It happened this week

This is the week that was in matters musical…

1842, formed by a group of local musicians, the New York Philharmonic gives its first concert …

1877, the world’s first record-and-playback machine is completed …designed by Thomas Alva Edison, the phonograph picks up sound through a mouthpiece connected to a diaphragm and a stylus that etches the vibrations onto a tin foil-covered cylinder that is hand-cranked …playback is achieved by placing the stylus at the beginning of the cylinder where it reproduces the etchings into vibrations via the diaphragm and out through the mouthpiece …Edison’s first recording is a recitation of “Mary Had A Little Lamb” …the inventor files for a patent on Christmas Eve …12 years later the first commercial recordings go on sale …

1929, EMI Group purchases a nine-bedroom house in St. John’s Wood, London, for £16,500 to build new recording studios …the address for what will be officially called EMI Studios is 3 Abbey Road …

1956, an impromptu jam results when Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins all descend on Sun Records Studios in Memphis …the studio originally had been booked for Perkins, who planned to cut some tracks with his brothers …when the other luminaries drop by, a party atmosphere prevails and the event turns into a day-long music jamboree, much of which is captured on tape as the participants have a rollicking good time with country, gospel, and rockabilly tunes …due to contractual issues the tapes remain in the can until 1981 when Charly Records in England puts out an LP with session highlights, crediting it to The Million Dollar Quartet, a name coined by a Memphis newsman who covered the original get-together …though Cash is pictured on the cover, he is not audible on any of the tracks …word has it Mrs. Cash showed up during the session and insisted Johnny go shopping with her …

1964, in a single session, John Coltrane records the immaculate A Love Supreme album with his quartet …

1965, the infamous blue flame strikes down Keith Richards in Sacramento when he grabs an ungrounded mic …the indestructible Stone is on his feet and performing again inside of seven minutes …

1967, Jim Morrison, famous for legal troubles over dropped trousers, is arrested for breach of peace while onstage in New Haven, Conn. …Morrison, hacked at getting maced earlier for mouthing off to a policeman, goes into a rant about the incident in the middle of “Back Door Man” …the cops grab him right off the stage and a riot ensues …Morrison will years later reference the event in the Doors song “Peace Frog” …

1968, Elvis’ “comeback” TV special, titled simply Elvis, airs on NBC …Colonel Tom Parker wanted Elvis to do the usual smaltzy cornball Christmas special, but Elvis, who could see his musical legacy slipping away, wanted to let fans know he was still raw and vital, and he delivers …leather-suited and sweaty on a small stage in front of adoring fans, Elvis shows everyone he’s still the …well, you know …

… unhappy with plans to record an all-Dylan album, Graham Nash quits the Hollies …three days later he announces the formation of Crosby, Stills and Nash …

1969, this week sees the infamous Altamont Speedway concert with The Rolling Stones; Jefferson Airplane; Santana; and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young on the playbill …violence erupts and four people are killed, at least two in deliberate, bloody assaults …one of those killed is Meredith Hunter …he is stabbed and beaten to death by Hell’s Angels, who had unwisely been hired as security for the show …many consider the concert the end of the Summer of Love …

1970, a gold record goes to Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper, and Steve Stills for Supersession, a July 1968 rock-blues album they expressly recorded as studio jam sessions …

…the documentary film Gimme Shelter, chronicling the 1969 Stones tour and the Altamont debacle, is released on the occasion of the concert’s one-year anniversary …one scene shows a somber Mick Jagger watching the film of Meredith Hunter’s stabbing …

1971, the Montreux Casino in Geneva, Switzerland, catches fire during a show by the Mothers of Invention, inspiring Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water” …the proto-metal band watches the fire from their hotel across Lake Geneva, hence the song’s title …its crunching riff, harmonized in parallel fourths by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, becomes one of the most cherished figures in all of rock riffdom with garage rockers everywhere laying it down endlessly …

1976, during a Battersea Power Station photo shoot for the cover of Pink Floyd’s Animals, a 40-foot helium-filled pig breaks loose from its moorings and floats up to an estimated 18,000 feet before finally touching down in Kent …Bob Marley and the Wailers are rehearsing at Marley’s house in Kingston, Jamaica, when seven gunmen appear and shower the house with a hail of gunfire …Marley, wife Rita, and manager Don Taylor are all hit but miraculously nobody is seriously injured …the band plays a gig two nights later …

1978, The Blues Brothers release their version of Sam & Dave’s “Soul Man” …

1979, 11 fans are trampled to death at a Who show in Cincinnati …

1980, the irreplaceable John Lennon is gunned down outside his New York apartment by a crazed fan and is DOA at Roosevelt Hospital …millions of mourners around the world pay tribute to the fallen Beatle in the days following, including a moment of silence at Yoko Ono’s request and massive gatherings in Liverpool and New York …Lennon is just 40 years old at the time of his murder …

