The Purple Pinup Guru Platform

When purple things are pulsating on your mind, I'm the one whose clock you want to clean. Aiding is Sparky, the Astral Plane Zen Pup Dog from his mountain stronghold on the Northernmost Island of the Happy Ninja Island chain, this blog will also act as a journal to my wacky antics at an entertainment company and the progress of my self published comic book, The Deposit Man which only appears when I damn well feel like it. Real Soon Now.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Sparky: As promised some boring stuff to make a point ... as when some don't get they are a menace to public health ...

Typhoid Mary AKA Mary Mallon

Typhoid Mary in a 1909 newspaper illustration

Mary Mallon (September 23, 1869November 11, 1938), also known as Typhoid Mary, was an Irish immigrant who was the first known healthy carrier of typhoid in the United States. She contracted a mild case of typhoid fever but was never cured, so she spread the disease to others. Having no particular job skills she obtained employment in private homes around New York City, eventually obtaining the relatively well-paid position of household cook.

Birth and emigration

She was born in Cookstown, County Tyrone, Ireland in 1869 and emigrated to the United States by herself in 1883.


Mary worked as a cook in the New York City area between 1900 and 1907. During this part of her working career she infected 22 people with the disease, one of whom died. Mary was a cook in a house in Mamaroneck, New York, for less than two weeks in the year 1900 when the residents came down with typhoid. She moved to Manhattan in 1901, and members of that family developed fevers and diarrhoea, and the laundress died. She then went to work for a lawyer, until seven of the eight household members developed typhoid. Mary spent months helping to care for the people she made sick, but her care further spread the disease through the household. In 1904, she took a position on Long Island. Within two weeks, four of ten family members were hospitalized with typhoid. She changed employment again, and three more households were infected. Frequently, the disease was transmitted by a dessert of iced peaches, her favorite recipe.


George Soper, a sanitary engineer hired by the landlord of a house where Mary had worked for typhoid fever victims, after careful investigation identified Mary as the carrier. He approached her with the news that she was spreading typhoid. She violently rejected his request for urine and stool samples, and Soper left, later publishing his findings in the June 15, 1907 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Soper brought a doctor with him on his next contact with Mallon, but was again turned away.

Mallon's denials that she was a carrier were based in part on the diagnosis of a reputable chemist; he found she was not harboring the germs. While she was merely in temporary remission, the diagnosis contributed to Mallon's refusal to accept the allegations. Moreover, when Soper first told her she was a carrier, the concept that a person could spread disease and remain healthy was not well known. Finally, George Soper was generally tactless in his dealings with her. (During one encounter, he told her he would write a book about her -- and give her all the royalties. She got up, walked to the bathroom, and locked the door. Soper got up and left.)


The New York City Health Department sent Dr. Josephine Baker to talk to Mallon, but "by that time she was convinced that the law was wantonly persecuting her, when she had done nothing wrong." [1]
The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Mary Mallon in a hospital bed. She was forcibly quarantined as a carrier of typhoid fever in 1907 for three years and then again from 1915 until her death in 1938.

A few days later Baker arrived at her place of work with several police officers to take her into custody. Baker had to sit on Mary to keep her from leaving. The New York City health inspector investigated and found her to be a carrier, isolating her for three years at a hospital located on North Brother Island, and then releasing her on the condition she did not work with food. However in 1915 she returned to cooking and infected 25 people while working as a cook at New York's Sloan Hospital; two of those she infected died. Public health authorities then again seized her and confined Mary Mallon in quarantine for life. She became something of a celebrity, and was interviewed by journalists, who were forbidden to accept as much as a glass of water from her. Later in life, she was allowed to work in the island's laboratory as a technician.


Mary's eventual death (in 1938) was due to pneumonia, not typhoid. However, an autopsy found evidence of live typhoid bacteria in her gallbladder. Her body was incinerated in Saint Raymond's Cemetery in the Bronx.


Part of the problems Mary had resulted from her vehement denial of the situation. She maintained she was healthy and had never had typhoid fever. Historians say it also stemmed from the prejudice that existed against working-class Irish immigrants at the time. Today, a Typhoid Mary is a term for a carrier of a dangerous disease who is a danger to the public because they refuse to take appropriate precautions or cooperate with the authorities to minimize the risk.

Popular Culture

  • In Chris Elliot's book, The Shroud of the Thwacker, Elliot is sent back in time, suspected to be the Thwacker (serial killer). He is given cover by Mary Mallon because she is attracted to him. When the police come to arrest her (Elliot believes it is himself the police are coming for) she "forcefully pulled me (Elliot) to her and planted a wet slobbering kiss on my lips. I tried to pull away but she was too strong for me...She took a breath and coughed in my face and then dove into my mouth again..." Elliot later remembers the importance of Mary Mallon and feels symptoms of typhoid coming on. He quickly kills the infection with some amoxicillin he left in his coat pocket while traveling back in time.
  • Typhoid Mary is the name of a Marvel comic book villain, though her powers and origin have nothing to do with the historical figure.
  • Mark St. Germain wrote a play about Mallon called A Plague of Angels.

