October 20, 2013

Sydney Opera House Celebrates 40th Birthday!


An image of one of the world’s most iconic buildings.
The design was way ahead of its time and it still looks amazing!

“The Sydney Opera House Project is an exploration of the history of Australia's most famous structure, including how it was designed, constructed and altered throughout its life. We spoke to Sam Doust, Writer and Director of the Sydney Opera House Project about this epic project that employed a variety of old media and new technology including photos and film , recorded oral histories, and a 3D reconstruction that explores the inside and outside of the building; to tell this magnificent story.”

Explore the Opera House Project - (http://theoperahouseproject.com/)

THE Sydney Opera House yesterday celebrated it's 40th birthday in grand style.
Four thousand people crammed the forecourt to watch the Sydney Symphony Orchestra perform Beethoven Symphony No. 9 - the classical piece which opened the venue 40 years ago - along with the Sydney Philharmonia choir and Opera Australia soloists.

Chef Matt Moran marked the occasion by unveiling an enormous cupcake, while Jimmy Barnes led a rousing happy birthday singalong.

Its hard to believe that in 1966 the Opera House was embroiled in scandal.

As well as a cost blowout, the criticism of the structure was so harsh, architect Jorn Utzon submit his resignation as designer of the Opera House - yet it went on to land a world heritage listing in 2007.

Utzon never returned to see his masterpiece, dying at 90 years of age,,,,


Some of the world's biggest names have taken to its many stages, among them Joan Sutherland, Oprah Winfrey, Hugh Jackman, Luciano Pavarotti and Sammy Davis Jr.

With thanks to The Daily Telegraph, and more information there.

October 18, 2013

Ronnie Wood: His Art and The Rolling Stones : Update - Australian Tour Dates Now Cancelled - Re-Scheduled for October?



I watched the video clip and listened to the commentary which  accompanied this article online.

The clip above is not it, thankfully.
I am glad I wasn’t able to use it. The art critic who narrated it seems to be totally ignorant of anything the Stones have done. He seems to think Ronnie Wood took up painting after he joined the Stones – not true, see below.

He comments on the depiction of horses in one painting is derogatory. 
 Obviously he has never heard of the song “Wild Horses”. There is more here.

Obviously the supercilious art critic doesn't know this. Here's a clip:



I had the pleasure of seeing a Ronnie Wood Art Exhibition in San Francisco. 
I have to say I thought it was great! 
Ronnie Wood is a very talented artist and musician and it makes a lot of sense to me that he is painting pictures of The Rolling Stones - it is a big part of his life after all, and The Stones are a big part of our culture.

RONNIE Wood is the work-experience Stone.

He joined the band in 1975; the three others are all founder members, going all the way back to '62. He didn't become a full partner, in the business sense, until 1990, which meant that in the 1980s he sometimes found himself (amazingly, for a Stone) needing money, which is why he started doing more painting, but more of that in a moment.

All his life he has been the junior partner. He was eight and 10 years younger than his two brothers, both now dead, and he is between three and six years younger than the other Stones. "It's followed me all through my life. I've always been the youngest."

He wears the years well, though strangely.

Rakes would look obese in his presence. He's 1.75m tall and has never weighed more than 63kg. He claims to eat, though there is no evidence of it. His hair is thickish and darkly dyed, and his face... well, where to begin? Think architecture. The high cheekbones are cantilevered out below the eyes and are supported by two columns running up from his chin which each splay out into angled shores, forming the striking Y shapes which are one's first impression of the man. "Gaunt" would not be the right word as the skin is very smoothly and finely (possibly artificially) tanned. He looks, in short, outrageously well, considering the life he has led. But he seems a touch deaf - no wonder - and he is very fidgety which, perhaps unfairly, suggests to me he could easily fidget his way into more bad behaviour.

Being the latecomer to the band has at least meant that he has often been able to play the role of Ban Ki-moon to the warring nation states of Mick, Keith and Charlie. "Oh yeah, especially in the'80s, that was a really bad period, we were about to fold a few times. I like to think I got them talking again. That was the big problem: they refused to talk."

