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Frank Zappa

From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Tuesday, 13th January):

Birth

1952. Cornelius Bumpus (The Doobie Brothers) born.

On Tour

1989. Much to the annoyance of local police, Duran Duran end their concert at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia by asking the 10,000 fans to sing along with their newly-penned song, “Free James Brown“. They’re the latest stars to join the campaign to obtain a pardon for the 55 year old “Godfather Of Soul” who was given a six year prison sentence last month for assault and failing to stop during a car chase.

In Custody

1993. Bobby Brown is arrested in Augusta, Georgia for simulating a sex act onstage. This is the second time the Georgia police department have arrested the singer for the same offence.

In Court

2000. Puff Daddy (a.k.a. Sean “Puffy” Combs) and Anthony “Wolf” Jones are indicted by a Manhattan grand jury. Both men are charged with “criminal possession of a weapon in the second and third degree”. The charges relate to their arrest (along with Jennifer Lopez and rapper Jamail “Shyne” Barrow) on December 27th following a nightclub shooting in New York’s Times Square. Barrow has already been indicted with several offences, including attempted murder. Later in the day, Combs releases a statement declaring his innocence and announcing that he will be defended by Johnnie Cochran (one of the O.J. Simpson defence team).

On Television

1995. The Word (Channel 4, U.K.) Musical guests: Veruca Salt, MN8, Tricky. Here are Veruca Salt with “Number One Blind”.

Death

2007. Saxophonist Michael Brecker (The Brecker Brothers) dies in New York from leukemia, aged 59. He worked with Dire Straits, Herbie Hancock, Billy Joel, Elton John, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, Steely Dan, James Taylor and Frank Zappa amongst others.

 

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From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Tuesday 22nd July):

Birth

1963. Emily Saliers (The Indigo Girls) born in New Haven, Connecticut.

In The Skies

1994. The Minor Planet Circular issued today, announces that minor planet 3834 which was discovered on 11th May 1980 has been named Zappafrank in memory of Frank Zappa.

In Custody

1996. Kim Thayil (Soundgarden) is arrested in the early hours of the morning following allegations that he assaulted a fan at his hotel in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina. Soundgarden had returned to the hotel after playing the Lollapalooza at around 1am. Thayil went to his room and discovered it had been broken into. On going downstairs to discuss the matter with the hotel’s manager, he was harassed by drunk party-goers attending a wedding reception. He grabbed the disposable camera of one guest and threw it away. The guests then charged at him. In his flight, he is thought to have hit one of the group in the face. He is charged with assault on a girl and damage to property and released on $ 2,500 bail.

In Court

1997. Robbie Williams is in the High Court in London, defending a lawsuit brought by his former manager Nigel Martin-Smith. The ex-manager is seeking £ 1 million which includes £ 78,000 in unpaid commission on royalties and advances and a percentage of the singer’s earnings until 2006.

On Television

1967. American Bandstand (ABC, U.S.A.) 1784. The Doors – “Light My Fire” & “Crystal Ship”; Bee Gees (on film) – “New York Mining Disaster 1941”. Here’s “Light My Fire”.

Death

1996. Rob Collins (The Charlatans) crashes his BMW on the journey from a local pub to Rockfield Studios in Monmouth, Wales where the band are recording their fifth album. He is resuscitated by a nurse at the crash site but dies in the ambulance on his way to hospital. A sound engineer travelling with him escapes serious injury but is in shock.

 

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© Copyright 1995 – 2008 Rockmine Archives. Use of this content is prohibited unless licensed by Rockmine Archives.

From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Wednesday 9th July):

Birth

1916. R&B pianist Joe Liggins (The Honeydrippers) born in Guthrie, Oklahoma.

In Politics

1992. At the Democratic Party Convention in New York, Bill Clinton announces Al Gore will be his running mate. Frank Zappa, Luther Campbell (2 Live Crew) and Joey Ramone are among the musicians to condemn the appointment. In the main, the protests are not about Gore himself but his wife, Tipper, who founded the Parents Music Resource Centre which forced labels to put warning stickers on albums with content unsuitable for minors. Zappa, who crossed swords with Al Gore at a Congressional Hearing on Record Labeling in 1985 said, “I’ve been a registered Democrat my whole life, but I just can’t endorse this ticket”.

Meanwhile, Carter USM try and hi-jack the convention in their own way with billboards across New York carrying a smiling picture of ex-President Jimmy Carter and the wording, “The Unstoppable Sex Machine Coming Any Moment”. As if that wasn’t enough, Fruitbat and Jim Bob hand out postcards outside the convention hall in the hope they might actually meet that “other” Carter.

In Court

1999. After a 12 minute hearing at the High Court in London, Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall’s lawyers issue a joint statement announcing that they have “amicably and formally agreed to separate after more than two decades as a couple and seek an annulment”. Although it was thought there would be a long and drawn-out divorce case, Jagger’s lawyers had contested that their 1991 Hindu wedding in Bali was not legally binding in Britain. Jerry Hall’s solicitors had been quite happy to fight the case believing that even if the marriage was declared invalid, after such a long period their client would be entitled to the same settlement as a wife. Hall had been seeking a settlement in the region of £ 30 million. Although the actual amount agreed has not been divulged, her solicitors, Mishcon de Reya, described it as a “mutually acceptable legal and financial settlement”. After the settlement was announced Jagger and Hall flew to their French Chateau for a family holiday.

