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Humble student
Joined: 06/12/05
Posts: 1,579
Humble student
Joined: 06/12/05
Posts: 1,579
04/26/2008 12:25 am
This month in rock history - May
By Hunter60

May 23, 1955: Bill Haley and the Comets release the LP "Shake, Rattle and Roll". In late 1954, The Comets had a hit single with "Shake, Rattle and Roll", selling 75,000 copies. From there, the band decided to do something that no one in rock and roll had done before; they put together an album of nothing but rock songs. A ten inch disc was released called "Shake, Rattle and Roll" containing, of course, the title track, "Rock Around the Clock" and "Dim, Dim The Lights". Later, the ten-inch disc was superseded by a twelve-inch version containing 12 tracks as opposed to the 8 tracks on the ten-inch original. This was the first true rock and roll album.

May 22, 1958
: When Jerry Lee Lewis arrived in the U.K. in May, 1958, he had a 40 date tour booked. Included in his entourage was a 13-year-old girl named Myra Lewis, Jerry Lee's first cousin. When it was revealed that they were, in fact, a married couple, the limits of what was acceptable to British audiences of the day were severely tested. The additional information that Jerry had neglected to divorce his first wife before marrying Myra pushed the audience well past their breaking point. He played one gig in Edmonton and left the crowd "breathless" and reeling in a fevered pitch but he left the theatre a despised character. The following nights show in Tooting, he was jeered and booed from audience, some adding "Go home babysnatcher" to their taunts. Tour organizers caved to the pressure and immediately sent Jerry Lee Lewis back home to America and left the support band, The Treniers and other local U.K. acts to complete the tour.

May 27, 1965
: The Rolling Stones release "(Can't get no) Satisfaction", which became an immediate hit and the bands first certified gold record (selling a million copies) in the United States. According to Stones guitarist Keith Richards, the opening riff came to him in a dream. He woke up, recorded the opening riff, wrote the words "Can't get no satisfaction" and promptly fell back asleep. In later interviews about the song, he claims the tape was "two minutes of Satisfaction and forty minutes of me snoring". Richards was tentative about the song feeling that the opening riff was a little too close to Martha and the Vandella's "Dancing in the Streets" but played it for the band. Richards and Jagger finished writing the song while on tour in Florida and recorded an initial acoustic version at Chess Studios in Chicago. This version was vetoed by the label and the band recorded the now famous version later at RCA Studios in Los Angeles. Richards added flavor to the piece by using his newly acquired Gibson Maestro Fuzzbox which lent the razor blade sound that will forever be attached to the song. The success of the song boosted sales of the Fuzzbox to the point that none were available for sale by the end of 1965. (Can't get no) Satisfaction has been listed as #2 of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time in Rolling Stone magazine.

May 16, 1966: The Beach Boys release "Pet Sounds". Brian Wilson had already begun to shift his song writing attention from fast cars, beaches and girls to a more harmonic euphony when he sat down to create "Pet Sounds". Inspired by The Beatles "Rubber Soul" album, Wilson admitted that he "was challenged to do a great album". With a handful of songs that held to the theme of love's ecstasy eventually going sour, a host of conventional and unconventional instruments (including a ukulele, a electrotheremin and a dog whistle), solid composition and multi-layered engineering skills, the album became a huge hit in the U.K causing Paul McCartney to comment that "'God Only Knows'" was the greatest song ever written. Eric Clapton remarked that "Pet Sounds" was one of the greatest pop LP's to ever be released. Interestingly, it was greeted with a lukewarm reception in the bands home country where it peaked at number 10 for one week. Over time, most rock critics are united in the opinion that "Pet Sounds" was one of the most influential albums ever produced.

May 7, 1977: The single "Hotel California" reaches Number 1 on the U.S. singles chart. The album was released in December 1976 and according to Don Henley, the album was written as a "little bicentennial statement using California as a microcosm of the whole United States – or the whole world, if you will". Although the line "You can check in anytime you like / you can never leave" has been fiercely debated amongst fans for it's meaning (some say it has to do with Satanism, drug addiction or being committed to a mental institution), the band explained that it was a metaphor for the destructive sirens song of L.A.'s decadent mid-seventies lifestyle. Regardless of it's meaning, the song solidified The Eagles as a reputation as California soft rock giants.

May 3, 1988
: Poison releases "Open Up And Say … Ahh!" Their second album scores big with the record buying public based on their the combination of glam metal flair, moments of inspired shredding guitar and pop hooks. The album contained a little something for most every rock/metal fan from "Nothin' but a good time", "Your Mama Don't Dance [a remake of the Loggins and Messina hit]" and the syrupy ballad "Every Rose Has It's Thorn". This album shows glam rock at its zenith.

May 6, 1994: Invited by the Justice Department who had been considering an antitrust investigation against Ticketmaster Pearl Jam files a formal complaint against the ticket sales giant, protesting the sometimes rather severe service fees that Ticketmaster was placing on ticket prices. Pearl Jam also argued against Ticketmasters proviso that the band could only sell tickets through their service at venues they dealt with was in violation of antitrust laws. Guitarist Stone Gossard and bassist Jeff Ament testified at House Subcommittee on June 30, 1994. Ticketmaster insisted that the band could set the ticket prices themselves as they wished, their service charges were appropriate and that there were several non-Ticketmaster affiliated venues. On July 6, 1996, the Justice Department dropped the investigation against Ticketmaster. Although in the end Pearl Jam could not affect any real change, they added to their street cred by their stand against Ticketmaster and are still considered spokesmen for many progressive causes.

Notable May Birthdays:

Tim McGraw: 5/1/67
Pete Seeger: 5/3/46
T. Wynette: 5/5/42
J. Brahms: 5/7/1833
P. Tchaikovsky: 5/7/1840
Bono: 5/10/60
B. Dylan: 5/24/1941
E. Burdon: 5/11/41
R. Valens: 5/13/41
T. Reznor: 5/17/65
P. Townsend: 5/19/45
Joey Ramone: 5/19/51
Levon Helm: 5/26/42
L. Kravitz: 5/26/64
Topper Headon: 5/30/55
T. Morello: 5/30/64
[FONT=Tahoma]"All I can do is be me ... whoever that is". Bob Dylan [/FONT]