It happened this week…

This is the week that was in matters musical…

1953, a young sideburned truck driver—last name of Presley—drops in at the Memphis Recording Service studio, plunks down his four bucks, and records “My Happiness” as a gift for his mother …

1954, Elvis is back in Sun Studios to record the first commercially-available Elvis single, “That’s Alright Mama” … that same week, Presley turns up at the grand opening of a Memphis drugstore where he performs on the back of a flatbed truck …

1958, following a backstage fight between a member of The Drifters and the manager of New York’s Apollo Theater, the group’s manager, George Treadwell, fires the entire lineup, then recruits the members of the opening act, The Five Crowns, to become a new incarnation of The Drifters with Ben E. King handling lead vocals … this is one more chapter in a bewildering history during which rival groups billed as The Drifters will tour simultaneously and band rosters will change dozens of times …

1960, Duane Eddy appears on Dick Clark’s prime time show and performs a work in progress, “Ramrod” … the appearance spurs orders for 150,000 copies, but there’s no way to fill them since the record hasn’t been finished … producer Lee Hazelwood hits the studio and adds sax and vocal overdubs so the single can be rushed to the pressing plant … it later turns out that the remix probably doesn’t include Eddy on guitar … the twangalicious work having been done by studio vet Al Casey …

1963, The Essex score a #1 R&B hit with “Easier Said Than Done” … it’ll later clinch the top spot on the pop chart too … all the members of the group are active Marines and they have to get the Corps’ approval to tour behind their hit …

1964, The Rolling Stones cover of Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away” makes it to number 48 on the chart … it is the first in their long line of hits …

1965, Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” is released … it turns out to be his biggest hit ever, climbing to number two on the U.S. pop chart …

1966, Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, and Ginger Baker get together to form one of rock’s most celebrated trios, Cream … 50-year-old crooner Frank Sinatra marries Mia Farrow, 30 years his junior …

1968, Jane Asher calls it quits with Paul McCartney … the announcement that they are no longer engaged is made on the British television show Dee Time while McCartney, who hasn’t been told yet, is watching … Asher came home unexpectedly one night to find Paul with another woman … Asher left the home soon after … despite this occurrence, Asher and McCartney are seen together in public appearances … however, the relationship is acknowledged over when McCartney shows up alone at the Yellow Submarine premiere …

1968, the album In-a-Gadda-da-Vida from Iron Butterfly debuts on the U.S. charts … the title track, clocking in at a whopping 17 minutes, features one of the longest drum solos in rock history … according to producer Jim Hilton, the song’s title results from singer Doug Ingle’s slurred pronunciation of “In Our Garden of Eden” when he was asked for the name of a new song the band was rehearsing … the producer jotted the title down phonetically … Hilton recollects “I felt it was more interesting and a lot more mystical than the straight title … the band thought I had lost my mind, but it was too late to change it, I had already given my OK on the cover for printing” …

1970, British pop star Arthur Brown is held overnight in a Sicilian jail and faces a prison sentence of up to five years after being charged with committing obscene acts in a public place … Brown was performing at the Palermo Pop Festival when he inexplicably stripped naked on stage in front of 15,000 people … the crowd throws things at him and he is arrested and put in solitary confinement for four days … while in solitary, he receives a petition signed by 200 locals requesting that he leave Italy and never return …

1972, a bomb explodes near a Rolling Stones equipment truck in Montreal … the bomb was placed under a ramp and blows the cones out of a lot of PA cabs … nobody is hurt, it’s never determined who placed the bomb … and the show goes on as planned …

1974, John Lennon is given two months to leave the United States by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, who have denied him an extension on his visa, supposedly because he pled guilty to a pot charge in England in 1968 … it will be revealed later that he is under surveillance by the FBI … Joey Ramone slides out from behind the drum kit and steps up to the mic to assume vocal duties for The Ramones …

1978, as Bob Dylan leaves England after completion of his U.K. tour, over 200,000 gather at Blackbushe Airport to see him off …

1982, Moon Unit Zappa, still a young teenager, makes her debut with dad, Frank, recording “Valley Girl,” which becomes FZ’s highest-charting single at #32 and wins Grammy nominations for father and daughter alike …