Ronnie is now the artist-in-residence at the Castle Fine Art gallery in London's swanky Mayfair. He has a big exhibition called Raw Instinct there at the moment and they've handed over a whole floor to him where he can chill, paint, sleep, whatever. There are pictures everywhere, hanging or leaning on the walls. On one table is a glass vase full of big, unwrapped brushes. These, it turns out, were part of a giant package given to him in 2007 by artist Damien Hirst, in an attempt to get Ronnie to paint rather than drink.

"He just had an interest in keeping me alive. He saw I was wasting myself and said, 'Do you want to get better, to stop drinking?'" Ronnie had just come out of one of his many rehabs when Hirst shipped in enough equipment to fit out an art college and told him, "You've no excuse now." Has Hirst been an influence? "I admire his art machine and the way he puts it into action. He doesn't give much away, but I learnt quite a lot from going round to his office, seeing how the wheels turned over."

Ronnie was not new to art, far from it. He'd been an art star as far back as primary school and had even appeared as a competition winner on TV art shows.

 In fact, for he and his brothers, art and music ran side by side. They were from a family of "water gypsies" who worked on the Thames out west near Heathrow. They drank and sang at the pub, then drank and sang at home - this was Ronnie's first experience of "after-parties", dangerous, life-threatening events, as he was to learn.

"When I was growing up everybody drank, it's just what they did."


By Bryan Appleyard

Story and images with many thanks to The Australian. (Pay Wall)

Note: "Wild Horses" has been covered by several artists, including Gram Parsons and  Melanie Safka.
I have other posts on The Rolling Stones on this blog - please use the search function. 







Update: ROCK legend Mick Jagger says The Rolling Stones can't wait for their March 22 concert to mark the official opening of the reborn Adelaide Oval.


Update - more details:

Tour dates and venues for the Rolling Stones in Australia - 21014

THE Rolling Stones will take their rock 'n' roll juggernaut to Hanging Rock in Victoria's Macedon Ranges next March.

Following their announcement of a show at Adelaide Oval on March 22, the world's most enduringly successful rock band have released plans for an Australian tour that will take them to Hanging Rock and to Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland.

Promoter Michael Gudinski revealed that the band, which was here last in 2006 on the Bigger Bang tour, would be playing material such as Gimme Shelter, Jumping Jack Flash and Tumbling Dice as well as a few covers.

This will be the Stones' seventh tour of Australia. Dates (excluding Adelaide) are Perth Arena March 19, Sydney Allphones Arena March 25, Melbourne Rod Laver Arena March 28, Hanging Rock, Victoria March 30, Brisbane Entertainment Centre April 2 and Auckland Mt Smart Stadium April 5.

Pre sale tickets available Monday December 9 and Tuesday December 10. Official on sale tickets 9am local times December 16.
See the interview about this tour below.

With thanks to The Australian

Sadly the Australian Tour has been cancelled due to the tragic death of Mick Jagger's partner, L'Wren Scott.
I'm sure all Rolling Stones' fans are deeply saddened by this and our hearts go out to Mick. More here. 

THE Rolling Stones have postponed the rest of their tour of Australasia following L'Wren Scott's suicide. "All I can tell you is that Mick is absolutely devastated and that everyone from the band members to the sound engineers are being hugely supportive," a spokesman for the Rolling Stones said yesterday. "He's in such a state. I was with L'Wren a lot, and anyone who met her will tell you what an amazing person she was."

The official line is that the band plans to reschedule the postponed shows. "A new schedule of dates is presently being worked and will be advised as soon as possible," said a statement. The world tour is then scheduled to resume in the Netherlands in June.

So will the biggest rock'n'roll band on the planet really get back on the road so soon? It's a similar dilemma to the one faced by Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey in 2002 when John Entwistle died in a Las Vegas hotel room on the eve of The Who's world tour. The tour was cancelled immediately on the news of Entwistle's death, but after taking advice from members of Entwistle's family, Townshend and Daltrey decided to continue, Townshend going on to explain that to cancel the tour meant putting the small army of people employed to keep a major rock show on the road out of work.

"My immediate mission is to complete this tour in good heart and to remember John in my quiet and private times," said Townshend at the time. Entwistle's son Christopher said of his father: "He lived for music ... This is what he would have wished."