Further reading

  • Typhoid Mary, Captive to the Public's Health, Judith Walzer Leavitt, Beacon Press, Boston, 1996, hardcover, 331 pages, ISBN 0-8070-2102-4
  • Quarantine: The Story of Typhoid Mary, Mercedes Graf, Vantage Press, New York, 1998, paperback, 133 pages, ISBN 0-5331-2512X
  • Fighting for Life, Sara Josephine Baker, Macmillan Press, New York 1939
  • The Ballad of Typhoid Mary, J.F. Federspiel [translated by Joel Agee], Ballantine Press, New York, 1985

External links

Shingles or Herpes zoster

Herpes zoster
ICD-10 B02
ICD-9 053
DiseasesDB 29119
MedlinePlus 000858
eMedicine med/1007

Herpes zoster, colloquially known as shingles, is the reactivation of varicella zoster virus, leading to a crop of painful blisters over the area of a dermatome. In Italy and in Malta, it is sometimes referred to as St. Anthony's fire. It occurs very rarely in children and adults, but its incidence is high in the elderly (over 60), as well as in any age group of immunocompromised patients. It affects some 500,000 people per year in the United States. Treatment is generally with antiviral drugs such as aciclovir. Many patients develop a painful condition called postherpetic neuralgia which is often difficult to manage.

In some patients, herpes zoster can reactivate subclinically with pain in a dermatomal distribution without rash. This condition is known as zoster sine herpete and may be more complicated, affecting multiple levels of the nervous system and causing multiple cranial neuropathies, polyneuritis, myelitis, or aseptic meningitis.

The word herpes comes from the Greek word for snake; it is cognate with herpetology[1].

Signs and symptoms

Shingles on the forearm

Shingles on the forearm

Often, pain is the first symptom. This pain can be characterized as stinging, tingling, numbing, or throbbing, and can be pronounced with quick stabs of intensity. Then 2-3 crops of red lesions develop, which gradually turn into small blisters filled with serous fluid. A general feeling of unwellness often occurs. In some cases, the rash does not form blisters, but has an appearance much like urticaria ("hives").

As long as the blisters have not dried out, HZ patients may transmit the virus to others. This could lead to chickenpox in people (mainly young children) who are not yet immune to this virus.

Shingles blisters are unusual in that they only appear on one side of the body. That is because the chickenpox virus can remain dormant for decades, and does so inside the spinal column or a nerve fiber. If it reactivates as shingles, it affects only a single nerve fiber, or ganglion, which can radiate to only one side of the body. The blisters therefore only affect one area of the body and do not cross the midline. They are most common on the torso, but can also appear on the face (where they are potentially hazardous to vision) or other parts of the body.


Herpes zoster blisters on the neck and shoulder.

Herpes zoster blisters on the neck and shoulder.

The diagnosis is visual — very few other diseases mimic herpes zoster. In case of doubt, fluid from a blister may be analysed in a medical laboratory.


A course of Shingles

A course of Shingles

The causative agent for herpes zoster is varicella zoster virus (VZV). Most people are infected with this virus as a child, as it causes chickenpox. The body eliminates the virus from the system, but it remains dormant in the ganglia adjacent to the spinal cord (called the dorsal root ganglion) or the ganglion semilunare (ganglion Gasseri) in the cranial base.

Generally, the immune system suppresses reactivation of the virus. In the elderly, whose immune response generally tends to deteriorate, as well as in those patients whose immune system is being suppressed, this process fails. (Some researchers speculate that sunburn and other, unrelated stresses that can affect the immune system may also lead to viral reactivation.) The virus starts replicating in the nerve cells, and newly formed viruses are carried down the axons to the area of skin served by that ganglion (a dermatome). Here, the virus causes local inflammation in the skin, with the formation of blisters.

The pain characteristic of herpes zoster is thought to be due to irritation of the sensory nerve fibers in which the virus reproduces.


Aciclovir (an antiviral drug) inhibits replication of the viral DNA, and is used both as prophylaxis (e.g., in patients with AIDS) and as therapy for herpes zoster. Other antivirals are valaciclovir and famciclovir. Steroids are often given in severe cases. During the acute phase oral aciclovir should be given five times daily for 7 to 10 days. Immunocompromised patients may respond best to intravenous aciclovir. In patients who are at high risk for recurrences, an oral dose of aciclovir, taken twice daily, is usually effective.

The long term complication postherpetic neuralgia may cause persistent pain that lasts for years. Pain management is difficult as conventional analgesics may be ineffective. Alternative agents are often used, including tricyclic antidepressants (particularly amitriptyline), anticonvulsants (e.g. gabapentin, and/or topical capscaicin).

A vaccine called live attenuated Oka/Merck VZV that has been developed by Merck & Co. has proven successful in preventing half the cases of herpes zoster in a study of 38,000 people who received the vaccine. The vaccine also reduced by two-thirds the number of cases of postherpetic neuralgia (Oxman et al., 2005). However, prior to the vaccine, it has long been known that adults received natural immune boosting from contact with children infected with varicella. This helped to suppress the reactivation of herpes zoster. In Massachusetts, herpes zoster incidence increased 90%, from 2.77/1000 to 5.25/1000 in the period of increasing varicella vaccination 1999-2003 (Yih et al., 2005). The effectiveness of the varicella vaccine itself is dependent on this exogenous (outside) boosting mechanism. Thus, as natural cases of varicella decline, so has the effectiveness of the vaccine (Goldman, 2005).

