Thursday, October 29, 2020

Music History Today: October 30, 2020

October 30, 1975: Bob Dylan performs the first show of his Rolling Thunder Revue at the War Memorial Auditorium in Plymouth, Massachusetts. 

In 1975, in an America defined by both the self-mythologizing pomp of the upcoming bicentennial and ongoing sociopolitical turmoil, Bob Dylan and a band of troubadours embarked on a now-legendary tour known as the Rolling Thunder Revue,. 

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Director Martin Scorsese blends behind-the-scenes archival footage, interviews, and narrative mischief, with a magician’s sleight of hand, into a zeitgeist-defining cultural record that is as much a concert “documentary.”

Read more: Criterion Collection

October 30, 1939: Grace Slick (of Jefferson Airplane) is born in Highland Park, Illinois.

Grace Slick grew up as the oldest child of Ivan and Virginia, an investment banker and a former singer and actress. In 1965, Slick found more musical inspiration after watching the band Jefferson Airplane at a San Francisco nightclub. 

Grace Slick

She soon started her own group, calling it the Great Society. After her band split up in 1966, Slick became one of the lead singers for Jefferson Airplane, after vocalist Signe Anderson left the group to focus on her family.

Read more: Biography

October 30, 1970:  Jim Morrison, lead singer of the Doors, was sentenced to six months in jail for indecent exposure in Miami, Florida.

Jim Morrison and the Doors performed one of the most talked about concerts in the history of rock music on March 1, 1969 at the Dinner Key Auditorium in Miami where he allegedly exposed himself to the crowd. 

Almost 18 months later and Morrison was in court fighting back against charges of indecency – and on Oct. 30, 1970, he was formally sentenced by the court for the act.

Read more: Ultimate Classic Rock

October 30, 1971: Lee Michaels peaked at 6  on the U.S. Hot with "Do You Know What I Mean."

Lee Michaels was a California kid who played organ like Ray Charles and had a singing voice that sounded like a surf dude. The juxtaposition was interesting, because nobody ever gave surf dudes credit for having any soul, but Michaels pulled it off easily. 

Lee Michaels

"Do You Know What I Mean" has Michaels exaggerating the "Oh wow, man" aspect of his voice until it imbues the lyrics with the loose attitude of his character. Although the lyrics tell a tale about losing his lover to his best friend, he seems to be hovering somewhere between disbelief and confusion. 

Read more: Super Seventies


October 30, 1984: Less than two years after its release, the RIAA certifies Michael Jackson's Thriller album with sales of 20 million copies in America, introducing a new designation, "Double Diamond." 

Michael Jackson’s video for “Thriller” was released on December 2nd, 1983. The video cost half-a-million dollars; at the time, it was the most expensive video ever made. 

But CBS Records wouldn’t pay for a third video from Thriller, and MTV had a policy of never paying for clips. Jackson and Landis funded their budget by getting MTV and Showtime to pay $250,000 each for the rights to show the 45-minute The Making of “Thriller.” 

Read more: Rolling Stone

Hard Rain
Bob Dylan 

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