Thompson Twins were a British pop band that formed in April 1977. A new wave group, they switched to a more mainstream pop sound and achieved considerable popularity from 1983, scoring a string of hits in the United Kingdom, the United States, around the world. In 1993, they changed their name to Babble, to reflect their change in music from new wave to dub-influenced chill-out, they continued as Babble through 1996. The band was named after the two bumbling detectives Thomson and Thompson in Hergé's comic strip The Adventures of Tintin. At various stages, the band had up to seven members, but their most known incarnation was as a trio between 1982 and 1986, they became a prominent act in the US during the Second British Invasion, in 1985, the band performed at Live Aid, where they were joined onstage by Madonna. In 1977, the original Thompson Twins line-up consisted of Tom Bailey on bass and vocals, Pete Dodd on guitar and vocals, John Roog on guitar, Jon Podgorski on drums. Dodd and Roog first met.
Arriving in London with little money, they lived as squatters in Lillieshall Road, London. Future Thompson Twins member Alannah Currie lived in another squat in the same street —, how she met Bailey, it was in this ramshackle and run-down house that they found an illegal way of "borrowing" electricity from the house next door. Bailey described themselves as spongers back as they were living on little and scavenging everything they could lay their hands on, he said that the only instruments they had were bought, or had been stolen or borrowed. Dodd managed to get a council flat not far away, their roadie at that time was John Hade, who lived in the same house, who became their manager. As Podgorski had decided to stay in the north, the group auditioned for drummers at the Point Studio in Victoria, London. Andrew Edge joined them on drums for less than one year, went on to join Savage Progress, who toured with the Thompson Twins as their support act on the 1984 UK tour. In 1980, the band released their first single, "Squares and Triangles", on their own Dirty Discs label.
A follow-up single, "She's In Love With Mystery", was issued that year. In 1981, the line-up became Bailey, Roog and two new members: former band roadie Joe Leeway on congas and percussion, Jane Shorter on saxophone; this line-up recorded the first Thompson Twins album A Product of... documented in the film, Listen to London. Currie, associated with the band for a few years and sang on the first album, but was not yet a full member. After the first album, the band's line-up shifted yet again. Saxophonist Jane Shorter left and was replaced by Currie, bassist Matthew Seligman, a former member of The Soft Boys and The Fallout Club, joined; the band released the album Set. Thomas Dolby played some keyboards on Set and some live gigs, as Bailey had little experience with synthesizers before then. Set contained the single "In the Name of Love", sung and written by Bailey, it became a No. 1 dance club hit in the US, an album entitled In the Name of Love was released in the US to capitalize on the song's popularity.
It entered the US Billboard 200. After the success of "In the Name of Love", Bailey and Leeway, wanting to pursue the single's different sound, toyed with the idea of starting a new band on the side, which they planned to call'The Bermuda Triangle'; when "In The Name Of Love" failed to make a substantial impact in the UK record charts, this plan was abandoned. However, at the same time, manager Hade convinced Bailey and Currie to downsize the Thompson Twins to a core of the three in April 1982. Accordingly, the other four members of the band were notified; the remaining Thompson Twins, who had not in fact "broken up", decided to go abroad to free themselves of any UK influence, as well as to combine the songwriting for their first album as a trio with a long holiday. They first went to Egypt and to the Bahamas where they recorded at Compass Point Studios in Nassau with the producer Alex Sadkin. Bailey commented on the band's reduction to a trio in a 1983 interview: "When we reformed the band, we were making a statement.
We weren't going to be a rock'n' roll band, we weren't going to have a guitar. We were going to move on. You know, Lou Reed said. There are old associations, associations we don't want because they don't reflect the way we feel today.... Right now, technology is what's important, that's what our music tries to reflect." The band broke into the UK Singles Chart and the US Billboard Hot 100 chart at the beginning of 1983 with "Lies" and "Love On Your Side", which became the band's first UK Top 10 single. They released their third album, Quick Step and Side Kick, which peaked at number 2 in the UK and was certified platinum. Further singles followed with "We Are Detective" and "Watching". All three ba
England is a country, part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to Scotland to the north-northwest; the Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south; the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight. The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but takes its name from the Angles, a Germanic tribe deriving its name from the Anglia peninsula, who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in the 10th century, since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world; the English language, the Anglican Church, English law – the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world – developed in England, the country's parliamentary system of government has been adopted by other nations.