1986, the film Sid and Nancy premieres at the Limelight Club in London … the film relates the mostly true biographical tale of Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen … the raw, dark film culminates in the stabbing death of Nancy, Sid’s arrest for suspicion of murder, and his heroin OD shortly thereafter …

1987, Guns N’ Roses debut album, Appetite For Destruction, is released … while it is known as a landmark album now, it won’t start moving significant units or receiving much airplay until MTV puts the video for “Sweet Child o’ Mine” into heavy rotation nearly a year later … after the ballad shoots to the top of the charts, the original lead single from the album “Welcome to the Jungle” is re-released and hits the top ten … the top-ten hit “Paradise City” soon follows, as do sold-out arena tours, classic rock star excess, and truckloads of intra-band conflict …

1988, a California appeals court puts the quash on the old “let’s-blame-our-child’s-suicide-on-a-rock-band” game when it upholds a lower court’s decision dismissing a suit against Ozzy Osbourne and CBS … the suit held Ozzy and CBS responsible for the death of a teen who committed suicide after listening to Osbourne’s “Suicide Solution” …

1989, Venice, Italy, is overrun by 200,000 loonies who show up in town for a free Pink Floyd concert and annoy the locals with noise, littering, and drug use …

1991, former Guns N’ Roses drummer, Steven Adler, files suit against the band, claiming they peer-pressured him into heroin addiction, then ousted him from the band when he entered a rehab program … eventually, Adler will accept an out-of-court settlement to the tune of 2.5 million bucks …

1995, a bear-bone flute is found in an archaeological dig in the Indrijca River Valley in Slovenia … at an estimated 45,000 years old, it is the oldest musical instrument ever found …

1996, drummer Jimmy Chamberlin loses his gig with the Smashing Pumpkins after he ODs on smack with touring percussionist-keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin in a New York hotel room … Melvoin dies and Chamberlin is told to take a hike … he will not rejoin the band until 1999 … Chamberlin has already been booted for a short time on this tour after having overdosed in Thailand and again in Portugal …

2002, Bob Seger wins the Port Huron to Mackinac Island Sailboat Race, his second sailing title in two years …

2004, singer Linda Ronstadt not only gets booed, she gets the boot after lauding filmmaker Michael Moore and his new movie Fahrenheit 9/11 during a performance at the Aladdin Hotel and Casino …

2006, Rolling Stone Keith Richards receives a pardon from the state of Arkansas over a 31-year-old conviction for reckless driving …

2007, Prince angers the music industry and stirs up trouble among British retailers by giving away his new album with a tabloid newspaper for a weekend …

2008, Billy Joel plays the first of two rock shows to be held at Shea Stadium, the home of the Mets scheduled for demolition after the baseball season … backed by a 26-piece band and joined by guests John Mayer, John Mellencamp, Tony Bennett, and Don Henley, Joel puts on a show that runs over three hours … tickets for the show attended by 55,000 sell in 48 minutes …

2009, two workers die after a stage erected for a Madonna concert collapses …

…and that was the week that was.

Arrivals:

July 15: Cowboy Copas, country singing star who died in the same plane as Patsy Cline (1913), Motown house drummer William “Benny” Benjamin (1925), singer-actress Nina, Baroness van Pallandt (1932), soul star Millie Jackson (1944), guitarist (and son of actress Loretta Young) Peter Lewis of Moby Grape (1945), singer-songwriter-producer Linda Ronstadt (1946), flamboyant New York Dolls guitarist Johnny Thunders, born John Anthony Genzale Jr. (1952), guitarist for .38 Special Jeff Carlisi (1952), Joy Division vocalist Ian Curtis (1956), instrumental rock guitarist Joe Satriani (1956)

July 16: Sollie McElroy of The Flamingos (1934), soul songstress Denise LaSalle (1939), Ruben Blades (1948), Stewart Copeland (1952), Ed Kowalczyk of Live (1971)

July 17: Texas R&B singer Peppermint Harris (1925), Spencer Davis (1941), The Sweet’s Mick Tucker (1948), Black Sabbath’s Terry “Geezer” Butler (1949), Nicolette Larson (1952), Doobie Brother Chet McCracken (1952), Phoebe Snow (1952), JC of PM Dawn (1973)