Often the same treatment given to burn victims relieves the pain of shingles, including over-the-counter moist burn pads.


The rash and pain usually subside within 3 to 5 weeks. The most common chronic complication of herpes zoster is postherpetic neuralgia. Pain that persists for longer than one to three months after resolution of the rash is generally accepted as the sign of postherpetic neuralgia. Sometimes serious effects including partial facial paralysis (usually temporary), ear damage, or encephalitis may occur. Shingles on the upper half of the face (the first branch of the trigeminal nerve) may result in eye damage and require urgent ophthalmological assessment. Ocular complications occur in approximately one half of patients with involvement of the ophthalmic division of the trigeminal nerve. These complications include mucopurulent conjunctivitis, episcleritis, keratitis and anterior uveitis. Cranial nerve palsies of the third, fourth and sixth cranial nerves may occur, affecting extraocular motility.

Since shingles is a reactivation of a virus contracted previously—often decades earlier—it cannot be induced by exposure to another person with shingles or chickenpox. Those with active blisters, however, can spread chickenpox to others who have never had that condition and who have not been vaccinated against it.


  • G.S. Goldman. Medical Veritas Internation Inc. (2005). "Universal varicella vaccination: efficacy trends and effect on herpes zoster". International Journal of Toxicology 24 (4): 205-213. PMID 16126614.
  • M.N. Oxman et al. The Shingles Prevention Study Group (2005). "A vaccine to prevent herpes zoster and postherpetic neuralgia in older adults". New England Journal of Medicine 253 (22): 2271-2284. PMID 15930418.
  • W.K. Yih et al. Department of Ambulatory Care and Prevention, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (2005). "The incidence of varicella and herpes zoster in Massachusetts as measured by the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) during a period of increasing varicella vaccination coverage, 1998-2003". BMC Public Health 5 (1): 68-68. PMID 15960856.

Notes and references

External links


Going back to the Spock's Beard entry of last week, the PP Guru mentioned that John Payne had formed a new band called ONE with the remaining exiled members of Asia, to make room for the original members to reformulate. Well, according to John Payne's website, that band is now called GPS. It has come to John's attention that there is already a band with the name of ONE.

Of course, the PP Guru says bullocks to all that- who's the one with the star power anyway? The name was probably snatched up by a couple of 9th graders playing Zep or Pink Floyd cover tunes in dingy high school recital halls for school dances.

But the PP Guru supposes that John knows best.

Like the PP Guru says - it's another boring useless correction.

Dot your i's and cross your t's when reporting this to the....

~ Coat

John Payne

John Payne was the lead singer and bassist of Asia from 1992-2006. Payne was mainly a session musician, mainly on guitar, before joining Asia in 1992. He was considered for a position in the ELO Part II project on guitar and vocals. When asked to join Asia by Geoff Downes, he had to learn the bass guitar fast, including all of Asia's hits.

Payne and Downes continued together as Asia for several years, but without a stable line-up around them, until they stuck with Guthrie Govan (guitar) and Chris Slade (drums) in 1999. The same line-up existed for over five years, until Chris Slade was replaced by Jay Schellen in late 2005. In February 2006, Downes and Payne separated: Payne, Govan and Schellen formed a new band, GPS, while Downes joined a reunion of the original Asia line-up, including John Wetton. The two camps remain in dispute of ownership of the Asia name.

Asia Studio Albums featuring John Payne

  • Aqua, 1992
  • Aria, 1994
  • Arena, 1996
  • Archiva 1, 1996
  • Archiva 2, 1996
  • Aura, 2000
  • Silent Nation, 2004


Origin England
Country England
Years active 2006–present
Genre(s) Rock, Progressive Rock
Label(s) InsideOut Music
Members John Payne
Guthrie Govan
Jay Schellen

GPS is a progressive rock group formed in 2006 by John Payne (vocals, bass), Guthrie Govan (guitars) and Jay Schellen (drums). These three had been working together in Asia when the fourth member of Asia, Geoff Downes, joined a reunion of the band's earlier line-up, dissolving the then current line-up. Payne, Govan and Schellen announced the formation of a new band in February 2006 to be called One. However, after discovering another rock act with the same name, the band changed its name to GPS, named after the Global Positioning System.

The band plans to release an album called Window to the Soul around August 2006. (The album was originally announced as One with a May release date.) Keyboards on the album are by Ryo Okumoto of Spock's Beard. Live dates in autumn 2006 are also planned.

External links

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.


The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Silent Nation
(Japanese Release)

Origin England
Country England
Years active 1981–present
Genre(s) Rock, Progressive Rock
Members Geoff Downes
John Wetton
Steve Howe
Carl Palmer
Past members Mandy Meyer
John Payne
Guthrie Govan
Jay Schellen
Pat Thrall
Greg Lake
Michael Sturgis
Al Pitrelli
Vinnie Burns
Trevor Thornton
Aziz Ibrahim
Elliot Randall
Chris Slade

Asia is a progressive rock group. It was formed in 1981 as a supergroup, with former members of Yes, King Crimson, Emerson Lake and Palmer, and The Buggles.



