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Published: Sunday, January 07, 2018 @ 3:39 PM
— Ray Thomas, flutist, vocalist and a founding member of the Moody Blues, died Thursday, Rolling Stone reported Sunday. He was 76.
Thomas' label, Esoteric Recordings/Cherry Red Records, confirmed on Facebook that Thomas died suddenly at his home in Surrey, England. No cause of death was announced, but Thomas disclosed in 2014 that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, Billboard reported.
In a statement four years ago, Thomas said “My cancer was inoperable but I have a fantastic doctor who immediately started me on a new treatment that has had 90% success rate,” The Daily Mail reported.
"We are deeply shocked by his passing and will miss his warmth, humor and kindness," the label wrote. "It was a privilege to have known and worked with him and our thoughts are with his family and his wife Lee at this sad time."
Thomas's flute solo was a key ingredient on one of the band’s biggest hits, “Nights in White Satin,” and he sang lead vocals on several songs, including “Legend of a Mind,” a tribute to LSD guru Timothy Leary.
The band is scheduled to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland in April, Billboard reported.
Moody Blues bassist John Lodge tweeted Sunday that, "Ray and I have been on this magical journey through life together since we were 14. ... two young kids from Birmingham who reached for the stars...and we made it together. El Riot you will always be by my side." Thomas and Lodge played together in their band El Riot and the Rebels in the early Sixties, Rolling Stone reported.
In 1964, Thomas and keyboardist Michael Pinder formed the Moody Blues with drummer Graeme Edge, bassist Clint Warwick and guitarist Denny Laine. That lineup would release the hit “Go Now” and the 1965 LP “The Magnificent Moodies,” which featured Thomas on lead vocals for "It Ain't Necessarily So."
The Moody Blues replaced Laine with Justin Hayward and Warwick with Lodge to form the band's classic lineup. Thomas played on all of the Moody Blues’ albums until his retirement in 2002.
Ray and I have been on this magical journey through life together since we were 14...two young kids from Birmingham who reached for the stars...and we made it together. El Riot you will always be by my side #moodyblues @rockhall #Moodiescruise— John Lodge (@JohnLodgeMusic) January 7, 2018
Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 1:37 PM
— As of this morning, Tom Helbig is cruising on his bicycle through reportedly, 68 degree and sunny Portland, Maine, en route to Canada, craving a Dayton craft beer and some Taqueria Mixteca.
His East Coast cycling trip began in February in Key West, Florida and will wrap at the end of June when he returns to Dayton to resume organizing and planning Tomfoolery Outdoors adventures — the Dayton business Helbig founded in May 2014 based on the principles of his life’s mantra, “Live Active, Laugh More, Inspire All.”
Helbig’s childhood was spent camping near his home in the Cleveland area, boating on Lake Erie, trips to Ohio state parks and making cherished memories outdoors with his family. The Bowling Green State University grad moved to Dayton in 1998 and after nine years of dedicated work with the Special Olympics of Miami County, got heavily involved with FiveRivers MetroParks in 2007 as an outdoor program event planner.
“I took my experiences between those two jobs and my own personal interests and thought I could start my own company, put my own spin on it and also allow more time for adventures,” Helbig said.
The realization that he could make his enthusiasm for adventures a lifestyle didn’t come without sacrifice. Through careful planning and living simply, Helbig has been able to run a successful outdoors events company and inspire people in Dayton to jump into adventures they thought were unrealistic — all while fitting in personal, month-long adventures throughout the year. “It’s (Tomfoolery Outdoors) a community of people who want to make the world a better place and play outside,” Helbig said.
“I had this epiphany that I was having conversations with friends about event ideas, T-shirt concepts, maybe guided trips that I could offer and I thought well, I’m doing a lot of talking ... and I decided I wanted to take those campfire discussions and turn them into action,” Helbig said.
Get to know Tom Helbig, our Daytonian of the Week:
How do you make this lifestyle possible?
“All my adventures are human powered. I find free places to camp, people host me in their homes, I partner with certain organizations along the way. It’s just being creative, living simply, not caring about glamorous material things and using the income I do bring in from Tomfoolery Outdoors events.”
Do you think Dayton has a big taste for adventure?
