he was the composer of a classic… Continue reading The Life You Give: Jimi Hendrix *Nov 27 1942

The Life You Give: Tina Turner *1939

Tina Turner, original name Anna Mae Bullock, (born November 26, 1939, Brownsville, Tennessee, U.S.), American-born singer who found success in the rhythm-and-blues, soul, and rock genres in a career that spanned five decades. Turner was born into a sharecropping family in rural Tennessee. She began singing as a teenager and, after moving to St. Louis,… Continue reading The Life You Give: Tina Turner *1939

Happy Birthday, Peter Maffay! 1949

Born in Romania but one of the most loved, successful and important pop musicians in Germany of the last 5 decades, Peter Maffay celebrates his birthday today. I must celebrate his work and life, with a bit of the music that has made him an important part of the German pop culture and spirit, since… Continue reading Happy Birthday, Peter Maffay! 1949