Asia began with the apparent demise of Yes and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, the two flagship bands of British progressive rock. After the break-up of King Crimson in 1974, various plans for a supergroup involving bassist John Wetton had been mooted, including the abortive British Bulldog project with Bill Bruford and Rick Wakeman in 1976. In 1977, Bruford and Wetton were reunited in UK, along with guitarist Allan Holdsworth and keyboardist/violinist Eddie Jobson. Their self-titled album was released in 1978. By 1980, after UK's demise and Wetton's departure from Wishbone Ash, a new supergroup project was suggested involving Wetton, Wakeman, drummer Carl Palmer and (then little known) guitarist Trevor Rabin, but Wakeman walked out of the project shortly before they were due to sign to Geffen and before they had ever played together. In 1981, Wetton and guitarist Steve Howe started working and writing together, Howe having come out of the break-up of Yes in early 1981.

Howe and Wetton were soon joined by Buggles/Yes keyboardist Geoff Downes. Carl Palmer joined the band later in the process. Trevor Rabin was considered for the group and some demos were recorded with him, but he dropped out to accept an offer to join Chris Squire and Alan White in what became a new Yes and the other Asia members decided to stay as a quartet.

The band's early offerings, under the auspices of the record empire of David Geffen and the A&R of John Kalodner, were considered disappointing by music critics [1] and fans of traditional progressive rock, who found the music closer to radio-friendly AOR pop. However, Asia clicked with fans of such early-1980s arena acts as Journey, Boston, and Electric Light Orchestra. Rolling Stone gave Asia an indifferent review [2], while still acknowledging the band's musicianship had been a cut above the usual AOR expectations.

Early years

Asia's eponymous debut album enjoyed considerable commercial success, spending nine weeks at number one in the U.S. album chart. The singles "Only Time Will Tell" and "Heat of the Moment" became huge Top 40 hits, with the latter cracking the Top Five, and remaining a stadium favourite at U.S. sporting events.
The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Asia, 1982

The tracks from the Asia debut have stood the test of time and are played on classic rock stations throughout the world today. The Asia debut has become legendary in the genre of classic rock. "Sole Survivor" also received heavy air play on rock stations across the US.

The US tour also did extremely well, selling out every date on the '82 and '83 tours, while the MTV channel played their videos on heavy rotation. Billboard named the Asia debut as album of the year.

Asia became known as pioneers of phase two of the progressive rock era by avoiding long winded forays that included, to at least a greater extent than phase-one, enough commercial polish to attract radio airplay outside of album-rock circles. Yes' 90125 and Big Generator, ELPowell's Touch and Go in 1986, and the GTR album would all follow in the Asia debut album's footsteps.

However, neither the second nor any following Asia album repeated the chart success of the first. The power ballad "Don't Cry" entered the Top Ten in 1983, while "The Smile Has Left Your Eyes," a fan favourite for John Wetton vocal performance, charted inside of Billboard's top 40. But Rolling Stone panned "Alpha" as an over-produced commercial album [3], while others lamented that Howe and Palmer were effectively reduced to session musicians. However, many Asia fans favour Alpha over the debut. The tracks "Eye To Eye" and "My Own Time" became huge fan favourites. "Open Your Eyes" and "The Heat Goes On" became concert staples. Alpha received indifferent reviews from various critics, while still attaining platinum status. Alpha reached #6 on the USA Billboard album chart.

John Wetton and Steve Howe quarrelled over the direction of Asia. In 1983, Wetton left the group briefly, while ELP frontman Greg Lake replaced him for the highly publicised "Asia in Asia" concert in Japan, which was the first concert broadcast over satellite to MTV in the US, and later made into a home video. (Some fans had initially seen Wetton as an intended Lake sound-alike to shore up band's prog-rock credentials and appeal.) Asia reformed with Wetton to start work on their next album, but Steve Howe soon left. However, Howe would enjoy brief and very minor success with GTR, another supergroup formed with Steve Hackett of Genesis, produced by Downes.

Astra to the USSR

(A quick revision here; the only credited song for Meyer in Now and Then is "Am I In Love?" and this song was from the Astra sessions. I don't think he reunited with the band to record this song.)

The third Asia album, Astra, was not as commercially successful as the first two. Geffen cancelled the tour due to lack of interest. Howe's replacement, Mandy Meyer of Krokus, provided more of a hard-rock guitar approach. The band enjoyed a modest hit single, "Go," with Meyer's guitar heroics center stage. In 1985, this Asia line-up ended, although Wetton resurfaced with a 1987 solo album, Wetton-Manzanera, based on Asia material. Asia were also credited with a contribution to the Sylvester Stallone film soundtrack to "Over The Top", although Wetton was the only band member involved. Wetton formed a band line-up without Downes for a short tour in 1989; keys were played by John Young. Unlike Wetton's later anger at Asia continuing without him in the 1990's, this project was viewed favourably by other Asia band members.

Asia returned to the studio in 1989 with Toto guitarist Steve Lukather, Astra guitarist Meyer and other musicians (see discography below) and released "Then & Now". Pat Thrall joined Downes, Palmer, and Wetton, on tour who performed classic material and even King Crimson and UK songs. The band toured the former Soviet Union in 1990 to play in front of 20,000 ecstatic fans, two sold out nights, while Then And Now featured their previous hits and new singles. "Days Like These" charted briefly in 1991, generating a small amount of MTV airplay. Asia received the RIAA gold album award for Then and Now. A DVD and CD can be bought of the Asia concert in the USSR. John Wetton left in 1992 to focus on recording solo albums, none of which have yielded any hits. As Asia looked to turn a new corner without Wetton, it soon became apparent that as a significant commercial entity, Asia, too, would fade.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Alpha, 1983

The Payne era

Palmer did not record for Aqua. All the drum sounds were re-recorded from previous works. They merely did this to credit Palmer and made it seem as if three of the original members were still around. His picture in the album was not even a studio picture like the rest of the band (including Howe), it was taken and enlarged from an ELP promotional photo.

