Wednesday, February 26, 2014


The Who circa 1960s
The Who
The Who are an English rock band formed in 1964. Their best known line-up consisted of lead singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist Pete Townshend, bassist John Entwistle and drummer Keith Moon. For much of their career they have been regarded as one of the three most important British rock acts along with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

The Who developed from an earlier group, the Detours, before stabilizing around a line-up of Daltrey, Townshend, Entwistle and Moon. After releasing a single (billed as the High Numbers), the group established themselves as part of the mod movement, specialising in auto-destructive art by destroying guitars and drums onstage. They achieved recognition in the UK after support by pirate radio and television, and their first single (as the Who), "I Can't Explain" reached the top ten. A string of hit singles followed including "My Generation", "Substitute" and "Happy Jack". Although initially regarded as a singles act, they also found success with the albums My Generation and A Quick One. In 1967, they achieved success in the US after performing at the Monterey Pop Festival, and with the top ten single "I Can See for Miles". They released The Who Sell Out at the end of the year, and spent much of 1968 touring the US.

The release of their fourth album, Tommy, in 1969 was a major commercial and critical achievement. Subsequent live appearances at Woodstock and the Isle of Wight Festival, along with the live album Live At Leeds, transformed the Who's reputation from a hit-singles band into a critically acclaimed rock act. With their success came increased pressure on lead songwriter Townshend, and the follow-up to Tommy, Lifehouse was abandoned in favour of 1971's Who's Next. The group subsequently released Quadrophenia (1973) and The Who by Numbers (1975), oversaw the film adaptation of Tommy and toured to large audiences before semi-retiring from live performance in 1977. The release of Who Are You in August 1978 was overshadowed by the death of Moon on 7 September, at the age of 32.

Pete Townshend
Peter Dennis Blandford "Pete" Townshend (born 19 May 1945) is an English musician, singer, and songwriter, known principally as the guitarist and songwriter for the rock group The Who. His career with The Who spans 50 years, during which time the band grew to be considered one of the most influential bands of the 1960s and 1970s.
Pete Townshend 2013
Townshend is the primary songwriter for The Who, having written well over 100 songs for the band's 11 studio albums, including concept albums and the rock operas Tommy and Quadrophenia, plus popular rock and roll radio staples such as Who's Next, and dozens more that appeared as non-album singles, bonus tracks on reissues, and tracks on rarities compilations such as Odds & Sods. He has also written over 100 songs that have appeared on his solo albums, as well as radio jingles and television theme songs. Although known primarily as a guitarist, he also plays other instruments such as keyboards, banjo, accordion, harmonica, ukulele, mandolin, violin, synthesiser, bass guitar and drums, on his own solo albums, several Who albums, and as a guest contributor to a wide array of other artists' recordings. He is self-taught on all of the instruments he plays and has never had any formal training.

Roger Daltrey
Roger Harry Daltrey, is an English singer, musician, songwriter and actor, best known as the founder and lead singer of English rock band the Who. He has maintained a musical career as a solo artist and has also worked in the film industry, acting in films, theatre and television roles and also producing films. In 2008 he was ranked number 61 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 greatest singers of all time.

If any one member of The Who can be said to be the group’s founding member it is singer Roger Daltrey, who was born in the West London suburb of Shepherd’s Bush on March 1, 1944. Roger first assembled the group that would become the Who in 1961 while at Acton County School, recruiting John Entwistle and subsequently agreeing to John’s proposal that Pete Townshend should join. In those days Roger, whose daytime job was in a sheet metal factory, even made the band’s guitars, and it was his energy and ambition that drove the group during their formative years. That same energy, coupled with his unwavering resolve, has sustained the group during periods of uncertainty ever since.

Roger’s earliest tastes in music ran to the blues and R&B which formed the setlist during their early years as the Detours, as well as Fifties rock’n'roll, which is reflected in his outstanding interpretations of such noted Who covers as ‘Summertime Blues’ and ‘Shakin’ All Over’. In surrendering his leadership of the band to Pete when the latter became the group’s songwriter, Roger became the mouthpiece for Pete’s lyrics and ideas. At the same time he contributed to the group’s sense of showmanship by developing his unique skill at twirling his microphone lead around like a lasso and, by the time of Tommy in 1969, becoming one of rock’s most iconic sex symbols with his golden curls, bare chest and fringed suede coats. 
Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey in 2013


"Pinball Wizard" is a song written by Pete Townshend and performed by the English rock band The Who, and featured on their 1969 rock opera album Tommy. The original recording was released as a single in 1969 and reached No. 4 in the UK charts and No. 19 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

The B-side of the Pinball Wizard single is an instrumental credited to Keith Moon, titled "Dogs Part Two". Despite similar titles it has no musical connection to The Who's 1968 UK single "Dogs".

