Thursday, July 17, 2014

Guest Blogger: Billy Franks

Welcome back Billy Franks to my blog today.

Billy Franks was the lead singer and songwriter for "The Faith Brothers", whose two albums and six singles all made the UK chart. Billy has since released six solo albums to critical acclaim. He released a charity single in partnership with his friend, Prince Harry, to raise money for the Prince’s African charity Sentebale.

In addition to his musical passions, Billy was recently the focus of a feature length documentary film, called Tribute This!

The film chronicles the adventures of 4 friends as they travel the world to ask some of its biggest stars, Springsteen, McCartney, etc., to appear on a tribute album to an unknown but worthy recipient of such an honour: Billy Franks.

Billy Franks lifetime dedication to his craft says it all. “Billy has devoted his entire life to song writing. He has given so much to others through his music. Dedicating ourselves to a project that would honor him was a no brainer on our part,” said Mick McCleery. (Director of Tribute This!)

"A Far Cry from Sunset", chronicling the adventures of making the movie as well as stories from a musical career that involved touring with the likes of U2 and REM. In conjunction with the release of the book, Billy will release a live album entitled "From the Court to the Empire", recorded at London’s famous Shepherds Bush Empire theatre.

In the summer of 2005, three friends and I took an eight month journey across the two continents of America and Europe. We were on a mission: - to get ten of the world’s most famous recording artists to record a tribute album to an unknown songwriter; - And that songwriter would be me. And as we travelled we were going to make a road movie; an epic chronicle of our quest, and a testament to our friendship. We made it and we called it, Tribute This! The adventures we had and the people we met changed my life profoundly. Not only its present but also how I viewed its past. Apart from our struggles with managers, publicists, security and even one or two of the artists themselves, we ran into so many people from ordinary walks of life; cab drivers, hotel porters, fans standing in line to see their heroes, who couldn’t do enough to help or encourage us on our journey. For one long summer, we lived life so brilliantly; so full of laughter and a gathering sense of achievement that I wondered if the artists we were pursuing ever got to see life in anything like the same way. In contrast they seemed so protected, so hidden away, so cut off from the world that, towards the end of our travels, the thought occurred to me that, at that point in time, I wouldn’t swap one year of their lives for one day of ours. My hope is that, in reading my account of those heady days, you will understand why. Billy Franks .

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