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Randy Meisner, Founding Member Of the Eagles, Dead At 77

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NEW YORK — Randy Meisner, an original member of the Eagles who contributed high harmonies to hits like “Take It Easy” and “The Best of My Love” and took the lead on the waltz-tempo ballad “Take It to the Limit,” passed away on Thursday, the group announced.

The Eagles released a statement on Meisner’s passing on Wednesday night in Los Angeles due to chronic obstructive lung disease complications. He was 77.

The bassist had suffered from several illnesses recently; in 2016, his wife, Lana Rae Meisner, inadvertently shot and killed herself. According to court documents and remarks made during a 2015 hearing in which a judge ordered Randy Meisner to get continuous medical care, Meisner had been identified as having bipolar disorder and serious alcohol problems.

The baby-faced Meisner joined Don Henley, Glenn Frey, and Bernie Leadon in the early 1970s to establish a classic Los Angeles band and one of the most well-known groups in history, earning the nickname “the sweetest man in the music business” from former bandmate Don Felder.

According to a statement from the Eagles, Randy “was an integral part of the Eagles and instrumental in the early success of the band.” “Take It to the Limit,” his hallmark song, showcases his incredible vocal range.”

Planned funeral services, according to the band.

The Eagles released a string of successful singles and albums over the following ten years, beginning with “Take It Easy” and continuing with songs like “Desperado,” “Hotel California,” and “Life in the Fast Lane,” among others, as they transitioned from country music to hard rock. The Eagles released two of the best-selling albums of all time, “Hotel California” and “Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975),” despite being criticized by many critics as slick and superficial. With 38 million combined sales, the Recording Industry Association of America ranked these albums alongside Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” as the best-selling albums ever.

eagles

Randy Meisner, an original Eagles member who contributed high harmonies to hits like “Take It Easy,” passed away on Thursday.

The Eagles, led by singers Henley and Frey, were initially categorized as “mellow” and “easy listening.” However, by the time their third album, “On the Border,” released in 1974, they had added a rock guitarist named Felder and were moving away from country and bluegrass.

Leadon, a traditional bluegrass picker, left after the 1975 release of the album “One of These Nights” because he didn’t like the new sound. (Joe Walsh, another rock guitarist, took his position.) The band’s most well-known album, “Hotel California,” was released in 1976, and Meisner stayed on till then. However, he left the group not long after. Ironically, the song “Take It to the Limit,” which he co-wrote and for which he was best known, ultimately prompted his departure.

Meisner, a bashful Nebraskan divided between stardom and family life, was reluctant to take the lead in “Take It to the Limit,” a song that would highlight his nasal tenor because he had been unwell and homesick during the “Hotel California” tour (his first marriage was ending). In the summer of 1977, Meisner objected to Frey’s performance in Knoxville, Tennessee, and the two fought backstage. Shortly after, Meisner quit. Timothy B. Schmit, who succeeded him, continued with the band for decades, along with Henley, Walsh, and Frey, who passed away in 2016.

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Meisner had three children from his two marriages, the first of which occurred when he was still in his teens.

Meisner never achieved the same level of fame as the Eagles as a solo artist, but he did have singles with “Hearts On Fire” and “Deep Inside My Heart” and contributed to albums by Walsh, James Taylor, Dan Fogelberg, and other artists. Even though Meisner had played on all but one of the Eagles’ earlier studio recordings, they resumed touring in 1994 after a 14-year sabbatical. He did perform “Take It Easy” and “Hotel California” with the Beatles in 1998 when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He spent ten years performing with the World Classic Rockers, a traveling band that featured Donovan, Spencer Davis, and Denny Laine at various points.

Meisner had three children from his two marriages, the first of which occurred when he was still in his teens.

Meisner, a sharecropper’s son and a classical violinist’s grandson, began performing in local bands as a youngster. By the end of the 1960s, he had gone to California and, along with Richie Furay and Jimmy Messina, had joined the country rock band Poco. But he would recall being upset that Furay quit the band before their debut album was out because he wouldn’t allow him to hear the studio mix: Timothy B. Schmit was his replacement.

eagles

Randy Meisner, an original Eagles member who contributed high harmonies to hits like “Take It Easy,” passed away on Thursday.

