Friday, October 28, 2016

Fred Koller

Fred Koller (born March 5, 1950 in Chicago, Illinois) is an American singer-songwriter. He has been active in the music business since 1973. Fred currently lives and works in Nashville with his wife Trish and their cat Buddy.
Koller has written over 300 songs which have been recorded. He was awarded the BMI Millionaire Performance Award for both Angel Eyes and She Came From Fort Worth. Koller also won BMI Awards for This Dream's On Me, Goin' Gone, Life As We Knew It and Will It Be Love By Morning. 
He is the former Vice President of The Nashville Songwriters Association International. Koller has taught for Songwriters Guild of America and was a staff instructor for both the Kerrville Folk Festival and the Augusta Heritage Festival.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Jean de la Fontaine

From wrongs of wicked men we draw
Excuses for our own:--
Such is the universal law.
Would you have mercy shown,
Let yours be clearly known.
A fowler's mirror served to snare
The little tenants of the air.
A lark there saw her pretty face,
And was approaching to the place.
A hawk, that sailed on high
Like vapour in the sky,
Came down, as still as infant's breath,
On her who sang so near her death.
She thus escaped the fowler's steel,
The hawk's malignant claws to feel.
While in his cruel way,
The pirate pluck'd his prey,
Upon himself the net was sprung.
'O fowler,' pray'd he in the hawkish tongue,
'Release me in thy clemency!
I never did a wrong to thee.'
The man replied, ''Tis true;
And did the lark to you?'

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Big Sleep

The Big Sleep is a 1946 film noir directed by Howard Hawks, the first film version of Raymond Chandler's 1939 novel of the same name.
The movie stars Humphrey Bogart as private detective Philip Marlowe and Lauren Bacall as Vivian Rutledge in a story about the "process of a criminal investigation, not its results."
The Big Sleep is known for its convoluted plot. During filming, allegedly neither the director nor the screenwriters knew whether chauffeur Owen Taylor was murdered or had killed himself. They sent a cable to Chandler, who told a friend in a later letter: "They sent me a wire ... asking me, and dammit I didn't know either".
In 1997, the U.S. Library of Congress deemed the film "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant," and added it to the National Film Registry.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Serge Gainsbourg and Lovers

Serge Gainsbourg (born Lucien Ginsburg; 1928 –1991) was a French singer, songwriter, pianist, film composer, poet, painter, screenwriter, writer, actor, and director.
Regarded as one of the most important figures in French popular music, he was renowned for his often provocative and scandalous releases, as well as his diverse artistic output, which embodied genres ranging from jazz, mambo, world, chanson, pop and yé-yé, to rock and roll, progressive rock, reggae, electronic, disco, new wave, and funk. Gainsbourg's varied musical style and individuality make him difficult to categorize although his legacy has been firmly established and he is often regarded as one of the world's most influential popular musicians.
His lyrical work incorporated a vast amount of clever word play to hoodwink the listener, often for humorous, provocative, satirical or subversive reasons. Through the course of his career, Gainsbourg wrote over 550 songs, which have been covered more than a thousand times by a wide range of artists.
Since his death, Gainsbourg's music has reached legendary stature in France. He has also gained a cult following in the English-speaking world, with numerous artists influenced by his arrangements.
Interestingly, not only himself, but also former partners Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin are avid boineras.

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Caudillo at Boinas Elósegui

I found the photographs below on an auction site; not the kind of photos I like to associate with one of my favourite beret manufacturers, but at the same time, who knows what the people at Boinas Elósegui really thought of the visit of Generalissimo Franco to their factory at the time...
The date of the visit is unknown to me, but looking at Franco, I guess it must have been during the 1950's.
Of course, Boinas Elósegui is based in the heartlands of the Basque Country where Franco's popularity was very low. 
First it was the Republican Army and the International Brigades that they supplied with berets, but it didn't take long before Franco conquered Tolosa and production changed to the Fascists.
Interesting photos though.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

José Arrue

José Arrue y Valle, usually known as José Arrue (1885 –1977) was a Basque Spanish painter.
Arrue came from an artistic family: his father, Lucas Arrue, was an art collector, and his three brothers, Alberto, Ramiro, and Ricardo, were also painters. After early studies in Bilbao, he subsequently continued his training in Barcelona, Paris and Milan. He was one of the founders of the weekly El Coitao, and the Association of Basque Artists.
Arrue's love of bullfighting led to his debut in the bullring on October 17, 1909, in Bilbao. According to several authorities, Arrue proved to be a capable matador. Arrue's painting won several awards during his lifetime. He also designed bullfighting posters, did advertising work, and published cartoons in newspapers such as El Sol and El Liberal, and the Buenos Aires newspaper La Razón; an exhibition of his paintings was staged in Buenos Aires in 1928, later travelling to Montevideo, Uruguay.
During the Spanish Civil War, Arrue drew comics describing events from the perspective of the Basque Government.  After the collapse of the Republican Army of the North, and the fall of Santander on September 1, 1937, Arrue was arrested in the city. He was held in Nationalist captivity for two years, during which time he was moved to Orduña prison. He was eventually released in 1940 and went to live in Llodio with his family. Although in semi-retirement from public life, he participated in a number of further exhibitions: a retrospective of his work was held in 1973, and a further one, featuring the work of all of the Arrue brothers, was held in Bilbao in 1977.
Arrue's work is noted for its concrete realism, clear lines and composition, and its focus on Basque subjects, particularly the landscape of the Basque country, its religious festivals, romerias and social rituals, and the lives of its peasantry.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