Downes found a new lease on life with Asia by teaming up with vocalist/bassist John Payne. Enlisting new musicians, he led Asia through to the present day. The comeback album, Aqua (1992) featured sessions from Steve Howe and Carl Palmer. Many have complained about the Steve Howe and Carl Palmer photos in Aqua. They were not members of Asia anynore, simply guests, but the photos gave the impression to many that they were still Asia personnel. Palmer and Howe made minimal contributions to Aqua. Others saw this as simply having the new members appear in a photo with the old for acceptance. Downes' environmentalist single "Who Will Stop The Rain?" attracted some radio attention, but the "Aqua" club tour featuring Howe (whose presence was heavily promoted) was well received by most of the band's supporters, with Howe only taking the stage halfway through the show. However, the tour was successful enough to warrant the band's continuation.

The group released Aria in 1994 and Arena in 1996. Aria featured former Danger Danger and then future Megadeth lead guitarist Al Pitrelli, who would leave Asia during the short Aria tour. This underscores the fact that the keyboard-driven band often faced trouble keeping a regular guitarist. Furthermore, Arena featured three different session guitarists, including Ian Crichton of Canadian prog rock band Saga. In the late 1990s, Downes and Payne opened the Asia vaults, releasing the double-disc Archiva, a collection of unreleased tracks recorded during the first three Downes/Payne albums.

In 1999 there was talk of a reunion of the original lineup (minus Howe). This did not take place and John Payne continued to carry on Asia with Downes uninterrupted. Wetton and Palmer did, however, get together to form Qango, although the band was short-lived.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Astra, 1985

The 2001 Aura album showed a return to progressive rock form, but without recapturing the commercial success of the first album. No Asia album was able to capture the success of the debut or Alpha.

Recent years

Marking a departure from convention, for the first time a studio release was not titled as a single word starting and ending with the letter A. 2004's Silent Nation (name influenced by the Howard Stern vs. FCC incident) picked up some unexpected exposure on the Internet. The band now had a more stable line-up of Geoff Downes, John Payne, drummer Chris Slade and guitarist Guthrie Govan. (Govan and Slade had both guested on Aura.) Billy Sherwood and Jay Schellen also assisted with early sessions for the album, although neither appears on the final recording. The album managed to chart better than 1992's Aqua.

There was an acoustic tour featuring only Downes and Payne. In early 2005, the full band toured in Europe and the Americas, playing settings ranging from small clubs to medium-sized arenas. In August 2005, Slade left the group to be replaced by Schellen. The new band started work on an album, tentatively entitled Architect of Time, for release in 2006.

Meanwhile, Wetton and Downes had released some archival Asia material under the name Wetton/Downes and they then reunited to record an album, accompanying EP and a DVD. The album Icon was released in 2005.

2006 reunion

On 1 February 2006, after the news had been trailed on John Wetton's website, Steve Howe's website announced that the original line-up are planning a CD, DVD and world tour to celebrate the band's twenty-fifth anniversary. While Downes' website confirmed this, Carl Palmer was initially more cautious. In a number of announcements in January and February, he denied any specific plans for touring or recording, while conceding that the four men have been discussing the possibility. [4] [5]

In May 2006, Carl Palmer announced in an in-studio appearance on U.S. cable channel VH-1 Classic that the original lineup of Asia would tour the United States - the territory in which the group enjoyed its greatest success - in late summer of that year. Palmer stated the set list would include the entire Asia album, and that band members would likely "throw in" selections from their respective earlier projects (specifically giving "Roundabout" as an example), to give younger fans a sense of where they had come from prior to forming the supergroup. The drummer, who was also promoting a new album of classic progressive rock material re-interpreted without vocals or keyboards, said that once the agreement had been reached, everyone was eager to move forward on the project in advance of the anniversary. Palmer modestly added that, should the tour be a success, a live DVD release could mark that anniversary in 2007.

Work by the ongoing band with Payne, Govan and Schellen has been shelved. The partnership between Downes and Payne was announced to have been dissolved on 24 Feb. Payne, Govan and Schellen have formed a new band, initially to be called "One", now called GPS. [6]


The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Aria, 1994

Many musicians participated through the years, especially during the 1990s, when the band consisted essentially of Geoff Downes and John Payne plus an ever-changing set of guests. The current lineup is uncertain given Palmer's comments about reunion plans, but may be the same as the original lineup, highlighted in bold.

Other musicians joined and left after a short time, without recording any material with the group. The most notable collaboration of this kind was the participation of Greg Lake in the "Asia in Asia" concert in bass guitar and lead vocals. Yet more musicians played as session, guest or live artists without formally joining Asia. Some of the names include Simon Phillips, Steve Lukather, Ian Crichton, Ant Glynne, Scott Gorham, Vinny Burns (touring guitar for Aqua), Tony Levin, Vinnie Colaiuta.