The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world's first industrialised nation. England's terrain is chiefly low hills and plains in central and southern England. However, there is upland and mountainous terrain in the west; the capital is London, which has the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. England's population of over 55 million comprises 84% of the population of the United Kingdom concentrated around London, the South East, conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East, Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century; the Kingdom of England – which after 1535 included Wales – ceased being a separate sovereign state on 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulting in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The name "England" is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means "land of the Angles"; the Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages. The Angles came from the Anglia peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea; the earliest recorded use of the term, as "Engla londe", is in the late-ninth-century translation into Old English of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. The term was used in a different sense to the modern one, meaning "the land inhabited by the English", it included English people in what is now south-east Scotland but was part of the English kingdom of Northumbria; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded that the Domesday Book of 1086 covered the whole of England, meaning the English kingdom, but a few years the Chronicle stated that King Malcolm III went "out of Scotlande into Lothian in Englaland", thus using it in the more ancient sense.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its modern spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, in which the Latin word Anglii is used; the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars. How and why a term derived from the name of a tribe, less significant than others, such as the Saxons, came to be used for the entire country and its people is not known, but it seems this is related to the custom of calling the Germanic people in Britain Angli Saxones or English Saxons to distinguish them from continental Saxons of Old Saxony between the Weser and Eider rivers in Northern Germany. In Scottish Gaelic, another language which developed on the island of Great Britain, the Saxon tribe gave their name to the word for England. An alternative name for England is Albion; the name Albion referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus the 4th-century BC De Mundo: "Beyond the Pillars of Hercules is the ocean that flows round the earth.
In it are two large islands called Britannia. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, i.e. it was written in the Graeco-Roman period or afterwards. The word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins, it either derives from a cognate of the Latin albus meaning white, a reference to the white cliffs of Dover or from the phrase the "island of the Albiones" in the now lost Massaliote Periplus, attested through Avienus' Ora Maritima to which the former served as a source. Albion is now applied to England in a more poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England and made popular by its use in Arthurian legend; the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximate
Trip hop is a musical genre that originated in the early 1990s in the United Kingdom Bristol. It has been described as "a fusion of hip hop and electronica until neither genre is recognizable", may incorporate a variety of styles, including funk, soul, psychedelia, R&B, house, as well as other forms of electronic music. Trip hop can be experimental. Deriving from idioms of acid house, the term was first used by the British music media to describe the more experimental variant of breakbeat emerging from the Bristol Sound scene in the early 1990s, which contained influences of soul and jazz, it was pioneered by acts like Massive Attack and Portishead. Trip hop achieved commercial success in the 1990s, has been described as "Europe's alternative choice in the second half of the'90s." Common musical aesthetics include a bass-heavy drumbeat emulating the slowed down breakbeat samples typical of hip hop in the 1990s, giving the genre a more psychedelic feel. Vocals in trip hop are female and feature characteristics of various singing styles including R&B, jazz and rock.
The female-dominant vocals of trip hop may be attributable to the influence of genres such as jazz and early R&B, in which female vocalists were more common. However, there are notable exceptions - Massive Attack and Groove Armada collaborates with male & female vocalists, Tricky features vocally in his own productions along with Martina Topley-Bird, Chris Corner provided vocals for albums with Sneaker Pimps. Trip hop is known for its melancholy sound; this may be due to the fact that several acts were inspired by post-punk bands. Tricky opened his second album Nearly God by a version of "Tattoo", a proto-trip-hop song of Siouxsie and the Banshees recorded in 1983. Trip hop tracks incorporate Rhodes pianos, saxophones and flutes, may employ unconventional instruments such as the theremin and Mellotron. Trip hop differs from hip hop in theme and overall tone. Instead of gangsta rap with its hard-hitting lyrics, trip hop offers a more aural atmospherics with instrumental hip hop, turntable scratching, breakbeat rhythms.
