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Monday Musical History Day

Heather Shay

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Hope you you will join me in adding musical history or ask music musical facts on Mondays. 


Can you believe it has been 30 years since Kurt Cobain was found dead of an apparent suicide? What would he have done if this hadn't happened?

1994 - Kurt Cobain
Electrician Gary Smith who was working at Kurt Cobain's house in Seattle discovered Cobain's body lying on the floor in the greenhouse. Local radio station KXRX broke the news at 9.40am that the Nirvana singer and guitarist was dead. A shotgun was found next to Cobain's body. A suicide note was found that said, 'I haven't felt the excitement of listening to as well as creating music, along with really writing . . . for too many years now'. A high concentration of heroin and traces of Valium were also found in Cobain's body.
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I was thinking about where groupo names came from or meanings or previous names:


Procol Harum -  amed after a frtiend's cat. Orginal name - The Paramounts

Blue Oyster Cult - originaaly called Soft White Underbelly

10cc - named after the amount of a male ejectulation

Small Faces - Small as in they were short and Faces was a term for a MOD culture

Steely Dan - a sex toy from William Burroughs "The Naked Lunch"

Rolling Stones - from Muddy Waters song

Beatles - in honor of Buddy Holly's backing band the Crickets with John's pun on spelling 

The Who - were orinally the Detours

Queen was originally called Smile

Chicago shortrened their name from Chicago Transit Authority

Fleetwood Mac - Peter Green named it for the drummer qand bas player

Joy Division - area in unhealthy politics coincentration camp where raping of prisoners occurred

Spandau Ballet - named from unhealthy politics concentration camp where hangings occurred and called ballets


Ouch that makes me wonder whhat were they thinking and maybe better NOT to know where names came from

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Simon & Garfunkel broke up early in their career and Paul Simon went to England and wrote songs. He heard the record company added drums and other instruments to Sound of Silence (he hated the idea) and it took off - S&G reunited and the rest is history.


Speaking of break ups - The Who nearly broke up and if their next LP didn't go well they would break up - the LP was called Tommy.


Speaking of the Who, Pete Townsend was working on another concept album called Lifehouse and it wasnb't fgoing anywhere - so he abandoned it and took some songs from it and added others and it became Who's Next.


Seals & Croft where in Jay & The Americans backing band originally.


Poor Monkees - they were chastised because they hadn't played on their first 2 albums - but neither did the Beach Boys and The Grassroots, etc., etc., etc. as a studio group called The Wrecking Crew did most of the musical work.


And speaking of not playing on their own records - Motown has the Funk Brothers, and Stax had thweir own group and of course let's not forget The Swampers.



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This is a great list Heather! 

Also Paul Simon wrote "Bridge over Troubled Water" in the same LA home that George Harrison wrote "Blue Jay Way".   He was there with his girlfriend as Art Garfunkel was acting in the filming of Catch-22.


Seals and Crofts, great harmonies! 

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Oooooooooooooooops, I forgot yesterday.


I was thinking of a few bands who had a member invited who said no and went right into obscurity or left before the band got big.


1) Led Zeppelin -  origially wanted Terry Reid to be lead vocalist and he decided the stay solo.

2) Crosby, Stills & Nash - invited John Sebastian to join before Neil Young, Sebastian said no.

3) Signe Anderson quit as lead vocalist with Jefferson Airplane and they replaced her with Grace Slick.



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I hadn't heard about the John Sebastian invite.  Interesting.  He certainly would have blended in well with the other three. 

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Gosh, missed Monday again.


Did you know that Producer Keith Oslen was distraught because the duo his recorded Buckingham-Nicks first album went nowhere? In walked Mick Fleetwood also distraught because once again Flleetwood Mac lost a guitarist in Bob Welsh and he was at least going studio shopping and came to Sound City in LA because he'd heard the drum sound they got there was incredible. He asked Oslen to play something recorded there. Olsen played some of Buckingham-Nicks and Fleetwood loved the sound of the guitarist and wanted Buckingham. Olsen said he comes with Nicks because Olsen managed both. Fleetwood didn't want Nicks but eventually the remaining Mac members said okay and next thing you know - the Fleetwood Mac that scored a huge following was born. Sadly right after the "Fleetwood Mac" album and before "rumours" was recorded, the band got huge headed and got rid of Oslen so they didn't have to play him a lot of music they wanted to keep. Olsen did ok after by recording Ozzy Osbourne, the Grateful DeadWhitesnakePat BenatarHeartSantanaSagaForeignerScorpionsJourneyThe BabysEmerson, Lake & PalmerJoe Walsh38 Special, and Eric Burdon & the Animals, among others. BTW - Olsen was also a members in 1967 of a band called Music Machine (not the James Taylor one) that scored a huge hit with the song "Talk Talk"

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I had heard the story of Nicks-Buckingham but not the rest.  Olsen was prolific.

