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August 1972








Brian Cole, an original member of the Association, dies apparently of a heroin overdose. Cole played bass for the pop group known especially for their choral-like harmonies and for such hits as "Windy," "Cherish" and "Never My Love."
With a hit-driven soundtrack produced by master R&B songsmith Curtis Mayfield, Superfly opens, realistically -- and successfully -- portraying street life in the ghetto. A month later, the soundtrack album goes gold.
The London Rock Festival -- which was originally intended to be an old-time rock extravaganza -- turns out to be a dismal failure when most of the authentic Fifties acts fail to appear. Instead, the crowd of 50,000, largely made up of vintage Teds and Rockers, see sets by the MC5, Gary Glitter and revivalist Roy Wood, who, according to one disgusted Ted, looks like a "bloody fairy," despite Wood's creditable rendition of "The Girl Can't Help It." How bad is it? Even Little Richard gets booed.

After catching their energetic set at Max's Kansas City in New York City, Columbia head Clive Davis signs Aerosmith.

Gilbert O'Sullivan is awarded a gold record for "Alone Again (Naturally)," a Number One record for six weeks in the summer. The tune relates an engaging tale of how the narrator was left at the altar and subsequently contemplates suicide. O'Sullivan is a singer/songwriter from Ireland via England who wears Depression-era clothing. He will fade from sight within two years, but not before racking up two more Top Ten hits, "Clair" and "Get Down."
Paul and Linda McCartney are arrested for drug possession following a concert before 3,600 enthusiastic fans in Gothenburg, Sweden. Paul is fined $1,000, Linda, $200, and drummer Denny Seiwell, $600. But the ex-Beatle is unperturbed. "This will make good publicity for our concert tonight," he says with a smile.
A city desperate for heroes, San Antonio declares Cheech and Chong Day, and even sends two delegations to the airport to meet the comedy duo. Apparently unaware of the comedians' notoriety for their profanity and sex-and-drugs routines, a mayoral rep beams: "It's a pleasure to have Cheech and Chong in our fair city..."

Celebrated big-canvas artist Christo, who'd previously wrapped part of the Australian coast to international acclaim and delight, hangs a 400-foot, six-ton, quarter-mile long orange parachute-cloth curtain across Rifle Gap in Colorado. Twenty-eight hours later high winds tear it to shreds, but the failure of the $700,000 project doesn't deter Christo and his wife, Jean-Claude. Soon they're winning new fans with more large-scale outdoor wrappings of the Reichstag in Berlin and the Pont Neuf bridge in Paris. "Our work," says Christo, "is a scream of freedom."

The Festival of Hope, the first rock festival used to raise funds for an established charity, gets underway at Roosevelt Raceway in Garden City, New York. The concerts are sponsored by the Nassau Society of Crippled Children and Adults, and features appearances by many rock and soul acts, including the Jefferson Airplane, Stephen Stills, James Brown, Sha Na Na and many others.

Following weeks of intense bombing of military and non-military targets in North Vietnam, the U.S. deactivates its last ground combat forces in South Vietnam, leaving 43,500 mostly service personnel behind.

Festival organizers are disappointed when only 20,000 of an expected 40,000 attend the second day of the Festival of Hope. The fans react lackadaisically to the acts, even though the event proceeds with a smoothness uncommon to rock festivals. That's precisely what's wrong with the festival, claim some observers -- something is lost because of the lack of aversity. When receipts are counted, it's learned that while the festival has raised $300,000, it has incurred expenses of $400,000.
Grace Slick gets maced in the face, and Paul Kantner gets his head slammed to the floor after a chaotic show in Akron, Ohio. The trouble starts with a phoned-in bomb threat to the Rubber Bowl, putting the police on edge. When some fans toss rocks at squad cars, the police rspond with tear gas, and when Jack Casady objects from the stage, he's arrested and hustled off to a basement area. Slick and Kantner go downstairs to inquire about his status, which is when the melee with cops ensues.
Richard Nixon is almost unanimously renominated as the Repulbican candidate for president with Spiro Agnew as his running mate at the Republican National Convention. Six members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, including wheelchair-bound Ron Kovic, will be charged with planning to violently disrupt the convention.

One of the most surreal bank robberies in history occurs when small-time crook John Wojtowicz enters a Chase Manhattan bank in Brooklyn to steal money to fund his boyfriend's sex change operation. Police get called, and an ensuing hostage situation plays out before a crush of cameras and a growing crowd. The strange scenario gets a superb cinematic retelling three years later in director Sidney Lumet's Dog Day Afternoon, with Al Pacino as the put-upon wannabe thief and the late John Cazale (best remembered as Fredo in The Godfather) as his befuddled partner in crime.

The Monty Python comedy troupe releases its first film, And Now For Something Completely Different. Compiled from the first two seasons of their UK TV show Monty Python's Flying Circus, it garners reasonable reviews but a meager audience in the US which is unaccustomed to the atypical across-the-pond sense of humor. All that will change in a couple of years, when PBS stations begin airing the original BBC episodes, and a rabid American fan base forms.

At a rowdy rally in New York City, the National Organization of Women (NOW) doles out cheers and jeers on the 52nd anniversary of women's suffrage. John Lennon and Yoko Ono share a "Positive Image of Women" award for their Plastic Ono Band single "Woman Is the Nigger of the World," but otherwise it's mostly thumbs down for people like Alfred Hitchcock (for Frenzy), author David Rubin (for Any Woman Can) and New York magazine drama critic John Simon (for "continual reference to the physical attributes of actresses rather than to their acting abilities.")

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) implements inspection and regulation of all blood bank establishments.

The XX Olympic Games open in Munich, Germany. Highlights will include U.S. swimmer Mark Spitz's earning of seven gold medals, and the Soviet Unions's diminutive gymnast Olga Korbut's winning of two golds and one silver medal and countless hearts around the world.

In the evolving Watergate scandal, a money trail leads to the White House, as certain unreported donations to the Committe to Re-elect the President (CREEP) are linked to one of the five Watergate burglars.

The Top Five
1. "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)" - Looking Glass
2. "Alone Again (Naturally)" - Gilbert O'Sullivan
3. "Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress)" - Hollies
4. "I'm Still in Love With You" - Al Green
5. "Hold Your Head Up" - Argent

David Bowie and the Spiders from Mars debut at Carnegie Hall, the third stop on his maiden U.S. tour. But Bowie contracts the flu and performs a limp, going through-the-motions set in front of a crowd studded with some of the Big Apple's flashiest queens. Most in attendance agree: The crowd beats Bowie hands down for pure entertainment.

British art rockers
Procol Harum have a gold LP: Live in Concert with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, one of the few successful attempts to combine a rock group with an orchestra. The record includes the Top Twenty hit "Conquistador," a reworked song from Procol's 1967 debut album.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono play their first "official" American solo concert, called "One-to-One," a benefit for New York's Willowbrook Hospital held at Madison Square Garden. Lennon is featured on a bill with acts like Stevie Wonder and Sha Na Na. Backed by the Elephant's Memory band and looking very relexed, he performs an eighteen-song set that includes the Beatles' "Come Together" and four songs by Yoko. The show ends with a rollicking "Hound Dog" and a prayerlike "Give Peace a Chance."

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