It happened this week…

This is the week that was in matters musical…

1878, seminal turntablist Thomas Edison receives a patent for the phonograph …

1951, Dan Randall of Fender comes up with a new name for their solidbody guitar: “Telecaster” … the original name “Broadcaster” is dropped after Gretsch complains they have a line of drums using that name … the name “Telecaster” is chosen because TV is becoming popular …

1956, Bill Haley & The Comets receive a $250,000 guarantee for 21 shows, an unprecedented amount … this same week, the band’s album Rock Around The Clock becomes the first rock ‘n’ roll LP to make it onto the pop album charts …

1963, The Beatles form Northern Music Publishing which eventually will fall into the hands of Michael Jackson …

1966, The Beach Boys’ mastermind Brian Wilson enters Gold Star Studios on Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood to lay down the first tracks of “Good Vibrations” using the best session players available … the tracks aren’t used … it takes 16 more sessions between April 9 and September 1 at Gold Star, Sunset Sound, Western, and Columbia studios before Wilson achieves his master recording at a reported cost of between $50,000 and $75,000 … at the time an astronomical sum for a single record, but worth it given the result …

1967, The Doors, Buffalo Springfield, and The Byrds join forces in an L.A. all-star concert to protest cops roughing up hippies on the Sunset Strip … though the concert does little to stop the pugilistic proclivities of the petulant police, it does spawn Stills’ hit, “For What It’s Worth” …

1968, Pink Floyd cofounder Syd Barrett succumbs to mental illness and is replaced on guitar by the estimable David Gilmour …

1969, the film version of Terry Southern’s sex-comedy novel Candy with Ringo Starr in a prominent role premieres … it marks Ringo’s debut in a nonmusical film …

“Viva Zapata! clam down!” Mexican scouse…

1974, Billy Joel charts with “Piano Man” … it will be the first of 41 Top 100 entries for him … Cher officially separates from Sonny, thus paving the way for Greg Allman to top her charts …

1976, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings strike pay dirt with The Outlaws when it becomes the first country album to go platinum … other performers on the blockbuster are Jessi Colter and Tompall Glaser …

1978, Sex Pistol bassist Sid Vicious and girlfriend Nancy Spungen are arrested at the Chelsea Hotel for drug possession … it is a prelude to murder and death by overdose …

1980, soon after reaching stardom, Bon Scott of AC/DC bites it in the back of a friend’s car after a long night of very heavy drinking … in a classic rock ‘n’ roll spin-crash-and-burn, the 33-year-old singer passes out and dies by choking on his own vomit

1981, in a verdict that at once validates Sigmund Freud (theory of the subconscious) and George Orwell (double-speak), George Harrison is ruled liable for “subconscious plagiarism” in a civil case regarding his 1970 song “My Sweet Lord,” and the Chiffons’ 1963 hit “He’s So Fine” … the judge orders that $587,000 be paid to ABKCO Music, publisher of “He’s So Fine” …

1987, after informing us at Woodstock that he wanted to take us higher, Sly Stone decides to lead by example … two outstanding warrants on drug charges land him in the pokey in L.A. … by the end of the year he’ll be doing hard time on cocaine charges …

1989, Hard Rock/Metal is a Grammy category for the first time … in a class that includes heavyweight nominees Metallica, Jane’s Addiction, and Iggy Pop, the winner is (drum roll, please): Jethro Tull … a chorus of boos rains down from the public balconies and even some of the artists on the main floor join in … critics nearly unanimously lambast the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences voters who selected Tull, whose mix of classic English prog rock and jazz flute is the farthest thing from hard rock or metal …

Metal!!!!!!!! – actually I like Tull and do have that album.

1992, Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love wed in Waikiki …

1995, Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee puts his 1986 marriage with the lovely Heather Locklear behind him and marries Baywatch babe Pamela Anderson on a beach in Cancun … according to onlookers, Anderson, clad only in a formal white bikini, could barely contain her increasingly buoyant spirits …

1996, Barry Manilow is involved in a five-car collision on the I-10 freeway in Los Angeles … Manilow, who actually didn’t pen the hit “I Write the Songs” for which he won a Grammy 19 years earlier to the day, finds more immediate use for his writing skills by signing autographs for police, accident victims, and fans …

1997, a judge in New York throws out a $7 million lawsuit blaming Mötley Crüe for a fan’s hearing loss … the judge points out that the fan knew it was going to be loud before he went to the concert … “Go Phish,” is ice cream maker Ben and Jerry’s response to those who wonder how they will maintain their “grass roots” movement of rock-related flavors aimed at the great unwashed … now hippies young and old can choose between Cherry Garcia and a new phlavor: Phish Food …

