Thursday, 13 August 2015

Elvis Presley | My views on the King of Rock & Roll

So why Elvis? Well, why not?! But seriously, why Elvis.....well, my top reason for choosing this Artist is that I have a connection with him as he was a twin-less twin like I am now.

While he is what they call an early loss twin, the feelings of emptiness is the same for all of us who have lost our other half. It's not something that is easily explained but it really is like half of you is missing or like you always feel incomplete.
Then we have his music! The King of Rock and Roll (Hey, I already wrote about he King of Pop so this fits!) From 'Love me Tender' to 'Jailhouse Rock' his voice is beyond amazing!

Elvis Presley was born January 8th, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi as a twin-less twin. When he was 13 years old, he and his family relocated to Memphis, Tennessee.


History of Elvis - His music career in 1954 and onward

My Nan grew up loving Elvis like all the teen girls of her generation. He was the One Direction of our generation and the NKOTB of my mom's generation! However, there is no comparison as they are all great artists in their own way.

Elvis's first single 'Heartbreak Hotel' was release in January 1956 and became a number one hit in the USA almost overnight!

On March 20th, 1958 he was forced to put his music career on hold when he was drafted to military service after asking for a deferment on December 24th, 1957 to finish the film 'King Creole'. While in the Military he refused offers from both the Air Force and the Army saying he didn't want special treatment.

After serving the mandatory two years he then started recording again, producing some of his most successful work. In the 1960's, he devoted a lot of time to making Hollywood movies and their soundtrack albums. Many of which still sit in my Grandmother's attic today!

In 1967, he married Priscilla Presley and they had one child (a daughter), Lisa Marie Presley born on February 1st, 1968. (she was once married to Michael Jackson) Elvis treated his daughter like a princess and recorded many clips of the two of them singing together. Lisa Marie went on to launch her own music career and opened an exhibit 'Elvis Through His Daughter's Eyes' which is a personal setting created by Lisa Marie that shares personal mementos and demonstrated her experience growing up with her famous father.

In 1968, after a seven year break from live performances, Elvis returned to the stage in the televised comeback special: Elvis. This lead to a Las Vegas concert residency and a lot of highly profitable tours. Vegas has since hosted a large number of high profile Artists and many Canadian Artists like Celine Dion and Shania Twain! I like to think Elvis was the reason why these Artists have this amazing opportunity.

In 1973, he was featured in the first global broadcast concert via satellite, 'Aloha from Hawaii', a film my mom had 'borrowed' from her mother and this was the first film I saw of Elvis. While today's concerts are far more flashy, this film, in my opinion,  gives you a more artist/fan feel!

While in the military, it is claimed Elvis became addicted to speed which started a battle with addictions. Several years of prescription drug abuse damaged his health and in 1977, he passed away suddenly at the age of 42. While some people have said that his death is ruled as a suicide, it wasn't. He had had a massive heart attack.

Elvis is now buried at Graceland beside his mother which has become a well known tourist attraction. His music still lives on today in the hearts of those who grew up in his generation as well as through the next generation, such as myself, who live, breathe, and speak music! Honestly, if you don't know who Elvis is or can say you haven't heard any of his music, then you need to find your parents vinyl collection and listen! I can almost guarantee your mom has an Elvis album in there.

Teen Beat: IzzyB

Monday, 27 July 2015

Michael Jackson | My views on the 'King of Pop'

by IzzyB

A singer, songwriter, dancer, producer and multi award-winner, Michael Jackson transformed the face of pop music and was named King of Pop.

Born in Gary, Indiana, on August 29, 1958 he started his career at the age of 5 when he joined four of his siblings to form the Jackson 5 as the group's lead singer in 1964. The group went on to have a successful career with the top songs "ABC" , "I'll Be There" & "I Want You Back" until the band separated and released their last song in 1973 in the UK.

In 1971 MJ started his very successful solo career. Between 1972-1975 he released 4 Motown solo albums before started his adult career with the album Off The Wall in 1979 with his first song written by himself "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough" becoming No.1 hit single in the US. He then went on to release the best-selling album in history, Thriller, in 1982. With the video Thriller having over 18 million views!

