It happened this week

This is the week that was in matters musical …

1959, Berry Gordy borrows $800 to found the Motown record empire …

1963, L.A.’s Whisky-A-Go-Go, the city’s first rock club opens … it becomes the place to be seen and helps launch the careers of such major acts as The Doors …

1964, Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire becomes the first country LP to top the Billboard pop chart … rumors that the song was written after a week-long binge on Cajun cuisine and Louisiana Hot Sauce are completely unfounded … The Beatles perform at the opulent Olympia Theater in Paris … the age-old music hall is not prepared for rock ‘n’ roll and its electrical system blows out three times during the concert … a backstage argument involving a French photographer adds to the turmoil, resulting in an onstage fistfight that nearly claims George’s guitar as a victim—at least that’s the story as it’s been told (and improved upon through the years) … the truth is that in the face of icy reviews, Brian Somerville, the Beatles’ new press officer, creates a fistfight backstage to generate extra publicity … George’s unscathed guitar, obviously traumatized by the near thrashing it might have received, remains closemouthed on the subject, but was reported to have “gently wept” years later …

1967, The Rolling Stones appear on TV’s Ed Sullivan Show and are forced to change the lyrics of “Let’s Spend the Night Together” to “Let’s Spend Some Time Together” during the performance … even though the rebellious Jim Morrison of The Doors didn’t cave in to Sullivan’s puritanical demands, it may be argued that the more sage and financially astute Mick Jagger, a former scholarship student at the London School of Economics was not actually selling out – he was, in fact, buying in … in an unlikely bit of casting, Roy Orbison and Sheb Wooley (of “Purple People Eater” fame) are featured in the movie The Fastest Guitar Alive … Orbison plays a gold-smuggling Confederate spy who totes a bullet-spewing guitar … the movie also features seven of Orbison’s songs on the soundtrack …

1977, Rolling Stone Keith Richards is tried in London for possession of cocaine, found in his car after an accident, and fined £750 … apparently, drug-related auto accidents were much cheaper in those days … later in Canada, he will again be arrested for possession of heroin and cocaine and convicted of drug trafficking … bringing new meaning to the phrase, “let the punishment fit the crime,” Richards is cruelly forced to play a benefit concert … to a pot-smoking audience no less … the inhumanity …

1978, The Sex Pistols squeeze off one last shot playing their final show at San Francisco’s Winterland …

1987, Frankie Goes to Hollywood—never to return again—begins what would be the band’s final tour in Manchester, England …

1991, country singer Johnny Paycheck is released from an Ohio prison after serving only two years of a seven to nine-year sentence for aggravated assault … Paycheck took his career and shoved it when he shot a man in the head in a bar in 1985 … before leaving office, a compassionate and forgiving Ohio governor Richard Celeste commutes Paycheck’s sentence (apparently after Johnny had cooled down a bit) … we have it on good but unsubstantiated authority that Mr. Paycheck really did feel bad about it for a spell …

1993, Bobby Brown is arrested in Augusta, GA, for simulating a sex act onstage … it’s his second arrest for the same offense …

1994, Danny Bonaduce of the Partridge Family squares off with Donny Osmond in a boxing ring and beats him in a split decision … proceeds from the Chicago match go to charity …

1995, Michael Jackson, the self-proclaimed “King of Pop,” prompted by unsubstantiated rumors of a video depicting him fooling around with a young boy, releases the following statement: “I will no longer stand by and watch reckless members of the media try to destroy my reputation” … proving once again that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself … meanwhile, members of the press be warned: recklessness will no longer be tolerated … it takes focus and discipline to ruin a reputation … as Yoda says, “Do, or do not! There is no try.” …

