It happened this week…

This is the week that was in matters musical …

1960, before launching his solo career, Ben E. King cuts his final two singles with The Drifters … "I Count the Tears" will top out at #17, while "Save The Last Dance For Me" will score big by going all the way to the top of the pop and R&B charts …

1965, The Beatles cut the single “Ticket to Ride” … it’s the band’s first song to feature Paul McCartney on lead guitar … FBI agents visit Wand Records investigating the lyrics to the song “Louie Louie” by the Kingsmen … c’mon guys, nobody could get the words off the record … that didn’t stop any of us from singing it at parties … name another song that’s easier to fake the lyrics to …

1966, the Byrd’s single "Eight Miles High" is banned by some radio stations because of the lyrics’ alleged drug references … as it turns out, Gene Clark, who crafted the lyrics, claims they’re about the group’s airborne 1965 English tour … according to Clark, airliners fly at six or seven miles up, but eight miles high just sounds better …

1967, the BBC announces a ban on the Beatles song “A Day In The Life” … it’s concerned that the lyrics will promote drug use … upon hearing of the ban John and Paul respond, “The laugh is that Paul and I wrote this song from a newspaper headline. It’s about a crash and its victim. How can anyone read drugs into it is beyond me. Everyone seems to be falling overboard to see the word drug in the most innocent of phrases. The BBC has misinterpreted the song. It has nothing to do with drug-taking. It’s only about a dream." … Jimi Hendrix signs with Reprise Records, his first recording deal with an American company … from the one-hit-wonders department, Australia’s Easybeats reach number 16 on the U.S. charts with "Friday On My Mind" … the band is led by founder/guitarist George Young, whose success must have amped his younger brothers, Malcolm and Angus of AC/DC fame … although the Easybeats had bigger hits Down Under, the success of "Friday" in the States seemed to signal their downfall due to management hassles, personnel changes, and yes, dope …

1970, Randy Bachman leaves The Guess Who … without question …

1974, Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones releases his first solo album, Monkey Grip … it’s the first solo effort by a Stone …

1975, Mick Jagger puts his hand through a window at Gorman’s restaurant in Long Island, NY … it isn’t really that cool of a trick though … the window is open and everyone is really, really high, so it just seems much more impressive at the time … you had to be there … okay, he trips and accidentally puts his fist through the window … trouper that he is, the Rolling Stone’s tour proceeds as planned even though Jagger requires 20 stitches … many conjecture that this event is the inspiration for the song "Shattered" … of course, it isn’t that much of a song, but then again, putting your hand through a window really isn’t that much of a trick … (unless you’re really, really high) … Elton John’s album Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy is released … it’s the first album to be certified a million-seller on its first day of release …

1978, Philips announces it will launch the compact disc with fully digital recording and replay systems … in 1982, Japan receives the first CDs; a year later, Europe and the U.S., with CD players selling for $1,000 …

1979, Eric Clapton and Patti Boyd marry … Boyd’s marriage to Clapton’s friend George Harrison ended in 1977 … often portrayed as a muse to both musicians, Boyd inspired Clapton to write the song “Layla” about his unrequited love for Boyd, and later, “Wonderful Tonight” after they are together … three of The Beatles—Paul, Ringo, and George—are joined by Mick Jagger for a performance at the reception … it is the first time since their ’69 breakup that the three Beatles have played together …

1980, predating the television show The Biggest Loser by more than two decades, Peter Criss leaves KISS to start a solo "career" …

1984, Nils Lofgren replaces “Miami” Steve Van Zandt in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band … Prince asks the musical question, "When Doves Cry" … answer: generally, it’s right before meeting Ozzy … then nothing …

1985, the artist who will eventually be known as the artist formerly known as Prince releases the single “Raspberry Beret” … no big deal, really … we just wanted to make the "artist formerly known" joke …

1986, Peter Gabriel releases the album, So … rumor has it that the unhurried artist will plan a follow-up album for early 22nd century release …

1990, music industry entrepreneur Morris Levy goes to that long, plastic money trench in the sky … having his fingers in many pies, including jukeboxes, nightclubs, publishing, record labels, and other peoples’, he was convicted of extortion in 1988 but died before serving time … in the mid-1970s he sued John Lennon for $42 million, charging plagiarism of a Chuck Berry song … the case was thrown out …