Meisner played on Taylor’s “Sweet Baby James” record, supported Ricky Nelson, and made friends with Henley and Frey while they were all members of Linda Ronstadt’s band. They established the Eagles with Ronstadt’s approval, signed with David Geffen’s Asylum Records label, and issued their self-titled debut album in 1972.

Frey and Henley sang lead most of the time, although Meisner was the driving force behind “Take It the Limit.” It first appeared on the 1975 album “One of These Nights” and became a top 5 single. Etta James and Willie Nelson also performed it as a duet.

Meisner’s falsetto voice was so recognizable that it helped define the Eagles and the entire California vibe.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame said that Meisner’s “high harmonies are instantly recognizable and cherished by Eagles fans throughout the world.”

The mustachioed, incredibly high-pitched figure played by Bill Hader in “Documentary Now!” parody episodes about a fake Eagles band from 2015 is unmistakably modeled after Meisner.

Meisner stated to the music website www.lobstergottalent.com in 2015, “The purpose of the whole Eagles thing to me was that combination and the chemistry that made all the harmonies just sound perfect.” The strange thing is that after we finished those albums, I never listened to them; instead, I would only think of them when someone came over or when I was at someone’s house, and they were playing in the background. Damn, these records are good.

SOURCE – (AP)

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2024: Bridgit Mendler, A Former Disney Actor Turned Space Startup CEO, Is Reaching For The Stars

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Bridgit Mendler, known for appearing on Good Luck Charlie and other Disney productions, is venturing into new territory: space.

Disney has effectively launched the careers of major stars such as Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez. However, one former child actor who starred on the network is pursuing a different venture: a space corporation.

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Bridgit Mendler, A Former Disney Actor Turned Space Startup CEO, Is Reaching For The Stars

Bridgit, a 31-year-old singer and actor best known for her role as Teddy Duncan on the Disney Channel original series Good Luck Charlie, announced this week on X (formerly Twitter) that she is venturing into uncharted territory by launching Northwood Space, a California-based satellite data startup.

Bridgit will lead the company as CEO, while her husband, Gryphon Cleverly, whom she married in 2019, will serve as chief technical officer. “Expect the unexpected!” she posted on X, reacting to a CNBC reporter who broke the story.

According to Ari Eisenstat, the space programme director for the upcoming Texas Eclipse Festival, Bridgit’s venture into science “is a great example of space moving from the domain of governments to becoming accessible to everyone”. Eisenstadt adds that we should all look to “younger generations to see diverse entrepreneurs create social, economic, and environmental impact in the space community”.

According to Bridgit’s post on X, investors have already provided $6.3 million (£4.9 million) in preliminary funding for the startup to create “a data highway between Earth and space.” Mendler said, “We have a lot of work ahead of us, but that’s the fun part.”

While it may come as a surprise to her followers, Mendler has always had interests beyond performing. She graduated from the University of Southern California in 2016 and began working at the MIT Media Lab in 2017. She enrolled in the graduate programme in 2018 and will begin her doctorate in philosophy at MIT in 2020. The next year, Mendler enrolled at Harvard Law School.

mendler

Bridgit Mendler, A Former Disney Actor Turned Space Startup CEO, Is Reaching For The Stars

Then, Mendler told CNBC that the seed of the Northwood idea was planted while she was in New Hampshire during the COVID-19 lockdown. “While everyone else was preparing their sourdough starts, we created antennae from whatever we could find at Home Depot. For me, the ground side is important because it brings the effects of space closer to people. However, it wasn’t until she started working at the Federal Communications Commission in 2022 that she understood her new path: she told CNBC it was when she “completely fell in love with space law”.