1999, Sean “Puffy” Combs and Dwight “Heavy D” Myers, along with the City University of New York (CUNY), are found negligent in a 1991 celebrity basketball game that killed nine people and injured 29 after angry, locked-out ticket holders charged the gym’s doors … Heavy D, who has paid out $791,899 in damages to the victims of the stampede over the years, is currently suing the National Union Fire Insurance Coinsurance Company for $1.5 million for failing to pick up his considerable “freight” … Metallica files suit against lingerie company Victoria’s Secret claiming that its “Metallica” line of lip pencils constitutes trademark infringement … it seems that just as celebrities now wear their time in rehab at the Betty Ford Clinic as a badge of honor, being sued by Metallica proves that you’ve arrived … on the planet … others targeted in lawsuits by the band include the French perfume company Guerlain, Napster, Amazon.com, tuxedo manufacturer West Mill (a licensee of Pierre Cardin), department stores Neiman-Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, the University of Southern California, Indiana University, Yale University, and a manufacturer of alloy wheels … litigious Lars and his bandmates have also threatened legal action against the Swedish steelworkers union Metall over the rights to the Internet domain name Metallica.st … until this is resolved, we urge you not to write the word Metal and LICA, (the acronym for Long Island Contractors Association) too close together in public until we’ve had a chance to speak with our lawyers … just Musician’s Friend looking out for you, as ever …

2000, Sharon Osbourne announces she’ll no longer manage the Smashing Pumpkins … in a statement, the “Wizard of Ozzy” says, “It was with great pride and enthusiasm that I took on management of the Pumpkins back in October, but unfortunately I must resign today due to medical reasons – Billy Corgan (the Pumpkins’ frontman) was making me sick!” … one can only imagine what it would take to upset the gentle constitution of the wife of Black Sabbath’s singer and connoisseur of fresh fowl Ozzy Osbourne, whose reputation for interesting and amusing personal habits is proverbial … and yes, it was a very fresh bird … while going through airport security in Hawaii, Whitney Houston is caught with more than a half-ounce of pot in her purse … she hands the purse over to security personnel and then promptly marches off to catch her flight to San Francisco – no charges are filed … whether or not this proves that celebrities receive preferential treatment is irrelevant … Ms. Houston was clearly demonstrating that law or no law, the show must go on! … hats off to Whitney, a trouper in Hollywood’s finest tradition …

2002, in the tradition of Johnny Paycheck, Adam Ant (Stuart Goddard) is arrested at the Prince of Wales club in London and charged with possession of a firearm, criminal damage, and assault …

2003, Friday the 13th came on a Monday in ’03 for Pete Townshend, when as part of a sting on users of an Internet child porn site, Townshend is arrested at his home and his computer is seized … the irony is that Townshend is an activist against child pornography and foolishly used his credit card to access the site merely to see how bad it was … no child porn is found on Townshend’s computer or in his house … he is given a reprimand and released …

2005, Kid Rock who had been slated to play a show that’s part of George W. Bush’s inauguaration festivities dubbed America’s Future Rocks Today is kicked off the lineup … Kids canning comes in the wake of 100,000 protest emails sent to organizers by Christian groups … Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association whose organization spearheaded the effort to get Rock off the bill says, "Kid Rock’s whole thing is get drunk, party, free sex." The lyrics from Rock’s 1990 tune "Pimp of the Nation" may have also played a role: "Pimp of the nation, I could be it/As a matter of fact I can forsee it/But only pimpin’ ho’s with the big tush/While you be left pimpin’ Barbara Bush …

2006, Soulman Isaac Hayes is hospitalized in Memphis for exhaustion … Eminem remarries his ex-wife Kim who had been the subject of the rapper’s wrath in his 2000 song "Kim" …

2007, nearly a year following his peculiar appearance at the 2006 Grammys shows, the reclusive Sly Stone turns up at the Anaheim House of Blues for a brief appearance with the Family Stone Band, a cover group that includes his sister Vet and trumpeter Cynthia Robinson of the original Family Stone … Sly, wearing a blond mohawk briefly noodles on keyboard, sings a little, then promptly disappears … this same week, Queen Elizabeth gives Bono an honorary knighthood for his humanitarian efforts joining the ranks of other rock peerage including Sir Mick Jagger and Commanders Eric Clapton and Rod Stewart …

And that was the week that was.