The lyrics are written from the perspective of a pinball champion, called "Local Lad" in the Tommy libretto book, astounded by the skills of the opera's eponymous main character, Tommy Walker: "What makes him so good?; He ain't got no distractions; Can't hear those buzzers and bells; Don't see lights a flashin'; Plays by sense of smell.; Always has a replay; Never tilts at all; That deaf dumb and blind kid; Sure plays a mean pin ball.", and "I thought I was the Bally table king, but I just handed my pinball crown to him".

Townshend once called it "the most clumsy piece of writing [he'd] ever done" nevertheless, the song was a commercial success and one of the most recognised tunes from the opera. It was a perpetual concert favourite for Who fans due to its pop sound and familiarity.

Position on the album
The song was introduced into Tommy as an afterthought. In late 1968 or early 1969, when The Who played a rough assembly of their new album to critic Nik Cohn, Cohn gave a lukewarm reaction. Following this, Townshend, as Tommy's principal composer, discussed the album with Cohn and concluded that, to lighten the load of the rock opera's heavy spiritual overtones (Townshend had recently become deeply interested in the teachings of Meher Baba), the title character, a "deaf, dumb, and blind" boy, should also be particularly good at a certain game. Knowing Cohn was an avid pinball fan, Townshend suggested that Tommy would play pinball, and Cohn immediately declared Tommy to be a masterpiece. The song "Pinball Wizard" was written and recorded almost immediately.

Tommy (album)
Tommy is the fourth album by English rock band The Who, released by Track Records and Polydor Records in the UK and Decca Records/MCA in the US. A double album telling a loose story about a "deaf, dumb and blind kid", Tommy was the first musical work to be billed overtly as a rock opera. Released in 1969, the album was mostly composed by Pete Townshend. In 1998, it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for "historical, artistic and significant value". It has sold over 20 million copies worldwide.

British Army Captain Walker goes missing during an expedition and is believed dead ("Overture"). His widow, Mrs. Walker, gives birth to their son, Tommy ("It's a Boy"). Years later, Captain Walker returns home and discovers that his wife has found a new lover. Captain murders this man in an altercation ("1921"). To cover up the incident Tommy's parents tell him that he didn't see or hear it. Traumatised, Tommy drops into a semi-catatonic state and becomes deaf, dumb, and blind. Years pass, during which he is outwardly immobile. Inside his head, however, sensations from the outside world are changed into amazing visions accompanied by music ("Amazing Journey/Sparks").

His parents are aware of none of this, and they fret that he will never find religion in the midst of his isolation ("Christmas"). Tommy's parents sometimes go on outings and leave their burdensome son with relatives, many of whom take advantage of his helplessness; he is tortured by his sadistic "Cousin Kevin", and molested by his uncle Ernie ("Do You Think It's Alright?", "Fiddle About"). Meanwhile, a pimp referred to as "The Hawker" is introduced and peddles his prostitute, who promises to return "Eyesight to the Blind" and is reputed to heal the deaf, the dumb, and the blind. Tommy is ultimately taken to this woman, who calls herself "The Acid Queen"; she tries to coax Tommy into full consciousness with hallucinogenic drugs. Although the attempted treatment affects him strongly ("Underture"), he does not lose his disabilities. Nevertheless, he subsequently gains public attention by his curious interest in pinball, which he plays very successfully by touch ("Pinball Wizard").
At last the Walkers take Tommy to a respected doctor ("There's a Doctor"), who determines that the boy's disabilities are psychosomatic rather than physical. Told by the Doctor to "Go to the Mirror!", Tommy appears to look at his reflection and later becomes obsessed with the mirrors in his house. Mrs. Walker grows so irritated at the habit that she smashes the glass into which Tommy is looking. The action somehow destroys Tommy's mental block, and he recovers his senses and speech ("Sensation", "I'm Free")

The "miracle cure" becomes a public sensation, upon which Tommy seizes (with uncertain motives) to make himself into a guru ("Welcome"). His era's interest with Messianic figures wins him a huge following. In a side story, a wealthy teenager named "Sally Simpson" becomes smitten with Tommy and tries to climb onstage as he speaks, only to be violently repulsed by security guards.