1998, pounding the skins comes naturally to Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee … this time, unfortunately, the skin belongs to his wife Pamela Anderson … Lee is arrested and charged with domestic abuse … Virgin Records files suit against the Smashing Pumpkins for alleged breach of contract and nondelivery of albums … the suit claims the band notified Virgin that instead of delivering seven albums, per its contract, the band was delivering just three and walking … the Pumpkins cite a California labor law which limits personal service contracts to seven years as its law originally used by movie stars to break free from the once-dominant studio system … the band eventually wins and gets more money with its royalty rate bumped up to 20 percent …

2003, The Station nightclub in West Warwick, Rhode Island, at which Great White is performing, goes up in flames, ignited by onstage pyrotechnics … 100 are killed and many more injured … it is the deadliest rock-concert tragedy ever …

2005, Brian “Head” Welch, guitarist for the metal act Korn, quits the band he helped found after experiencing a religious awakening … Brian breaks the news on a Bakersfield, California, radio station … he says he’s sick of “chasing the almighty buck,” and feels raising his six-year old daughter is more important … Korn tries to accommodate the single dad by allowing his daughter to come on tour but it doesn’t work, according to Welch … “Fieldy (Korn bass player) would tell her: ‘Every time you hear a curse word, you’ll get a dollar. It will help us stop cursing.’ And at the end of the day, she’d turn to me and be like, ‘Look at all my money, Daddy!'” …

2006, with fallout from Dixie Chicks singer Natalie Maines’ criticism of George W. Bush in 2003 still dogging them, the band drops 14 dates including Memphis, Houston, and Jacksonville, FL, from its Accidents and Accusations tour … so-called red-state hostility has resulted in poor ticket sales in the South and the Chicks continue to get the cold shoulder from country radio …

2007, pop star Britney Spears, apparently taking fashion cues from Connie Conehead and Tommy Lee, spends a wacky week getting her head shaved and a new tattoo applied … Esther Tognozzi (now affectionately known as “the hair nozzi”), owner of Esther’s Hair Salon in Tarzana, CA, says she tried to talk the agitated pop star out of it, but a determined Spears grabbed the clippers while Tognozzi was chatting with Brit’s bodyguards and chopped away …

2008, 50 Cent is ordered to pay up after losing a lawsuit filed against him by a photographer … after a near five-year drag out after the knock down, a judge rules that Fiddy must cough up an undisclosed amount … Jim Alcorn, a New York Post deputy photo assignment editor, brought the suit against the rapper in 2003 after being knocked to the ground by Fiddy’s bodyguards when he tried to snap a few pictures …

2009, J. Geils Band reunites for a one-off performance in their hometown of Boston …

…and that was the week that was.

Arrivals:

February 18: Yoko Ono (1933), folk singer David Blue (1941), Herman Santiago of Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers (1941), Dennis DeYoung of Styx (1947), Mark Andes of Spirit, Jo Jo Gunne, and Heart (1948), Randy Crawford (1952), pop singer Juice Newton (1952), Robbie Bachman of Bachman-Turner Overdrive (1953), Dr. Dre, known to his mother as Andre Romelle Young (1965)

February 19: Bob Englemen of The Lettermen (1936), baritone William McClain of The Cleftones (1938), Smokey Robinson and Bobby Rogers, both of the Miracles (1940), Lou Christie (1943), guitarist Tommie Iommi of Black Sabbath (1948), bassist Francis Buckholz of the Scorpions (1950), Austrian techno-pop star Falco (1957), singer-songwriter Seal, aka Sealhenry Samuel (1963), Phish drummer John “Fish” Fishman (1965)

February 20: pianist Jimmy Yancey (1898), Cuban singer Ibrahim Ferrer (1927), jazz songstress Nancy Wilson (1937), singer-songwriter David Ackles (1937), Barbara Ellis of The Fleetwoods (1939), singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie (1941), trumpet player Lew Soloff of Blood, Sweat, and Tears (1944), singer and guitarist Alan Hull of Lindisfarne (1945), Jerome (J.) Geils of The J. Geils Band (1946), Walter Becker of Steely Dan (1950), guitarist Randy California of Spirit (1951), bassist Jon Brant of Cheap Trick (1954), Victor Ray Wilson, drummer with Body Count (1959), singer Ian Brown of The Stone Roses (1963), Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain (1967), Brian Littrell of Backstreet Boys (1975)