The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Aura, 2000
  • 1982 - Asia (Downes, Wetton, Howe, Palmer) #1 US, #15 JP
  • 1983 - Alpha (Downes, Wetton, Howe, Palmer) #6 US, #4 JP
  • 1985 - Astra (Downes, Wetton, Meyer, Palmer) #67 US, #15 JP
  • 1986 - Aurora (Japanese-only EP) #66 JP
  • 1990 - Then & Now (New tracks: Downes, Wetton, Lukather, Komie, Meyer, Gorham, Palmer) #114 US, #24 JP
  • 1992 - Aqua (Downes, Payne, Howe, Pitrelli, Palmer, Glynne, Phillips, Gloker) #21 JP, #51 GE
  • 1994 - Aria (Downes, Payne, Pitrelli, Sturgis) #20 JP, #89 GE
  • 1996 - Arena (Downes, Payne, Sturgis, Ibrahim, Randall, Hotei, Jardim) #48 JP
  • 1996 - Archiva 1 (Downes, Payne, Howe, Pitrelli, Gorham, Glynne, Dessent, Sturgis, Glockler, Nye)
  • 1996 - Archiva 2 (Downes, Payne, Pitrelli, Randall, Gorham, Glynne, Dessent, Palmer, Sturgis, Glockler, Thornton, Hayman, Nye, Jardim)
  • 1999 - Rare (Downes, Payne)
  • 2000 - Aura (Payne, Downes, Howe, Crichton, Randall, Thrall, Govan, Slade, Sturgis, Colaiuta, Jardim, Levin)
  • 2004 - Silent Nation (Downes, Payne, Govan, Slade) #77 GE


  • "Heat Of The Moment" (1982) #4 US, #1 US Mainstream Rock, #90 JP
  • "Sole Survivor" (1982) #10 US Mainstream Rock
  • "Wildest Dreams" (radio only) (1982) #28 US Mainstream Rock
  • "Only Time Will Tell" (1982) #17 US, #8 US Mainstream Rock
  • "Here Comes The Feeling" (radio only) (1982) #40 US Mainstream Rock
  • "Time Again" (radio only) (1982) #43 US Mainstream Rock


  • "Don't Cry" (1983) #10 US, #1 US Mainstream Rock, #76 JP
  • "The Heat Goes On" (1983) #5 US Mainstream Rock
  • "True Colors" (radio only) (1983) #20 US Mainstream Rock
  • "Daylight" (radio only) (1983) #24 US Mainstream Rock
  • "The Smile Has Left Your Eyes" (1983) #34 US, #25 US Mainstream Rock
  • "Go" (1985) #46 US, #7 US Mainstream Rock
  • "Too Late" (1986) #30 US Mainstream Rock
  • "Wishing" (1986) didn't chart in the US
  • "Days Like These" (1990) #64 US, #2 US Mainstream Rock
  • "Prayin' 4 A Miracle" (promo) (1990) didn't chart in the US

note: no singles charted in the US from this point on

  • "Who Will Stop The Rain?" (1992)
  • "Lay Down Your Arms" (promo) (1992)
  • "Heaven On Earth" (1992)
  • "Little Rich Boy" (1992)
  • "Crime Of The Heart" (promo) (1992)
  • "Love Under Fire" (promo) (1992)
  • "Back In Town" (promo) (1992)
  • "Anytime" (1994)
  • "Summer" (promo) (1994)
  • "Military Man" (promo) (1994)
  • "Turn It Around" (1996)
  • "Wherever You Are" (promo) (2000)
  • "Estoy Listo Para Ir A Mi Casa" (limited edition mail-order) (2000)
  • "Long Way From Home" (2004)
  • "What About Love" (promo) (2004)

Cultural references

Although Asia has not recaptured the success from the early Eighties in its later years, the band's legacy endures, and occasionally Asia references are found in the media. Some of these references are not altogether flattering; Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode "Overdrawn at the Memory Bank," features Professor Bobo (played by Kevin W. Murphy) singing part of verse two from "Heat of the Moment". In one episode of the South Park cartoon, Eric Cartman and the United States Congress sing "Heat Of The Moment" a capella.

Asia's hits and some deep tracks from the debut can be heard today on various classic rock stations around the world and on Satellite radio like XM's channels 46 and 8. In 2005, DJ Manian's club remix of "Heat Of The Moment" was released to nightclubs.

Asia is mentioned also in the dialogue of The 40-Year-Old Virgin. In a running joke, one character says to another character "Know why you're gay? Because you like Asia." The movie also used "Heat Of The Moment" in its soundtrack.

See also

External links

Links to reviews on progressive rock focused sites

Links to reviews on general album review sites

Boring without images - eh? Later tonight - Typhoid Mary examined - Sparks

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Sparky Redux: Where was the GURU? Friday's Femmes Fatale Featurette

It's The 10TH Year Anniversary Celebration of “Weather Woman!” Go Get Yours From Amazon!