Uncle Ernie capitalises on his nephew's popularity by starting a tatty and expensive "Tommy's Holiday Camp" for the disciples, who are promised a life of hedonism therein. In fact, Tommy treats his audience brusquely and demands that they live in an austere manner in his presence. The discontent caused by this reversal is intensified when he asks the crowd to plug their eyes, ears, and mouths and play pinball—he is less interested in his recovery than in sharing the things he saw while paralyzed ("We're Not Gonna Take It"). As the story ends, the disciples reject Tommy in a body and leave the camp. In response, he retreats inward again and becomes wrapped in his fantasies ("See Me, Feel Me").

World famous flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucía (66) died.

The internationally renowned Spanish guitarist Paco de Lucía and flamenco music composer is in Mexico died. De Lucía felt on the beach of Cancun suddenly unwell and died en route to the hospital.

Paco de Lucía, born Francisco Gustavo Sánchez Gomes (21 December 194725 February 2014), was a Spanish flamenco composer, guitarist and producer. A leading proponent of the New Flamenco style, he helped legitimize flamenco among the establishment in Spain, and was one of the first flamenco guitarists who have also successfully crossed over into other genres of music such as classical and jazz. Richard Chapman and Eric Clapton, authors of Guitar: Music, History, Players, describe de Lucía as a "titanic figure in the world of flamenco guitar", and Dennis Koster, author of Guitar Atlas, Flamenco, has referred to de Lucía as "one of history's greatest guitarists".

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Pinball is a type of arcade game, usually coin-operated, in which points are scored by a player manipulating one or more steel balls on a play field inside a glass-covered cabinet called a pinball machine. 
The primary objective of the game is to score as many points as possible. Points are earned when the ball strikes different targets on the play field. A drain is situated at the bottom of the play field, protected by player-controlled plastic bats called flippers. A game ends after all the balls fall into the drain.
Secondary objectives are to maximize the time spent playing (by earning "extra balls" and keeping the ball in play as long as possible) and to earn bonus games (known as "replays").
The origins of pinball are intertwined with the history of many other games. Games played outdoors by rolling balls or stones on a grass course, such as bocce or bowls, eventually evolved into various local ground billiards games played by hitting the balls with sticks and propelling them at targets, often around obstacles. Croquet, golf and paille-maille eventually derived from ground billiards variants.

The History of Pinball
Pinball is a coin-operated arcade game where players score points by shooting metal balls on a inclined playfield, hitting special targets, and avoiding losing their balls.
 In 1871, British inventor, Montegue Redgrave was granted US Patent #115,357 for his "Improvements in Bagatelle".
Bagatelle was an older game that used a table and balls. Redgrave's patented changes to the game of Bagatelle included: adding a coiled spring and a plunger, making the game smaller, replacing the large bagatelle balls with marbles, and adding the inclined playfield. All common features of the later game of pinball.

 Pinball machines appeared in mass, during the early 1930s as countertop machines (without legs) and they featured the characteristics created by Montegue Redgrave. In 1932, manufacturers began adding legs to their games.

First Games
 "Bingo" made by the Bingo Novelty Company was a countertop mechanical game released in 1931. It was also the first machine manufactured by D. Gottlieb & Company, who were contracted to produce the game.
 "Baffle Ball" made by D. Gottlieb & Company was a countertop mechanical game released in 1931. In 1935, Gottlieb released a electro-mechanical standing version of Baffle Ball with payout.
 "Bally Hoo" was a countertop mechanical game with optional legs released in 1931. Bally Hoo was the first coin-operated pinball game and was invented by the founder of the Bally Corporation, Raymond Maloney.

 The term "pinball" itself as a name for the arcade game was not seen until 1936.

 The tilt mechanism was invented in 1934 as a direct answer to the problem of players physically lifting and shaking the games. The tilt debuted in a game called Advance made by Harry Williams.

