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December 1970








Eric Burdon is launching a CURB THE CLAP bumpersticker campaign aimed at fighting what he calls "the number-one sickness in the record business today -- VD," Rolling Stone reports. Burdon's manager, Steve Gold, denies that it has anything to do with MGM Records president Mike Curb's recent annnouncement that he was dropping eighteen acts from his roster because their music advocated drug use. "It's because Eric has the clap," says Gold. "He says from age fifteen to twenty-six he only had it once, but it's happened three or four times since. For every donation to the L.A. Free Clinic, Eric will send out a CURB THE CLAP bumpersticker. VD has more effect on this industry than any drug."
Supersession, an album that evolved out of an ad hoc studio jam session in May 1968 with guitarist extraordinaire Mike Bloomfield and singer/organist Al Kooper; late of The Electric Flag and Blood, Sweat and Tears, respectively, is certified gold. After one marathon eight-hour session, the impulsive Bloomfield recruited old pal Stephen Stills to finish up. "It's hard to get the right people at the right time," says Michael Thomas. "The very spontaneity and rashness of a jam depends on the good luck of one night, any night, but no night in particular. A jam is, must be, a fugitive occasion."
Gimme Shelter, Albert and David Maysles' documentary film about the Rolling Stones' 1969 tour of the U.S., premieres on the anniversary of the Altamont concert.

Nearly 200 Public Broadcasting stations around the United States air a sixty-minute show called
San Francisco Rock: Go Ride the Music, featuring performances by and interviews with the Jefferson Airplane, Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service and David Crosby.
Rock critic John Mendelsohn's band, Christopher Milk, arouses the ire of Doug Weston, owner of the Troubador club in Los Angeles. At a Monday night audition there, the band's lead singer, Mr. Twister, wreaks havoc by pouring hot wax all over himself, biting audience members, overturning tables and spilling drinks in customer's laps.

Charges of "larceny by trick" are filed against
Little Richard in Miami Beach, Florida, by Black, Inc., a black advocacy group that alleges the veteran rocker pocketed $250 he'd solicited for Blacks, Inc. Little Richard claims that all he wants is a receipt, and then he'll give them their money. A week later, the charges are dropped.

The Top Five
1. "The Tears of a Clown" - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
2. "I Think I Love You" - Partridge Family
3. "Gypsy Woman" - Brian Hyland
4. "One Less Bell to Answer" - Fifth Dimension
5. "I'll Be There" - Jackson Five

Food price riots break out in Poland, and last for five days. The riots force Wladyslaw Gomulka out of power and replace him with Edward Gierek. All riots were eventually suppressed but the scheduled price increases were cancelled and wages are increased as well.
In one day, five singles and five albums by Creedence Clearwater Revival are certified gold: "Down on the Corner, "Lookin' out My Back Door," "Travelin' Band," "Bad Moon Rising," "Up around the Bend" and Cosmo's Factory, Willy and the Poor Boys, Green River, Bayou Country and Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Love Story, Paramount Pictures' movie version of Erich Segal's best-selling novel, duplicates the book's success after it arrives onscreen today. Segal's screenplay for the film looked so promising that the producers had the author pen a book to release first. That strategy pays off spectactularly as Love Story duplicates that success onscreen. The schmaltzy, simple tale of two attractive youngsters (Ryan O'Neal, Ali McGraw) falling in love but suffering an unhappy ending, runs away with moviegoers' hearts -- and dollars. Love Story not only becomes the year's highest-grossing movie, its $50 million take is more than triple that of second-place finisher, Little Big Man. Tommy Lee Jones makes his film debut as O'Neal's Harvard University roommate -- in real-life, Jones did attend Harvard, and his roommate was future Vice-President Al Gore.

The Beach Boys play a command performance for Princess Margaret at London's Royal Albert Hall.
Creedence Clearwater's latest album, Pendulum, is added to their gold cache. And Bob Dylan's second album, Freewheelin' (vintage 1963), is certified gold.

The Beatles' last fan-club-only Christmas record is released.

President Richard Nixon commends MGM chief Mike Curb for taking the iniative in ridding the music industry of drug users through his well-publicized dismissal of eighteen MGM acts who supposedly advocated drug use.
Three new albums are certified gold: Traffic's reunion album, John Barleycorn Must Die, the original British studio recording of Jesus Christ Superstar and Judy Collins' In My Life.

After penning a fawning note to Richard Nixon, Elvis Presley is granted a meeting with the president at the White House in Washington, D.C. But it's not just a social call -- Elvis wants to be appointed a "federal agent-at-large" in the service of the administration's war on drugs. Apparently unsearched, Elvis brings along a present for the Commander In Chief: a World War II-era Colt .45 pistol. Presley isn't the only rock star who will pay visits to presidents in the Oval Office during the decade: in October 1972, soul shouter James Brown gets a presidential invite after throwing his support to Nixon, and two years later George Harrison, in the midst of a 30-date tour, will stop by to meet President Gerald Ford. Shortly thereafter, Peter Frampton will stop by to chat up Ford and his son Jack.

The Supreme Court declares amendments to the Voting Rights Act constitutional, and in Oregon v. Mitchell, lowers the voting age to 18 for federal elections in a close 5-4 decision.

Joni Mitchell, who's gained recognition as a songwriter through Judy Collins' recording of "Both Sides Now," and renditions of "Woodstock" by Matthews Southern Comfort and Crosby, Stills Nash and Young, earns her first gold disc as a performer with her third album, Ladies of the Canyon.
New York City garbage analyst and Dylanologist A.J. Weberman, in an article for Rolling Stone, sheds light on a line of Bob Dylan's "If Dogs Run Free" from the New Morning album: "The words are well-articulated and easy to understand until Bob sings, 'Oh winds which rush my tail to thee solglet me tone de.' When the last five unintelligible syllables are played backward at a slightly slower speed, one distinctly hears, 'If Mars Invades us.'"
The Top Five
1. "My Sweet Lord"/"Isn't It a Pity" - George Harrison
2. "One Less Bell to Answer" - Fifth Dimension
3. "The Tears of a Clown" - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
4. "Knock Three Times" - Dawn
5. "Black Magic Woman" - Santana

On the last day of 1970 it is officially announced that the Beatles are breaking up, which had been the worst kept secret in rock 'n' roll. Paul McCartney files a writ in London High Court against "The Beatles Co.," including Messrs. John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, seeking the legal dissolution of the Beatles' partnership.

Most popular music, books and film - 1970: Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" (pop single), Simon & Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water (pop album); the Jackson 5's "The Love You Save" and "I'll Be There" and Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours" (three-way tie for R&B single); Lynn Anderson's "Rose Garden" (C&W single); Mario Puzo's The Godfather (fiction); David Reuben's Everthing You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (nonfiction); Love Story (film).


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