Saturday, June 24, 2017


In Music History

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2014A copy of Caustic Window, an album by Richard James (aka Aphex Twin) that was abandoned after test-pressing allegedly only five copies, sells for $46,300 on eBay. The winner is Markus Persson, creator of video game Minecraft.
2010JoJo Billingsley (backing vocalist for Lynyrd Skynyrd) dies of cancer at age 58.
2008A blogger who had thought it would be a good idea to leak some finished tracks from Guns N' RosesChinese Democracy receives a visit from the FBI and a cease-and-desist letter.
2004Doris Day receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom. 
2000Kiss auction off $888,000 worth of costumes, instruments and tour memorabilia, including Gene Simmons' Psycho Circus tourwear (including codpiece), which goes for $32,200.
1994Weezer releases "Undone - The Sweater Song," the first single from their debut album, Weezer (aka The Blue Album).
1978Jackson Browne and Pete Seegerperform in Seabrook, New Hampshire, to protest a nuclear reactor planned for the site.

It's one of the first "no nukes" rallies where musicians get involved, and it leads to a more organized effort: Musicians United For Safe Energy (MUSE), which also involves Bruce SpringsteenBonnie RaittJames Taylor.

The Seabrook plant is built, but efforts to build more are thwarted, as opposition to nuclear power becomes more vociferous.
1973Blues Project reunite for a concert in Central Park.
1971Robert Altman's McCabe & Mrs. Miller is released to theaters. Altman loves Leonard Cohen's work, and the soundtrack for this "anti-western" leans heavily on three songs from Songs of Leonard Cohen. On the merits of his film Brewster McCloud, which Cohen had seen and loved, Altman sold Cohen on the project and even convinced the "prince of pessimism" to create some new music for the film.
1970Glenn Medeiros is born in Kauai, Hawaii.
1967Jeff Cease (former guitarist for The Black Crowes) is born in Nashville, Tennessee.
1966The Richard Carpenter Trio (with sister Karen on drums) wins a "Battle Of The Bands" at the Hollywood Bowl.
1966The Supremes record "Love Is Like an Itching In My Heart."
1965John Lennon's second book of drawings and nonsense rhymes, A Spaniard In The Works, is published.
1961Curt Smith (bass guitarist, vocalist for Tears for Fears) is born in Bath, Somerset, England.
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Billy Joel Finally Graduates From High School

Billy Joel graduates! He finally gets his high school diploma from Hicksville High School in Long Island, New York. He didn't graduate with his class in 1967 because of a missed English credit.

Joel, 43, was supposed to graduate 25 years earlier in 1967, but he was busy doing musician stuff (like playing on the "Leader of the Pack" sessions), and missed a crucial English exam when he overslept.

Despite coming up a credit short in English, he demonstrates good command of the language, with well-constructed lyrics like:

Holding you close is like holding the summer sun
I'm warm from the memory of days to come

("This Is The Time" - a popular song at graduations)

Unlike the honorary degrees Joel gets from Fairfield University, Berklee College of Music, Hofstra University, Southampton College and Syracuse University, he actually has to work for this one, as Hicksville High makes him send in samples of his work to fulfill the requirements. With his work deemed satisfactory, he puts on a gown and joins the 305 members of the class of '92 at the graduation ceremony where he receives his diploma.

Joel speaks at the ceremony: "Well, here I am, Mom. I'm actually going to get my high school diploma, and it's only 25 years after everyone else got theirs. But Mom, don't worry. I can finally pull myself out of this dead-end job I have and start working on a career with a real future."

He goes on to offer some advice to his fellow classmates: "Don't rush blindly into some convenient job that you will hate in a few years. Don't make a lot of logical, tidy, sensible plans right away. Why not kick back for a few weeks and give yourselves a long, sweet summer of love?"

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