RSS

Tag Archives: Tim Burton

Happy Birthday To The Late, Great Django Reinhardt!

Today, in 1910, a guitar legend was born in Liberchies, Pont-à-Celles, Belgium, to a family of Manouche gypsies. Though born with the first name Jean, he was given the nickname “Django” which means “I Awake” in the Romani language. Django Reinhardt was drawn to music at an early age and initially played the violin. At the age of twelve, he was given a banjo-guitar as a gift and quickly learned the instrument, mimicking the Roma musicians that surrounded him in the encampments outside of Paris. By thirteen, he was making a living as a musician and by eighteen, he’d made his first recordings, playing banjo.

That same year, the caravan that he shared with his first wife, caught fire. Returning home late from a performance, Django knocked over a candle on his way to bed. His wife made imitation paper flowers as a way to supplement their meagre income and as a result, their caravan was loaded with flammable materials. Django received first and second degree burns all over his body. His right leg was paralysed and the third and fourth fingers on his left hand were badly burned. Challenging doctor’s claims that he would never walk again, he refused to have one of his legs amputated and was walking with the aid of a cane within a year. Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 23, 2012 in Music, Seasonal

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bela Lugosi’s Dead but Dracula Lives!

A hundred and twenty nine years ago, the man that would always be associated with the role of Count Dracula, Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó was born. We know him better as Bela Lugosi and he first played the role in the 1927 Broadway production of Bram Stoker’s novel. But Lugosi is probably best known for his portrayal in the 1931 Universal Studios cinematic version of Dracula. His naturally, heavily accented voice and creepy smile would for ever more be associated with the character of Count Dracula and the role would, unfortunately, typecast Lugosi into the role of a horror villain for the remainder of his career.

His later work with B-movie legend Ed Wood was well documented in Tim Burton’s 1994 biopic about the director. Wood was a huge fan of Lugosi’s and would give him star billing in such films as Glen or Glenda and Plan 9 from Outer Space but by the time Lugosi made Wood’s association he was a Demerol addict and living in near-poverty. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 20, 2011 in Seasonal

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,