1991, Rita Marley is finally awarded Bob Marley’s contested estate after years of legal wrangling …as a result of the verdict, famous Marley son Ziggy names his daughter Justice …

1993, revered rock weirdo, musical wizard, and spokesman for lyrical freedom Frank Zappa meets his demise from pancreatic cancer at the age of 53 …Guns N’ Roses announce they will keep the Charles Manson-penned song “Look At Your Game, Girl” on their album The Spaghetti Incident? …the band decides to leave the song on the album when they learn the royalties will go to the son of one of Manson’s victims …

1995, following the death of Jerry Garcia in August, The Grateful Dead officially disband …

1998, Cuban-born jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval becomes a naturalized citizen of the United States after a six-year struggle with the Immigration and Naturalization Service …Frank Sinatra’s FBI file is released to the public by the bureau …it contains 2,403 pages documenting assorted sordid Sinatra facts like his close connections with organized crime and well-hidden arrest records …

2000, Metallica sues Neiman-Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, and Guerlain, Inc. for trademark infringement …the three companies are selling a perfume branded Metallica …

2003, Ozzy Osbourne is crushed under the all-terrain vehicle he is riding at his country estate in Buckinghamshire, England …the accident puts him in the hospital for nearly a month recovering from injuries that include a fractured collarbone, eight fractured ribs, and crushed neck vertebrae …he awakens from a coma-like condition with no sense of smell or taste, convinced he has been in a bomb blast in Wales while touring with his band …

2004, ex-Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell is shot to death at a Columbus, Ohio, nightclub …his current band, Damageplan, has just started their show when a man runs onstage and shoots Dimebag …the shooter then kills a band roadie and two fans …a hostage situation is ended when a police officer enters the backstage area and kills the gunman, a deranged Pantera fan who blamed Dimebag for breaking up the group …

2005, in an unlikely coupling, Mary J. Blige’s new album Reminisce features the hip-hopper singing a duet with U2’s Bono …the pair had gone public with the U2 song “One” during a New York show by the band in October …Brian May is presented with the insignia of the Commander of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II …

2006, the handwritten lyrics for The Beatles’ “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” fetch $192,000 at auction in New York …Christie’s also gets $168,000 for a former Hendrix Strat while a collection of memorabilia belonging to former Dylan girlfriend Suze Rotolo garners $116,640 …Oklahoma City honors the Flaming Lips by naming an alley after the homegrown alt band …Flaming Lips Alley is in Bricktown, the city’s entertainment district …previous recipients of the honor include Vince Gill and Charlie Christian …America’s Oldest Teenager, Dick Clark, puts up a lifetime’s worth of memorabilia for auction …the huge collection includes the mouth harp Dylan blew in The Last Waltz, a beaded white glove worn by Michael Jackson, and the mic Clark used when his American Bandstand TV show launched in 1956 …

2007, in the wake of his departure from Interscope, Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor launches the website remix.nin.com where fans can mash up songs from the NIN catalog and post their creations online …an Australian strip club agrees to take down a picture from its window of a Kylie Minogue look-alike in a wet top …the pop singer’s lawyers claim the club owner downloaded the picture from the internet thinking it was the singer herself …the club owner denies this, asking, “What would a nice girl like Kylie be doing in a wet top like that?” …

…and that was the week that was.

Arrivals:

December 3: D.J. William “Hoss” Allen (1922), pop crooner Andy Williams (1930), Ralph McTell (1944), Ozzy Osbourne (1948), “Buffalo” Bruce Barlow of Commander Cody (1948), Mickey Thomas of Starship (1949), Molly Hatchet’s Duane Roland (1952), Steve Forbert (1955), Montell Jordan (1971)

December 4: film singer Deanna Durbin (1922), New Orleans R&B singer Lee Dorsey (1924), jazz drummer Denis Charles (1933), jazz bassist Art Davis (1934), blues guitarist Larry Davis (1936), Freddy Cannon aka Anthony Picariello (1940), Chris Hillman of The Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers (1942), Bob Mosley of Moby Grape (1942), Beach Boy Dennis Wilson (1944), John Lyon, better known as Southside Johnny (1948), Gary Rossington of Lynyrd Skynyrd (1951), Bob Griffin of The BoDeans (1959), Vinnie Dombroskie of Sponge (1962), hip-hop artist and mogul Jay-Z, born Shawn Corey Carter (1969)

