Today In Music, July 12th

From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Saturday 12th July):

Birth

On Tour

1969. Blind Faith begin their first tour of the U.S.A. with a concert at New York’s Madison Square Gardens. Despite opening to a standing ovation before they’d even played a note, things would later turn sour. During one of Ginger Baker‘s drum solos a fan ran onstage to grab a discarded drumstick. He was knocked to the ground by two policemen using three foot batons. Baker was so upset that he jumped from his kit to stop them beating the fan senseless. Police then formed a circle around the stage but that enraged the 23,000 strong crowd. Coins, bottles, handbags and seats were thrown onto the stage area. At the end of their set, the band decided there would be no encore but the crowd screamed for ten minutes and in the end they relented. Even then, police had to use their batons to clear a path for the group to reach the stage. After the band had finished, fans invaded the stage, fighting with roadies for souvenirs. Steve Winwood‘s organ was smashed in the frenzy.

In Custody

2000. Yusuf Islam, who was formerly the pop star, Cat Stevens is detained on arrival in Israel, held for several hours and then deported. He was stopped on arrival at 3.30 a.m., when his name showed up on a register of people banned from entering. The banning order came from Israel’s government and was based on information provided by the country’s internal intelligence service, Shin Bet. They have evidence that, on his last visit in 1988, Islam gave tens of thousands of dollars to Hamas, the Islamic terrorist group.

In Court

1997. Despite being a Saturday evening, the 6 man jury in the John Denver drink-driving trial return to court to say they can’t break their 3-3 impass. Denver will now have to re-appear in court on August 19th to hear whether the judge will dismiss the case or order a re-trial. He was charged with being under the influence while driving after crashing his Porsche into a tree near Aspen in August 1994. Expert witnesses for the defence argued that the singer has a thyroid complaint that affects the way his body metabolizes alcohol. In theory he can be legally drunk without knowing he is or feeling any effects. Still doesn’t explain how the Porsche got totalled!

On Television

1979. Musikladen (ZDF, West Germany) 47. Blondie – Sunday girl; First Choice – Great expectations; Edwin Starr – H.A.P.P.Y. radio; Ironhorse – Sweet Lui-Louise; Tata Vega – I just keep thinking about you; Blonde on Blonde – Whole lotta love; Kevin Keegan – Head over heels in love; Gaby – I’m a lover not a fighter; Dolly Dots – (Tell it all about) Boys; Theo Vaness – As long as it’s love; A la Carte – When the boys come home; Tina Turner – Root, toot, undisputable Rock ‘n’ Roller; New Riders of the Purple Sage – Hello Mary Lou (Oldie from 1972); Boney M – Gotta go home

Death

1996. Jonathan Melvoin (The Smashing Pumpkins) is found dead from a heroin overdose in his New York hotel room, aged 34. His father, Mike Melvoin, has been at the forefront of the American National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences’ call for random drug testing of musicians and is due to give a major address on the subject later today.

Police take other members of the band in for questioning and arrest Jimmy Chamberlain. It seems he and Melvoin had both shot up heroin yesterday but when Chamberlain woke up he found Melvoin dead. It’s rumoured that Billy Corgan may also have been in the hotel room at the time but he’s released after questioning. The band announce that all remaing dates of their U.S. tour are cancelled.

 

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