Richard Butler

Undated photo made available by the University of Leicester, England, Monday Feb. 4 2013 of the remains found underneath a car park last September at the Grey Friars excavation in Leicester, which have been declared Monday “beyond reasonable doubt” to be the long lost remains of England’s King Richard III, missing for 500 years. Richard was immortalized in a play by Shakespeare as a hunchbacked usurper who left a trail of bodies — including those of his two young nephews, murdered in the Tower of London — on his way to the throne. (AP Photo/ University of Leicester) 

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

LEICESTER, England — He was king of England, but for centuries he lay without shroud or coffin in an unknown grave, and his name became a byword for villainy.

On Monday, scientists announced they had rescued the remains of Richard III from anonymity — and the monarch’s fans hope a revival of his reputation will soon follow.

In a dramatically orchestrated news conference, a team of archaeologists, geneticists, genealogists and other scientists from the University of Leicester announced that tests had proven what they scarcely dared to hope — a scarred and broken skeleton unearthed under a drab municipal parking lot was that of the 15th-century king, the last English monarch to die in battle.

Lead archaeologist Richard Butler said that a battery of tests proved “beyond reasonable doubt” that the remains were the king’s.

Lin Foxhall, head of the university’s school of archaeology, said the discovery “could end up rewriting a little bit of history in a big way.”

Few monarchs have seen their reputations decline as much after death as Richard III. He ruled England between 1483 and 1485, during the decades-long battle over the throne known as the Wars of the Roses, which
pitted two wings of the ruling Plantagenet dynasty — York and Lancaster — against one another.

After his death, historians writing under the victorious Tudors comprehensively trashed Richard’s reputation, accusing him of myriad crimes — most famously, the murder of his two nephews, the “Princes in the Tower.”

William Shakespeare indelibly depicted Richard as a hunchbacked usurper who left a trail of bodies on his way to the throne before dying in battle, shouting “My kingdom for a horse.”

That view was repeated by many historians, and Richard remains a villain in the popular imagination. 

Philippa Langley of the Richard III Society — which seeks to restore the late king’s reputation and backed the search for his grave— said that for centuries Richard’s story has been told by others, many of them hostile.

She hopes a new surge of interest, along with evidence from the skeleton about how the king lived and died will help restore his reputation.

“A wind of change is blowing, one that will seek out the truth about the real Richard III,” she said.

Langley, who helped launch the search for the king, said she could scarcely believe her quest had paid off.

“Everyone thought that I was mad,” she said. “It’s not the easiest pitch in the world, to look for a king under a council car park.”

Best known for “Pretty in Pink,” the theme song from the iconic ’80s film by the same name, the Psychedelic Furs formed in 1977, when the English punk scene was at its apex.

Headed by founding members Richard and Tim Butler, the band has changed lineups several times, but the current touring lineup has been consistent for the past few years.

The band has seven studio albums under its belt, including Forever Now, spawning the ’80s classic single “Love My Way.” The single also appeared on the soundtrack of the hit HBO show “Hung.” The band’s use of synths and saxophone, as well as Richard Butler’s vocals, became its trademark, often attracting fans with an eclectic use of multiple instruments.

The biggest commercial success came in 1987 with Midnight to Midnight, the band’s biggest Top 40 release, ranking 29th on U.S. Billboard charts. Saxophonist Mars Williams and drummer Paul Garisto contributed to the album and remain an integral part of the band’s current touring lineup. Although it received commercial success, the band was unhappy with the album’s vibe and sought to reawaken earlier influences to reach a purer sound. Released in 1989, Book of Days was moderately successful, ranking 138th on Billboard’s Top 200. Despite its lack of popular acclaim, the band has said that the album became a pillar for the kind music it was aiming to make.

While the band was an integral part of ’80s culture, members disbanded in 1990 and were broken up for nearly a decade before reforming in 2000. Since then, they have toured frequently and used the live footage from their travels to record Beautiful Chaos: Greatest Hits Live.

While the band’s sound may be construed as cheesy, it is reminiscent of the time in which it was made. Their success came at a time when music was delving into more experimental aesthetics, such as the introduction of new wave and the use of synthesizers. What sets Psychedelic Furs apart from a number of ’80s bands is their punk mentality and confidence.

To this day, the band remains a staple of ’80s punk culture.

If you are feeling nostalgic, or just feel like looking ‘pretty in pink,’ it would do you good to catch the Furs at Emo’s tonight.