It happened this week

This is the week that was in matters musical …

1947, Keith Moon is born in Wembley, England … though he is often remembered for his hard boozing, drum-kit smashing, and general hooliganism, Moon was among the first rock drummers to go far beyond the role of a mere timekeeper … on classic Who tracks like “I Can See for Miles” Moon’s escalating rolls and cymbal clashes served as perfect counterpoints to Pete Townshend’s towering power chords … Moon’s power and energy can be heard in the work of countless rock drummers who followed in his wake, including Ginger Baker, John Bonham, and Mitch Mitchell …

1965, another wild child is born this week in the form of G.G. Allin, the punk rocker notorious for covering himself in blood, feces, and urine, sometimes flinging these substances at his audiences …

1962, Little Eva’s dance hit “The Locomotion” owns the top spot on the pop chart … Eva Boyd, who did babysitting for the songwriting team of Carole King and Gerry Goffin was asked to cut a demo for the song when she impressed the pair with her tuneful presence around the house … the song will go to number one again in 1973 with Grand Funk’s hard-rock cover and nail the number-three spot in 1988 with Kylie Minogue’s remake …

1967, The Beatles take a break from touring and recording to study transcendental meditation with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in Wales … the lads will later become disenchanted with the roly-poly Indian guru …

1968, Who drummer Keith Moon caps a truly bacchanalian 21st birthday bash by driving a Rolls Royce into the pool at a Holiday Inn in Flint, MI … though Moon biographer Tony Fletcher in his book, Moon: The Life and Death of a Rock Legend maintains it never happened, Who vocalist Roger Daltrey begs to differ saying, “I saw it. We paid the bill (for the damages). It was $50,000. It’s vague now, but I just remember the car in the pool. And the chaos. And Keith being rushed off to the dentist after being arrested because he knocked his front tooth out … but then I read in the biography that it never happened, so maybe I’ve been living someone else’s life, I don’t know.” … truth or fiction? … we’re not prepared to say, but it makes a great story … this same week The Beatles release the single “Hey Jude” which eclipses Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” as the longest single to receive top-40 airplay by nearly a minute at 7:06 … it is the first release from newly-formed Apple Records and becomes The Beatles’ biggest hit, going to number one around the world … the recording took two days and involved a 36-piece orchestra who also clapped and sang the na-na-nahs on the fadeout … the epic ballad begins with Paul playing the piano and ends with 50 layered instruments …

1970, The Kinks’ transvestite-themed single “Lola” is released … the song, which revives the band’s flagging popularity, was inspired by their manager’s drunken club experience unknowingly dancing with a she-man … Ray Davies had to re-record the line “You drink champagne and it tastes just like cherry cola” at the last minute because the BBC refused to play the song with its original lyrics, “it tastes just like Coca-Cola,” line fearing repercussions from the beverage maker … Lola reappears in “Paranoia,” a later Kinks tune … also this week, Duane Allman begins sessions as a member of Derek & The Dominos … Eric Clapton praises Allman as the catalyst in a double-album project that is completed in only 10 days … meanwhile in West Hollywood, Elton John makes his U.S. debut at the legendary Troubadour club … he wows the crowd with a rocking set that evokes Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis, with John performing handstands on his piano and generally ripping up the joint … his performance is a far cry from the sensitive singer-songwriter persona projected on his only U.S. record release to date …

1971, Paul McCartney’s jaunty single “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” is the number one pop hit of the week … the former Beatle reveals that he actually had an Uncle Albert who used to get drunk and quote the Bible …

1976, Boston releases their self-titled debut album … it spawns three hit singles and shoots to the top of the charts … one of the fastest-selling debut albums of all time, it’s finally unseated by Whitney Houston’s debut in 1986 … ironically, it will be 1986 by the time Boston finally releases their third album, the band’s output slowed by guitarist Tom Scholz’ momentum-killing perfectionist leanings … by this time most of the band, including Sib Hashian and his afro have left the band in frustration …

1977, three people are nabbed in Memphis for attempting to steal the remains of Elvis … to prevent such thievery, Elvis is moved from the cemetery to a more secure resting place at Graceland …

1981, John Lennon’s killer (whose identity we won’t honor with a name check) is sentenced to 20 years to life …

1983, Mrs. Jerry Lee Lewis the fifth, Shawn Stevens, is found dead, the result of a methadone OD …

1986, Paul Simon releases his landmark Graceland album …

1989, G N’ R’s Izzy Stradlin is arrested in Phoenix for causing a public disturbance … he verbally abuses a flight attendant, urinates on the floor, and smokes in the non-smoking section of the plane … Izzy is apparently upset about the potty queue … the flight from Los Angeles to Indianapolis makes an unscheduled landing in Phoenix to dump him off …

