From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Monday, 19th January):
1949. Robert Palmer born in Batley, Yorkshire.
1994. The Animals, The Band, Duane Eddy, The Grateful Dead, Elton John, John Lennon, Bob Marley and Rod Stewart are inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame at a ceremony in New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Jerry Garcia can’t make it, so the rest of The Grateful Dead take along a cardboard cut-out of him instead. John Lennon was inducted by Paul McCartney who made a public display of reconciliation when he hugged Yoko Ono.
1999. Rapper Bizzy Bone‘s assault trial opens in Columbus, Ohio. The Bone Thugs-n-Harmony member (real name Byron McCane) is charged with assault and disorderly conduct and could face up to six months in prison and a fine of $ 1,000. It’s alleged that Bone , accompanied by two bodyguards, confronted student barber Terrance Harden and accused him of slandering him. In the course of a heated discussion Harden is said to have lunged at the rapper but been restrained by the bodyguards. Harden’s story, which the City Prosecutor believes, says that he was dragged down a flight of stairs sustaining “visible injuries”. Neither of the bodyguards has been charged in connection with the assault.
1978. An unconscious Sid Vicious is carried off a flight from Los Angeles to New York on a stretcher after taking pills and alcohol during the flight. He is taken to New York’s Jamaica Hospital where, after being given oxygen and an intravenous drug antidote, he recovers to semi-consciousness. A spokesman for the hospital says, “He said he was feeling fine but his eyes were rolling about in his head”. Its thought that Sid may have travelled to New York to see Johnny Rotten who arrived in the city on January 18th claiming he had left the band.
2005. The Ellen DeGeneres Show (Syndicated, U.S.A.) 255. Guests include Wyclef John who performs with the African Children’s Choir, singing their Golden Globe-nominated theme song, “Million Voices” from the movie “Hotel Rwanda.”
2008. Singer-songwriter John Stewart dies in San Diego, California. He was a member of The Kingston Trio, wrote “Daydream Believer” for The Monkees and produced a collection of highly regarded solo albums through his career. Check out “Fire In The Wind” for a taste of the man at his best.
I’ve spent the last couple of days listening to Bruce Springsteen‘s new album, “Working On A Dream”. It has all the feel of a “real” E-Street Band album and the clips available on Amazon show The Boss enjoying himself in the studio, trading chops with old friends.
It’s got a feel-good feeling to it and the more I listen to it, the more I warm to it but something rankles me about it. I don’t know if it’s a cynicism that’s dogging me over it. I’d like to be listening to it when a new president wasn’t just about to take power in America. It seems laden with hope, from its title onwards.
In interviews, Springsteen has said that The American Dream had been lost but now with Obama, we see that it can be achieved. I worry that even more than with “Born In The USA”, this work will be misunderstood or misinterpreted. My basic distrust of politics has always seen me believe that rockers should be protesting, not encouraging us to believe in anything.
Newsclips last night showed Bruce on the steps of The Capitol singing “The Rising”. I hope the coming days and weeks see his faith in America strengthened and not shattered as politicians have so often done before.
His finest work charted growing up in America’s industrial heartland. He now faces his greatest challenge, to give voice to the millions affected by economic hardship and job losses. Rich, secure middle America has seen its world shattered. Regardless of what happens in The White House, it certainly needs hope in the future.
As for the album itself, I’ll be back with a review tomorrow.
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