I'm giving up. Somehow I've confused the very charming
Kei Mizutani (whom I've met) with Jun Kusanagi. In the cut-throat world of TV broadcasting, you have to be willing to show it all. When saucy Keiko becomes the weather woman, she creates a media frenzy by flashing her underwear to the entire watching world! Soon everyone is tuning in to see wht their favorite weather woman will do next.
There this movie called Weather Woman based on manga by Tetsu Adachi - which is hilariously odd. You don't know strange until you've seen the drones with their baggettes. And any film that starts with an attractive woman, standing at the top of a building and masturbating furiously has to be a winner. And this little gem is; though obviously not a film for the whole family. Hell, a short while later we see her at it again in a toilet cubicle. In between this, she has flashed off her panties so many times it has become surreal (but always pleasurable).

Based on an adult manga, this tells the story of Kieko Nakadai is a substitute weather-girl for Michiko Kawai on J-TV. As a way of signing off, she hikes up her skirt and flashes her underwear at the audience. Needless to say, ratings rise (amongst other things) and she becomes the TV studios darling. Inevitably she makes enemies, including the studio owners daughter, Shimamori who has been educated in France and has her own ideas for the weather report. She humiliates Kieko on TV, who then goes into hiding and Shimamori takes over the weather report.

Meanwhile Kieko enlists the help of Yamagushi. a studio employee who has been besotted with her for a long time. Why? So that he can use the Heavenly Whip on her that will grant her powers to control the weather and subsequently destroy Shimamori. Thus we get the sight of her getting tied up and whipped. When she has been transformed into the weather witch she heads off to the studio to battle Shimamori for the accolade of Weather Woman.

This is truly a bizarre film, due mainly to the cultural differences between our two countries. Also the Japanese sense of humour is radically different from ours, so what they find funny makes us go huh! But the film has sex and fetishism running through it and that is universal. There are also some satirical stabs at the easily swayed television viewers as they jump from supporting one cult of personality to another. As it is based on a comic book, it has retained that vibrant anything goes attitude. So there you have it a satirical, fetishistic, sexy, sometimes funny, always-watchable witch movie. This may put some people off, but if you view it with an open mind, you will experience something quite unique. A sequel followed (Weather Girl R) that played down the comedy aspects and instead focused more on the sex. Strangely enough this was less successful.

This is a great over the top parody of television excesses. A new weathergirl makes a point of showing her panties (or lack thereof) to the audience and ratings go through the roof. (another featured show on this network is "Hello Pervert") From there the story veers off into weather witchcraft and magic battles with some truely strange musical numbers thrown in there somewhere. Its a fun romp and Kei Mizutani is gorgeous.
The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Jun Kusanagi

Jun Kusanagi
Jun Kusanagi (???) (born June 5, 1978) is a Japanese model and pornographic actress known for being very thin (she is known for her small waist, in particular) yet having naturally large breasts. Her measurements are T166cm B95(65-G) W52 H85; or in English measurements, approximately 5'5" 37½(C)×20½×33. She has also been known by the names Mizuho Kanou (????), Narua Asami (????), and Kirin Junna (?????). Also, her name is sometimes spelled as June Kusanagi.

Selected filmography

As Jun Kusanagi

  • G-Cup Kiken! (G-Cup Danger!, May 1998)
  • GTO (November 1998)
  • Cover Girls 2 (February 1999)

As Mizuho Kanou

  • Pin Pin Girl (October 1996)
  • Over The Night (October 1998)
  • Body Play II (November 1996)
  • The Extreme Fuck (November 1998)
  • Excellent Double Bomb III (February 1999)
  • Give Up Human Being vol. 3 (July 1999)
External links

Let's hope all ends well for the roaming Guru - maybe he's heard good things about his favorite Native American Meditational Aid?

I think I got tired of hearing how tiny boobed Japanese girls are. Anyhow - I think we stick with them until the Guru reappears. Suspecting what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. - Sparks

Monday, May 29, 2006

Sparky confused a bit by the Guru getting het up over Ryo — not as if he's an Asian hottie like the girl below ...


The good stuff on this prog rocker seems to be in
Japanese or German. Not my strengths ...

Ryo Okumoto

Ryo Okumoto (born in
Osaka, Japan) is a keyboardist, best known for his work with progressive rock group Spock's Beard. He has performed and recorded with numerous artists and has released many solo albums. In 1997, Ryo Okumoto became part of Spock's Beard, and has been a member of the band since.

Ryo Okumoto website © 2005 Ryo Okumoto - English and Japanese website by gonewest.

Spock's Beard

Country Los Angeles, California, USA
Years active 1992–present
Genre(s) Rock, Progressive Rock
Label(s) InsideOut Music
Members Alan Morse
Ryo Okumoto
Nick D'Virgilio
Dave Meros
Past members Neal Morse

Spock's Beard is a progressive rock band formed in 1992 in Los Angeles by brothers Neal and Alan Morse. Neal played keyboards and was the lead vocalist, as well as being the primary songwriter; Alan plays electric guitar. The pair teamed with fellow musicians Nick D'Virgilio (drums) and Dave Meros (bass) and released their debut album, The Light, in 1995. The quartet were later joined by veteran keyboardist Ryo Okumoto.

The band played a brand of progressive rock with pop music leanings (drawing much influence from Genesis), as opposed to the hard rock approach of The Flower Kings or the metal feel of Dream Theater. The band is also well known for their intricate multi-part vocal harmonies and use of counterpoint on cuts such as "Gibberish," "Thoughts (Parts I and II)," "June," and "Devil's Got My Throat."