February 21: father of the modern classical guitar, Andres Segovia (1893), ’50s pop singer Guy Mitchell aka Al Cernik (1927), singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger Nina Simone (1933), swamp pop pioneer Bobby Charles (1938), record executive David Geffen (1943), Talking Head Jerry Harrison (1949), folk and country music artist Mary Chapin Carpenter (1958), Ranking Roger aka Roger Charlery of The English Beat (1961), Sublime’s Eric Wilson (1970), Welsh singer-songwriter Charlotte Church (1986)

February 22: Frederic Francois Chopin (1810), self-proclaimed “King of Western Swing,” bandleader, and wife-killer Spade Cooley (1910), R&B saxophonist “Big Al” Sears, born Albert Omega Sears (1910), New Orleans R&B singer Ernie K-Doe aka Ernest Kador Jr. (1936), Bobby Hendricks of The Drifters (1937), Robert Edwards of The Intruders (1942), Brad Nowell of Sublime (1968)

February 23: operatic composer George Frederic Handel (1685), blues guitarist-singer Johnny Winter (1944), Les Kummel, bassist with The New Colony Six (1945), innovative pedal steel guitar player Rusty Young of Poco (1946), guitarist Brad Whitford of Aerosmith (1952), synth player, singer, songwriter Howard Jones (1955), Japan frontman David Sylvian (1958), guitarist Michael Wilton of Queensryche (1962), Robert Collins, keyboardist with The Charlatans (1963), bassist Nicki Tedesco (1971), bassist Jeff Beres of Sister Hazel (1971), keyboardist Lasse Johansson of The Cardigans (1973)

February 24: Italian tenor and recording pioneer Enrico Caruso (1873), singer-songwriter Wandra Merrell (1923), singer Paul Jones of Manfred Mann (1942), George Harrison (1943), keyboard session man Nicky Hopkins (1944), Butch McDade, drummer with The Amazing Rhythm Aces (1946), bassist Lonnie Turner of the Steve Miller Band (1947), Rupert Holmes, composer, singer-songwriter, musician, and musical playwright (1947), singer-songwriter Michelle Shocked (1962)

Departures:

February 18: Pere Ubu guitarist Jim Jones (2008), pop singer Miss Toni Fisher (1999), Eddie Williams, bassist for Johnny Moore and The Three Blazers (1995), Bob Stinson of The Replacements (1995), rockabilly artist Johnny Carroll (1995), Musical Youth bassist Patrick Waite (1993), Ollie McLaughlin, producer for Del Shannon (1984)

February 19: guitarist Ty Longley of Great White (2003), Hee-Haw’s Grandpa Jones (1998), Bon Scott of AC/DC (1980)

February 20: gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson (2005), John Raitt, Broadway baritone and father of Bonnie (2005), Lighthouse vocalist Bob McBride (1998), composer Toru Takemitsu (1996), Hal Worthington, leader of the soul band The Unifics (1990), Cornelius “Tenoo” Coleman, drummer for Fats Domino (1973), Jimmy Bracken, the “Jay” in Vee-Jay Records (1972)

February 21: Al Viola, jazz guitarist with Frank Sinatra (2007), singer Les Gray of English glam rock band Mud (2004), rockabilly singer Malcolm Yelvington (2001), English vocalist Ronnie Hilton (2001), Musical Youth bassist Patrick Waite (1993), DJ Murray “The K” Kaufman, who helped launch the Beatles in the U.S. (1982), reggae singer Jacob Miller of Inner Circle (1980), Janet Vogel, singer with The Skyliners (1980), Nolan Strong of The Diablos (1977)

February 22: guitarist John Fahey (2001), electric violinist “Papa” John Creach (1994), Kermit Chandler, guitarist with The Sheppards (1981), Florence Ballard of The Supremes (1976)

February 23: singer Donnie Brooks (2007), Bob Mayo, guitarist and keyboardist with Peter Frampton (2004), Howie Epstein of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (2003), jazz critic Stanley Dance (1999), singer Melvin Franklin of The Temptations (1995)

February 24: Larry Norman, “father of Christian rock” (2008), co-founder of Stax Records Estelle Axton (2004), ’50s pop crooner Johnnie Ray (1990), blues pianist Memphis Slim aka John Len “Peter” Chatman (1988), Detroit soul singer Ty Hunter (1981)

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1 Comments

  1. crissy's gravatar crissy

    Barry didn’t win a grammy for I Write The Songs; Bruce Johnston who actually wrote it won for Song of The Year. Barry won a Grammy in 1979 for Best Pop Vocal Performance Male for Copacabana.

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