Saturday, December 03, 2005

The Week That Was

This is the week that was in matters musical...

1956, Elvis drops in at Sun Studios to visit with buddies Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash, who are working on a Perkins recording session ... Johnny's wife calls him away to go shopping before the "record" button gets pushed, but the others lay down some historically significant tracks that will be released under Presley's name as The Million Dollar Quartet ... Cash appears on the album cover even though he didn't record (some argue the point, but Cash is certainly not audible on the album)

1957, Ed Sullivan hosts the TV debuts of Sam Cooke singing "You Send Me" and Buddy Holly and the Crickets performing "That'll Be the Day"...

1965, the infamous blue flame strikes Keith Richards down on a stage in Sacramento when he grabs an ungrounded mic ... the indestructible Stone is on his feet and performing again inside of seven minutes...

1967, pop singer Jimmie F. Rodgers cracks up his car and is found with a fractured skull ... he will survive but his career is over...

1968, Graham Nash quits the Hollies ... three days later he announces the formation of Crosby, Stills and Nash...

1969, this week sees the infamous Altamont Speedway concert with the Rolling Stones; Jefferson Airplane; Santana; and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young on the playbill ... violence erupts and four people are killed, at least two in deliberate bloody assaults...

1970, a gold record goes to Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper, and Steve Stills for Supersession, an album they put together out of an extended studio jam session...

1970, the documentary film Gimme Shelter, documenting the 1969 Stones tour and the Altamont debacle, is released on the occasion of the fateful concert's anniversary...

1971, The Montreux Casino in Geneva, Switzerland, catches fire during a show by the Mothers of Invention, inspiring Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water" ... Deep Purple was across Lake Geneva from Montreaux watching the fire from their hotel ... the smoke drifted across the lake, hence the song's title ...

1972, Carly Simon releases "You're So Vain," a song which sets the whole country to wondering exactly who is so insufferably vain ... candidates for the post include Carly's relatively recent famous conquests Mick Jagger (who sang on the record), Cat Stevens, Kris Kristofferson, and Warren Beatty ... when asked if she's "gone with" Beatty, she says, "Hasn't everybody?" ... "I felt I was one among thousands at that point--it hadn't reached, you know, the populations of small countries" ... in 2003 Carly Simon volunteers to tell the highest bidder at the Possible Dreams charity auction who the song is actually about, but only if the winner will abide by a confidentiality agreement ... NBC exec Dick Ebersol wins the bidding at $50,000, but he's not talking...

1973, the Who and friends trash a Montreal hotel suite to the tune of $6,000 in damages and spend a night in the pokey for their troubles ... John Entwistle later writes a song about the occasion, "Cell Block Number Seven"...

1976, during a Battersea Power Station photo shoot for the cover of Pink Floyd's Animals, a 40-foot helium-filled pig breaks loose from its moorings and floats up to an estimated 18,000 feet before finally touching down in Kent...

1976, Bob Marley and the Wailers are rehearsing at Marley's house in Kingston, Jamaica, when seven gunmen appear and shower the house with a hail of gunfire ... Marley, wife Rita, and manager Don Taylor are all hit but miraculously nobody is seriously injured ... the band plays a gig two nights later...

1976, the Sex Pistols' Glenn Matlock uses the "F" word during an English TV interview and the resulting uproar proves that the Brits can be every bit as priggish and sanctimonious as the Yanks ... most of the Pistols' upcoming gigs are cancelled and by the next month they can't book a date anywhere in the U.K....

1978, Ian Druy--the hot new British new waver--releases "Hit Me with Your Rhythm Stick," which will sell two million copies worldwide and hit number one in the U.K. without ever charting in the U.S....

1986, Annie Lennox, lead singer for the Eurythmics, gets so carried away at a concert in Birmingham, England, that she rips off her bra, which is the only thing covering her breasts ... this does not cause a national scandal...

1988, early pop/rock crooner Roy Orbison dies of a heart attack while visiting his mother in Henderson, Tennessee ... after huge success as a songwriter and performer in the early '60s, Orbison lost two of his three sons in a house fire and lost his wife in a motorcycle accident in 1966 ... he emigrated to Europe and remained famous in the U.K., returning in the late '70s ... his gig with the Traveling Wilburys, a movie deal, and several of his songs charting for other artists had Orbison almost back to the top of his game by the time he died ...

1993, revered rock weirdo, musical wizard, and spokesman for lyrical freedom Frank Zappa meets his demise from prostate cancer at the young age of 53...

