It happened this week

This is the week that was in matters musical…

1944, jazz comes to the Met for the first time when Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Artie Shaw, Roy Eldridge, and Jack Teagarden take the stage and show ’em how it’s done …

1957, this week marks the opening of the Cavern Club in an old wine cellar on Matthew Street in Liverpool … the club becomes world famous thanks to the happy choice of The Beatles as its house band in 1961 and ’62 … it remains in business to this day … on this side of the pond, Johnny Cash hits network TV for the first time as a guest on the Jackie Gleason Show

1963, drummer Charlie Watts debuts with The Rolling Stones at The Flamingo in Soho, London …

1966, British popster David Jones becomes David Bowie in an effort to avoid confusion with The Monkees’ Davy Jones …

1970, in a bizarre latter–day bubble of Victorian flatulence, Scotland Yard confiscates eight prints from John Lennon’s exhibit of erotic lithographs … an accountant who has strayed into the Bag One gallery complains to the police, "They were exaggerated distorted caricatures depicting intimate sexual relationships of a repulsive and disgusting nature" … the raiding policeman, Detective Inspector Frederick Luff, says, "Many toilet walls depict works of similar merit. It is perhaps charitable to suggest that they are the work of a sick mind … The only danger to a successful prosecution is the argument that they are so pathetic as to be incapable of influencing anyone" … the gallery is closed and its owners prosecuted for violating obscenity laws … a London magistrate finally dismisses the charges and returns the lithos to the gallery, where they had been on sale for $58 each …

1972, Memphis’ Highway 51 South is renamed Elvis Presley Boulevard … within a few years the street goes unmarked because the street signs are stolen as quickly as they can be replaced …

1973, Jerry Lee Lewis is invited to play the Grand Ole Opry with the proviso that he neither perform rock ’n’ roll tunes nor utter profanities … The Killer proceeds to belt out "Great Balls of Fire," "Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On," and "Good Golly Miss Molly" and then announces that he’s a "rock and rolling, country and western, rhythm and blues singin’ motherfuckerr" … Pink Floyd hits the studio to start laying down tracks for one of the most successful albums ever—Dark Side of the Moon

1974, in a move that jumps the gun on rapper antics by two decades, singer Dino Martin (son of Dean) of the pop trio Dino, Desi, and Billy, is arrested on suspicion of possession and sale of two machine guns …

1978, The Sex Pistols play their swan–song show at San Francisco’s Winterland …

1980, Paul McCartney goes down in Japan for a big bag of reefer … he spends 10 days in the slam then gets the ignominious boot … Macca later reports that he spent his time singing Beatles songs with fellow inmates. Ruefully, he recalls, “I knew I wouldn’t be able to get anything to smoke over there. This stuff was too good to flush down the toilet, so I thought I’d take it with me.” …

1981, Plasmatics singer and former erotic dancer/porn actress Wendy O. Williams is arrested in Milwaukee for becoming too intimate with a sledgehammer on stage … Ms. Williams–who typically performs adorned only in a G string and two tiny strips of electrician’s tape–resists arrest valiantly and receives a 12–stitch head wound for her efforts …

1982, a highly–soused Ozzy Osbourne gnaws the head off a bat that has been tossed onstage by a fan … Ozzy later says he thought it was a fake rubber model … legend has it that he is obliged to go through a course of rabies shots just to be safe …

1991, the crowd rushes the stage at an AC/DC concert in Salt Lake City, crushing three people to death …

1993, the U.S. Supreme Court decides Tom Waits can keep the $2.6 million judgment awarded him in a lawsuit against Frito Lay … the snack food company had asked to use Waits’ song "Step Right Up" in an advertisement, but he declined the offer … in a moment of overwhelming stupidity, Frito Lay hired a Tom Waits-soundalike to record a song strikingly similar to "Step Right Up" and used it in the commercial … ironically, Waits wrote and recorded the song as "an indictment of advertising" and it contains the lyric "What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away" …

1996, a milestone of sorts is achieved when Wayne Newton performs his 25,000th Las Vegas show … also this week, Lisa Marie Presley shocks the world by filing for a divorce from the King of Pop after 20 months of matrimonial bliss … "Do we have sex?" Presley volunteers during an earlier interview with the couple, whereupon she and Jacko both adamantly answer her own question "Yes, yes, yes!" … they do not specify with whom …

1999, claiming that Victoria’s Secret’s Metallica lip pencils constitute trademark infringement, the band Metallica files suit against the lingerie company …

2001, bassman Jason Newsted splits with Metallica … the breakup will figure large in Some Kind of Monster, the 2003 documentary film in which the band members are seen trying to get in touch with their inner children …

2003, Phil Spector is arrested on suspicion of murdering his girlfriend Lana Clarkson … meanwhile across the Atlantic, cops stage raids in England and the Netherlands in which nearly 500 original Beatles studio tapes recorded during the Let It Be sessions are recovered … the tapes had been the source of countless bootlegs over the years …

2005, indie band Camper Van Beethoven is robbed again … just three months after having their equipment stolen in Montreal, their gear disappears again, this time from a hotel parking lot in Dallas … the trailer was backed up against a parking deck wall so the doors would not open … the thieves cut through the side of the trailer and helped themselves … the band had even hired a security guard … a $1,000 reward is offered for information leading to the recovery of the gear … in the good news category this week, a horde of comedy and musical heavyweights show up to help Tenacious D raise cash for victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami … a benefit show is held at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles and features Will Ferrell, Eddie Vedder, Beck, Chris Rock, Dave Grohl, and Josh Homme all performing with Jack Black and Kyle Gass of Tenacious D…

