We travel to 1973 this week, and believe me, I had to go clear to page sixteen of the Google search of December 11th, 1973, to get a decent story. Whether I did or not is debatable, but here goes:
Television news might seem polished and unspontaneous now but back in 1973 (yes they had TV then) a gay activist snuck into The CBS Evening News and interrupted Walter Cronkite’s live broadcast, waving a banner that read “Gays Protest CBS Prejudice” before a viewing audience of some 60 million Americans.
On December 11, 1973 Mark Segal—now the publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News but then a 23-year-old member of the Gay Raiders—finagled his way into CBS News studios in New York with a cover story of being a student journalist.
As Walter Cronkrite read a story about in the Middle East, Segal leaped in front of the camera with his sign, forcing the network feed to go black for several seconds. Technicians tackled Segal and wrapped him in cable wire while they waited for the police.
In more pertinent news, today Bobby Darin goes into the hospital, in anticipation of fixing some previously-implanted artificial heart valves... he never left, dying in the surgery nine days later.
And on that somber note, I introduce Time Machine, not with a tease, but with another somber tale. By now, most of you know of the passing of alternative legend Scott Weiland, frontman for Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver in the day. Many of you may know his music, or his story of trying to overcome drug abuse. We worship these guys, and never see behind the veil. However, ex-wife Mary Forsberg Weiland, in a letter to Rolling Stone Magazine, pulled it aside a bit. I recommend you look it up and read the whole thing, but here are some highlights:
December 3rd, 2015 is not the day Scott Weiland died. It is the official day the public will use to mourn him, and it was the last day he could be propped up in front of a microphone for the financial benefit or enjoyment of others. The outpouring of condolences and prayers offered to our children, Noah and Lucy, has been overwhelming, appreciated and even comforting. But the truth is, like so many other kids, they lost their father years ago. What they truly lost on December 3rd was hope...
We read awful show reviews, watch videos of artists falling down, unable to recall their lyrics streaming on a teleprompter just a few feet away. And then we click "add to cart" because what actually belongs in a hospital is now considered art.
Many of these artists have children. Children with tears in their eyes, experiencing panic because their cries go unheard. You might ask, "How were we to know? We read that he loved spending time with his children and that he'd been drug-free for years!" In reality, what you didn't want to acknowledge was a paranoid man who couldn't remember his own lyrics and who was only photographed with his children a handful of times in 15 years of fatherhood...
Even after Scott and I split up, I spent countless hours trying to calm his paranoid fits, pushing him into the shower and filling him with coffee, just so that I could drop him into the audience at Noah's talent show, or Lucy's musical. Those short encounters were my attempts at giving the kids a feeling of normalcy with their dad. But anything longer would often turn into something scary and uncomfortable for them...
When Scott did move on to another relationship, I hoped it would inspire him to grow. Instead, when he remarried, the children were replaced. They were not invited to his wedding; child support checks often never arrived. Our once sweet Catholic boy refused to watch the kids participate in Christmas Eve plays because he was now an atheist. They have never set foot into his house, and they can't remember the last time they saw him on a Father's Day. I don't share this with you to cast judgment, I do so because you most likely know at least one child in the same shoes.
I won't say he can rest now, or that he's in a better place. He belongs with his children barbecuing in the backyard and waiting for a Notre Dame game to come on. We are angry and sad about this loss, but we are most devastated that he chose to give up... Noah and Lucy never sought perfection from their dad. They just kept hoping for a little effort...
Our hope for Scott has died, but there is still hope for others. Let's choose to make this the first time we don't glorify this tragedy with talk of rock and roll and the demons that, by the way, don't have to come with it. Skip the depressing T-shirt with 1967-2015 on it – use the money to take a kid to a ballgame or out for ice cream.
You can read the whole article here.
All right, we have (most) of the doom and gloom taken care of, so let's get right to the panel! This week we feature WMYQ Miami, WWDJ Hackensack, WHSL Wilmington NC, WSAM Saginaw MI, WPOP Hartford, CKLG Vancouver, WNHC New Haven, KTKT Tucson, WCOL Columbus, WDRQ Detroit, KHJ Los Angeles, and WAKY Louisville. They piled up a mere 22 different songs, and put together a rout bigger than last week! With the Panel Four score going 39-18-17-15, it wasn't much of a contest, despite the fact that there were 9 different #1s! The ones that didn't make the cut were: Todd Rundgren's Hello It's Me (Hackensack), Brownsville Station's Smokin' In The Boys Room (Saginaw), Ringo Starr and Photograph (New Haven), Steve Miller's The Joker (Tucson ), Helen Reddy's Leave Me Alone (LA), and Al Wilson's Show And Tell (Louisville). In order, those are the national #s 3, 23, 8, 9, 4, and 10 what got shut out of the top four! But those in the top four fared little better, to wit:
With 2 #1s (Columbus and Detroit) and 15 points, the national #6, Jim Croce's Time In A Bottle.
Skanked out of #1s, and gathering 17 points, the national #5, Charlie Rich's The Most Beautiful Girl.
|See, Charlie? Karma's a bitch at times...|
And with 39 points and 3 #1s, the national #2 (That's right, the cashbox #1 neither got a number one, nor made the panel four!)... stay tuned.
