It happened this week

This is the week that was in matters musical …

CBGB founder Hilly Kristal died this week, who didn’t exactly like the bands he helped get a foot in and the scene created.

Kristal opened CBGB in 1973 on the site of his bar, Hilly’s, at 315 Bowery in Manhattan. The club’s full name was CBGB & OMFUG (standing for country, bluegrass, blues and other music for uplifting gourmandisers), the original intention being to create a venue for country, bluegrass and blues.

In early 1974, however, Kristal was approached by the then unknown band Television, who asked if they could perform there. Because money was tight, he agreed to open on a Sunday to let them play. “I put an ad in the paper and charged $1 admission,” he later recalled. “Hardly anybody came and nobody drank, and I thought they were the worst band I’d ever heard. I told the manager, ‘No more’.”

A few weeks later Television’s manager persuaded Kristal to book the Ramones. “They were even worse than Television” Telegraph obituary

1946, Greg Elmore and Gary Grubb are both born in California on September 5 … years later, Greg and Gary (now Duncan) form a group in San Francisco with John Cipollina, David Frieberg, and Jim Murray and turn to their astrological birth signs when trying to come up with a band name … four are Virgos, one is a Gemini, signs ruled by the planet Mercury … and the Greek god Mercury was a messenger who was also called Quicksilver … before you can say shave-and-a-haircut-two-bits they’re calling themselves Quicksilver Messenger Service …

1955, proving that he is indeed a good boy, Elvis takes his $5,000 share of his Sun contract being sold to RCA and buys his mamma a pink Cadillac, fulfiling the promise he made to her when they were poor: “One day I’m gonna buy you a new Cadillac” … so what if Gladys Presley can’t drive, it’s the thought that counts … the rose roadster is still on display at Graceland …

1965, during a Rolling Stones appearance on the British pop music show Ready, Steady, Go! Mick Jagger and producer Andrew Loog Oldham perform a parody of Sonny & Cher’s “I Got You Babe” … those cheeky Brits! …

1966, Donovan makes it to the peak of the pop charts with what may be the first psychedelic hit “Sunshine Superman,” recorded at Abbey Road studios … the song’s hooks come from session man Jimmy Page’s Eastern-sounding guitar riffs playing along with a harpsichord … originally the song was called “For John and Paul,” but Donovan’s producer Mickie Most tells him not to play the tune for McCartney fearing that Macca would get the idea to record a trippy-sounding song …

1968, because of fears of street violence during the National Democratic Convention, The Rolling Stones’ “Street Fighting Man” is banned from airplay in Chicago … “Piece of My Heart” by Big Brother & The Holding Company with Janis Joplin singing lead enters the charts … it is Joplin’s and the band’s first hit …

1970, founder-member of Canned Heat, Alan Wilson dies … he formed the band with fellow blues record collector Bob Hite who shared lead vocals … Wilson who also provided slide guitar and his masterful harmonica playing can be heard on their 1968 Top 40 Hit “On The Road Again” … the following year Wilson was also the lead singer on the hit single “Going Up The Country” which the band can be seen playing in the movie Woodstock … Wilson was found in a sleeping bag in Hite’s back yard, dying apparently from an overdose of pills …

1971, produced and co-written by Norman Whitfield, “Smiling Faces Sometimes” sounded like a Temptations hit-after all Whitfield was their producer and the Temps had recorded their version-but no, Whitfield wanted yet another group in his hit-making stable of artists and put together Undisputed Truth who recorded the surefire smash that reached #3 on the hit parade … the group’s follow-ups were not big hits and they went through the requisite changes in lineup and direction before facing up to the undisputed truth that they were … wait for it … One Hit Wonders …

1977, Elton John reviews Generation X’s debut single “Your Generation” for a British newspaper … he complains that the song is “really dreadful garbage. The Ramones do this sort of thing so much better” …

1983, here’s a recipe for a One Hit Wonder that’s hard to duplicate … take a talented young singer with striking looks and a provocative first name: Dutch parents, born in Indonesia, studied dance and theater in Hamburg … have him record a Broadway standard by Irving Berlin … release a cheeky video of the tune to MTV … and there you go: a #4 hit “Puttin’ On The Ritz” by Taco (born Taco Ockerse) … his hit album of updated oldies After Eight sold a half million copies before the novelty faded … Taco still performs in Germany but no confirmation on concert appearances with David Hasselfhoff …

1997, Pat Smear announces he will no longer be a Foo Fighter and that Franz Stahl will take his place …

1999, the Virgin Megastore website melts down in the face of unprecedented traffic caused by a half-price sale …

2001, System Of A Down throws a free concert for its fans in L.A. to celebrate the release of their album Toxicity … the event turns into a full-blown riot as the stage is destroyed and the band’s gear disappears … six arrests are made and an ambulance crew treats minor injuries sustained by a handful of cops and fans …

2006, A 60th birthday gala at a Zanzibar waterfront restaurant to honor late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury is prevented from happening by a Muslim group because the Zanzibar-born rock star was gay … Mercury, who died of AIDS in 1991, violated Islam with his flamboyant lifestyle, said Azan Khalid of Zanzibar’s Association for Islamic Mobilization and Propagation … “That’s why he was branded a Queen,” Khalid said, adding that anything linking Mercury with Zanzibar’s Muslim population would be offensive … “We have decided to cancel the party after misleading and erroneous information was spread about it,” said organizer Simai Mohamed Saidi, who runs a Freddie Mercury theme restaurant in the capital … Lou Reed joins Jack Black and his Raconteurs at the VMA Awards show in New York pitching in on the vocals of “White Light/White Heat” … Justin Hawkins, singer for The Darkness enters London’s Priory clinic for what is politely referred to as “exhaustion” … according to a spokesperson from the band, Pete Dohertt of Babyshambles is receiving treatment there also … in a Rolling Stone interview Elton John reveals that he’s thinking about putting out a hip-hop album … “I want to work with Eminem, Pharrell, Kanye, and Snoop. We’ll see what happens. It could be a disaster” … Madonna’s special guest at the final Paris show of her Confessions tours is Lenny Kravitz … the pair, both wielding guitars, rock out on her love song to the Big Apple, “I Love New York” that includes the timeless line, “Other places make me feel like a dork” … the tour has been plagued by religious groups protesting an onstage crucifixion …

