Musings On Music History: Bryan Adams Reminisces About Summer, The Sex Pistols Get Live, and The Eagles Take The Top (Yet Again)

11.04: On this day in 1970, the art of 80’s pop sampling found their leader. Sean John Combs, aka Puff Daddy, P. Diddy, Diddy, Puffy, etc., was born. We like to call him “PuhDiddy”, but that’s just us and we’d never say it to his face. We’re not even sure what he goes by these days. Remember when Ol’ Dirty Bastard used to change his name? We think Diddy should crib one of those laid-to-rest names. Instead of Big Baby Jesus (our favorite ODB nickname), Diddy could be Big Baby Diddy. Or instead of Dirt McGirt (our second favorite ODB nickname), Diddy could be Dirt McDiddy. Man, we could play this game all day, but we have work to do. What new Diddy names can you come up with?

11.05: On this day in 1959, Bryan Adams was born. You can insert your own jokes here, but we shall refrain. Mr. Adams is the quintisenntial ’80s and early ’90s rocker. Though we can’t name any song after “Everything I Do, I Do It For You,” we still appreciate Bryan Adams’ gruff voice, working-man style, and Cannuck charm. And we thank him for “Summer Of ’69.” Really. We still dig that song. It takes us back. Ah, the ’80s. We probably haven’t heard anything from him in a while because he’s chillin’ comfortably atop his pile o’ cash and doesn’t have to do anything ever again. If you see him, tell him we said “Hey.” [more]

11.06: On this day in 1975, The Sex Pistols played their first live show at Saint Martins College in England. Wow. How many people do you think were in attendance at that show? The Pistols opened up for a band called Bazooka Joe, whose only claim to fame is that they headlined The Sex Pistols first show and their lead singer was one Adam Ant. Anyhoo, at the show, The Pistols were using Bazooka Joe’s gear to churn out loud, unmusical renditions of Monkees, Small Faces, and Who tunes. When the guys in The Pistols began to trash the equipment, Bazooka Joe took offense and a scuffle ensued. Ah, the beautiful, singular beginnings of a group that would last only a few years, but remain in the rock conscious forever. We wish we coulda been there. Check out this video of them from a few months after their debut.

11.07: On this day in 1988, John Fogerty was found not guilty of plagiarizing his 1970 single “Run Through The Jungle” with his 1988 single “Old Man Down the Road.” Let’s say that again. John Fogerty was found not guilty of plagiarizing his own song. Huh? How did this even become an issue, you ask? Well, kids, we’re about to drop a little litigious history on ya. You see, in 1975, in order to get out of contractual obligations with Fantasy Records, John gave up his rights to all those amazing songs he wrote during Creedence Clearwater Revival’s peak years. To start off the lawsuit fun, on the Old Man Down The Road album, John included a song (“Zanz Kant Danz”) aimed at the head of Fantasy Records, Saul Zaentz, about a fat pig who likes to take people’s money. Zaentz sued and Fogerty changed the song and lyrics from Zanz to Vanz. Shortly thereafter, Zaentz and Fantasy filed another suit, claiming that the song “Old Man Down The Road” used the same chords as “Run Through The Jungle”, with only the lyrics changed. During the trial, John took the stand, playing the instrumental versions of each song, showing the jury that each song was unique unto itself. The jury agreed. 

11.10: This day in 1979 saw the last #1 hit (“Heartache Tonight“) for the Eagles, who would break up shortly thereafter, ending the run that saw five #1 singles and three #1 albums (though they’ve since had two more #1 albums, with Hell Freezes Over from 1994 and Long Road Out Of Eden from 2007). Not bad, we say. Not bad. From “Desperado” to “Hotel California,” the Eagles proved to be one of the biggest bands of the ’70s. Two of their albums are ranked in the top ten all time bestsellers of all time in the bestsellingest records of all time chart thingy. Of course, they’ve gotten back together since the breakup at the end of the ’70s because, ya know, the money’s pretty good for that old time rock and roll.