1994, Sting and Nancy Wilson receive honorary doctorates from the Berklee College of Music in Boston …

1999, rock band No Doubt sues the clothing manufacturer No Fear for service mark infringement … the company is marketing a line of clothes bearing the "No Doubt" name …

2001, XM Satellite Radio completes its satellite system …

2005, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne put their 6-bedroom Beverly Hills home up for sale … the asking price is $11.9 million and a dole of doves (that’s like a gaggle of geese, only with doves) … after nearly contracting rabies from biting off the head of a bat a rabid fan threw onstage, Ozzy accepts Batman as his personal savior and vows to limit his intake of fresh fowl to doves …

2006, Paul McCartney and Heather Mills announce that their four-year marriage is splitsville and they will separate … the couple states, “Having tried exceptionally hard to make our relationship work given the daily pressures surrounding us, it is with sadness that we have decided to go our separate ways." … one can only wonder if it was worth the $48.6 million price tag for the Scottish-descended Beatle "to go roamin’ through the heather on the hill" … the times they are a-changin’ as Rolling Stone reports that music downloads are up 83 percent for the year and that digital downloading has become a significant piece of the pie, accounting for 14 percent of music sales …

2007, a charge against former Creed frontman Scott Stapp stemming from an apparent confrontation with his wife is reduced to a misdemeanor … Stapp had been charged with aggravated assault with intent to commit a felony after he threw a bottle of Orangina at his wife and missed … Stapp will be subject to random drug and alcohol testing … apparently, with his alleged history of drug abuse, Stapp is expected to do quite well on the test, but according to authorities, he’ll have to make every answer count since there won’t be any extra credit … Stapp’s former band, Creed, sold more than 25 million records in the United States … he has since launched a solo career … of course, now with his wife on edge and the random alcohol and drug testing, we wonder what Scott will use to prime his creative engines for takeoff when he … you know … flies solo … Evanescence drummer Rocky Gray and guitarist John LeCompt are summarily canned … LeCompt reports on his blog that he was fired on the phone by front woman Amy Lee who later posts a comment on the band website, "Evanescence is alive and well. [John and Rocky] were ready to move on." … apparently, whether they knew it or not … there’s madness to the Method Man as the Wu-Tang Clan rapper is popped for possession when his SUV is pulled over for an expired inspection sticker … the cops find 28 grams of wacky tabbacky aboard …

And that was the week that was.

Arrivals:

May 15: country singer Eddy Arnold (1918), Joe Cuoghi, owner of Hi records (1922), singer-guitarist Trini Lopez (1937), country singer K.T. Oslin (1942), Graham Goble of the Little River Band (1947), Brian Eno (1948), Dennis Fredericksen of Toto (1951), Dwight Twilly Band guitarist-singer Phil Seymour (1952), Mike Oldfield of Tubular Bells fame (1953), Prince Be of PM Dawn (1970), Ahmet Zappa (1974)

May 16: flamboyant pianist Liberace (1919), jazz singer Betty Carter (1930), The Diamonds’ Ted Kowalski (1931), singer Kripp Johnson of The Del Vikings (1933), jazz drummer Billy Cobham (1944), guitarist Robert Fripp (1946), Darrell Sweet, drummer with Nazareth (1947), The Chiffons’ Barbara Lee (1947), Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic (1965), Janet Jackson (1966), New Edition’s Ralph Tresvant (1968)

May 17: composer Erik Alfred-Leslie Satie (1866), guitarist Malcolm Hale of Spanky And Our Gang (1941), R&B pianist-vocalist-author Sonny Knight (1934), roots musician Taj Mahal (1942), singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester (1944), drummer Bill Bruford (1949), George Johnson of The Brothers Johnson (1953), Iron Maiden’s Paul Di’anno (1958), singer-songwriter Enya, born Eithne N’ Bhraonáin (1961), Page McConnell of Phish (1963), Pearl Jam drummer Dave Abbruzzese (1964), Trent Reznor (1965), Jordan Knight of New Kids on the Block (1970), Kandi Burruss of R&B girl group Xscape (1976)