1996, Tiny Tim, born Herbert Khaury--who made a career of singing old '20s and '30s tunes in a decidedly unmasculine warbling falsetto accompanied by a ukulele--dies of a heart condition at a Minneapolis hospital after collapsing while performing "Tip Toe Thru' The Tulips With Me" at a nearby women's club meeting ...

2004, Marianne Faithfull cancels the remaining 12 dates of a European tour following her onstage collapse in Milan ... her health has deteriorated due to exhaustion after working herself to the bone for the previous year ... America's oldest teenager, 75-year-old Dick Clark, suffers a mild stroke ... doctors say he'll be on his feet soon, but he will not make the Times Square New Year's Eve celebration, which he has hosted for 32 consecutive years...

And that was the week that was.


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Arrivals
November 30: bluesman Brownie McGhee (1915), Dick Clark (1929), Johnny Horton (1929), Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul & Mary (1937), Leo Lyons of Ten Years After (1943), Deep Purple's Roger Glover (1945), The Little River Band's George McArdale (1954), Billy Idol (1955), June Pointer of The Pointer Sisters (1956), Japan's Richard Barbieri (1957), John Ashton of the Psychedelic Furs (1957), Stacey Q (1958), Jalil of Whodini (1963), Paul Wheeler of Icehouse (1965), Des'ree (1968), Mindy McCready (1975)

December 1: Billy Paul (1934), Lou Rawls (1935), Eric Bloom of Blue Oyster Cult (1944), John Densmore of The Doors (1944), Bette Midler (1945), Jaco Pastorius (1951), Japan's Steve Jansen (1959), Brad Delson of Linkin Park (1977)

December 2: Pop Staples (1915), Tom McGuinness of Manfred Mann (1941), Michael McDonald (1952), Joe Henry (1960), Def Leppard's Rick Savage (1960), Nate Mendel of Foo Fighters (1968), Jay-Z (1970), Nelly Furtado (1978), Britney Spears (1981)

December 3: D.J. William "Hoss" Allen (1922), pop crooner Andy Williams (1930), Ralph McTell (1944), Ozzy Osbourne (1948), "Buffalo" Bruce Barlow of Commander Cody (1948), Mickey Thomas of Starship (1949), Molly Hatchet's Duane Roland (1952), Steve Forbert (1955), Montell Jordan (1971)

December 4: film singer Deanna Durbin (1922), Freddy Cannon aka Anthony Picariello (1940), Chris Hillman of The Byrds (1942), Bob Mosely of Moby Grape (1942), Beach Boy Dennis Wilson (1944), Southside Johnny (1948), Tommy Bolin (1950), Gary Rossington of Lynyrd Skynyrd (1951), Bob Griffin of The BoDeans (1959), Vinnie Dombroskie of Sponge (1962)

December 5: Little Richard (1935), J.J. Cale born Jean Jacques Cale (1938), Jim Messina (1947), Great White's Jack Russell (1960), Johnny Rzeznik of Goo Goo Dolls (1965)

December 6: Broadway lyricist Ira Gershwin (1896), Dave Brubeck (1920), Mike Smith of The Dave Clark Five (1943), Kim Simmonds of Savoy Brown (1947), Joe X. Dube of Looking Glass (1950), Jam's Rick Buckler (1955), Peter Buck of R.E.M. (1956), Randy Rhoads (1956), Dave Lovering of The Pixies (1961), Ben Watt of Everything but the Girl (1962), Ace of Base's Ulf Ekberg (1970)

Departures
November 30: jazz guitarist Charlie Byrd (1999), Tiny Tim (1996), Doors producer Paul Rothschild (1995), crossover country singer David Houston (1993)

December 1: jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli (1997), the "Unforgettable" songwriter Irving Gordon (1996), metal singer Ray Gillen (1993), balladeer Harry Ray (1992), Lee Dorsey (1986), Westside Chicago bluesman Magic Sam aka Sam Maghett (1969), bluegrass guitarist Carter Stanley (1966)

December 2: singer-songwriter Kevin Coyne (2004), guitarist/composer Michael Hedges (1997), Aaron Copland (1990), folk singer David Blue (1982)

December 3: jazz pianist Mal Waldron (2002)

December 4: MC5 fret man Fred "Sonic" Smith (1994), Frank Zappa (1993), Deep Purple's Tommy Bolin (1976)

December 5: tenor saxist Bob Berg (2002), New Orleans session sax man David Lastie (1987), multi-instrumentalist jazz behemoth Rahsaan Roland Kirk (1977)

December 6: Memphis bass man Busta Jones (1995), Roy Orbison (1988), Leadbelly (1949)