October 4, 2005 – Mike Gibbins (Badfinger) was born on March 12th 1949. He was the left-handed Welsh drummer who became a member of the Iveys, later renamed Badfinger, after “Badfinger Boogie”, an unused title for a Lennon-McCartney composition.
He helped form The Iveys in 1965 and his powerful playing helped push the Iveys to a new level of proficiency and by the end of the year the group was being booked as an opening act for local appearances by the likes of the Who, the Yardbirds, the Moody Blues, and the Spencer Davis Group and was a popular attraction on the London club scene.
August 26, 2004 – Laura Branigan was born on July 3, 1952 in Mount Kisco, New York. Her childhood in Armonk during the ’50s included her years at Byram Hills High School, where she graduated in 1970, and her time at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, which she graduated from in 1972.
Though singing seemed to run in her family—her grandmother had studied opera in Ireland, and both her parents had good voices and led the family in singing at the dinner table—Branigan had no ambitions to pursue a vocalist’s career in her youth. In high school she was extremely shy; she did, however, enjoy singing harmony with friends and performing in her church choir. To help Branigan overcome her shyness, one of her teachers persuaded her to try out for the school musical in her senior year. Branigan did, won the lead in Pajama Game, and discovered her calling. She reminisced for a Seventeen interviewer: “It was amazing. Once I was up there, I felt a tremendous confidence. I realized this was my way of expressing myself—and that was it.”
April 10, 1962 – Stu Sutcliffe was born on June 23rd 1940 in Edinburgh, Scotland; an art school friend of John Lennon, he was the original bassist of The Beatles for almost two years and is credited with Lennon and his first wife Cynthia of naming the group after Buddy Holly’s band the Crickets. As a member of the group when it was a five-piece band, Stuart is one of several people sometimes referred to as “the fifth Beatle”. He used the stage name “Stu de Staël” while playing with the Beatles in 1960.
Lennon was introduced to Sutcliffe by Bill Harry, a mutual friend, when all three were studying at the Liverpool College of Art. According to Lennon, Sutcliffe had a “marvellous art portfolio” and was a very talented painter who was one of the “stars” of the school. He helped Lennon to improve his artistic skills, and with others, worked with him when Lennon had to submit work for exams. Sutcliffe shared a flat with Murray at 9 Percy Street, Liverpool, before being evicted and moving to Hillary Mansions at 3 Gambier Terrace, where another art student lived, Margaret Chapman, who competed with Sutcliffe to be the best painter in class. The flat was opposite the new Anglican cathedral in the rundown area of Liverpool 8, with bare lightbulbs and a mattress on the floor in the corner. Lennon moved in with Sutcliffe in early 1960. (Paul McCartney later admitted that he was jealous of Sutcliffe’s relationship with Lennon, as he had to take a “back seat” to Sutcliffe).
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