May 18: Kansas City blues shouter "Big" Joe Turner (1911), crooner Perry Como (1918), Glenn Hardin of The Crickets (1939), T Rex bass player Bobby Del Din (1942), Joe Bonsall of the Oak Ridge Boys (1948), Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman (1949), country singer George Strait (1952), composer Gustav Mahler (1911)

May 19: UK pop star Alma Cogan (1932), The Who’s Pete Townshend (1945), Phil Rudd of AC/DC (1946), Blood, Sweat and Tears saxophonist Gregory Herbert (1947), ZZ Top’s Dusty Hill (1949), Joey Ramone (1951), Grace Jones (1952), Heaven 17’s Martyn Ware (1956), Ian Harvie of Del Amitri (1962), Jenny Berggren of Ace of Base (1972)

May 20: Vic Ames of the Ames Brothers (1926), Ink Spots singer and solo pianist Shorty Long (1940), Jill Jackson aka Paula of Paul and Paula (1942), Joe Cocker (1944), Cher, born Cherilyn Sarkisian La Pier (1946), Jimmie Henderson of Black Oak Arkansas (1954), The Go-Go’s Jane Weidlin (1958), Susan Cowsill of the Cowsills (1960), Haircut 100’s Nick Heyward (1961), Tom Garman of Belly (1966), Busta Rhymes (1972), Naturi Naughton of 3LW (1984)

May 21: Thomas “Fats” Waller (1904), Tejano pioneer Lydia Mendoza (1916), producer-songwriter Henry Glover (1921), Ronald Isley of The Isley Brothers (1941), Atomic Rooster’s Vincent Crane (1943), Hilton Valentine of The Animals (1943), Bill Champlin of Chicago (1947)

Departures:

May 15: Rob Gretton, manager of Joy Division and New Order (1999), Frederick Van Pallandt, half of the Danish duo Nina and Frederick (1994), Barbara Alston of The Crystals (1992), Paul Wilson, baritone singer with The Flamingoes (1988)

May 16: Clifford Antone, owner of Antone’s, the club where SRV got his start (2006), ’60s soul singer Marv Johnson (1993), song and dance man Sammy Davis Jr. (1990), Pianist, arranger, and producer Ernie Freeman (1981), songwriter Arthur Gunter (1976)

May 17: Lawrence "Ramrod" Shurtliff, longtime Grateful Dead roadie (2006), Bon Jovi producer Bruce Fairbairn (1999), Johnny “Guitar” Watson (1996), bandleader Lawrence Welk (1992), Roy Montrell, guitarist with Fats Domino’s band (1979)

May 18: jazz drum titan Elvin Jones (2004), influential reggae producer Augusto Pablo (1999), Robert Carr of the duo Robert & Johnny (1993), John Fenton, singer with The Diamonds (1982), Joy Division vocalist Ian Curtis (1980)

May 19: Harold Kelling, guitarist with The Hampton Grease Band (2005), blues singer Arnold "Gatemouth" Moore (2004), singer-violinist Freyda Epstein of Trapezoid (2003), jazz singer Susannah McCorkle (2001), gospel and soul singer Odia Coates (1991), Ron Wilson, cousin of The Beach Boy Wilsons and member of The Surfaris (1989), Gene Mumford, lead singer of Billy Ward & The Dominos (1977), tenor sax master Coleman Hawkins (1969), composer Charles Ives (1954)

May 20: Italian orchestra leader Renato Carosone (2001), harp player Willie Foster (2001), music publisher David Platz (1994), Rudy Lewis, vocalist with The Drifters (1964), The O’Jays’ William Powell (1977),

May 21: Nicholas Dante, co-author of “A Chorus Line” (1991)

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1 Comments

  1. Lynn Mayes's gravatar Lynn Mayes

    Eric Clapton and Pattie Boyd (not “Patti” sic) were married March 27, 1979 in Tucson, Arizona, not this week. Weeks later on May 19, 1979, during a break in Eric’s tour, they hosted a huge belated reception party at their home in Surrey, England at which three of the Beatles and Mick Jagger, etc., attended and jammed.

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