Today In Music, July 2nd

From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Wednesday 2nd July):

Birth

1942. Leapy Lee born Lee Graham in Eastbourne, Sussex.

On Tour

1991. 60 people are hurt in the ensuing melee when Axl Rose jumps from the stage during a Guns ‘N’ Roses concert and attacks a member of the audience he spots videotaping the show. The venue outside St. Louis, Missouri is badly damaged in the near-riot which follows. Axl is charged with third degree assault and property damage but isn’t arrested by police for one year.

In Court

1997. Rick Danko (The Band) tells a court in Chiba, Japan that his wife sent him a package of heroin from America when he asked her to send him the prescription drug codeine. He’s quoted as saying, “I’m just surprised that she did anything so stupid”. Danko was arrested in May during a tour of Japan. Police raided his hotel room and found 1.25 grammes of heroin in a magazine that had recently arrived by post from the U.S. If found guilty he faces a jail sentence of up to two and a half years.

In Business

1997. Berry Gordy sells a 50% interest in his Jobete Music group of companies to EMI for $ 132 million. He’s already sold Motown Records to Polygram but retained the music publishing company Jobete. The new agreement allows Gordy and his sister Esther Edwards to sell their remaining share in Jobete for up to $ 250 million within five years. The company owns the copyright to more than 15,000 songs including such classics as “I heard It Through The Grapevine” and “My Girl”.

On Television

1980. Sheena Easton gets her big break on the BBC TV series, “The Big Time”. Fronted by Esther Rantzen, the show gives ordinary people the chance to fulfill their dreams. In Sheena’s case, it’s to become a pop singer. We see her being groomed for stardom and recording her debut single (released in April). Her second single, “9 To 5” capitalises on the publicity from the show, hits number 3 in the U.K. chart – and a star is born.

Death

1969. Sometime between 11.30 p.m. and midnight, Brian Jones dies in the swimming pool of his 15th century home, Cotchford Farm near Hartfield, Sussex. He had spent the evening with his girlfriend, 22 year old Anna Vohlin, Frank Thorogood (a builder employed by The Rolling Stones to repair their homes) and his friend Janet lawson, a State Registered Nurse. Brian suggested they all go for a swim, complaining of the heat. After being in the pool a while, the two women returned to the house. Mr. Thorogood followed shortly after. When Jones didn’t join them after a short while, Lawson went to check on him. She found him lying on the bottom of the pool. She called the others to help. They dived in and pulled him out while she called an ambulance. While she was on the telephone, Anna tried the kiss of life and at one point felt Jones’ hand grip hers. When the ambulance crew arrived they tried for half an hour to revive him but he didn’t respond.

Rumours about his death abound. One suggests Brian was visited by two drug dealers wanting payment of outstanding debts. To frighten him they put his head in a bucket of water but Brian suffered an asthma attack and stopped breathing. In panic the body was thrown into the swimming pool where he drowned. It’s a great story – and one of many conspiracy theories – but it doesn’t tie in with any of the pathological evidence. Look in almost any book and they’ll list Brian’s date of death as tomorrow but we’ve taken the time of death from the notes of the Post-Mortem Examination seen here:

 

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