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Rock legend Little Richard – dead at 87

Jack Burton



Rock legend Little Richard – dead at 87 | The Thaiger
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The music world has lost an icon: Little Richard, a pioneer who, with a few others, transformed Chicago (electric) blues into the frenzied new style called rock ‘n’ roll, has died. He was 87. His outrageous antics showmanship and lightning-fast rhythms intoxicated crowds in the 1950s with hits like “Tutti Frutti” and “Long Tall Sally.”

Rolling Stone magazine said yesterday the cause of death was unknown, but Reverend Bill Minson, a close friend, told AFP Little Richard died Saturday morning and confirmed the cause of death was cancer.

His unique voice ranged from powerful belting to howling falsetto, and Richard mesmerised audiences, becoming an inspiration for artists including The Beatles as he transformed the popular music scene alongside the likes of Fats Domino and Chuck Berry.

His provocative 1955 hit “Tutti Frutti,” even with its gay sex theme toned down for radio, became a sort of opening theme for rock ‘n’ roll’s entry into American life, starting with his zany but instantly thrilling first line: “Awop bop a loo mop / Alop bam boom.”

While many of his his contemporaries kept the respectability of old-time, big-band musicians, Richard shocked stodgy, buttoned down post-World War II America with an otherworldly look of wildly colourful shirts, glass-studded dinner jackets, a needle-thin moustache and a 15 centimetre high pompadour haircut.

An entertainer since his childhood, Richard would play piano with one leg hoisted over the keys and, in one legendary concert in Britain, pretended to be dead onstage so effectively that the venue sought medical help before he resurrected himself to an astonished crowd.

Richard’s lifestyle became the epitome of, perhaps even gave birth to, the decadence of rock ‘n’ roll. Well before the notorious wild parties of rockers in the 1960s, Richard told of nightly orgies in his hotel rooms where he was both an avid, bisexual participant and a self-gratifying voyeur.

But Richard was one of rock’s most torn personas and strangely, never became an obvious icon for either the African American or gay communities.

Once open (by 1950s standards) about his attraction to men, Richard later became a born-again Christian and renounced homosexuality, treating it as a temporary choice in a way that is abhorrent to both the modern gay rights movement and psychologists. And while he was one of the first black artists to cross the racial divide, a younger generation of black DJs had no interest in an artist seen as embedded in the white mainstream.

Tributes quickly poured out Saturday for the late rock king, with pop legend and co-founder of Chic Nile Rodgers dubbing it “the loss of a true giant.”


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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phase 4 of relaxations may come sooner according to CCSA




Phase 4 of relaxations may come sooner according to CCSA | The Thaiger

The government’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration reported today that pubs, bars and entertainment facilities would be permitted to reopen in the coming weeks if the regular count of new Covid-19 cases remains in single digits.

Dr Taweesilp has confirmed that the Covid-19 situation in Thailand continues to improve and has dropped to single digits for the past 22 days.

“The CCSA will continue to assess the situation every 14 days and if the single digit trend continues, the reopening of “red” businesses (medium to high risk) is likely to come faster.”

He added, that everyone should keep their guard high to maintain the low infection rate, which would help everyday life to return to normal and boost customers’ confidence in “red” businesses.

And whilst the re-opening of bars and pubs will be welcome, businesses are wondering who will be be visiting them. Bars in the tourists strips of Bangkok, and in tourist locations like Pattaya and Phuket, will likely be running on empty until the tourists start flying back into the country.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand


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Movies in a Covid world – The case for the return of the Drive In

The Thaiger



Movies in a Covid world – The case for the return of the Drive In | The Thaiger

One of the industries hard hit by the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak has been the film industry. At both ends the industry has been shuttered – the making of the movies and then the watching of the movies in cinemas.

At some stage the movie making machine will chug back to life and, sometime, we’ll be allowed to go back to the cinemas to enjoy expensive bottles of water and over-priced popcorn. In the meantime there has been a surge of ideas to get people back to the movies whilst we wait for some sort of new-normal to emerge.

Direct to TV, to be enjoyed whilst you eat pizzas whilst sitting in your underwear at home, has been an option but, hey, we want the experience of the really big screen and the shared audience reaction.

Whilst the concept of the Drive In has never been big in Thailand, it was a ‘thing’ in many western countries for a certain generation. Indeed attending (or enduring) a film at the Drive In was a right of passage. There are plenty of roof-top cinemas and other small scale outside versions but it’s not quite the same as rolling up in your car, reclining the seat and turning the sound up loud in your very own car.

Cars are spaced out across a plot of land, in a very appropriately social-distanced manner. Maybe the scourge of Covid-19 is what we needed for a second wave of Drive Ins. For Thailand, it would be something new. The technology is simple – all you need is a car, an FM radio (to hear the soundtrack), a HUGE screen, an equally HUGE digital projector and an open area.

According to Comscore, out of 306 drive in theatres in the US, only about 50 are currently open. Australia had the third highest number of drive-ins of all countries, only behind the US and Canada. Currently, most have closed and there are only 16 remaining drive in theatres still operating in Australia.

Please answer the questions in our little mini survey and let’s reflect on the past memories (some I am certainly unable to publish), likes, dislikes, antics and favourite moments at the once-popular drive in theatres.

What do you think about the return of Drive Ins? Click as many answers as you want

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Movies in a Covid world - The case for the return of the Drive In | News by The Thaiger

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Thailand rescue dog from meat trade performs on Britain’s Got Talent

Caitlin Ashworth



Thailand rescue dog from meat trade performs on Britain’s Got Talent | The Thaiger

A dog rescued from Thailand’s illegal meat trade brought tears to those on the TV show Britain’s Got Talent. There was silence as the story of Miracle the dog played on a screen to the audience. A photo flashed on the screen of when the dog was crushed in a cage piled high with dogs.

“When the dog rescuer first saw him she thought he was dead. But when the camera flashed… he opened an eye.”

Now, 6 years after the rescue, Miracle is a healthy dog with lots of energy. Miracle’s owner, Amanda Leask from Scotland, now has 40 dogs, 19 of them are rescue dogs.

Miracle did a quick magic trick, bringing out four of his friends that matched photos the judges had picked. Although the magic trick was nice, it was Miracle’s story that made even the stern judge Simon Cowell tear up.

The dog meat trade is an ongoing issue in Asia. The Soi Dog Foundation, a nonprofit organisation in Thailand and based in Mai Khao Phuket, cares for hundreds of dogs rescued from the meat trade. The SDF say the dogs are not humanely killed and many are tortured before being skinned alive because some believe the pain leads to the tenderising of the meat.

The Foundation says they have been successful in ending most of the dog meat trade, but continue to have undercover investigators monitor for any signs of the trade re-merging.

Watch Miracle’s special performance…

SOURCES: The Sun | Soi Dog Foundation

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