(Oh, that national top dog? It got 7 points and a high of #3 in Hackensack- Chicago's Just You And Me.)
Here's a first glimpse of the 2 newbies on the M10 this week. If you stopped by Wednesday, you know this was a big fight for two spots and the winner of one of them is Aussie band Castlecomer. After spending time in the M10 with Fire Alarm a while back, they come in this week- stay tuned for where- with this one:
Hey hey hey, we get Bottom's Up today!
|Oh, boy... I get stuck standing on my soft spot an' he makes like Fat Albert...|
10- Love Unlimited Orchestra's Love's Theme- close to the hearts of old golf viewers everywhere, was at 64 after 3 weeks.
9- Barbara Streisand in the one and only performance I ever could stand her in, The Way We Were is at 66 after those same three weeks.
8- BTO was at 78 after 3 weeks with Blue Collar.
7- David Essex was four weeks in to his eventual #1 run, at 81 with Rock On.
6- ELO tried twice to get this into the top 40, but you guys wouldn't listen... they're at 83 in the second week of try # 1 with Showdown.
5- Anne Murray's more country-ish Love Song debuted at 84.
4- Also debuting in its first of many chart appearances, Elton John's Get Into Christmas.
3- How many of you remember Black Oak Arkansas? Jim Dandy is at 86 after 2 weeks.
2- J Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers' big hit, Last Kiss, makes a return to the chart this week. Actually the third week of this showing, giving them 20 weeks overall, and they sit at 94.
And the top bottom?
...Kool and the gang with Jungle Boogie, debuting at #95!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have noticed there is a new TV series calling itself 12 Monkeys. I haven't looked into it to see if it is taken from the great 1995 movie with Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis (actually I just peeked and saw it is), but did you know that director terry Gilliam (of the movie) was a member of Monty Python's Flying Circus? You did? Well, did you know he got a voice credit on an lp by Frank Zappa and the Mothers Of Invention? He did- on Absolutely Free, he and several others were credited as "voices" on a song called America Drinks And Goes Home.Now that lp (and not Freak Out as Wiki tried to tell me) had a drummer by the name of Billy Mundi. He was one of a handful of musicians eventually involved with a "supergroup" put together by Elektra Canada that became known as Rhinoceros (reportedly due to the ponderous bass and drums on their initial recordings). This band also featured Danny Weiss and Jerry Penrod, both former members of Iron Butterfly; and Doug Hastings, who had briefly sat in for neil Young during one of his many absences from Buffalo Springfield. Rhinoceros didn't live up to Elektra's hype even in Canada, and only broke the hot 100 with the instrumental Apricot brandy, which made it to #46.
Now Rhinoceros was put together to mimic the success of other such constructed bands like Buffalo Springfield, the Monkees, and Moby Grape. The lead singer was one John Finley, and a song he wrote which Rhinoceros recorded as I Will Serenade You later became a hit- and our six degrees victim- by Three Dog Night as Let Me Serenade You, the week's # 12 song, highest charter that got no panel love.
Before I start the Martin Ten, I have a story to tell, and those of you who paid close attention last time will quickly figure out where this is going. In the 90's Celtic music was all the rage, and one of the top acts were the Canadian group known as the Rankin Family. They were 3 sisters and two brothers, and had a lot of success on Canada's country charts, hitting the top ten 6 times, and cracking their top 40 4 times. Later on, fiddle-playing brother John Morris Rankin left the group to spend more family time with his own children. Sadly, shortly thereafter he plunged off an 82-foot embankment from a road on their native Cape Breton Island, with three teenaged passengers including his own son. Apparently he was trying to miss a pile of salt in the road; the kids all got out of the icy bay water alive, but not John Morris. This was in 2000. End of story- for a moment.
Our #10 is a song that hit #1 alternative and #10 MSR two years ago, but you know the M10 rules- it only has to be new to me. The follow-up to the #3 Cigarette daydreams on the M10, Cage The Elephant:
This, BTW if you read Wednesday's post, is one of the two songs out of the "contestants" for the last two spots this week that Laurie liked.
Number nine is the previously listened to (!) song by Castlecomer, Escapism, debuting here this week.
ELO moves up a single notch to #8 with When The Night Comes.
Good news, Jana Kramer fans! She recovers from parking at #10 for the last two weeks (usually a bad sign) to climb 3 spots to #7 with I Got the Boy.
Beach House broke its own record when Traveller spent its 6th week in the top two. Only two other songs so far HAVE six weeks in the M10! This week though, it travels down to #6. But watch 'em- you know what Space Song did...
The Decemberists are gaining momentum, and The Wrong Year moves up a pair to #5.
The other ELO song in the ten, One Step At A Time steps down to #4 after peaking at #3.
Avril Lavigne moves up two hard fought notches with I'm With You to #3.
Silversun Pickups slip down to #2 with their former top dog Nightlight.
And at the #1 spots? Panel says...
...Elton John with Goodbye Yellow Brick Road!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And on the M10....
...Alvvays, featuring the late John Morris Rankin's daughter Molly, and Archie Marry Me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Next stop- and last stop on the current list of random years- 1970!