SBC: The Week That Was
Fri May 13 17:38:36 EDT 2011
Elvis sparks riot . Brian Wilson shelves masterpiece . Philips launches the
Compact Disc .
This is the week that was in matters musical.
1933, knowing he will soon die of tuberculosis and wanting to provide for
his family, Jimmy Rodgers, aka the Singing Brakeman and the Blue Yodeler,
begins his final recording sessions with Peer records . Rodgers is
accompanied by a nurse throughout the sessions and rests on a cot between
songs . he dies two days after laying down his last tracks .
1945, the first album chart debuts in the U.S. . albums consist of
collections of 78rpm discs that usually come in a box or sleeved binder .
1955, on the second night of a back-to-back engagement at the Gator Bowl in
Jacksonville, Florida, Elvis Presley sparks the first riot of his burgeoning
career with the phrase, "Girls, I'll see you backstage" . the female portion
of the 14,000-strong audience goes into such a frenzy that the
once-and-future King's clothes and shoes are torn from his body as he tries
to escape . after witnessing the event Colonel Tom Parker is convinced of
Elvis' marketability .
1956, Buddy Holly gets fitted for his first pair of contact lenses . as fate
would have it, the creator of the Elvis Costello look can't stand the eye
irritation and sticks with his trademark spectacles .
1958, Jerry Lee Lewis is granted a divorce from his second wife . six months
after marrying his third wife and second cousin, Myra Gale Brown .
1960, instead of touring as the backup band for Billy Fury, the job they had
been offered, The Silver Beatles wind up on tour in Scotland this week with
Johnny Gentle, a Liverpool pop singer . feeling it beneath their dignity,
the members use fake names for the tour . Paul becomes Paul Ramone (a
surname later appropriated by four Forest Hills, Queens, punks in the
mid-70s), George becomes Carl Harrison (a nod to Carl Perkins), and Stu
Sutcliffe temporarily becomes Stu deStael .
1967, Brian Wilson shelves his opus magnum album Smile that he's previously
referred to as his "teenage symphony to God" . its non-release spurs decades
of speculation over what tracks would have been released, in what order, and
how great the album may or may not have been . a newly recorded version will
appear in 2004 . Archie Bell, leader of The Drells, is drafted into the army
where he'll soon be performing for Uncle Sam in Vietnam . exactly a year
later, while his infectious hit "Tighten Up" rides the top of the pop chart,
Bell languishes in a VA hospital recovering from his wounds .
1968, disavowing the Beatles' discipleship at the feet of Indian guru
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, John Lennon says, "We made a mistake. He's human like
the rest of us." .
1969, a fire breaks out in a grocery store next to the Fillmore East while
The Who are playing there . one of New York's finest in plain clothes mounts
the stage with the intent of grabbing the mike to warn the crowd of the fire
. Pete Townshend mistakes the cop for an over-enthusiastic fan and
aggressively ejects him from the stage . when the word finally gets out over
the PA, the crowd thinks it's a hoax until the cops forcibly remove
Townshend from the stage . he spends the night in the Big Apple pokey for
his mistake .
1978, Philips announces it will launch the Compact Disc with digital
recording and playback systems . in 1982 Japan receives the first CDs . a
year later in Europe and the U.S., CD players are selling for $1,000 .
1979, Patti Smith tells the New York Daily News that she's relocating her
base of musical operations from NYC to Detroit where she'll live with her
new beau (and future husband) Fred Smith, former guitarist with MC5 . her
frank appraisal of what she's leaving behind: "I really have no patience at
all for so much of the crap in the punk rock scene . all this sh** sticking
safety pins in cheeks and all the f***ing violence, I feel, is just a style
and fad." .
1980, a Memphis court indicts Dr. George C. Nichopoulos on 14 counts of
overprescribing drugs to Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis, plus nine other
patients . in 1977, Dr. Nick prescribed 10,000 hits of amphetamines,
barbiturates, narcotics, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, laxatives, and
hormones for Presley . the indictment results in 22 years of legal wrangling
and, ultimately, the end of Dr. Nick's medical career .
1983, having blown all the money his 1979 million-selling Bat Out of Hell
album had garnered, Marvin Lee Aday, better known to fans as Meat Loaf,
files for bankruptcy .
1986, Elvis Costello and Pogues singer-bassist Cait O'Riordan take the
matrimonial plunge . their marriage comes on the heels of Rum, Sodomy & the
Lash, the Pogues' latest release .
1990, Elton John plays at the Taj Mahal . that is, the Taj Mahal Casino in
Atlantic City . the occasion is the Donald Trump-owned casino's grand
1993, Barry White, Bette Midler, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers all appear as
guest voices for their respective cartoon counterparts on the season finale
of The Simpsons .
2000, The Artist announces that he will reclaim the name Prince, ending a
seven-year period during which his legal name was an unpronounceable symbol
. he originally changed his name June 7, 1993 . the symbol, which is an
amalgam of the male, female, and soapstone alchemy symbols, is retained as a
2002, Dionne Warwick is arrested at Miami International Airport when she
attempts to smuggle 11 joints aboard a plane in her carry-on bag .
2004, Jeff Tweedy of Wilco completes a stint in rehab to kick an addiction
to painkillers he developed while battling migraines . Tweedy's stay had
forced the band to cancel a handful of tour dates, including a stop at the
Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California . two weeks
after he checks out of the Chicago-area treatment center the band will hit
the road to tour behind the group's fifth album, A Ghost Is Born .
2006, Paul McCartney and Heather Mills announce that their four-year
marriage is splitsville and they will separate . in an announcement, the
couple states, "Having tried exceptionally hard to make our relationship
work given the daily pressures surrounding us, it is with sadness that we
have decided to go our separate ways" .
2007, While rounding up film footage of The Who for a planned documentary
about the seminal band, filmmaker Murray Lerner turns up film shot at their
legendary Live at Leeds show . a former Leeds University student found it
literally at the bottom of a barrel . the movie, Amazing Journey: The Story
of The Who is released in the fall .
2009, after a three-decade performance hiatus in the U.S., Cat Stevens, now
known as Yusuf Islam, plays a show at the El Rey Theatre in L.A. . White
Stripes drummer Meg White is engaged to marry Jackson Smith, son of Patti
Smith and the late Fred "Sonic" Smith of MC5 . Bob Dylan's 33rd studio
album, Together Through Life, debuts in the top slot on the Billboard album
chart . in doing so, Dylan unseats Neil Diamond as the oldest artist to
accomplish this feat .
. and that was the week that was .
[Compiled by the Musician's Friend copywriting staff]
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