Regarded in some ways as a 1990s update of fusion, trip hop may be said to "transcend" the hardcore rap styles and lyrics with atmospheric overtones to create a more mellow tempo. The term "trip-hop" first appeared in print in June 1994. Andy Pemberton, a music journalist writing for Mixmag, used it to describe Mo' Wax Records Artist RPM and DJ Shadow's "In/Flux" single. In Bristol hip hop began to seep into the consciousness of a subculture well-schooled in Jamaican forms of music. DJs, MCs, b-boys and graffiti artists grouped together into informal soundsystems. Like the pioneering Bronx crews of DJs Kool Herc, Afrika Bambataa and Grandmaster Flash, the soundsystems provided party music for public spaces in the economically deprived council estates from which some of their members originated. Bristol's soundsystem DJs, drawing on Jamaican dub music used a laid-back and heavy drum beat. Bristol's Wild Bunch crew became one of the soundsystems to put a local spin on the international phenomenon, helping to birth Bristol's signature sound of trip hop termed "the Bristol Sound".
The Wild Bunch and its associates included at various times in its existence the MC Adrian "Tricky Kid" Thaws, the graffiti artist and lyricist Robert "3D" Del Naja, producer Jonny Dollar and the DJs Nellee Hooper, Andrew "Mushroom" Vowles and Grant "Daddy G" Marshall. As the hip hop scene matured in Bristol and musical trends evolved further toward acid jazz and house in the late 1980s, the golden era of the soundsystem began to end; the Wild Bunch signed a record deal and evolved into Massive Attack, a core collective of 3D, Mushroom and Daddy G, with significant contributions from Tricky Kid and Hooper on production duties, along with a rotating cast of other vocalists. Another influence came from Gary Clail's Tackhead soundsystem. Clail worked with former The Pop Group singer Mark Stewart; the latter experimented with his band Mark Stewart & the Maffia, which consisted of New York session musicians Skip McDonald, Doug Wimbish, Keith LeBlanc, a part of the house band for the Sugarhill Records record label.
Produced by Adrian Sherwood, the music combined hip hop with experimental rock and dub and sounded like a premature version of what became trip hop. In 1993, Kirsty MacColl released "Angel", one of the first examples of the genre crossing over to pop, a hybrid that dominated the charts toward the end of the 1990s. Massive Attack's first album Blue Lines was released in 1991 to huge success in the UK. Blue Lines was seen as the first major manifestation of a uniquely British hip hop movement, but the album's hit single "Unfinished Sympathy" and several other tracks, while their rhythms were sample-based, were not seen as hip hop songs in any conventional sense. Produced by Dollar, Shara Nelson featured on the orchestral "Unfinished", Jamaican dance hall star Horace Andy provided vocals on several other tracks, as he would throughout Massive Attack's career. Massive Attack released their second album entitled Protection in 1994. Although Tricky stayed on in a lesser role, Hooper again produced, the fertile dance music scene of the early 1990s had informed the record, it was seen as an more significant shift away from the Wild Bunch era.
In the June 1994 issue of UK magazine Mixmag, music journalist Andy Pemberton used the term trip hop to describe the hip hop instru
Warner Bros. Records
Warner Bros. Records Inc. is an American record label owned by Warner Music Group and headquartered in Burbank, California. It was founded in 1958 as the recorded music division of the American film studio Warner Bros. and was one of a group of labels owned and operated by larger parent corporations for much of its existence. The sequence of companies that controlled Warner Bros. and its allied labels evolved through a convoluted series of corporate mergers and acquisitions from the early 1960s to the early 2000s. Over this period, Warner Bros. Records grew from a struggling minor player in the music industry to one of the top record labels in the world. In 2004, these music assets were divested by their owner Time Warner and purchased by a private equity group; this independent company traded as the Warner Music Group and was the world's last publicly traded major music company before being bought and privatized by Access Industries in 2011. Warner Music Group is the smallest of the three major international music conglomerates that include Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment.
