Friday, July 6

Posted on 6th Jul 2012 by ian under On This Day | No Comments »

Welcome to Friday July 6 and let’s go rattling around in the dark royal past. 

King Richard the LionheartOn this day in 1189 Richard 1 (the Lionheart) was crowned King of England.

Also known by the French, Cœur de Lion, that is probably more fitting as he spent more time in France than in England.  He sired no legitimate heirs, only one little bastard called Phillip of Cognac so his brother, John, took the throne on Richard’s demise in 1199.

And on this day in 1483, Richard III was also crowned King of England.  He only held the top job for two years before being killed on the battlefield after, according to Shakespeare, shouting out “A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!”

Man for All Seasons MovieAnd on this day in 1535 Henry VIII had Sir Thomas More executed… it wasn’t that smart to have an opposing view to Henry – especially about marriage and divorce – and a very bright, learned, witty and well-balanced head was separated from the rest of him on that day.  Bit of trivia, More came up with the term Utopia – in his book by that name, describing an ideal and imaginary island nation.  In 1520 he was referred to as “a man for all seasons” and A Man For All Seasons is the title of the Robert Bolt play/screenplay – the 1966 movie won Paul Scholfield Best Actor and the film won Best Picture.  If you see it in the ‘classics’ section, worth a look…

Lennon and McCartney teenagersOn this day in 1957 John Lennon and Paul McCartney were introduced to each other when Lennon’s band, the Quarrymen, was playing at a fete in London.  John would have been 17 and Paul 15.  I’m personally pleased Paul went to the fete and not to the pictures.  The Beatles were part of my youthful listening pleasure and forming my attitude to life… I remember being aged 15, sitting with a mate in a bar in Kings Cross, when Come Together from the 1969 album, Abbey Road, came through the speakers, sounding unlike any track that had gone before.  I asked the barman to replay it and for two more beers – he obliged on both counts and didn’t ask for ID.

Abbey Road outtakeThe Abbey Road album is instantly recognisable and it gave birth to the most famous pedestrian crossing in the world.

Photographer Iain Macmillan had 10 minutes to take photos of The Beatles as they crossed the street in St. John’s Wood, London. Macmillan stood on a 10-foot step ladder placed in the middle of Abbey Road at 11:30 a.m. and took six pictures.

And I recently came across the photo on the right for the first time. Wow. A behind the scenes moment snapped.

And look at this geezer’s five minutes of fame!

Abbey Road Bystander

To today’s birthdays…

Burt Ward as Robin in Batman1925, rocker Bill Haley, 1927 Psycho actress and Jamie Lee Curtis’s Mum, Janet Leigh in 1927 and born on this day in 1945 was actor, Burt Ward.

At the age of two Burt was billed as the world’s youngest professional ice skater and grew up to become part of my childhood playing Robin in TV’s Batman – Holy Socks!  Kaaabaaaammmm…

If you remember the show, you probably have the theme passing through your head right now… na na na na na na na na na na na na… Batman!

And believe it or not, there are still fans of Robin today!!!

Burt Ward Robin Fan

Academy award-winning actor, Geoffrey Rush, was born on this day in 1951.  He is also patron of the splendid Empire Theatre in our shared home town of Toowoomba… Rugby League’s Jamal Idris celebrates his 22nd birthday today and Irish comedian, Dave Allen, would have been 76 today.

Irish Comedian Dave AllenI had a wonderful, short, memorable brush with fame with Allen in London in 1978.  He had a one-man show running in the West End and I considered going to see it, but decided instead to see Tom Conti in Whose Life is it Anyway? It was raining when I came out of the theatre and I hopped into a bus shelter to hail a cab without getting wet.  A little bloke darted in behind me – it was Dave Allen.  We exchanged pleasantries about the crappy weather and I mentioned my toss up of seeing him or Conti – he said that he also wanted to see Whose Life but it was hard to find time… a taxi pulled up and he beckoned for me to take it.  I said, “No, you take it – thanks for the laughs…” and he smiled, tipped an imaginary hat and said, “Cheers”. He once thanked God for making him an atheist.

To those leaving us on this day –  jazz trumpeter and singer, Louis Armstrong, 1971.  Despite many covers of the song, surely his version of What a Wonderful World is the definitive?

Shades of Grey dog

King of the Cowboys, Roy Rogers, died on this day in 1998 and actor Buddy Ebsen shuffled off in 2003 at the age of 95.

Buddy Ebsen Beverly HillbilliesBuddy’s most famous roles were on telly – Jed Clampett in the Beverley Hillbillies and as the crusty detective, Barnaby Jones but he almost found fame in 1939 when he was cast as the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz.

He’d even recorded all the songs and sat for promotional photos before he discovered he was allergic to the aluminum make-up and was rushed to hospital.

Until his dying day he complained that the movie gave him lung problems – even though he outlived the other major cast members by 16 years!

And, in London, on this day one year ago, a new restaurant called Lizzie’s opened…

Lizzies Photoshop

Whaaaaaaat?