July 18: Screamin’ Jay Hawkins (1929), Papa Dee Allen of War (1931), Dion DiMucci (1937), Rolling Stones pianist-road manager Ian Stewart (1938), Brian Auger (1939), Martha Reeves (1941), Tim Lynch of The Flamin’ Groovies (1946), Golden Earring’s Caesar Zuiderwijk (1950), Ricky Skaggs (1954), drummer Terry Chambers of XTC (1955), Pearl Jam’s Jack Irons (1962), Tony Fagenson of Eve 6 (1962)

July 19: ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax (1902), singer-guitarist Buster Benton (1932), Bo Diddley’s fellow guitarist-vocalist Lady Bo born Peggy Jones (1940), pop singer Vikki Carr (1941), Clarence White of The Byrds (1944), Average White Band’s Alan Gorrie (1946), Bobby Neal of the Stone Canyon Band (1947), Brian May (1947), The Eagles’ Bernie Leadon (1947), Dead keyboardist Keith Godchaux (1948), Allen Collins of Lynyrd Skynyrd (1952), Kevin Haskins of Love & Rockets (1960)

July 20: Buddy Knox (1933), Kim Carnes (1945), The Moody Blues’ John Lodge (1945), Carlos Santana (1947), Twisted Sister’s Jay Jay French (1954), Paul Cook of The Sex Pistols (1956), Simple Minds’ Mick McNeil (1958), Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and Audioslave (1964), Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam (1966), Vitamin C (1972)

July 21: Floyd McDaniel (1915), Kay Starr (1922), R&B saxophonist Plas Johnson (1931), offbeat pop producer–artist–impresario Kim Fowley (1939), Cat Stevens a.k.a. Yusuf Islam (1947), Al Di Meola (1954), bassist Howie Epstein of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (1955), Emerson Hart of Tonic (1969)

Departures:

July 15: rapper Too Poetic, born Anthony Berkeley (2001), Bizarros drummer Rick Garberson (1979)

July 16: singer and radio star Jo Stafford (2008), agent-manager Don Arden (2007), salsa singer Celia Cruz (2003), Styx drummer John Panozzo (1996), Sun Records’ Bill Justis (1982), Harry Chapin (1981), Peter Cowap of Herman’s Hermits (1977)

July 17: Gordon Waller of ’60s duo Peter & Gordon (2009), opera singer Teresa Stich-Randell (2007), Paul Young of Mike and the Mechanics (2000), Marc Hunter of Dragon (1998), Hendrix manager Chas Chandler (1996), blues pianist Roosevelt Sykes (1983), sax giant John Coltrane (1967), “Lady Day” Billie Holiday (1959), harpin’ bluesman Henry Strong (1954)

July 18: tenor Jerry Hadley (2007), Haroon Shamsher of Joi (1999), Velvet Underground chanteuse Nico, born Christa Päffgen (1988), bandleader Jimmy Liggins (1983), Hi Records owner Joe Cuoghi (1970), Bobby Fuller (1966)

July 19: highlife bandleader Emmanuel Tettey “E.T.” Mensah (1996), R&B sax man Red Prysock (1993)

July 20: guitarist-producer-songwriter Artie Traum (2008), singer-guitarist Buster Benton (2007), musician-music executive-manager Jim Tyrrell (1998), recording engineer Gary Kellgren (1977), Roy Hamilton (1969)

July 21: art director of Yellow Submarine Heinz Edelman (2009), New Riders of the Purple Sage co-founder John "Marmaduke" Dawson (2009), agent-manager Don Arden (2007), English bluesman Long John Baldry (2005), film composer Jerry Goldsmith (2004), gospel singer O’Landa Draper (1998), Colonel Tom Parker (1997), Frankie “Cannibal” Garcia, founder of Cannibal and The Headhunters (1996), arranger-songwriter Bert Keyes (1980)

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1 Comments

  1. Steve Marinucci's gravatar Steve Marinucci

    The story about Jane Asher finding a woman with Paul McCartney is wrong, at least according to the woman he was supposedly with. I interviewed her and she denied it.

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