With their 50 And Counting tour of 2012-13 limited to 30 dates, the Stones' last massive-scale outing was the Bigger Bang tour of 2005-07, which sold 4.5 million tickets over 147 concerts, second only to U2's 360 tour of 2009-11. Cancelling a tour of this size is not easy. When Lady Gaga was forced to end the sold-out North American leg of her Born This Way tour because of a hip injury last year, 200,000 tickets, were refunded.

In his incredibly energetic fronting of Rolling Stones shows, Mick Jagger seems to defy the laws of science, ageing and exhaustion, but there's too strong a disconnect between the good times Jagger brings to audiences and the deeply personal tragedy of Scott's suicide for him to jump straight back into his Jumping Jack Flash persona.

If the dates aren't rescheduled, press releases will be written, promoters notified and the process of moving about 150 musicians, backing singers, lawyers, travelling accountants and road crew back to their respective homes will get under way.

The financial implications are not as dire as they at first seem. Myriad forms of insurance cover a tour of this size, including the expenses involved in ending the tour, lost revenues for performers and promoters and advertising costs. And for a band with the Stones' pull, rescheduled concerts are more likely than outright cancellations. When Bono's back surgery forced the postponement of 16 of U2's stadium shows in 2010, the dates were rescheduled for the following year and fans held on to 97 per cent of tickets.

The Stones are, however, a large business. They are global, they pay taxes, they employ many, and their biggest revenue stream comes from touring. Since 1989 they have grossed more than $US1 billion from concerts.

"When we first started out, there wasn't really any money in rock'n'roll," Jagger told Fortune magazine in 2002. "Obviously there was somebody maybe who made money, but it certainly wasn't the act."

The big change came after the disaster at Altamont Speedway in 1969, when a free gig led to the death of a young fan at the hands of the Hell's Angels hired as security.(See post below on Twenty Feet From Stardom).

After Altamont the band hired a tour director, frequently the late Bill Graham, to cut deals with local promoters, who would take 10 to 15 per cent of ticket sales after the cost of the show. Then, coming in to manage the band's 1989 Steel Wheels tour, a Canadian promoter called Michael Cohl revolutionised the model.

Cohl offered the Stones' financial adviser, the Bavarian aristocrat Prince Rupert Loewenstein, $US40 million for 40 shows, resolving to cut out local promoters and book the tour himself. Cohn found new revenue streams in corporate sponsorship deals and merchandise. The band members had to take physicals for Lloyds to insure the tour. (Even Keith Richards passed.) Meanwhile, Jagger worked on revolutionising the stadium concert experience.

Steel Wheels took in more than $US260 million worldwide, a record at the time for a rock act.

It's a decent bet that Jagger will take time out but return to the tour eventually. It's possible that the band will dedicate a rescheduled concert to Scott, as they did for founder member Brian Jones in July 1969 with a free concert in Hyde Park. Planned as an introduction for their new guitarist Mick Taylor, the concert became a tribute to Jones after his death three days earlier.

"This whole thing runs on passion," said Keith Richards in 2002, on why the Stones keep going against the odds. "Even though we don't talk about it much ourselves, it's almost a sort of quest or mission." That mission may prove to be Jagger’s saviour.

by Will Hodgkinson

Picture of the Stones in Japan, and story with thanks to The Australian (pay-wall)

October slated for Rolling Stones tour to return to Australia 

The Rolling Stones will return for a tour of Australia and New Zealand in October, Frontier Touring has confirmed. 

The 14 On Fire Tour of Australasia was postponed following the death in New York of frontman Mick Jagger's partner of 13 years, fashion designer L'Wren Scott.

Frontier Touring issued a statement today reassuring fans and ticket holders the band will return in October and November, but exact dates are yet to be finalised.

“If the new dates are not suitable, rest assured you will be able to secure a refund,” Frontier Touring said.

“While we encourage fans to hold on to their tickets, the option to secure a refund is now available to you via the official ticketing agency you purchased from.”

Fans can secure a refund for not just the value of the tickets, but also fees and charges incurred in purchasing the ticket.