Arrivals:

January 10: Buddy Johnson (1915), Aretha Franklin producer Jerry Wexler (1918), Johnnie Ray (1927), Ronnie Hawkins (1935), Jim Croce (1943), Rod Stewart (1945), Donald Fagen of Steely Dan (1948), Pat Benatar (1953), Micheal Schenker (1955), Shawn Colvin (1956), Brad Roberts of Crash Test Dummies (1964), Aerle Taree of Arrested Development (1973), Chris Smith aka Kris Kross (1979)

January 11: Clarence Clemmons (1942), Naomi Judd (1946), Lee Ritenour (1952), Vicki Peterson of The Bangles (1960), Chemical Brothers’ Tom Rowlands (1971), Mary J Blige (1971)

January 12: Tex Ritter (1907), British bluesman Long John Baldry, who launched the career of Rod Stewart (1941), Charlie Gillingham of Counting Crows (1960), Rob Zombie (1966), Raekwon of Wu Tang Clan (1968), Melanie Chisholm of the Spice Girls (1974)

January 13: Sophie Tucker (1888), Trevor Rabin of Yes (1954), Earth, Wind, and Fire drummer Fred White (1955), Zach de la Rocha of Rage Against The Machine (1970)

January 14: Alain Toussaint (1938), Mark Egan (1951), Geoff Tate of Queensryche (1959), Chas Smash of Madness (1959), Patricia Morrison of Sisters of Mercy (1962), LL Cool J (1968), Dave Grohl (1969)

January 15: Gene Krupa (1909), folk music activist Alan Lomax (1915), Earl Hooker (1930), Jack Jones (1938), Don Van Vliet AKA Captain Beefheart (1941), Edward Bivins of The Manhattans (1942), Ronnie Van Zant of Lynyrd Skynyrd (1949), Martha Davis of the Motels (1951), ELO bassist Melvyn Gale (1952), Lisa Velez of Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam (1967)

January 16: Broadway diva Ethel Merman (1908), operatic diva Marilyn Horne (1934), Bob Bogle of The Ventures (1937), William Francis of Dr. Hook (1942), Ronnie Milsap (1943), Sade – born Helen Folasade Abu (1959), Paul Webb of Talk Talk (1962) Maxine Jones of En Vogue (1966), Aalliyah (1979)

Departures:

January 10: Jefferson Airplane drummer Spencer Dryden (2005), guitarist Bryan Gregory of The Cramps (2001), Beach Blanket Bingo lyricist Guy Bonson Hemric (1993), Addie (Micki) McFadden of the Shirelles (1982), Howlin’ Wolf (1976), organist Earl Grant (1970)

January 11: Jimmy Griffin, co-founder of Bread (2005), Sean McDonald, singer and guitar player with Surgery (1995), Barry Kramer, founder of Creem Magazine (1981)

January 12: Alice Coltrane (2007), Michael Brecker (2007), singer Randy VanWarmer (2004), Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees (2003), Brazilian composer-guitarist Luis Bonfa (2001), Robert Peterson, Grateful Dead songwriter (1987)

January 13: Brian Keenan, drummer with the Chambers Bros (1985), Donny Hathaway (1979), Stephen Foster (1864)

January 14: Jerry Nolan, drummer, New York Dolls (1992)

January 15: Grand Ole Opry performer Vic Willis (1995), Harry Nillsson (1994), Sammy Cahn (1993), Dee Murray, born David Oates, drummer with Elton John (1992)

January 16: Pookie Hudson (2007), former Peter Frampton drummer John Siomos (2004), Will Jones of the Coasters (2000), Sollie McElroy, lead singer of the Flamingos (1995), Paul Beaver of Beaver and Krause (1975), Ross Bagdasarian AKA David Seville, creator of The Chipmunks (1972), Arturo Toscanini (1957)

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