It happened this week…

This is the week that was in matters musical…

1958, from the Dangers of Rock & Roll Department: researchers at Esso oil company warn drivers that tuning into rock music on your car radio is bad for mileage … the infectious beat causes you to lead-foot the gas pedal …

1959, Seth Lover, working for Gibson guitars, is granted patent #2,896,491 by the U.S. Patent Office for his “magnetic pickup for stringed musical instrument,” better known as the humbucker pickup … the patent was applied for on June 22, 1955 … Gibson added the new pickups to its electric solidbody and archtop guitars in 1957, including the Les Paul … during late 1957, a small black decal with gold lettering was added to the underside of the pickup that read “Patent Applied For” … (today, PAF pickups are the most collectible and desirable pickups, fetching upwards of $1,000 each among vintage guitar collectors) … by mid-to-late 1962, Gibson changed the pickup decal to read “Patent No. 2,737,842″ … interestingly enough, the patent number listed on the decal was not for Seth’s pickup design but was for Les Paul’s trapeze tailpiece … not one to raise a legal fuss, apparently Seth really is a Lover, not a fighter …

1965, the crowd at the Newport Folk Festival turns surly and Pete Seeger seems especially incensed, threatening to take an axe to PA cables, when Bob Dylan, backed by a pickup band composed of Paul Butterfield Blues Band personnel, delivers an abbreviated electrified set … the performance is met with a mixture of applause and booing … Dylan promptly leaves the stage only to be coaxed back to perform a couple of acoustic tunes with just his harp and guitar … the cause of the audience’s hostility is the subject of dispute … some maintain that folk purists in the crowd were put off by Dylan’s conversion to rock while others maintain that a highly distorted PA was to blame …

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1968, after sustaining heavy losses and being forced by neighboring businesses to remove the psychedelic mural adorning its exterior walls, The Beatles shut down their Apple Boutique in London … a near-riot ensues when the shop’s stock is given away to the public … The Byrds begin a tour of South Africa minus Gram Parsons, who quit the band in protest of its playing in a country that promotes Apartheid—state sponsored segregation …

1973, a rock show at Watkins Glen racetrack in upstate New York pulls in a record 600,000 fans to see The Band, The Allman Brothers, and The Grateful Dead …

1976, John Lennon receives his green card from U.S. immigration authorities more than three years after he was ordered to leave the country …

1977, John Bonham and Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant are charged with assault after a backstage fight with employees of the promoter at a U.S. concert … Judas Priest begins its first U.S. tour in Oakland, CA as the opening act for Led Zeppelin …

1980, Back In Black, the new album from AC/DC, is released … it’s the band’s first album with new singer Brian Johnson … Johnson joined the band after the untimely, alcohol-driven death of singer Bon Scott, and the album is a tribute of sorts to the fallen rocker … released just five months after Scott’s death, the disc races up the charts … by 1997 it will have sold 16 million copies in the U.S. alone …

1988, Def Leppard’s Hysteria finally reaches No. 1 after 49 weeks on the U.S. album chart …

1990, a wrongful death trial involving Judas Priest opens in Reno, NV … parents charge in a lawsuit that the band’s Stained Class album contained subliminal messages that drove two teenagers to attempt suicide … the judge clears the group …

1992, after complaining that the food backstage isn’t suitable for Labelle’s labonza, Patti abruptly pulls the plug on her concert in Warwick, Rhode Island … Bruce Springsteen opens his first U.S. tour since 1988 in New Jersey (natch) at The Meadowlands entertainment complex … he and the E-Street Band will play 11 sold-out concerts in the 21,000-seat Brendan Byrne arena, with some of the shows going until one in the morning … it’s good to be the Boss …

1993, UB40 hits the top spot on the U.S. singles chart with “Can’t Help Falling In Love” and also goes to No.1 on the U.K. album chart with Promises and Lies

1995, The Ramones release their fourteenth and final studio album, Adios Amigos

1998, Aerosmith cancels the first 13 dates of its U.S. tour after drummer Joey Kramer suffers second-degree burns in a freak gas-station fire … this is the second crimp in the band’s tour plans … in April dates had to be scrapped on account of Steven Tyler’s knee injury and subsequent surgery … this same week, Toad The Wet Sprocket, after 12 years and six albums, finally croaks …

2000, the Aiken County, SC, sheriff’s office finally catches up with James Brown who’s been overseas at a gig … utility worker Russell Eubanks has filed a complaint that Brown threatened him by brandishing a steak knife when Eubanks came to Brown’s home to respond to a power-outage report …