An Unexpected Treasure

Yesterday in the mail, an unexpected and most appreciated gift from a fellow boinero
A book with historic postcards of Chasseurs Alpins. Some great compositions, many good tartes of course and all completely new to me.
Good to share with the wider boinero community:

Thanks John!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Aurelio Arteta

Aurelio Arteta (1879–1940) was a Spanish painter born in Bilbao. He studied at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid. 
In 1905 and 1906 he travelled to Paris and in Italy, thanks to a grant from the Diputación Foral de Vizcaya. There he was influenced both by Impressionist painting and by the work of Italian Renaissance masters. 
In 1911, along with other artists, he founded the Asociación de Artistas Vascos. In 1930 he was awarded the National Prize for Painting.
After the Spanish Civil War he went into exile, first in France and subsequently in Mexico, where he died in a tram accident.
His painting, somewhat idealized, though melancholic, concentrated on Basque themes, showing both rural scenes and the way that society was changed by industrialization, with townscapes along the river Nervión. His greatest work is the fresco in the vestibule of the Banco de Bilbao, in Madrid.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Clarence "The Big Man" Clemons

Clarence Anicholas Clemons, Jr. (1942 –2011), also known as The Big Man, was an American saxophonist, musician and actor. He was reported to be 6' 5" (195.5 cm) tall. From 1972 until his death, he was a prominent member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, playing the tenor saxophone.
He released several solo albums and in 1985, had a hit single with "You're a Friend of Mine," a duet with Jackson Browne. As a guest musician he also featured on Aretha Franklin's classic "Freeway of Love" and on Twisted Sister's "Be Chrool to Your Scuel" as well as performing in concert with the Grateful Dead and Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band. As an actor Clemons featured in several films, including New York, New York and Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.
He also made cameo appearances in several TV series, including Diff'rent Strokes, Nash Bridges, The Simpsons and The Wire. Together with his television writer friend Don Reo he published his semi-fictional autobiography told in third person, Big Man: Real Life & Tall Tales, in 2009. Clemons suffered a stroke on June 12, 2011, and died of complications from it on June 18. Three years following his death, Clemons, along with the rest of the E Street Band, was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Standard Flying 12 Saloon

For those visitors of The Beret project who believe I am [only] Francophile and write about French cars: the Standard Motor Company Limited was a motor vehicle manufacturer, founded in Coventry, England. 
It purchased Triumph in 1945 and in 1959 officially changed its name to Standard-Triumph International and began to put the Triumph brandname on all its products.
For many years it manufactured Ferguson tractors powered by its Vanguard engine. All Standard's tractor assets were sold to Massey-Ferguson as of 31 August 1959.
As of 28 September 1959 Standard Motor Company was re-named Standard-Triumph International Limited. A new subsidiary took the name The Standard Motor Company Limited and took over the manufacture of the group's products. 
The Standard name was last used in Britain in 1963, and in India in 1987.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Antonio Guzmán Capel

Antonio Guzmán Capel (1960) is a Spanish painter. Since 1961 he has resided in the city of Palencia, Spain.
A self-taught artist, from childhood he showed an innate quality for drawing and painting. He made his first exhibition when he was only eleven years old, followed by a yearly exhibition every year. At fourteen years of age, he exhibited his work in Switzerland, where he was regarded by local critics as a genius of painting, because there was no known artist at that time with the ability to perform works such as his, at such an early age.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Portraits of Brigadistas during the Spanish Civil War

A fine Spanish photo library has all these portraits of Brigadistas who fought in the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War. Only their surname was listed, no further information as to date and location. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Joaquín Agrasot y Juan

Joaquín Agrasot y Juan (1836 - 1919) was a Spanish painter of the Realistic style who produced many works in the Costumbrismo genre.
Although he largely devoted himself to Costumbrismo paintings, which were often criticized as being too commercial, his paintings on historical subjects were very popular. 
In 1884, the Spanish government bought his painting "The Death of the Marqués del Duero" for display in the Senate.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Anselmo Guinea y Ugalde

Anselmo Guinea y Ugalde (1854 – 1906) was a Spanish (Basque) painter.
 Born in Bilbao, he began his studies in Madrid, attending the workshop Federico de Madrazo . Upon returning in 1876 to his hometown, he started working at the School of Arts and Crafts, and kept his position until his death.
In 1890 he traveled in the company of Manuel Losada to Paris, attending classes at the Academy Gerveix, where he got in touch with impressionist currents that were strong in the French capital. In Rome he completed his training and, from there, presented works assiduously to the National Exhibition of Fine Arts.
Painter, watercolourist, muralist, Anselmo Guinea was one of the Spanish pioneers of the new styles that were developed abroad. He also highlighted as a painter of stained glass.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Motorbikes and Berets from Bulgaria

The pictures below come from a Bulgarian photo library and it is interesting to see how many motorcyclists wore berets in the early part of last century. The texts below the pictures is all I have, but really, its the actual pictures that are worth looking at.
Sokorov on a 1930’s BMW
Riders from Shumen and Varna, mid 1930’s
Triumph LS, 1925
Unknown location and date, in Bulgaria with a beret wearing mechanic in the background.