Arrivals:

August 30: blues pianist Mercy Dee Walton (1915), Kitty Wells (1919), vaudeville-blues singer Olive Brown (1922), John McNally of The Searchers (1931), bluesman Luther “Georgia Snake Boy” Johnson (1934), John Phillips of The Mamas and The Papas (1935), Mick Moody of Whitesnake (1950), Horace Panter of General Public (1953), Sir Horace Gentleman of The Specials (1954), Martin Jackson of Swing Out Sister (1958), drummer Nicky Hammerhead (1960), Rich Cronan of LFO (1974)

August 31: jazz pianist Todd Rhodes (1900), tunesmith Alan Jay Lerner (1918), “Spider” John Koerner (1938), Jerry Allison of The Crickets (1939), Wilton Felder of The Crusaders (1940), Van Morrison (1945), Rudolf Schenker of the Scorpions (1948), Gina Schock of The Go-Go’s (1957), Squeeze singer/songwriter Glenn Tilbrook (1957), Tony DeFranco (1959), Chris Whitley (1960), Debbie Gibson (1970)

September 1: Brook Benton (1931), Conway Twitty (1933), Tommy Evans of The Drifters (1934), Archie Bell of The Drells (1944), Barry Gibb (1946), Greg Errico of Sly & The Family Stone (1946), The Jam’s Bruce Foxton (1955), Gloria Estefan (1957), DJ Sprigg Nice of Lost Boyz (1970)

September 2: composer Hugo Montenegro (1925), Bobby Purify (1939), Sam Gooden of The Impressions (1939), Rosalind Ashworth of Martha and The Vandellas (1943), Joe Simon (1943), Mik Kaminski of E.L.O. (1951), Simply Red’s Fritz McIntyre (1956), Steve Porcaro of Toto (1957) Jerry Augustyniak of 10,000 Maniacs (1958), Jonathan Segal of Camper Van Beethoven (1963), K-Ci Hailey of Jodeci (1969)

September 3: bluesman Memphis Slim born Peter Chatman (1915), Hank Thompson (1925), Freddie King (1934), Kenny Pickett, singer for pop-art band Creation (1942), Al Jardine of The Beach Boys (1943), Walter Scott of The Whispers (1943), Greg Leeds of The Walker Brothers (1944), George Biondi of Steppenwolf (1945), Thin Lizzy’s Eric Bell (1947), Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad (1948), Steve Jones of The Sex Pistols (1955), Jennifer Paige (1973)

September 4: “Lightning Bug” Rhodes, guitarist for Otis Redding and B.B. King (1939), lead singer George Lanuis of The Crescendos (1939), Merald Knight of Gladys Knight & The Pips (1942), fret wizard Danny Gatton (1945), Greg Elmore of Quicksilver Messenger Service (1946), Quicksilver Messenger Service’s Gary Duncan (1946), Ronald LaPread of The Commodores (1950), Muscle Shoals session guitarist Wayne Perkins (1951), Martin Chambers of the Pretenders (1952), Kim Thayil of Soundgarden (1960), Dan Miller of O-Town (1980), Beyoncé Knowles (1981)

September 5: Chicago blues pianist Sunnyland Slim (1907), doo-wopper Jimmy Springs of The Red Caps (1911), guitarist Wille Woods of Junior Walker & The Allstars (1936), singer-songwriter and Kingston Trio member John Stewart (1939), Al “Year of the Cat” Stewart (1945), Freddie Mercury of Queen (1946), Buddy Miles (1946), guitarist Clarence White born Cecil Ingram Connor (1946), singer-songwriter Loudon Wainright III (1947), David “Clem” Clempson of Humble Pie/Colosseum (1949), Terry Ellis of En Vogue (1966), Brad Wilk of Rage Against The Machine (1968), Dweezil Zappa (1969)

Departures:

August 30: trumpeter/bandleader Maynard Ferguson (2006), Swedish producer Denniz Pop aka Dag Volle (1998), keyboardist Dwayne Goettel of Skinny Puppy (1995), Sterling Morrison of The Velvet Underground (1995), Thomas Sylvester aka “Papa” Dee Allen of War (1988)

August 31: Carl Wayne, singer for The Move (2004), Cajun artist Joe Berry (2004), jazz vibes man and bandleader Lionel Hampton (2002), rocker Vince Taylor (1991), bluesman Son Bonds (1947)

September 1: Aussie rocker Ted Mulry (2001), composer Vagn Holmboe (1996), gospel singer Joseph Hutchinson

September 2: saxophonist Dewey Redman (2006), New York Metropolitan Opera impressario Sir Rudolf Bing (1997), composer Otto Luening (1996), violinist Cyril Reuben (1996)

September 3: soul singer Major Lance (1994), Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson (1970)

September 4: jazz saxophonist Charlie Barnet (1991), country singer Dottie West (1991)

September 5: swamp-boogie queen Katie Webster (1999), R&B pianist Sonny Knight (1998), conductor Georg Solti (1997), Charlie Charles, drummer for Ian Dury and the Blockheads (1990), Joe Negroni of Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers (1978), blues guitarist Joe Hill Louis (1957)

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