1990, the world of rock and modern blues takes a big hit when Stevie Ray Vaughan is killed in a Wisconsin helicopter crash that also takes the lives of three members of Eric Clapton’s entourage … this same week a Nevada court exonerates metal band Judas Priest in a $6.2 million civil suit filed by the parents of two youths who shot themselves, allegedly as a result of listening to the band’s records …

1993, Snoop Dogg is arrested in connection with the death of Phillip Woldermarian, a member of a rival posse who was fired at and killed in a gang fight … Dogg and his bodyguard McKinley Lee are ultimately acquitted but the rapper will remain entangled in legal battles surrounding the case for three years … his video “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted” with Tupac Shakur chronicles the difficulties each rapper faced as a result of their unrelated criminal prosecutions …

1994, Jimmy Buffett loses control of his plane on takeoff from Nantucket, MA … it flips and splashes down in the cold North Atlantic but Buffett is able to swim to safety … parrotheads everywhere rejoice …

1995, singer Natalie Merchant becomes the first guest on Elektra’s new online chat site … the former 10,000 Maniacs front woman later says she won’t make a habit of virtual chatting as it hurts her eyes and would make her feel lonely when her computer’s off …

1996, Smashing Pumpkins get off to a delayed tour start … the band needs extra time to integrate former Filter drummer Matt Walker and former Frogs’ keyboardist Dennis Flemion … the pair replace former keyboards player Jonathan Melvoin who died three months earlier from a heroin OD and drummer Jimmie Chamberlin who was canned following a drug-possession bust … leader Billie Corgan will later acknowledge the replacements were a bad idea that hurt the band’s music and reputation … in 1999 a rehabilitated Chamberlin will rejoin the Pumpkins …

1998, the little sister John Lennon had been told of but was never able to find materializes in the person of 53-year-old Ingrid Pedersen … she has been waiting for the death of her adoptive mother before coming forward … meanwhile in Miami, a concert by Compay Segundo of Buena Vista Social Club fame is interrupted by a bomb threat … Segundo is accompanied by 13 fellow Cuban musicians all given special visas by the U.S. State Department … though no culprit is found, it is suspected the bomb scare came from an anti-Castro Cuban émigré …

2002, Eminem draws boos at the MTV Video Music Awards after he calls Moby a girl and tries to pick a fight with the diminutive techno popper … Moby had called the rapper’s music misogynistic and homophobic … M also mixes it up with Triumph The Insult Comic Dog after Triumph tells the crowd “Eminem should lighten up. I mean, my mom was a bitch too, but I don’t go writing songs about it.” … this portion is removed from repeat broadcasts …

2003, 200 fans are ejected from the Charlotte, North Carolina, Ozzfest for alcohol and drug use … the show starts at around 10 a.m. and the first group of partied-out attendees are ushered out just after noon proving Ozzy Osbourne fans are not into pacing themselves …

2006, Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton undergoes treatment for throat cancer forcing him to sit out the first half of the band’s Route of All Evil Tour, the first time he has missed any shows in the band’s history … longtime band friend David Hull fills in until his return …

And that was the week that was.

Arrivals:

August 23: song and dance man/actor Gene Kelly (1912), country star Tex Williams (1917), The Drifters’ Rudy Lewis (1936), Jamaican producer Bunny Lee (1941), Ramon Phillips of The Nashville Teens (1941), Keith Moon (1947), Rick Springfield (1949), Shadows of Knight’s Jim Sohns (1949), Jim Jamison of Survivor (1951), Steve Clark of Def Leppard (1960), Dean DeLeo of the Stone Temple Pilots (1961), Colin Angus of The Shamen (1961), The Happy Mondays’ Shaun Ryder (1962)

August 24: bluesman and Elvis influence Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup (1905), jump-blues shouter Wynonie Harris (1915), country songwriter Fred Rose (1917), William Winfield of The Harptones (1929), David Frieberg of Quicksilver Messenger Service (1938), Mason “Classical Gas” Williams (1938), Ernest Wright of Little Anthony and the Imperials (1939), Procol Harum manager and pirate radio operator Tony Secunda (1940), Joe Chambers of The Chambers Brothers (1942), soul singer Fontella Bass (1942), Jimmy Soul born James McCleese (1942), John Cipollina of Quicksilver Messenger Service (1943), Jim Capaldi of Traffic (1944), Malcolm Duncan of Average White Band (1945), Ken Hensley of Uriah Heep (1945), Heart’s Mike DeRosier (1951), Juan Nelson (1958), Mark Bedford of Madness (1961), Pebbles born Perri McKissack (1964)