Max Lousada oversees recorded music operations of the company. Notable artists signed to Warner Bros. Records have included Prince, Kylie Minogue, Goo Goo Dolls, Sheryl Crow, Lil Pump, Green Day, Adam Lambert, Bette Midler, Duran Duran, Fleetwood Mac, Liam Gallagher, Fleet Foxes, Jason Derulo, Lily Allen and Sara, Dua Lipa, Linkin Park, Nile Rodgers, Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Black Keys, My Chemical Romance, Mr. Bungle, Regina Spektor, Van Halen. At the end of the silent movie period, Warner Bros. Pictures decided to expand into publishing and recording so that it could access low-cost music content for its films. In 1928, the studio acquired several smaller music publishing firms which included M. Witmark & Sons, Harms Inc. and a partial interest in New World Music Corp. and merged them to form the Music Publishers Holding Company. This new group controlled valuable copyrights on standards by George and Ira Gershwin and Jerome Kern and the new division was soon earning solid profits of up to US$2 million every year.
In 1930, MPHC paid US$28 million to acquire Brunswick Records, whose roster included Duke Ellington, Red Nichols, Nick Lucas, Al Jolson, Earl Burtnett, Ethel Waters, Abe Lyman, Leroy Carr, Tampa Red and Memphis Minnie, soon after the sale to Warner Bros. the label signed rising radio and recording stars Bing Crosby, Mills Brothers, Boswell Sisters. For Warner Bros. the dual impact of the Great Depression and the introduction of broadcast radio harmed the recording industry—sales crashed, dropping by around 90% from more than 100 million records in 1927 to fewer than 10 million by 1932 and major companies were forced to halve the price of records from 75c to 35c. In December 1931, Warner Bros. offloaded Brunswick to the American Record Corporation for a fraction of its former value, in a lease arrangement which did not include Brunswick's pressing plants. Technically, Warner maintained actual ownership of Brunswick, which with the sale of ARC to CBS in 1939 and their decision to discontinue Brunswick in favor of reviving the Columbia label, reverted to Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. sold Brunswick a second time, this time along with the old Brunswick pressing plants Warner owned, to Decca Records in exchange for a financial interest in Decca. The studio stayed out of the record business for more than 25 years, during this period it licensed its film music to other companies for release as soundtrack albums. Warner Bros. returned to the record business in 1958 with the establishment of its own recording division, Warner Bros. Records. By this time, the established Hollywood studios were reeling from multiple challenges to their former dominance—the most notable being the introduction of television in the late 1940s. Legal changes had a major impact on their business—lawsuits brought by major stars had overthrown the old studio contract system by the late 1940s. Pictures sold off much of its film library in 1948 and, beginning in 1949, anti-trust suits brought by the US government forced the five major studios to divest their cinema chains. In 1956, Harry Warner and Albert Warner sold their interest in the studio and the board was joined by new members who favoured a renewed expansion into the music business—Charles Allen of the investment bank Charles Allen & Company, Serge Semenenko of the First National Bank of Boston and investor David Baird.