In 2002, the band released a concept album entitled Snow, which tells a story of an albino psychic who achieves a messianic following. Many listeners and critics have noted the parallels between the storyline of Snow and Neal Morse's own highly-publicized conversion to Christianity.

Following the release of Snow, Neal Morse left the band for a solo career as a Christian artist. Drummer Nick D'Virgilio took over the lead singing and songwriting role, in a move reminiscent of Genesis's drummer Phil Collins taking over from Peter Gabriel. Their first album, Feel Euphoria, has a harder-rocking and more experimental sound than the Neal Morse-led band, relying on Alan Morse's guitar to a greater extent.

In early 2005, after a long writing and recording process, Spock's Beard released Octane, their second album after the departure of Neal Morse. This was seen by many fans as a return to a more bright and epic sound after the previous songwriting differences in Feel Euphoria.

On May 17th, 2006, Dave Meros updated on the band's webpage that they will be in the studio this summer to work on their next album. Demos have already been passed around, and they expect an early fall 2006 release for their 9th studio album.

The band was named for the Star Trek episode "Mirror, Mirror," where the crew enters a parallel universe in which the parallel Mr. Spock is differentiated by his beard. Those of you too young to remember or too cheap for G4 's remix - think of the 'good' Cartman in South Park.


Current lineup

  • Nick D'Virgilio - Lead Vocals, Drums
  • Alan Morse - Guitar, Vocals
  • Ryo Okumoto - Keyboards, Vocals
  • Dave Meros - Bass, Vocals

Former members and additional musicians

  • Neal Morse (1992 - 2002) - Lead Vocals, Synths, Acoustic Guitar
  • Jimmy Keegan - Tour drummer
  • John Boegehold - Song co-writer
  • Stan Ausmus - Song co-writer


Studio albums

Live albums and compilations


External links

And while South Park is fresh in our minds -

South Park vs. Scientology

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Tom Cruise, as depicted in "Trapped in the Closet".


In January 2006, Comedy Central's United Kingdom affiliate (Paramount Comedy 1) removed the episode "Trapped in the Closet" from its broadcast schedule, reportedly in order to avoid legal action by actor Tom Cruise, as Comedy Central is owned by Viacom, which also owns Paramount, the distributors of Cruise's new film, Mission: Impossible III. That episode was screened on February 20 on SBS in Australia.[5]

In November 2005, South Park satirized the Church of Scientology and its celebrity followers, including actors Tom Cruise and John Travolta, in a top-rated episode called "Trapped in the Closet." In the episode, Stan is hailed as a reluctant savior by Scientology leaders, while a cartoon Cruise locks himself in a closet and won't come out. Dubbed 'Closetgate' by the Los Angeles Times, the controversy continued as Comedy Central pulled the "Trapped in the Closet" episode at the last minute from a scheduled repeat on March 15, 2006. It was alleged that Tom Cruise threatened Paramount with withdrawal from promotion of his latest film Mission: Impossible III if the episode was broadcast. Though Paramount and Cruise's representatives deny any threats, The Independent reports that "no one believes a word of it". In typical satirical form, Parker and Stone issued the following statement: "So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but the million-year war for Earth has just begun! Temporarily anozinizing our episode will NOT stop us from keeping Thetans forever trapped in your pitiful man-bodies. Curses and drat! You have obstructed us for now, but your feeble bid to save humanity will fail! Hail Xenu!!!" The Los Angeles Times reported that, "For Stone and Parker, Closetgate will be the gift that keeps on giving." [6] [7] While the episode has yet to be re-broadcast on Comedy Central, it has been shown as recently as May 12th in Canada on The Comedy Network.


Main article: The Return of Chef

In very South Park-like fashion, Stone and Parker place extremely current events into the show with little mercy. In response to Isaac Hayes quitting the show, South Park used its 10th season premiere to lambaste Scientology again, as well as kill off Isaac's character, yet still remind the audience to overlook the current problems and remember the joy that Chef brought to the show. In the episode, entitled "The Return of Chef", Chef returns from a three month long stay with the Super Adventure Club (SAC), an organization full of Colonel Mustard-type adventurers that seemingly scour the world for excitement and danger. The club is also a clear parody of Scientology. Though Chef returns, his dialogue is blatantly patched together from recordings of past episodes, obviously intended as part of the joke. Eventually, all Chef begins to talk about is child molestation. For example, he puts together two of his favourite sayings: the song "I'm gonna make love to ya woman" and the phrase "Hello there, Children". He says, in a clearly edited way:

"I'm gonna make love to you......Children!"

There are other similar examples of Chef's new strangeness later in the episode: the boys then visit the Super Adventure Club in an effort to learn what is wrong with Chef, and they learn the true nature of the club. Chef dies later in the episode - already on fire, he falls down a cliff and onto a jagged rock and is eventually eaten by a cougar and a bear - but Kyle delivers a eulogy at Chef's funeral, urging the town to remember the good times with Chef and to forgive him for his recent defection. After this, Chef is resurrected in a "Darth Vader" style, and the "lightsaber" he holds at the end is a glowing red spatula.

  • Note: It has been reported that Isaac Hayes quit the show not because of the Scientology episode, but because he suffered a stroke before the season. The scientology reports came from the head of the church and not from Isaac Hayes himself. This also reportedly has damaged Hayes' relation with the Church of Scientology.

That's enough - Sparks