August 25: Charlie Burse of The Memphis Jug Band (1901), composer Leonard Bernstein (1918), jazz reedman Wayne Shorter (1933), Walter Williams of The O’Jays (1942), jazz guitar phenom Pat Martino (1944), Tavares drummer Francis A. Donia (1945), Gene Simmons born Chaim Witz (1949), Judas Priest vocalist Rob Halford (1951), Elvis Costello born Declan McManus (1954), Billy Ray Cyrus (1961), Vivian Campbell of Def Leppard (1962), Mia Zapata of The Gits (1965), DJ Terminator X of Public Enemy (1966), country chirper Jo Dee Messina (1969)

August 26: jazz and blues shouter Jimmy “Mr. Five by Five” Rushing (1903), Chris Curtis of The Searchers (1941), Valerie Simpson of Ashford and Simpson (1948), Bill Rush of The Asbury Dukes (1952), Branford Marsalis (1960), Shirley Manson of Garbage (1966), Dan Vickrey of Counting Crows (1966), Adrian Young of No Doubt (1969)

August 27: bluegrass guitarist Carter Stanley (1925), harpist-keyboardist Alice Coltrane (1937), avant-garde guitarist Sonny Sharrock (1940), Daryl Dragon of Captain & Tennille (1942), Jeff Cook of Alabama (1949), Simon Kirke of Free and Bad Company (1949), Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson (1953), Glen Matlock of The Sex Pistols (1956), gospel powerhouse Yolanda Adams (1962), Tony Kanal of No Doubt (1970), rapper Ma$e (1977), John Siebles of Eve 6 (1979), Mario (1986)

August 28: John Perkins of The Crew Cuts (1931), David Soul (1943), Daniel Seraphine of Chicago (1948), Wayne Osmond (1951), Shania Twain (1965), LeAnn Rimes (1982)

August 29: bluesman Jimmy Bell (1910), be-bop innovator Charlie “Yardbird” Parker (1920), versatile jazz and blues chanteuse Dinah Washington (1924), gospel singer Marion Williams (1927), Dick Halligan of Blood, Sweat & Tears (1943), Sterling Morrison of The Velvet Underground (1944), Chris Copping of Procol Harum (1945), Stone Canyon Band bassist Patrick Woodward (1948), Dave Jenkins of Pablo Cruise (1949), Rick Downey of Blue Oyster Cult (1953), punk rocker G.G. Allin (1956), Cocteau Twins’ Elizabeth Frazer (1958), Michael Jackson (1958), singer-bassist Me’shell NdegeOcello (1969), Carl Martin of Shai (1970), Kyle Cook of Matchbox 20 (1975), David Desrosiers of Simple Plan (1980)

Departures:

August 23: high-note jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson (2006), Eleanor O. Guest, one of Gladys Knight’s Pips (1997), Skinny Puppy drummer Dwayne Goettell (1995), Broadway songwriter-director Oscar Hammerstein II (1960)

August 24: producer-arranger Gene Page (1998), Doug Stegmeyer, bassist for Billy Joel (1995), Jesse Bolian of The Artistics (1994), Gene Knight of The Showmen (1992), Motown drummer Larry Londin (1992), bluesman L.C. Greene (1985), trumpeter-pop singer Louis Prima (1978)

August 25: R&B star Aaliyah (2001), Ronnie White of The Miracles (1995), DJ and rapper Scott LaRock (1987), Lee Hays of The Weavers (1981), bandleader Stan Kenton (1979)

August 26: Laura Branigan (2004), Ronnie White of The Miracles (1995), zydeco squeezebox star Rockin’ Dopsie (1993), “Professor” Eddie Lusk (1992), honking sax man Jimmy Forrest (1980), Lee Hays of The Weavers (1980)

August 27: Stevie Ray Vaughan (1990), KRS-One rapper Scott LaRock (1987), Bob Schol of The MelloKings (1975), Beatles manager Brian Epstein (1967)

August 28: Sun Records rockabilly and songwriter Ronnie Self (1981)

August 29: rockabilly pioneer Ervin L. “Wee Willie” Williams (1999), rockabilly singer-songwriter Charlie Feathers (1998), record store mogul “Waxie Maxie” Silverman (1989), country star Archie Campbell (1987), eecentric DJ and Clash producer Guy Stevens (1981), blues legend Jimmy Reed (1976)

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