1967 Pianist and singer Reginald Dwight (Elton John) and his future songwriting partner, lyricist Bernie Taupin, sign on to DJM publishing. Their parents have to witness the boys’ signatures, because they’re both under 21. It’s the start of a legendary partnership. Taupin and John go on to collaborate on more than 30 albums.
Both John and Taupin had answered an ad for musicians and lyricists placed in the magazine “New Musical Express.” Although neither one of them passed the audition for Liberty Records, the label’s Artists and Repertoire agent recognized their potential, and introduced the boys.
For years, the two have an unusual songwriting style. Rather than creating songs together, Taupin would write the lyric and then pass it on to John, who would set it to music. Their — Read more
|#0|#1968The Monkees‘ psychedelic movie “Head” opens in New York City. Marketed as the “most extraordinary adventure, western, comedy, love story, mystery, drama, musical, documentary satire ever made (And that’s putting it mildly),” the movie isn’t aimed at the band’s teen girl fans. It’s a dark, surreal, and absurdist contemplation of the nature of free will.
Some of the film’s imagery is disturbing, and the stream of consciousness storytelling style leaves most people cold. The band’s depiction of themselves as being helplessly trapped as their public personas strikes many as an affront to their fans, as does the shocking ending. The movie succeeds in destroying the band’s innocent public image, which is exactly what they want.
They probably didn’t want the awful reviews the film receives, or the sharp drop in the popularity of their music.
Born in Waco, Texas in 1884, Miss Guinan would move to New York in 1904. Her fine voice and witty Wild West patter make her a hit in Vaudeville. In 1917, she stars in a silent movie called “The Wildcat,” where she becomes American film’s first movie cowgirl. She’s known to the public as the “Queen of the West.”
Texas Guinan is also a smart businesswoman. Like many others, she sees prohibition as an opportunity, and opens a speakeasy called the 300 Club in 1920. The place quickly becomes a hangout for the rich and famous—Pola Negri, Al Jolson, Clara Bow, Irving Berlin, and Rudolph Valentino, to name a few. George Gershwin plays there regularly. Texas greets her guests with “Hello, suckers!” and ends the risque stage acts with “Give the little ladies a great big hand.” She’s credited — Read more
1963 The Beatles play the Royal Command Performance, also called the Royal Variety Performance; the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret are in attendance. The Beatles are 7th on the 19-act bill, but they’re arguably the most anticipated.
The Fab Four plays “From Me To You,” “She Loves You,” and “Till There Was You.” Then John Lennon makes a cheeky announcement that would be in the headlines the next day:
“For our last number I’d like to ask your help. The people in the cheaper seats clap your hands. And the rest of you, if you’d just rattle your jewelry. We’d like to sing a song called “Twist And — Read more
1985 The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) agrees to demands made by the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC), headed by Tipper Gore, Susan Baker, Pam Howar, and Sally Nevius (aka the Washington Wives).
As a result, the RIAA agrees to slap offending albums with the now-famous “Parental Advisory” labels. Some mainstream stores like Wal-Mart refuse to sell albums that carry the label, but overall, record sales remain the same.
Other PMRC actions include forcing record stores to stock albums with explicit covers under the counter, and pressuring TV stations not to broadcast explicit songs or videos.
The PMRC had brought their concerns before the senate in August, producing examples of explicit songs. Their — Read more
1974 Led Zeppelin throws a Halloween launch party for their new label, Swan Song Records, at Chislehurst Caves in Surrey, England. Legends of the wild party abound: drinks are served by topless nuns in suspenders, a naked woman lies in a coffin filled with jelly, naked male wrestlers grapple for the crowd, while fire-eaters and magicians do their thing. The invitation reads:
“Do what thou wilt…
But know by this summons
That on the night of the full moon
of 31st October, 1974
Led — Read more
“Beatles Rock Band” is the third major release in the Rock Band Series, but it’s a stand-alone game, not an expansion pack. The gameplay is a little different from other Rock Band titles, including the new element of 3-part vocal harmonies.
The idea for the movie came from a poem written by Burton in 1982, when he was an animator for Disney. Disney considered producing “Nightmare” in the early ’80′s, but ultimately decided it was “too weird.” Tim Burton left the studio in 1984 to pursue his weird dreams.
In 1990, after Burton had successfully produced “Beetlejuice” and — Read more
1962 The Beatles make their television debut. Between their lunch and evening shows at The Cavern Club in Liverpool, the Beatles travel to Granada TV Centre in Manchester, where they make a live appearance on a local program called “People and Places.” They play two songs: “Some Other Guy” and “Love Me Do”, which had been released just twelve days earlier. Beatles producer George Martin called that release day, Friday, October 5, 1962, “The day the world changed.”