Semenenko in particular had a strong professional interest in the entertainment business and he began to push Jack Warner on the issue of setting up an'in-house' record label. With the record business booming - sales had topped US$500 million by 1958 - Semnenko argued that it was foolish for Warner Bros. to make deals with other companies to release its soundtracks when, for less than the cost of one motion picture, they could establish their own label, creating a new income stream that could continue indefinitely and provide an additional means of exploiting and promoting its contract actors. Another impetus for the label's creation was the brief music career of Warner Bros. actor Tab Hunter. Although Hunter was signed to an exclusive acting contract with the studio, it did not prevent him from signing a recording contract, which he did with Dot Records, owned at the time by Paramount Pictures. Hunter scored several hits for Dot, including the US #1 single, "Young Love", to Warner Bros.' chagrin, reporters were asking about the hit record, rather than
Alannah Joy Currie is a London-based artist and musician, best known as a former member of the 80s UK pop group Thompson Twins. Born in New Zealand and trained as a journalist, Currie emigrated to the UK in 1977. Currie squatted in various places in South West London, ending up in Lillieshall Road, Clapham Old Town. In 1979, with her across-the-road neighbour, Trace Newton-Ingham, she co-founded the dread-punk-improvising group, The Unfuckables; the Unfuckables performed one "gig" at an anti-psychiatry conference in early 1980, held in the Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London. For this particular gig the group comprised the two co-founders, plus an array of musicians from London's "underground" music scene — Viv Albertine, Gareth Sager, Charles Bullen and Charles Hayward, Tom Bailey, Jimmy Cauty and improviser Steve Beresford, amongst others. In 1981, Currie joined Tom Bailey, Joe Leeway, others to form part of the Thompson Twins, the line-up of which included up to seven members in its early days.
The Thompson Twins became a trio in 1982 and signed two major record contracts with Arista Records before signing with Warner Bros. Records. Currie was a lyricist, visual stylist and singer in the band and co-wrote and recorded 6 albums which included gold and platinum records and the hits "Doctor! Doctor!", "Hold Me Now", "You Take Me Up". The band performed at the JFK Stadium, Philadelphia for the 1985 Live Aid concert and worked with artists including Nile Rodgers, Grace Jones, Alex Sadkin and Jerry Harrison of the Talking Heads amongst others. In 1984 the band participated in the "first international satellite installation" by Nam June Paik, Good Morning, Mr. Orwell, her songwriting credits include "I Want That Man", an international hit for Deborah Harry in 1989. By 1992, Currie and her husband, fellow Thompson Twins band member Tom Bailey, elected to form Babble, featuring Currie as lyricist and visual artist, as a means of creating music without the commercial expectations that were placed on the Thompson Twins.
By 1994 Babble had released their first album. Currie returned to New Zealand working as a glass artist and environmental activist, she was founder of the women's anti-genetic engineering movement Mothers Against Genetic Engineering in Food and the Environment. In 2004 she designed a series of protest billboards that caused controversy in New Zealand but won several international art/science awards. In 2004 she returned to London where she now works under the name Miss Pokeno and continues to make art that fuses ″joyful dissent″ with disruptive/uncomfortable narratives, her practice plays on the boundary between the humorous and threatening, as with the mythological militant feminists The Sisters of Perpetual Resistance and the Armchair Destructivists. Alannah was married to fellow band member Tom Bailey from 1991 to 2003, they have two children and Indie. In 2011, Alannah married Jimmy Cauty; the Guardian interview Investigate.com Songwriting credits @ Allmusic.com Miss Pokeno
Tom Bailey (musician)
Thomas Alexander Bailey is an English singer, composer and record producer. Bailey came to prominence in the early 1980s as the lead vocalist for the new wave band Thompson Twins, which released five singles that entered the top ten charts in the United Kingdom during the 1980s, including "Love On Your Side", "We Are Detective", "Hold Me Now", "Doctor! Doctor!", "You Take Me Up". He was the only classic member of the band to have formal musical training. From 1994, Bailey was a member of its incarnation, releasing two commercially unsuccessful studio albums, he works in various musical fields including scoring for film. He records and performs dub music under the name International Observer and Indo-fusion music with the Holiwater Project, his latest collaboration is the Bailey-Salgado Project, an audiovisual ensemble formed with José Francisco Salgado. Tom Bailey grew up in a family associated with the medical profession, his father was the Medical Officer of Health for Chesterfield Borough Council, Bailey was educated at Chesterfield Boys' Grammar School.