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Two unusual conbinations:

Jackson Brown was accompanist for Nico of The Velvet Undarground & Nico fame.

David Gates of Bread fame played with Captain Beefheart.

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Quite the pairings!

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Did you know a member of Strawberry Alarm Clock and Lynyrd Skynard co-wrote Incense and Peppermint and Sweet Home Alabama? His name was Ed King. I still find it hard to believe he was in both groups when they hit it big.


Paul Carrack sang in Ace, Mike & The Mechanics, and Squeeze on hits for all three. He also wrote "How Long", several Eagles songs and played in Roxy Music. Busy man.

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There are so many unsung (no pun intended) musical giants we are not aware of.

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1983 - Jim Gordon
US session drummer Jim Gordon murdered his mother during a psychotic episode. Diagnosed schizophrenic during his 1984 trial, Gordon was sentenced to 16 years-to-life in prison. A Grammy Award winner for co-writing Layla with Eric Clapton, Gordon worked with The Beach Boys, John Lennon, George Harrison Frank Zappa and many other artists.. 
Jim Gordan also was in Traffic and Derek and The Dominoes and received writers credit for the piano part in "Layla". 
1967 - The Doors
The Doors 'Light My Fire' was released in the US, where it went on to be No.1 on the singles chart two months later. When The Doors were booked to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show they were asked to change the line "girl, we couldn't get much higher", as the sponsors were uncomfortable with the possible reference to drug-taking. The band agreed to do so, and did a rehearsal using the amended lyrics; however, during the live performance, lead singer Jim Morrison sang the original lyric, after which they were informed they would never appear on the Ed Sullivan show again.
I remember being in my mother's yard doing lawn work when I first heard the song when it was first released.
1964 - Ringo Starr
During a photo session Ringo Starr was taken ill suffering from tonsillitis and pharyngitis, days before a world tour was about to start. After a last-minute phone call from George Martin, session drummer Jimmy Nichol rushed over to EMI Studios, where he and The Beatles ran through six songs from their tour repertoire in a quick rehearsal. Nichol replaced Ringo and became a Beatle for eleven days.
This didn't get much press so I didn't know about it then but learned about it as I researched the group when I played Paul McCartney in a tribute band in my old life. I am much happy now though I miss playing out with a full electric band.
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Very sad about Jim Gordon, such a talent.

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The antecedents of the musical can be traced to a number of 19th-century forms of entertainment including the music hall, comic opera, burlesque, vaudeville, variety shows, pantomime, and the minstrel show. These early entertainments blended the traditions of French ballet, acrobatics, and dramatic interludes.

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2000 - Sinead O'Connor
Sinead O’Connor announced that she was a lesbian. The mother of two told the American magazine Curve that she had been in the closet for years saying "I am a lesbian. I haven't been very open about that, I've gone out with blokes because I haven't necessarily been terribly comfortable about being a lesbian."
1976 - The Who
The Who, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Little Feat, Outlaws and Streetwalkers all appeared at Swansea City Football Club, Swansea, Wales, Tickets cost £4 ($7).
1965 - The Beatles
The Beatles were included in the Queen's birthday honours list to each receive the MBE. Protests poured into Buckingham Palace, MP Hector Dupuis said 'British Royalty has put me on the same level as a bunch of vulgar numbskulls'.
Born June 12,1951 - Brad Delp
Brad Delp, guitarist and singer with Boston who had the 1977 UK No. 22 single 'More Than A Feeling' and the 1986 US No.1 single, 'Amanda.' Delp took his own life at his home in New Hampshire on March 9th 2007.
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1981At Earls Court in London, Pink Floyd play the last of 31 performances of The Wall, a unique stage show where a giant wall is erected (and torn down) as the band plays the album in its entirety. It's Roger Waters' last concert with the band, which breaks up in 1983 and carries on without him a few years later.

1980Led Zeppelin begin what will be their last tour with a concert in Dortmund, Germany.

Steve Winwood releases his debut solo album, Steve Winwood.The Rolling Stones album Exile On Main Street hits #1 in America.


1968Ohio Express' "Yummy Yummy Yummy" is certified gold.1972The Rolling Stones album Exile On Main Street hits #1 in America.

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