2006, in Rio, The Rolling Stones give Brazilian fans a treat by playing a free concert at Copacabana Beach … 1.2 million turn out to see the aging Brit rockers perform on a seven–story–high stage erected for the event and connected by a walkway to The Stones’ hotel … the turnout fails to set a record … that distinction belongs to Rod Stewart who sang to three million in the same setting on New Year’s Eve in 1994 …

2007, proving that Americans have an unquenchable thirst for seeing people make idiots of themselves, Fox airs a series of American Idol audition shows drawing 32 million viewers each and trouncing other shows in their time slots … meanwhile on the political front, Ted Nugent helps his buddy Texas Governor Rick Perry celebrate at his inaugural ball by appearing onstage with a cutoff tee, sporting the Confederate flag, and rambling on about people who don’t speak English …

2008, it’s announced that Suze Rotolo, who was Bob Dylan’s main squeeze circa 1961–1964 will publish a memoir titled A Freewheelin’ Time in which she recounts her life with Bobby Z in Greenwich Village and the illegal abortion she underwent when she became pregnant by the singer–songwriter …

…and that was the week that was.

Arrivals:

January 14: big band vocalist Russ Columbo (1908), doo–wop/R&B record label owner Al Silver (1914), soul man Clarence Carter (1936), songwriter–producer Allen Toussaint (1938), Contours singer Hubert Johnson (1941), soul singer Linda Jones (1944), Allman Brothers bassist Lamar Williams (1949), Jim Croce guitarist Maury Muehlelsen (1949), jazz guitarist/trumpeter Mark Egan (1951), Geoff Tate of Queensryche (1959), Chas Smash, born Cathal Joseph Patrick Smyth, of Madness (1959), Patricia Morrison of Sisters of Mercy (1962), LL Cool J, born James Todd Smith (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), Raymond Philips of The Nashville Teens (1942), Ronnie Milsap (1943), Sade – born Helen Folasade Abu (1959), Paul Webb of Talk Talk (1962) Maxine Jones of En Vogue (1966), Aalliyah (1979)

January 17: Eartha Kitt (1927), blues singer Bobby Bland (1930), "British Elvis" Billy Fury (1941), Chris Montez (1943), Mick Taylor (1948), Steve Earle (1955), Paul Young (1956), Susanna Hoffs of The Bangles (1957), dancehall artist Shabba Ranks (1966), Robert James Ritchie AKA Kid Rock (1971)

January 18: producer Bobby Herne (1938), Bobby Goldsboro (1941), David Ruffin of The Temptations (1941), "Legs" Larry Smith of The Bonzo Dog Band (1944), Tom Bailey of The Thompson Twins (1956), influential grunge rocker Andrew Wood (1966), DJ Quik (1970), Jonathan Davis of Korn (1971), Irish popette Samantha Mumba (1983)

January 19: Don Lang of The Frantic Five (1925), Australia’s first rock star, Johnny O’Keefe (1935), Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers (1939), Janis Joplin (1943), Rod Evans of Deep Purple (1945), Dolly Parton (1946), eclectic Brit vocalist Robert Palmer (1949), Dewey Bunnell of America (1952), Caron Wheeler of Soul II Soul (1963)

January 20: folk and blues singer Lead Belly born Huddie William Ledbetter (1889), R&B singer Paul Gayten (1920), country singer Slim Whitman (1924), composer David Tudor (1926), Earl Grant (1933), R&B blues guitarist–singer Luther Tucker (1936), William Powell of The O’Jays (1942), George Grantham of Poco (1947), Paul Stanley of Kiss (1952), guitarist John Campbell (1952), Ian Hill of Judas Priest (1952), Linkin Park drummer Rob Bourdon (1979)

Departures:

January 14: New York Dolls drummer Jerry Nolan (1992), bluesman Rube Lacey (1969)

January 15: Junior Wells (1998), Grand Ole Opry performer Vic Willis (1995), Harry Nillsson (1994), Sammy Cahn (1993), Elton John drummer Dee Murray, born David Oates (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)

January 17: multi–instrumentalist Norris Turney (2001), Texas blues guitarist T.D. Bell AKA Little T–Bone (1999), bluesman David "Junior" Kimbrough (1998), blues drummer Robert Covington (1996), Tony Duhig, leader of prog–rock band Jade Warrior (1991), commie rocker Dean Reed (1986), R&B singer Billy "Fat Boy" Stewart (1970), Norman P. Rich, William Cathey, and Rico Hightower of Stewart’s band, The Soul Kings (1970)

January 18: Brent Liles of Social Distortion (2007), producer–songwriter Keith Diamond (1997), singer Adriana Caselotti (1997), (Mel)anie Appleby of Mel & Kim (1990), Chicago soul–blues vocalist McKinley Mitchell (1986)

January 19: Denny Doherty of The Mamas and The Papas (2007), Wilson Pickett (2006), Josh Clayton–Felt of School of Fish (2000), rockabilly pioneer Carl Perkins (1998), Joe Stubbs of The Falcons (1998), singer–guitarist Buster Benton (1996), leader and sax player for the Mar–Keys Packy Axton (1974)

January 20: Hugh O’Neill Jr. of The Queers (1999), drummer Bill Albaugh (1999), Ron Holden of "Love You So" fame (1997), Stan Szelest of The Hawks who became The Band (1991), DJ Alan Freed (1965)

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