Powered Machines
 The first battery operated machines appeared in 1933, Harry Williams made the first. By 1934, machines were redesigned to be used with electrical outlets allowing for new types of sounds, music, lights, lighted backglass, and other features.

Bumpers, Flippers, and Scoreboards
 The pinball bumper was invented in 1937. The bumper debuted in game called "Bumper" made by Bally Hoo.
 Harry Mabs invented the flipper in 1947. The flipper made its debut in a pinball game called "Humpty Dumpty", made by D. Gottlieb & Company. Humpty Dumpty used six flippers, three on each side.
Pinball machines during the early 50s began to use separate lights behind the glass scoreboard to show scores. The 50s also introduced the first two player games.

Steve Kordek
 Steve Kordek invented the drop target in 1962, debuting in "Vagabond", and multiballs in 1963, debuting in "Beat the Clock". He is also credited with repositioning the flippers to the bottom of the pinball playing field.
Triple Action was the first game to feature just two flippers at the bottom of the playfield. Unlike modern machines, the flippers faced outwards. These more powerful flippers were facilitated by the addition of a DC power supply. These innovations were one of many by designer Steve Kordek.
The Future of Pinball
 In 1966, the first digital scoring pinball machine, "Rally Girl" was released Rally. In 1975, the first solid-state electronic pinball machine, the "Spirit of 76", was released by Micro. In 1998, the first pinball machine with a video screen was released by Williams in their new "Pinball 2000" series machines. Versions of pinball are now being sold that are completely software based.


DJ Cat did spin romantic tunes in her white wedding dress last Saturday at T.R.A.C.S

Thursday, February 20, 2014


Actress Drew Barrymore, is 39 on February 22. Movie star at age 7. Drinker at 9. Drug user at 10. Rehabilitated bestselling memoirist at 14. The scion of an acting dynasty, Drew Barrymore rose above her early notoriety, transforming into a Hollywood power player as an actor and producer. 
At T.R.A.C.S we celebrate her birthday with....
T.R.A.C.S at Timothy Plaza on River Island

Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore 2014
Drew Blyth Barrymore (born February 22, 1975) is an American actress, screenwriter, film director, producer, model and author who is a descendant of the Barrymore family of well-known American stage and cinema actors, and is the granddaughter of film legend John Barrymore. 

Barrymore first appeared in an advertisement when she was eleven months old, a 1978 episodic television debut The Waltons as Melissa in season 7: episode 4 and her film debut in Altered States in 1980. 
Afterwards, she starred in her breakout role as Gertie in Steven Spielberg's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and quickly became one of Hollywood's most recognized child actresses, going on to establish herself in mainly comic roles.
E.T. 1982
Following a turbulent childhood which was marked by recurring drug and alcohol abuse and two stints in rehab, Barrymore wrote the 1990 autobiography, Little Girl Lost. She successfully made the transition from child star to adult actress with a number of films including Poison Ivy, Bad Girls, Boys on the Side, and Everyone Says I Love You. Subsequently, she established herself in romantic comedies such as The Wedding Singer and later, 50 First Dates.
The Wedding Singer 1998

In 1997, she and her business partner Nancy Juvonen formed the production company Flower Films, with its first production the 1999 Barrymore film Never Been Kissed. Flower Films has gone on to produce the Barrymore vehicle films Charlie's Angels, 50 First Dates, and Music and Lyrics, as well as the cult film Donnie Darko. Barrymore's more recent projects include He's Just Not That Into You, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Everybody's Fine and Going the Distance. A recipient of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Barrymore appeared on the cover of the 2007 People magazine's 100 Most Beautiful issue.

Barrymore was named an Ambassador Against Hunger for the UN World Food Programme (WFP). Since then, she has donated over US$1 million to the program. In 2007, she became both CoverGirl's newest model and spokeswoman for the cosmetic and the face for Gucci's newest jewelry line. In 2010, she was awarded the Screen Actors Guild Award and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film for her portrayal of Little Edie in Grey Gardens.
Grey Gardens a HBO film about the lives of Edith Bouvier Beale/"Little Edie", played by Drew Barrymore (left), and her mother Edith Ewing Bouvier/"Big Edie", played by Jessica Lange (right).