Some other posts featuring The Rolling Stones – a summary:


 The Rolling Stones’ 'Satisfaction' Was The Result Of A Faulty Amp

Rolling Stones Rehearse Rare Songs For Their South American Tour

The Rolling Stones Guide To Business Success And Survival

The Rolling Stones Reveal ‘Totally Stripped’

The Rolling Stones: A New Movie About The Making of 'Exile on Main Street'

The Rolling Stones’ ‘Havana Moon’ In Cinemas Worldwide

Rollings Stones’ Keith Richards Is Evolving, Not Ageing

The Rolling Stones:Olé Olé Olé: A Trip Across Latin America

The Rolling Stones: First Music From New Blues Album

Rolling Stones Reclaim Soul On Blue & Lonesome

More posts on Art:  
Van Gogh On Dark Water Animation
Found: A Missing Paul Gauguin Painting
Royal Academy of British Art Coming To Town
Australia and the UK Battle Over Historic Paintings Of A Kangaroo And A Dingo
Finally: A Digital Home For Lost Masterpieces
America: "Painting a Nation" Exhibition in Art Gallery of NSW
Chauvet Cave Paintings: Cave Women Left Their Artistic Mark
London exhibition of Australian art holds up a mirror to our nation: more iconic images
500 Years of Female Portraits in Western Art
Some Fascinating Pictures featuring Alyssa Monks
Visual Art of the Human Body by Cecelia Webber
The lost Van Gogh: Painting found in Norwegian attic is confirmed as priceless work by Dutch master
Market Find Turns Out To Be A Lost Faberge Egg
Charles Dellschau: Secrets of An Undiscovered Visionary Artist
Tom Pinch: Time - Lapse Portraits of Paul McCartney and John Lennon
The Curious Case Of The Renaissance Cockatoo
Charles Rennie Mackintosh: Scotland’s Greatest Architect
Insanely Realistic Pencil Drawings
Christopher Allen:50 Years of Australian Visual Arts
Katsushika Hokusai: Japanese Artist
Artemisia Gentileschi - Her Biography And Her Art
The Pre-Raphaelite Legacy
Yulia Brodskaya:Paper Explodes With Life In This Artist's Hands
How JMW Turner Set Painting Free 
World’s Oldest Rock Art Found In Indonesia
Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel Will Now Be Easier To See    
Ruth Oosterman Turns Her 2-Year-Old’s Doodles Into Gorgeous Paintings
Vincenzo Peruggia: The Man Who Stole The Mona Lisa And Made Her more Famous Than Ever
3D Movie Shows The Creation Of The Vatican Museums’ Greatest Treasures
The Elgin Marbles - A Continuing Controversy
Could Anyone Paint A Vermeer? 
World’s Oldest Rock Art Found In Indonesia - Updated
John Constable Painting Sold By Christie's For £3,500 In June 2013 Will Now Go To Market To Sell For £2 million 
Asher Jay: Art Of The Matter
The Most Popular Artworks of All Time
Michelangelo Bronzes Discovered
‘Trophy’ Buyers Push Art And Jewellery Sales To New Heights At Christie’s And Sotheby’s
World's Most Expensive Painting By Paul Gauguin Sells for $385 Million
Joni Mitchell: Why She Blocked Taylor Swift For Biopic Role 
Chinese Cloisonné
The Isleworth Mona Lisa: A Second Leonardo Masterpiece?
First Faberge Egg Created For 99 Years Goes To Doha 
The World’s Priceless Treasures
Woman in Gold: Another Biopic For Dame Helen Mirren 
The Plains Indians Exhibition
Picasso's "Women of Algiers" Breaks Auction Record
Looted Treasures Open Door To The Dark Nazi Past
MC Escher: An Enigma Behind an Illusion 
Frederic Remington: The Man Who Helped Bring The West To Life 
Fore-edge Painting: Artists Hide Paintings Along The Edges Of Old Books 
This Fake Rembrandt Was Created By An Algorithm
Long-lost Caravaggio Masterpiece Found In French Attic
Loving Vincent: The World's First Fully Painted Film
Georgia O’Keeffe: The Artist Who Captured America
Optical Illusions In Art

David Bowie's Personal Art Collection Auctioned Off For $30 Million