Saturday, November 19, 2011

Rock History

1967—19-year old Arlo Guthrie, son of American folk music pioneer Woody Guthrie, releases the song Alice’s Restaurant. The single, which clocked in at over 18 minutes, told the mostly true story of his run-in with the New York draft board.

1968—The Los Angles based Americana band Pogo are forced to change their name following a lawsuit from comic strip creator Walt Kelly, whose comic strip Pogo debuted in 1941. The band settle on the similar sounding name Poco, and go on to have a number of hits on both the pop and country charts.  Worth noting is the release of their 2005 live album entitled “Bareback at Big Sky,” recorded in Bozeman at the home of Cactus’ friend Dave Goodwin, in front of a live audience of 100 Bozeman fans.

1970—The Killer, Jerry Lee Lewis, is granted a divorce from his wife/first cousin Myra Brown, after 13 years of marriage. Brown was only 13 years old when she and Lewis married; the marriage, and scandal that followed in its wake, essentially ended Lewis’ skyrocketing rock-&-roll career.

1973—A 19 year-old fan of The Who, Scot Halpin, got the thrill of a lifetime when he was recruited from the audience to replace an exhausted Keith Moon, who was suffering from jet lag. The young man lasted only three songs, when he also was too tired to continue.

1977—Joey Ramone, lead singer of The Ramones, receives 2nd degree burns when a fog machine explodes on stage. Though he somehow managed to finish the concert, Ramone would spend the next three days hospitalized.

1983—Tom Evens, bassist of power-pop band Badfinger, commits suicide by hanging. Evens and the remaining members of Badfinger were embroiled in a financial dispute with the band’s management. Badfinger’s singer/guitarist Peter Hamm had hanged himself eight years earlier due to similar circumstances.

1990—Milli Vanilli producer Frank Farian admits to reporters that Fabrice Morvan and Rob Pilatus never sang a note on the "Milli Vanilli" album. The duo eventually returned their Best New Artist Grammy.

1990—The Righteous Brother place both their original 1965 recording of the song “Unchained Melody” and a newly re-recorded version in the top 20, after the song is featured in the movie Ghost. The song was originally recorded in 1955 by Les Baker as the theme to the prison film Unchained.

2010—Officials in Dade County Florida have announced that the sheriff’s department is looking into officially pardoning former Doors lead singer Jim Morrison for his 1969 indecent exposure arrest. Morrison was convicted of exposing himself on a Miami stage in 1969 and ordered to serve 6 month in jail and pay a $500 fine. The verdict was in the process of being appealed when Morrison died of a heart attack in 1971.  Not surprisingly, Morrison has not commented on the pardon.

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