Welcome to Awakenings

Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Moulding of a Mod Band

Today in Music History: December 3, 1979
1979 A concert by The Who at The Riverfront Coliseum, Cincinnati, turned to disaster when 11 members of the audience were trampled to death after a stampede to claim unreserved seats, another 26 fans were injured. The concert was using 'festival seating' where seats are available on a first come-first served basis. When the waiting fans outside the Coliseum heard the band performing a late sound check, they thought that the concert was beginning and tried to rush into the still-closed doors.
With any music performance comes the possibility of disaster, especially with the record-breaking number of fans waiting, often not so patiently, for concert doors to open. Seats are often sold over capacity with thoughts of "not every ticket sold will seat a warm body." In many cases, dream on! While this day proved to be tragic for an English rock band performing in the United States, they are considered one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century. 

Welcome into the spotlight...

The Who: one of the greatest live bands of all time

The Who are one of the world's best-selling bands, having established their reputation on their live shows as much as their studio work. The group established themselves as part of the pop art and mod movements and featured auto-destructive art by destroying guitars and drums on stage. Mod fanatic Peter Meaden becomes the groups' publicist, changes their name to The High Numbers and moulds them into a mod band dressing the band members in mod clothes. They later reverted back to their original stage name, The Who.

The popularity of the band peaked in the 60s and 70s, the period epitomized by the oft-mentioned lyric "Hope I die before I get old" in the 1965 tune 'My Generation'. 
In 1969, they created Tommy, the first successful rock opera. The song, 'Christmas', written by Pete Townshend, was used in opera when Tommy's father expresses concerns about his son on Christmas morning. Tommy is deaf, dumb and blind, and doesn't appear to have much of a future, but that Christmas, he gets a game of pinball and his life changes when he becomes the 'Pinball Wizard'.

[Related article @Awakenings
Today in Music History: May 2, 1969.] 

More on this day, December 3rd...

  • 1956 Guy Mitchell was at No.1 on the US singles chart with his version of 'Singing The Blues', which spent nine weeks at the top of the charts. Two other charting versions of the song were released almost simultaneously with Mitchell's, one by UK singer Tommy Steele (with the Steelmen) and the other by US country singer Marty Robbins.
  • 1964 The Rolling Stones had their second UK No.1 single with their version of 'Little Red Rooster'. The Stones had recorded the song at Chess Studios in Chicago, the same studios where Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters and Little Walter had recorded their blues classics.
  • 1966 British act The New Vaudeville Band started a three-week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Winchester Cathedral'. A No.4 hit in the UK.
  • 1969 The Rolling Stones recorded 'Brown Sugar' at Muscle Shoals studios. The single went on to be a UK & US No.1. The song was written by Mick Jagger with Marsha Hunt in mind; Hunt was Jagger's secret girlfriend and mother of his first child Karis.
  • 1977 Wings started a nine-week run at No.1 in the UK with 'Mull Of Kintyre'. The first single to sell over 2 million copies in the UK, (it was co-written by Denny Laine who sold his rights to the song when he became bankrupt).
  • 1983 Duran Duran scored their first UK No.1 album with their third release, 'Seven And The Ragged Tiger', which also peaked at No.8 on the US chart.

1994 Boyz II Men knocked themselves off the No.1 position on the US singles chart when 'On Bended Knee' started a six week run a No.1. The group's 'I'll Make Love To You' had been at No.1 for a record breaking 14 weeks.
2006 The reformed Take That topped the UK singles and album charts simultaneously for the first time ever in their career. The single ‘Patience’ remained at No.1 for the second week, and Beautiful World the group’s new album entered the chart at No.1.

And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...