Every Tuesday and Thursday, former Warner Bros. Records executive and industry insider Stan Cornyn ruminates on the past, present, and future of the music business.
Mo Ostin kept at his job as head of Warner Bros. Records. His job: keep open to emerging acts, no matter how-where-what-which-huh? He’d experienced much. Then, in 1977, he heard the weirdest of all. All the way from London.
Over there, a thrown-together “group” (really just four street lads) got named “The Sex Pistols.” The group kept showing up in the trade papers. They’d get a label contract half-signed, then fully rejected. No real album had so far come out, and no real deal for North America ever existed, either. And the news coverage made the group sound, as they say in Burbank, fairly fart-y.
For instance, the Sex Pistols’ album title was going to be titled “Never Mind the Bollocks.” Well, in Burbank, the word “bollocks” meant nothing. Not so in England.
The Sex Pistols had been assembled and named by a London entrepreneur named Malcolm McLaren, who’d opened a clothing store based on astonishing attitudes. For him, the music meant little, the publicity meant all. “Bollocks” had gotten attention right off.
This day in 1982, The Hacienda Club in Machester England, open its doors for the first time to the public. Madonna made her first UK TV debut at the venue. It was also home for many artists such as The Smiths, Happy Mondays and U2. Here is Madonna performing "Holiday" at The Hacienda Club.
Happy Birthday to the bass guitar player from The Kinks, John Dalton. Enjoy their classic video and let us celebrate in this special "Sunny Afternoon":
Happy 67th birthday to Cher! Let's celebrate the occasion with her smash single, "If I Could Turn Back Time."
Ray Manzarek, keyboardist and founding member of The Doors, passed away today at 12:31PM PT at the RoMed Clinic in Rosenheim, Germany after a lengthy battle with bile duct cancer. He was 74. At the time of his passing, he was surrounded by his wife Dorothy Manzarek, and his brothers Rick and James Manczarek.
Manzarek is best known for his work with The Doors who formed in 1965 when Manzarek had a chance encounter on Venice Beach with poet Jim Morrison. The Doors went on to become one of the most controversial rock acts of the 1960s, selling more than 100-million albums worldwide, and receiving 19 Gold, 14 Platinum and five multi-Platinum albums in the U.S. alone. "L.A.Woman," "Break On Through to the Other Side," "The End," "Hello, I Love You," and "Light My Fire" were just some of the band's iconic and ground-breaking songs. After Morrison's death in 1971, Manzarek went on to become a best-selling author, and a Grammy-nominated recording artist in his own right. In 2002, he revitalized his touring career with Doors' guitarist and long-time collaborator, Robby Krieger.
When it comes to Dutronc's essential, seminal, work, it's the production that makes it. Raw, no-frills, all Jacques out front, tie askew, belting out fuzzy, near-garage, blasts of psych and pop. All in an incredibly French manner in both style and approach. Laissez les bons temps rouler.
This week's entry delves into the renaissance man's early work -- a twenty track companion to Jacques Dutronc.
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