Mendler’s big news has her admirers excited to follow up, and her X announcement currently has over 23,000 likes. Northwood Space, which plans to mass-produce massive terrestrial antennas that connect to satellites in space, says: “The one-lane rickety road for space data needs to adapt to a ten-lane highway routing continuous traffic across the globe.”And, as a woman in science who changed careers to pursue her ambition, Mendler is likely to inspire other women to make timely career changes.

mendler

Bridgit Mendler, A Former Disney Actor Turned Space Startup CEO, Is Reaching For The Stars

Laurie Bardon Syphard, an environmental science educator, says she’s impressed by Mendler’s credentials and is already excited about her new business. “My gut is telling me that she is going to go really far with this career in science and technology,” she adds, adding that the young scientist’s Disney admirers would most certainly keep an eye on her, especially given space is “one of the areas that just is exciting and inspires people”.

Mendler’s followers appear to agree and have taken to X to celebrate her continuous success. One fan wrote, “She’s Barbie. Like 12 different careers. Singer/songwriter, actor, Harvard PhD in law, MIT PHD student, startup CEO.”

SOURCE – (BBC)

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2024 OSCARS: Everything You Need To Know About This Year’s Oscars

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NEW YORK — After a winter of award events, including the Emmys, Golden Globes, and Grammys, the granddaddy of them all, the Academy Awards, is just around the horizon. The 96th Academy Awards may be a coronation for “Oppenheimer,” which leads with 13 nominations, but other films, including “Barbie,” “Killers of the Flower Moon,” and “Poor Things,” are also in the running.

Here’s what you should know about this year’s show:

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When are the Oscars?

The Oscars will be on Sunday, March 10, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The event will begin at 7 p.m. EDT, one hour earlier than normal, and will be live on ABC. The pre-show will begin at 6:30 p.m. EDT. This is an early reminder to set your clocks – the first day of daylight saving time in the United States.

Are the Oscars livestreamed?
You can access the show on ABC.com and the ABC app with a cable subscription. You may also watch on Hulu Live, YouTube, AT&T, and FuboTV.

Who is hosting the Oscars?
Jimmy Kimmel, who hosted the ceremony last year, will serve as emcee for the fourth time. That matches him with fellow four-timers Whoopi Goldberg and Jack Lemmon, leaving Kimmel trailing only Johnny Carson (five), Billy Crystal (nine), and Bob Hope (eleven) among Oscar hosts. “I always dreamed of hosting the Oscars exactly four times,” Kimmel told the audience.

What films are nominated for Best Picture at the 2024 Oscars?
The ten best-picture nominees are: “American Fiction,” “Anatomy of a Fall,” “Barbie,” “The Holdovers,” “Killers of the Flower Moon,” “Maestro,” “Oppenheimer,” “Past Lives,” “Poor Things,” and “The Zone of Interest.”

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Who are the favourites?

Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” is the front-runner. Nolan, the best director favourite, is expected to win his first Oscar. The best actress category could be a close call between Lily Gladstone (“Killers of the Flower Moon”) and Emma Stone (“Poor Things”). If Gladstone wins, she will be the first Native American to win an Oscar. Best actor might also be a tight call between Cillian Murphy (“Oppenheimer”) and Paul Giamatti (“The Holdovers”). They would be first-time winners. Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Giamatti’s co-star, is the favourite to win Best supporting actress, while Robert Downey Jr. (“Oppenheimer”) is predicted to win Best Supporting Actor. Ryan Gosling is his closest competitor for “Barbie.”

What’s with the ‘Barbie’ snubs?
While “Barbie,” 2023’s largest box-office blockbuster, received eight nominations, much of the conversation has focused on the film’s lack of nominations. Greta Gerwig was not nominated for directing, while Margot Robbie did not win best actress. Some have detected reflections of the misogyny spoofed in “Barbie,” while others have noted comedians’ traditionally poor reception at the Oscars. The nominations for “Barbie” include best-adapted screenplay (by Gerwig and Noah Baumbach), best supporting actress (America Ferrera), and two best song nominees: Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For” and Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt’s “I’m Just Ken.”

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Are there any changes to this year’s Oscars?