In Hospital

1969. Marianne Faithfull collapses in her suite at the Chevron Hotel in Sydney, Australia. She’s admitted to the intensive care unit of the city’s St. Vincent’s Hospital in a coma. Mick Jagger, who’s in Australia filming in the title role of “Ned Kelly”, told a press conference at the hotel that his girlfriend had not taken an overdose. He said, “Marianne is not seriously ill. She’s a delicate woman. The trip was hard for her. She’s a lot of work to do and we want to make sure she’s alright”. According to the hospital, she is under observation and will remain at least overnight.

Despite local reports that officers from the local drug squad were waiting to question Faithfull, a police spokesman said no action would be taken unless hospital authorities told them it had been an overdose. They confirmed that two containers had been removed from Marianne’s room but refused to say what they contained. After interviewing Mick, police removed a further two containers and several capsules from his room. A spokesman for Jagger said the singer would be travelling to Melbourne for the filming of the hanging scenes at Pentride Jail. These have to be shot now as the Victoria State Government has only made the jail available for a limited period.

On Television

2001. Late Show With David Letterman (CBS, U.S.A.) Show #1636. Musical guest: Jonatha Brooke with “Linger”.

Death

1993. R&B saxophonist Red Prysock (born Wilbert Prysock) dies in Chicago, Illinois from a Heart attack.

Babble

On Saturday night I was at a 1973 party watching a video of Roland Petit’s Pink Floyd Ballet and last night I found myself in Forfar watching Scottish Ballet dancing to Radiohead. It’s strange how little things change. 35 years and yet ballet companies still find inspiration in the work of rock musicians. Back in 1972, when Petit’s ballet was first performed, the music still had the air of the avant-garde about it and in many ways little has changed. Last night’s venue was a public hall in Forfar, that seemed locked in a time-warp of some bygone gang-show age. Probably less than half full, the audience looked to have drawn every young girl from every dance class in the area, along with their mums. The first half of the programme was a lavishly costumed production of Othello set to Franz List: a real crowd-pleaser in the traditional classical ballet idiom.

The interval provided a breathing space that would have been far too difficult to bridge without a break. The house lights went down and the lights came up on a stark, empty stage bathed in an eery glow. The dancers had eschewed their tights and shoes and their steps had taken on a visceral connection to the music. We were treated to two excerpts from “Ride the Beast”, which debuted to critical acclaim at last year’s Edinburgh Festival – “Fitter Happier” and “Creep”. The elderly ladies who had spent their interval marveling at the mastery of the first half could almost be heard wincing behind me.

Choreography suffers from a limited vocabulary of movement, much as music is limited to a finite number of notes. Many of the moves were the same and yet the combination of music, lighting and lack of costume had turned it into an avant-garde experience that shocked as much as it challenged. At the end of the evening, the ladies behind me were still buzzing about the first half, and planning their next trip, to see “Sleeping Beauty” in all its classical splendour. Maybe for them, the music of Radiohead had fallen on deaf ears but there were many who whooped and cheered this young company taking their art out of the great venues and into the towns around Scotland. The dancers, who had gathered for their bus by the time I’d left the venue, have much to be proud of.

 

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From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Friday 14th March):

Birth

1949. Ollie Halsall (Patto, Kevin Ayers) born in Southport, Merseyside.

On Stage

1971. The Rolling Stones play the first of two farewell shows at London’s Chalk Farm Roundhouse prior to going into tax exile in the South of France.

In Court

1977. Anita Pallenberg, girlfriend of Rolling Stones guitarist, Keith Richards, is fined £ 220 for possession of cannabis and heroin at a court in Toronto, Canada. Despite Canada’s heavy drug laws, Anita was told by the judge that a fine was appropriate as only traces of drugs and a syringe were found in her handbag. 

Keith appeared in court later in the day on charges of trafficking in heroin and was remanded until June. The couple were arrested at Toronto airport when they arrived from London two weeks ago.

In Bed

1994. La Toya Jackson is too tired to get out of bed for a live interview on “Good Morning … with Ann & Nick” on BBC-1. She told the programme that she was tired after her flight from Germany had been diverted to Bristol due to problems at Heathrow. The Beeb said they were considering suing after Jackson had been advanced expenses and travel costs.

On Television
 
 

1963. The Steve Allen show with Frank Zappa and his “Bicycle Concerto”. The quality of this is poor but it has to rate as one of the silliest bits of music TV ever seen. 

Death

1972. Soul singer, Linda Jones, dies in New York after collapsing into a diabetic coma following a performance at Harlem’s Apollo Thetare. She was only 28 years old and some believe she would have become the greatest soul singer of the generation. Aretha Franklin has said she was her favourite singer. A new album of her work will be released this spring.

Music Paper From Today
 
nme-mar-14-1970.jpg 

New Musical Express from 14th March 1970. A copy taken from Rockmine’s almost complete run of U.K. music papers from the last 45 years. 
 


Daily Babble
 
Isn’t YouTube wonderful? The Zappa clip featured above used to be hidden away in the alt.binaries newsgroups and now, here it is for all the world to see. It’s astonishing that Frank gets  nearly 20 minutes but it was great television and didn’t actually sound that bad and certainly wasn’t far removed from some of the avant-garde music of the time.
 
That’s it for now, I’m off to put some more stuff up on eBay in the Rockmine Garage Sale

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© Copyright 1995 – 2008 Rockmine Archives. Use of this content is prohibited unless licensed by Rockmine Archives.