06.19: It's not always easy to help the children. On this
day in 2006, The Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft barged
into a youth club demanding to work with children. His
verbal application was denied for some reason. Odd. You
mean you can't barge into a youth center
acting like a crazy person demanding to be with children?
Weird. We thought that would be totally appropriate. Some
people suspect alcohol and/or drugs may have been the
impetus for Richard, others think he just wanted to give
back to the world. We're not sure what to think, but we
might look to a few Verve song titles for clues: "The
Drugs Don't Work," "Stormy Clouds," and
"Valium Skies" come to mind. Or not.
06.20: The births of many a musician occurred on this day.
First up is Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson (seriously,
we know it's de rigueur to shower praise on
Pet Sounds, but Brian Wilson's insane work
ethic brought out the amazing in the whole group), born in
1942. Next, Lionel Richie didn't dance on the ceiling
at first, but that didn't come too long after his birth
on this day in 1949. Next, the
scrubbed-from-Van-Halen-history (for real, they tried
to replace him on the album art for Van Halen with
Eddie's son, Wolfgang) bass player Michael Anthony took
the stage for the first time on this day in 1954. Finally,
Duran Duran's bassist extraordinaire, John Taylor,
slapped his way into this world and, eventually, onto the
world stage on this day in 1960. "Girls On
Film" just wouldn't be the same without his
06.21: On this day in 2001, the incredible boogie and blues
legend, John Lee
Hooker, passed away. He was 80. From his early days
singing spirituals in Mississippi to rocking Hastings
Street in Detroit in the late 1940s, from influencing early
British invasion bands like The Animals to The Yardbirds
(who, themselves, became very influential) to his
resurgence in the late '80s and throughout the
monumental stature in both the blues and rock is
something to behold. Pick up a collection of his early
works or access his magic through one of the numerous
recorded live sets, and you will not be dissapointed.
06.21: Pumpkin reunited? Billy Corgan sure hoped so on this
day in 2005. The Smashing Pumpkins frontman took out
full-page advertisements in two newspapers stating, "I want
my band back, and my songs, and my dreams." Looks like
they got the message. The band reunited in 2007. Well,
Billy reunited with Jimmy Chamberlin, the drummer. Bass
player D'arcy and lead guitar James Iha wanted nothing
to do with the band anymore, which hadn't had any kind
of democratic input (and really not even then) since their
first, and arguably greatest, album, Gish.
Chamberlin lasted almost four years, until 2009, when he,
again, split with Corgan, saying, "I can no longer
commit all of my energy into something that I don't
fully possess." Take that as you will. We love
Smashing Pumpkins, but the band could just as easily be
called The Billy Corgan Band or Billy's Band or
something like that because it's never been anything
more than a vehicle for Billy's amazing, and
narcissistic, musical tendencies.
06.22: Cyndi Lauper's mom just wanted to have fun, but,
instead, had a natural child birth on this day in 1953.
Cyndi's had fun since then, though.
06.22: On this day in 1981, Mark David Chapman plead guilty
to murdering John Lennon. To this day, this is the one rock
'n' roll death we wholly wish we could go back in
time to prevent. Lennon's death, unlike those of so
many of his overdosing '60s compatriots, made no sense,
whatsoever. Having just released, three weeks prior to his
death, the monumental and breathtaking
Double Fantasy, Lennon seemed ready to retake the
rock world, to show everyone why his voice needed to be
heard yet again. Mark David Chapman's insanity saw to
it that we would never have this. We sincerely hope
he's never released from Attica prison.
06.24: Rumors? No, it's true. On this day in 1942, Mick
Fleetwood, he of the band which carried his name into fame
and infamy, he who co-starred (believe it) in the '80s
awesometastic Schwarzenegger movie
The Running Man, he who makes many a funny face
as he bangs furiously upon his drum kit, was born.