2003, singer Chino Moreno of The Deftones pulls a groin muscle during a particularly energetic set on the Summer Sanitarium tour … after consulting a doctor, the band announces they will miss the Sanitarium stop in Minnesota and two club dates in South Dakota and Montana … the hope is that a few days’ rest will allow the singer to perform at the next Sanitarium stop in Denver later that week …

2005, in a settlement over payola charges brought by crusading New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, Sony BMG Music Entertainment coughs up $10 million … Spitzer’s investigation reveals that the label had plied major stations with cash and gifts in return for airplay of its releases … Spitzer presented evidence in the form of dozens of emails in which the record company solicited airplay in return for payola … one particularly damning message from an Epic record plugger inquired of a Clear Channel programmer, “What do I have to do to get Audioslave on WKSS this week?!!?. Whatever you can dream up, I can make it happen!!!” … also this week, an unnamed bidder coughs up $1.1 million for a scrap of paper on which John Lennon had scrawled the lyrics for “All You Need is Love” in preparation for the Beatles’ 1966 BBC satellite broadcast … Lennon had tossed the sheet following the show and it was retrieved by a BBC employee … during the same auction a pair of Lennon’s specs go for $98,000 … the former lead singer of the Motown act Martha Reeves and The Vandellas is qualified to appear on the ballot in her bid for a seat on Detroit’s city council … says Reeves, “Summer’s here and it’s time to run.” … she will ultimately win and Detroit’s voters will dance in the streets …

2006, Kazaa, the file-sharing website, settles with major record companies for $115 million … the site announces it plans to relaunch as a legal purveyor of downloads … Steely Dan’s Walter Becker and Donald Fagen fire off a letter to actor Luke Wilson charging that his brother Owen has misappropriated the name of a character from their song “Cousin Dupree” for the movie You, Me and Dupree in which Wilson’s Dupree character is a couch-hopping loser … the letter, posted on the Steely Dan website, warns Wilson that “There are some pretty heavy people who are upset about this whole thing and we can’t guarantee what kind of heat little Owen may be bringing down on himself” … the letter goes on to suggest that Wilson should make an appearance at a Dan concert and apologize to their fans … they also invite him to bring his bongos and sit in … the tongue-in-cheek feud continues when Wilson fires back, “I have never heard the song ‘Cousin Dupree’ and I don’t even know who this gentleman, Mr. Steely Dan, is. I hope this helps to clear things up and I can get back to concentrating on my new movie, HEY 19.” …

… the long-running Brit TV pop music show Top of the Pops poops out … the show had aired on the Beeb continuously since 1964 … Lance Bass of ‘NSync devastates countless fans of the boy-band singer when he announces that he is not only happy, but gay … says Bass, “I’m more liberated and happy than I’ve been my whole life.” … Los Lonely Boys bassist Joey “JoJo” Garza is busted for assault and pot possession when cops are called to an Austin, Texas, hotel over a noise complaint … after they find Carina Lyn, Garza’s fiancée, scratched on an arm and shoulder, they lodge charges though the woman denies there was an assault …

2007, Brian May is completing his doctorate in astrophysics more than 30 years after he abandoned his studies to form the rock group Queen … the 60-year-old guitarist and songwriter says he plans to submit his thesis, “Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud,” at Imperial College London within the next two weeks … May was an astrophysics student at Imperial when Queen, which included Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor, was formed in 1970 … he dropped his doctoral pursuit when the glam rock band blew up … after Mercury’s death in 1991, May recorded several solo albums, including 1998′s Another World, but his interest in astronomy continued and he co-wrote the book, Bang! The Complete History of the Universe …

2008, Frank Zappa is honored with a Berlin street named after him … rapper Lil Wayne is sued by ABKCO Music, which owns the rights to the Stones’ song “Play With Fire” after he releases his mashup “Playing With Fire” without the publisher’s approval … rapper 50 Cent sues Taco Bell for a cool $4 million after the fast-food chain uses his name in an ad offering him $10,000 to change his name to 79, 89, or 99 Cent …

2009, Brad Paisley, Alison Krauss, and Charley Price pay a call on the Obama White House for a country concert … recalling the visit Paisley says, “I just wandered around looking at the paintings. Then I went into the bathroom and swiped the paper towels with the White House insignias” … class act all the way there, Brad …

…and that was the week that was.