A "whole school" photograph from April 1969 shows him at age 13. Despite training as a classical pianist, Bailey worked as a music teacher at Brook School, Sheffield. In his late teens and early twenties, he travelled the world. Bailey formed the Thompson Twins in 1977 with Pete Dodd, John Roog, Jon Podgorski. Podgorski did not want to move to London, so Andrew Edge played drums with them for one year before Chris Bell joined; the group ended up as a trio with Bailey on vocals, guitar and keyboards, his girlfriend Alannah Currie, Joe Leeway. The Thompson Twins became fixtures on MTV during the 1980s as the videos for "Hold Me Now", "Lay Your Hands on Me" and "King for a Day" were played frequently. Subsequent to the marriage of Bailey and Currie, Thompson Twins released their final album, Queer, in 1991. In 1994, Bailey and Currie formed Babble. Between 2001 and 2015, Tom Bailey released several dub/electronica albums under the name International Observer. Tom Bailey performed Thompson Twins songs live for the first time in 27 years on 17 August 2014 at Temple Island Meadows, Henley-On-Thames, Oxfordshire for the Rewind Festival.
In 2014, Tom Bailey took part in the Retro Futura Tour in the USA. He was billed under the moniker "Thompson Twins' Tom Bailey." The 2014 Retro Futura Tour featured Howard Jones, Midge Ure, China Crisis, Katrina Leskanich of Katrina and the Waves. In 2016, Tom Bailey released a new solo single entitled "Come So Far." Bailey made a music video for "Come So Far." On 25 April 2017 the official Thompson Twins' Tom Bailey website announced that Bailey is recording his debut solo album and that he hopes to release the album in early 2018. The album is entitled Science Fiction and was released in July 2018. In 2018, Bailey toured with the Culture Club as part of The Life Tour; the tour dates were June 29-October 5. In 1988 Bailey collaborated with Phil Thornalley, who worked with the Thompson Twins, on Thornalley's only solo album, Swamp. Aside from playing instruments, Bailey produced three tracks, remixed three tracks along with Thornalley and co-wrote the track "When I Get to Heaven". In 1999 Bailey produced the New Zealand band Stellar, in 1999 he won Record Producer of the Year in New Zealand for their debut album, Mix.
In 2002 Bailey became the figurehead for the dub project International Observer. Recent performances with'Holiwater', a cinematic fusion of Indian classical music and video, blur boundaries between art installation and performance; the band was formed to highlight issues of water pollution on the Ganges. In 2010 Bailey and astronomer and visual artist José Francisco Salgado formed an audiovisual ensemble called Bailey-Salgado Project. BSP combines music with photography and motion graphics to create multimedia works that have as subject the physical world, their first work together, a short film entitled Sidereal Motion, was previewed in Bath, England in October 2010. Tom was married to fellow band member Alannah Currie from 1991 to 2003, they have two children and Indie. As of 2014, Bailey lived in France with artist Lauren Drescher, he has homes in New Zealand and London. Bailey has been vocal about his choice to be a vegan, he does not use recreational drugs. Science Fiction A Product of... Set Quick Step and Side Kick Into the Gap Here's to Future Days Close to the Bone Big Trash Queer The Stone Ether Photogallery @ Ntlworld.com Thompson Twins Fan Forum Unofficial International Observer site Holiwater Official Site Bailey-Salgado Project Official Site Thompson Twins Fan Site
With Honors (film)
With Honors is a 1994 American comedy-drama film directed by Alek Keshishian and starring Brendan Fraser, Joe Pesci and Moira Kelly. Monty Kessler, an honors student in the Government program at Harvard University, rooms with art student Courtney Blumenthal, radio DJ and trust fund child Everett Calloway, neurotic pre-med student Jeff Hawkes. Monty is the pet project of a Nobel Laureate and government cynic. While working on his thesis, Monty loses his work; as he leaves to make copies of his sole printed version, he breaks his ankle and drops his thesis down a steam vent and into the boiler room of Widener Library, where he sees a disheveled man reading it burning the thesis page by page. The homeless man demands compensation for not burning it. Monty calls the university police, who arrest the man. In his court appearance, the man's name is revealed to be Simon B. Wilder. After convincing the judge to dismiss the charges against him, he is held on contempt. Monty pays Simon's fine to get his thesis back.