“When I moved to the Dayton area in 1998, at that time, being honest, I was not excited about moving. Then things started to change. I got involved with the outdoor amenities that were available, a guy took me fly fishing, then I started spending time on our rivers paddling and fishing, exploring the bike trails. I just really started to become part of the community, and I was loving it.
Loving it to the point now where, even though I’m off on some of these longer adventures, I’m one of the biggest advocates for what Dayton has to offer. I’m really proud to say when I’m on my adventures, that I’m from Dayton, Ohio.”
Do you think some people hesitate before setting off on an adventure?
“I actually hear that a lot and it makes me sad when I hear somebody that isn’t pursuing something that they always wanted to do ... ‘Oh I wish I could do x, y and z,’ — that’s troubling to me and when I hear those things I start to ask a lot of questions of, Well, why not?’ And you’ll hear excuse after excuse of why they haven't pursued something that would make their life that much better. I ask a lot of questions that hopefully stimulate some thought and even offer some suggestions as to how they can do it. Then, if I’m able to stay in touch with those people, I’m going to be their biggest cheerleader. I’m going to hold them accountable and try and get them to do those things they’ve always wanted to do.”
“Live Active, Laugh More, Inspire All.” Why is that Tomfoolery Outdoor’s mission statement?
“In my mid-30s, so right before I started Tomfoolery Outdoor’s, I was feeling really out of balance with my work and life. Just spending too many hours at work behind a desk, and I just felt a need for something different and better. So I thought, OK, how am I going to live the rest of my life. I boiled it down to those three principles, how I wanted to guide the rest of my life ... Over about a six-month process, that led me to founding Tom Foolery Outdoors. So that is not a marketing slogan. It’s how I live my life and I want the company to behave in our community.
What are some of your favorite Dayton spots for day-trip outdoor adventures?
“For favorite spots in the Dayton-area for a hike, you can’t beat the Twin Valley Trail over in Germantown. I love to fly fish on the Great Miami River, mountain biking at MoMBA or John Bryan State Park and paddling on any of the local rivers.”
What is your favorite place to eat in Dayton?
“I love going to the 2nd Street Market, Fusian, Arepas, Mudlick Tap House, Taqueria Mixteca and Trolley Stop. I am excited to be back in Dayton, I’ve been gone for three months now, and I’m looking forward to seeing friends and when I get back, I’ll be in the heart of my Tomfoolery Outdoors events season. And one of the things I’m going to focus on when I return from this journey is, I want to make sure that my lifestyle and brand is more than just long adventures. Those adventures are getting people’s attention, which is awesome and I’m very grateful for that. But within that, I want people to get the message that you can get adventure in your daily life by appreciating those things we have right here locally.”
For all the details on this season’s Tomfoolery Outdoors adventures and the charities involved with each event, visit tomfooleryoutdoors.com.
Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 12:58 PM
WASHINGTON — Julia Louis-Dreyfus has been named this year’s recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
Variety reported that the 57-year-old actress will receive the prize at at the Kennedy Center on Oct. 21.
“Like Mark Twain, Julia has enriched American culture with her iconic, unforgettable, and outright hilarious brand of humor,” Deborah F. Rutter, the president of the Kennedy Center, said in a statement, according to The New York Times. “Over four decades, her wildly original characters and her gift for physical comedy have left us in stitches.”
“Well, this is insanely exciting,” Louis-Dreyfus tweeted Wednesday in response to the news.
Well, this is insanely exciting. https://t.co/aqZUlJEwxd— Julia Louis-Dreyfus (@OfficialJLD) May 23, 2018
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Louis-Dreyfus will be the sixth woman and 21st recipient overall of the prize. She joins the likes of Richard Pryor, Whoopi Goldberg, Lily Tomlin, Lorne Michaels, Steve Martin, Billy Crystal, George Carlin, Tina Fey, Will Ferrell, Ellen DeGeneres, Carol Burnett, Jay Leno, Eddie Murphy and Bill Murray as those who have received the prize. Bill Cosby’s 2009 prize was rescinded by the Kennedy Center earlier this year after his sexual assault conviction.