Arrivals:

July 22: 1940s-50s pop singer Margaret Whiting (1924), jazz bassist Keter Betts (1928), George Clinton (1940), Thomas Wayne (1940), teen idol Bobby Sherman (1944), Supertramp’s Richard Davies (1944), Estelle Bennett of The Ronettes (1944), Don Henley of The Eagles (1947), Indigo Girl Emily Saliers (1963), Pat Badger of Extreme (1967), Rufus Wainwright (1973), Daniel Jones of Savage Garden (1973)

July 23: Cleve Duncan of The Penguins (1935), Joe Santollo of The Duprees (1943), Tony Joe White (1943), Dino Danelli of The Young Rascals (1945), Andy Mackay of Roxy Music (1946), David Essex (1947), Keith Ferguson of The Fabulous Thunderbirds (1947), Blair Thornton of BTO (1950), Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore (1961), Tim Kellett of Simply Red (1964), Slash (1965), Sam Watters of Color Me Badd (1970), Alison Krauss (1971), Chad Gracey of Live (1973), Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child (1980)

July 24: Rudy Collins of The Dizzy Gillespie Quintet (1934), country singer Pam Tillis, daughter of Mel Tillis (1957), Paul Geary of Extreme (1961), Jennifer Lopez (1970), Mecca of Digable Planets (1973), Lynval Golding, guitarist for The Specials (1951), bassist Heinz Burt of The Tornados (1942), Barbara Love of The Friends Of Distinction (1941)

July 25: Rudy West, lead singer of The Five Keys (1932), Nazareth guitarist Manny Charlton (1941), Bruce Woodley of The Seekers (1942), Jim McCarty of The Yardbirds (1943), Santana percussionist Jose “Chepito” Areas (1946), singer-songwriter Steve Goodman (1948), Verdine White of Earth, Wind & Fire (1951), Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth (1958)

July 26: jazz drummer Louie Bellson (1924), Darlene Love of The Blossoms (1938), Bobby Hebb, best known for his hit “Sunny” (1938), Mick Jagger (1943), Roger Taylor of Queen (1949), Gary Cherone of Extreme (1961), Headliner (Tim Barnwell) of Arrested Development (1967)

July 27: country yodeler Elton Britt (1927), Harvey Fuqua of The Moonglows (1928), Nick Reynolds of The Kingston Trio (1933), Elsbearry Hobbs of The Drifters (1936), country-pop crossover singer, Bobbie Gentry (1944), Al Ramsey of Gary Lewis and the Playboys (1946), singer Maureen McGovern (1949), drummer Simon Kirke of Bad Company (1949), Karl Mueller of Soul Asylum (1963), Rex Brown of Pantera (1964), guitarist-singer-songwriter Juliana Hatfield (1967), singer-songwriter-guitarist Pete Yorn (1974)

July 28: megaphone crooner of the ’30s, Rudy Vallee (1901), blind flamenco singer Dolores Alcantara (1908), Mississippi bluesman Junior Kimbrough (1930), George Cummings of Dr. Hook (1938), blues/rock guitarist Mike Bloomfield (1944), Rick Wright of Pink Floyd (1945), singer Jonathan Edwards (1946), Steve Peregrine-Took of T.Rex, born Steve Porter (1949), guitarist Steve Morse (1954)

Departures:

July 22: jazz guitarist Joe Beck (2008), tenor sax man Illinois Jacquet (2004), singer Tamara Danz (1996), keyboardist Rob Collins of The Charlatans (1996), Chords singer Jimmy Keyes (1995), doo-wop, jazz, and R&B performer Floyd McDaniel (1995), country-pop singer Larry Finnegan (1973)

July 23: songwriter Ron Miller (2007), Otis “Big Smokey” Smothers (1993), actor-singer Bert Summer (1990), Grateful Dead keyboardist Keith Godchaux (1980)

July 24: British solo act and songwriter Jerry Lordan (1995), KC-based R&B singer Priscilla Bowman (1988), Bobby Ramirez, drummer with Edgar Winter (1972)

July 25: bop saxophonist Johnny Griffin (2008), Erik Braunn of Iron Butterfly (2003), jazz guitarist Tal Farlow (1998), country music star Charlie Rich (1995), producer Alex Sadkin (1987), albino blues pianist Piano Red, born William Lee Perryman (1985), blues singer Big Mama Thornton (1984)

July 26: Chico Ryan, bassist for Sha-Na-Na (1998), composer Evelyn Levine (1996), ’60s soul singer Mary Wells (1992), Grateful Dead keyboard player Brent Mydland (1990)

July 27: Lynyrd Skynyrd bassist Leon Wilkeson (2001), saxophonist Harold Land (2001), Harry “Sweets” Edison, trumpeter-arranger-composer with Count Basie (1999), Bobby Day, aka Robert James Byrd Sr., who had a hit with “Rockin’ Robin” (1990), Cliff Burton of Metallica (1986), blues guitarist Lightnin’ Slim, born Otis Hicks (1974)

July 28: South African mbaqanga singer Simon “Mahlathini” Nkabinde (1999), Margie Ganser of The Shangi-Las (1996), Muscle Shoals session guitarist Eddie Hinton (1995), Johann Sebastian Bach (1750)

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