MJ went on to become one of the most internationally famous award-winning solo pop sensations ever and is still the most famous artist! However he was not immune to the hate of the world.
In 1993 he was accused of molestation to which no charges where pressed. In 2003 a British TV show interviewed MJ and shared that he allowed children to share his bed at Neverland Ranch, and the same year another child claimed Jackson molested him which he was also found not guilty.
Many have come to see his change in appearance, his self medicating and odd behaviour as coping with being bullied.

Michael like everyone wanted to be loved. Having grown up with a father who was "stern and often abusive" and in the limelight of the world, he seen the hate and jealousy others could direct at him.
If you think about it, when people change their appearance for others so they will accept them, they are not happy with themselves and are often looking to be accepted. MJ was loved by many but those haters of the world he wanted their love and acceptance too. Just like all of us! He was a person and his thoughts, feelings and coping skills are no different then anyone else's.

Over the course of his career he faced success, failure, love, hate, legal issues, family issues, pressure from the media and his fans. Who wouldn't crack under that kind of pressure! Rumours about his sexual orientation also were noted after two failed marriages to Lisa Marie Presley (Elvis daughter) and Deborah Jeanne Rowe and his parenting skills where always questioned especially after holding his son over a balcony with a blanket over his head for fans below. I can't imagine what he felt with the amount of hate this world could rain on him regardless of the amount of love we had for him!
When he died unexpectedly in 2009 the music world lost a legend. His death was ultimately ruled a homicide and Dr. Conrad Murray, who had been caring for MJ at the time of his death, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

At the time of his death he was only 112 pounds and was found with pills in his stomach and needle marks on his body. In my eyes that is clear signs he was self medicating and self harming. Keep in mind I am no specialist but sadly have seen the same path of destruction in my sister (without the self medicating).

Having left behind three children who have since struggled themselves with suicidal tendencies, legal battles, and one could say self medicating, as well as bullying it makes you wonder if indeed MJ struggled with mental illness the same way any one of us could.
His music will continue to live on and we will always remember the good and the bad that came from Michael Jackson, but more importantly this man created change and that is what I choose to look up to! Oh and lets not forget that Moonwalk though!! A dancer's nightmare and dream when you nail it!!!

My Ode to MJ by IzzyB

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

My Thoughts on David Gilmour

When I was asked to listen to the song Marooned and Coming Back to Life by David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) I felt different. I felt stronger by the song (I didn't feel weak anymore). Having a song that you connect to is uplifting. You can always find a song to fit your mood or what you're going through in life. It made me think of the future, of how far I came in life with the 14 short years I've been living. I know it's going to be hard for an adult to understand why I say that but when you lose your identical twin sister to suicide and you are pushed into a life of advocating and speaking out against bullying, mental health and suicide awareness, you see and hear a lot!

These songs made my heart open. It is an instrumental song and the guitar made me think of band camp. Yes, I went to band camp. I prefer drums but Morgan preferred the guitar. Her guitar sits in my parents room untouched and her books in her tote of things. I am still waiting for my drum set (FYI Dad). It made me think of Morgan, of how she's happy and that she's in a better place and she's not hurting anymore. I have to think that way to keep a positive feeling.

My first impression about the Artist was that he was old, so I thought he was going to do an old song which he did but I didn't expect to connect with the song! It's like you're told to never judge a book by it's cover, never judge an Artist before listening to their music. I love old music. Well, old to me, not my parents. Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Toto, Aerosmith, and ACDC to name a few. I truly do love music. I adore it. I grew up with the music always playing just like my mom did. Morgan and I both did piano and vocal lessons, learned violin, and joined band in school where I played flute and she played trombone. Music was always a form of therapy in our family. You knew what we were feeling by what we listened to and when things were stressful mom always danced around the house with us to make us laugh. I truly have no words to explain everything I feel from listening to the song. It has made me remember good things and bad things, but it's a song I have connected to and really, that's all that matters is you connect and feel the song.

-Bailey Dunbar (AKA: IzzyB)