“Merely to join the list of distinguished recipients of this award would be honor enough, but, as a student of both American history and literature, the fact that Mr. Twain himself will be presenting the award to me in person is particularly gratifying,” Louis-Dreyfus said in a statement.
Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 12:40 PM
LOS ANGELES — Francesca Eastwood, the daughter of Clint Eastwood and Frances Fisher, is pregnant with her first child.
Us Weekly reported that Eastwood, 24, made the announcement Tuesday while at the 2018 Environmental Media Association Awards in Los Angeles. Wearing a black off-the-shoulder dress, Eastwood posed with her mother on the green carpet before the event. She even posed to the side to display her baby bump.
Inside the event, as Eastwood and Fisher presented on stage, Fisher, 66, rubbed her daughter’s belly, saying, “I’m so excited. I’m gonna be a grandma!” People reported that Eastwood told the star-studded crowd she was pregnant.
Glimpses of Eastwood’s baby bump were on display at Disneyland during a family trip. Eastwood’s younger sister, Morgan Eastwood, shared glimpses of Francesca Eastwood’s bump.
Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 5:34 AM
NEW YORK — Philip Roth – the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "American Pastoral" and other highly acclaimed works such as "Portnoy's Complaint," "The Human Stain" and "The Plot Against America" – has died of congestive heart failure, The Associated Press reported late Tuesday. He was 85.
Fellow writers and public figures took to Twitter to share their condolences and reflect on Roth's novels. Here's what they had to say:
Thank you to Philip Roth for exploring the tumult of human emotion. I was gifted “American Pastoral” by a close friend who held it up as his favorite novel. He has impeccable taste. An unblinking eye on our world. Thank you.— Jordan Klepper (@jordanklepper) May 23, 2018
"I always joke that my intellectual formation was through Jewish scholars and writers, even though I didn’t know it at the time. Whether it was theologians or Philip Roth who helped shape my sensibility...." -- @BarackObama, 2008. https://t.co/1UOAl83SzC— Jeffrey Goldberg (@JeffreyGoldberg) May 23, 2018
Improbably, I had the honor of meeting Philip Roth just a few months ago to discuss an adaptation of Plot Against America. At 85, he was more precise and insightful, more intellectually adept and downright witty than most any person of any age. What a marvelous, rigorous mind.— David Simon (@AoDespair) May 23, 2018
RIP Philip Roth. Eighty-five years is a good long life but I still gasped at seeing this news. A giant. I can think of many readers and writers who didn't love him, but none who couldn't learn something from reading him.— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) May 23, 2018
Philip Roth and Tom Wolfe both gone in the same eight days. One thing is certain: Smart is dying, while Stupid is rapidly expanding.— Randi Mayem Singer (@rmayemsinger) May 23, 2018
RIP Philip Roth. This one hurts, both me and all of literature. He taught me when I was at Columbia and was a huge influence, impressing upon me the importance of writing through the hard times. I have many favorite books by Roth, but this is one of them. pic.twitter.com/KbbvA7XR3w— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) May 23, 2018
Interior, Manhattan bookstore in the early 2000s. People browsing, sipping coffee in the cafe area. A large black man approaches an older white guy.— jelani cobb (@jelani9) May 23, 2018
Me: Excuse me but aren’t you Philip Roth?
Philip Roth: No.
Me: Oh my god. That’s exactly what I’d expect Philip Roth to say...
We all wanted to be Philip Roth. None of us came close.— Michael Green (@andmichaelgreen) May 23, 2018
RIP Philip Roth. Never created an uncomplicated hero, and we wouldn't have had it any other way. Remarkable writer.— Michael McKean (@MJMcKean) May 23, 2018
They announced that they weren't giving a Nobel Prize in Literature this year, and it literally killed Philip Roth. RIP. https://t.co/XxrFzzbguo— Dana Schwartz (@DanaSchwartzzz) May 23, 2018
Heartbroken. No one like him now or ever. https://t.co/6x3HqLyQwS— Gary Shteyngart (@Shteyngart) May 23, 2018
RIP Philip Roth. One of our greats. A very sad moment for American, and global, literature.— Pamela Paul (@PamelaPaulNYT) May 23, 2018
Philip Roth was the best writer of prose in America in the second half of the 20th century. Which ain’t nothin.— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) May 23, 2018