December 5: blues legend Sonny Boy Williamson II, born Aleck Ford Miller and aka Rice Miller (1899), New Orleans sax man Alvin “Red” Tyler (1925), gospel singer-arranger-composer Reverend James Cleveland (1931), Little Richard (1935), J.J. Cale born Jean Jacques Cale (1938), Canadian pop singer Andy Kim (1946), Jim Messina (1947), Canadian pop singer-songwriter Andy Kim, born Andrew Youakim (1952), Great White’s Jack Russell (1960), Johnny Rzeznik of Goo Goo Dolls (1965)

December 6: Broadway lyricist Ira Gershwin (1896), R&B/pop producer Hugo Peretti (1916), Dave Brubeck (1920), Len Barry of The Dovells (1942), Mike Smith of The Dave Clark Five (1943), Kim Simmonds of Savoy Brown (1947), Joe X. Dube of Looking Glass (1950), Jam’s Rick Buckler (1955), Peter Buck of R.E.M. (1956), Randy Rhoads (1956), Dave Lovering of The Pixies (1961), Ben Watt of Everything but the Girl (1962), Ace of Base’s Ulf Ekberg (1970)

December 7: Harry Chapin (1942), Tom Waits (1949), L.A. session drummer Carlos Vega (1957), Tim Butler of The Psychedelic Furs (1958), Barbara Weathers of Atlantic Starr (1963), All Saints’ Nicole Appleton (1974), Aaron Carter (1987)

December 8: Finnish composer Jean Sibelius (1865), Sammy Davis Jr. (1925), master of the B3 Jimmy Smith (1925), soul singer Jerry Butler (1939), flutist James Galway (1939), The Hollies’ Bobby Elliot (1942), Jim Morrison (1943), Gregg Allman (1947), Warren Cuccurullo of Duran Duran (1956), Phil Collen of Def Leppard (1957), Paul Rutherford of Frankie Goes to Hollywood (1959), Marty Friedman of Megadeth (1962), Sinead O’Connor (1966), Bushwick Bill of The Geto Boys (1966), Ryan Newell of Sister Hazel (1972)

December 9: blues singer-harpist Junior Wells (1934), Rick Danko of The Band (1943), Shirley Brickley of The Orlons (1944), Neil Innes of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band (1944), The Commodores’ Walter Orange (1946), Candy Givens of Zephyr (1946), Joan Armatrading (1950), Randy Murray of BTO (1955), Donny Osmond (1957), Crowded House’s Nick Seymour (1958), Wallflowers’ Jakob Dylan (1970), Geoff Barrow of Portishead (1971), Green Day’s Tre Cool (1972), rapper Canibus (1974)

Departures:

December 3: Whisky A Go Go founder Elmer Valentine (2008), jazz pianist Mal Waldron (2002), songwriter Phil Medley (1997)

December 4: Cuban percussionist Carlos “Patato” Valdez (2007), Texas rapper Pimp C, born Chad Butler (2007), Wall of Voodoo percussionist Joe Nanini (2000), MC5 fret man and husband of Patti Smith, Fred “Sonic” Smith (1994), Frank Zappa (1993), Deep Purple’s Tommy Bolin (1976)

December 5: avant-garde composer Karlheinz Stockhausen (2007), tenor saxist Bob Berg (2002), Douglas Hopkins of The Gin Blossoms (1993), New Orleans session sax man David Lastie (1987), multi-instrumentalist jazz behemoth Rahsaan Roland Kirk (1977)

December 6: Memphis bass man Busta Jones (1995), Roy Orbison (1988), folk-blues singer Lead Belly, born Huddie William Ledbetter (1949)

December 7: Jerry Scoggins of the Cass County Boys (2004), Kenny Baker (1999), composer John Addison (1998), songwriter Carol Joyner Gourley (1997), Dee Clark (1990), Manhattans singer Richard Taylor (1987), New Riders bassist Dave Torbert (1982), The Germs lead singer Darby Crash (1980)

December 8: Dimebag Darrell Abbott (2004), Antonio Carlos Jobim (1994), jazz trumpeter Buck Clayton (1991), Herbert “Toubo” Rhoad of The Persuasions (1988), Howlin’ Wolf drummer Willie Williams (1988), blues guitarist Hollywood Fats born Michael Mann (1986), Marty Robbins (1982), harp maestro Walter “Shakey” Horton (1981), John Lennon (1980), Gary Thain of Uriah Heep (1975)

December 9: drummer Freddie Marsden of Gerry and the Pacemakers (2006), pop singer Georgia Gibbs (2006), Mike Botts of Bread (2005), Mary Hansen of Stereolab (2002), Waitresses singer Patti Donahue (1996), Orioles vocalist Sonny Til (1981)

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