Though prior Oscars have been marred by slaps, envelope snafus, and debates about which prizes are presented live during the ceremony, this year’s show promises to remain relatively unchanged. All of the awards will be broadcast live. The academy is introducing a new award for best casting, but the trophy will be handed in at the 2026 Oscars.

What else is there to look for?
Composer John Williams has been nominated for his record 49th best-score Oscar for “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” and 54th overall. Godzilla is making his Oscar debut, with “Godzilla Minus One” nominated for outstanding visual effects. Two non-English language films are nominated for Best Picture for the first time: the German-language Auschwitz drama “The Zone of Interest” and the French courtroom drama “Anatomy of a Fall.”

SOURCE – (AP)

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Beatles To Get A Fab 4 Of Biopics, With A Movie Each For Paul, John, George And Ringo

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NEW YORK — The Beatles are receiving the big-screen biography treatment in not just one film but four, with each band member getting his spotlight – all directed by Sam Mendes.

For the first time, the Beatles, traditionally among the most stingy rights holders, are granting complete life and music rights to a film project. Sony Pictures revealed Monday a contract that may dwarf all previous music biopics, with the story of Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr divided across four films.

The Mendes-conceived films are intended to be released theatrically in a unique manner, with the films coexisting or intersecting in theatres. Specific release plans will be communicated at a later date. Sony has set a release date of 2027.

beatles

Beatles To Get A Fab Four Of Biopics, With A Movie Each For Paul, John, George And Ringo

McCartney, Starr, and the families of John Lennon and George Harrison have all approved the initiative through the band’s Apple Corps. Ltd. Sony Music Publishing has rights to the majority of Beatles’ songs.

“I’m honoured to be telling the story of the greatest rock band of all time, and excited to challenge the notion of what constitutes a trip to the movies,” Mendes stated in an e-mail.

Each film will be told from the perspective of one of the Beatles.

“We intend this to be a uniquely thrilling and epic cinematic experience: four films, told from four different perspectives, which tell a single story about the most celebrated band of all time,” stated Pippa Harris, the film’s producer. “To have The Beatles’ and Apple Corps’ blessing to do this is an immense privilege.”

The Beatles’ most well-known film appearances were during their early career. From 1964 to 1970, they appeared in five films, including “A Hard Day’s Night” (1964) and the animated “Yellow Submarine” (1968). They have, of course, been the subject of numerous documentaries, most recently Peter Jackson’s 2021 “The Beatles: Get Back.”

beatles

Beatles To Get A Fab Four Of Biopics, With A Movie Each For Paul, John, George And Ringo

The Beatles reunited in 2023 using artificial intelligence in the newly released song “Now and Then.” The track was made feasible by technology employed by Jackson on “Get Back,” it included a music video directed by the New Zealand director.

Attempts to dramatise the Beatles’ narrative have been intermittent and less effective. A 1979 biography titled “The Birth of the Beatles” was developed while Lennon was still alive, with the Beatles’ original drummer, Pete Best, serving as an adviser. The 1994 indie drama “Backbeat” followed Lennon’s connection with Stuart Sutcliffe before the Beatles became famous. Aaron Taylor-Johnson portrayed a teenage Lennon in the 2009 “Nowhere Boy” film.

However, music biopics have become a lucrative business in the last decade. Box-office successes like “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Rocketman,” and “Elvis” have prompted Hollywood executives to seek the next jukebox blockbuster. Over Presidents Day weekend, “Bob Marley: One Love,” co-produced with the Marley estate, was the top-grossing film in theatres. A Michael Jackson biopic is currently under production.

beatles

Beatles To Get A Fab Four Of Biopics, With A Movie Each For Paul, John, George And Ringo

“Theatrical film events today must be culturally significant. “Sam’s daring, large-scale idea is that and more,” said Tom Rothman, chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures’ Motion Picture Group.

The combination of Mendes’ crew “with the music and stories of four young men who changed the world, will rock audiences all over the globe,” Rothman added. “We are deeply grateful to all parties and look forward ourselves to breaking some rules with Sam’s uniquely artistic vision.”

SOURCE – (AP)

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