Although Simon blames Monty for getting him kicked out of the library, the two of them work out a deal: Simon will give one page for each service Monty provides. Simon takes up residence in Everett's broken-down van in the backyard of Monty's house. Confronted by his roommates, Monty assures them. Simon mentors Monty, the two become close friends. Monty discusses his absentee father, Simon responds by showing him his collection of "memories", a bag of stones, each of which reminds him of a specific memory. With time, some of the roommates appreciate Simon's presence. Courtney appreciates the new, gentler Monty, Everett agrees to exchange wine for Simon's fixing the van. Jeff, resents paying for extra food and fears the possible reactions of his visiting parents. On a cold night, Jeff rejects Monty's request for Simon to sleep in the cellar, threatening to move out with his share of the rent; when Monty lies to Simon, Simon leaves. After the others leave for Christmas break, Simon sends a homeless friend to deliver the rest of the thesis and a philosophical message.
The friend tells Monty that Simon gives Monty his location. Monty takes Simon home and tells him he can stay there as long. Simon tells Monty. Touched by Monty's courtesy, Simon agrees to accept government benefits to pay his way. Simon is shocked when Monty writes a new one; as the roommates return, Monty introduces Simon as their new housemate, but Jeff threatens to leave again. While writing his own obituary, Simon reveals to Monty. Though angry, Monty brings Simon to the biggest party of the year on campus; as the two watch Courtney dance, Simon recognizes. Late that night and Courtney find Simon collapsed in the hallway. Monty agrees to take Simon to see his long-lost son, Frank though it will mean missing his thesis deadline; the entire household sets off on a road trip. Monty convinces Frank to meet with Simon, Frank berates Simon for leaving; when Frank's daughter approaches, Frank tells her that Simon leaves. Simon breaks down and grabs a stone for a "memory". Simon expresses his desire to die alone.
The four friends bury Simon in a cemetery. Monty meets with Professor Pitkannan. While Pitkannan disagrees with Monty's thesis and new approach to government, he appreciates his beliefs and effort, he regrets. At the graduation ceremony, Monty grabs a stone for his own "memory". Joe Pesci as Simon B. Wilder Brendan Fraser as Monty Kessler Moira Kelly as Courtney Blumenthal Patrick Dempsey as Everett Calloway Josh Hamilton as Jeffrey Hawkes Gore Vidal as Professor Pitkannan The film was shot at various locations in Illinois, Indiana and Massachusetts, including the Harvard University campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts; the exterior of Winthrop House appears, but the interiors pictured are not that of actual Harvard houses, the last scene of the movie was shot at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The buildings and surroundings were dressed up to look as if it were Harvard and many of the people in the final scene are Illinois students; the graduation scene was shot while the local climate in Illinois had not allowed for the trees to bloom leaves and so artificial branches and leaves were stapled on.
All of the outdoor shots of Harvard's Widener Library had the University of Minnesota's Northrop Auditorium in that role. The scene in which Simon Wilder and Professor Pitkannan debate the role of the president in American democracy was filmed in Lincoln Hall at Northwestern Law School; the film received predominantly negative reviews from critics. Review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes collected 23 reviews and gave the film a 17% approval rating, with an average rating of 3.8/10. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 2.5 stars out of 4, praising the acting, but criticizing the "cliched" plot. Despite negative reviews, the film has received a cult following. According to Box Office Mojo, the film grossed about $20 million in the U. S. Despite this modest figure, it did manage to be the #1 at the U. S. weekend box office between May 6–8. The soundtrack was released on March 22, 1994 by Maverick Records and