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February 1973








Less than a year after they "retired," Steppenwolf resurrect themselves, with leader John Kay returning, although he promises to continue recording as a solo artist as well.

Rolling Stone reports on "The Trails of Oz," a controversial play that opens in New York City. Based on the actual transcripts from the 1971 "Oz" magazine obscenity trial, the show includes songs written by Mick Jagger, John Lennon and Yoko Ono. But this satire lasts only two weeks -- one-third the run of the trial itself, the longest case in the history of British jurisprudence. New York Times critic Clive Barnes made his feelings known even before he returned to his desk to compose his negative review: he fell asleep early in the performance.

Island Records'
Chris Blackwell announces to Rolling Stone that he is founding Mango Records, a label dedicated to molding reggae artists. "I think that reggae has a chance of breaking in America," Blackwell predicts, although he adds that he sees its audience being "musicians and professional people more than kids, who won't quite understand."

Bernardo Bertolucci's breakthrough film Last Tango in Paris, starring Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider as ill-fated lovers, premieres. The following day a court in Bologna, Italy, lifts a ban against the sizzling film, which had been yanked from Italian cinemas and its costars Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider, along with Bernardo Bertolucci, threatened with eight-month prison terms. All defendants are acquitted of obscenity charges, and the X-rated film continues to enrage and enthrall.

NBC-TV debuts its entry into the rock TV-shows sweepstakes, Midnight Special. The program is more middle-of-the-road than ABC's In Concert and his hosted by Helen Reddy.
"I'm Just a Singer (in a Rock and Roll Band)," the Moody Blues's follow-up to their re-released No. 2 hit single "Nights in White Satin," hits the pop charts. Taken from their just-released seventh album Seventh Sojourn, the hard-driving rocker peaks at No. 12 and is the Moodies' last big hit for nearly a decade, as the singers in this rock and roll band decide to part ways until a reunion -- this time for good -- in 1978.

The Top Five
1. "Crocodile Rock" - Elton John
2. "You're So Vain" - Carly Simon
3. "Superstition" - Stevie Wonder
4. "Why Can't We Live Together" - Timmy Thomas
5. "Your Mama Don't Dance" - Loggins & Messina

Cartoonist Chris Browne's comic strip "Hägar the Horrible," a funny look at Viking and medieval Scandinavian life, makes its debut in American newspapers.
The Senate forms the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities (a.k.a. the Watergate Committee), to investigate wrongdoings in the 1972 campaign. The next day, Senator Sam Ervin (D-NC) is named chairman.
Carly Simon is awarded a gold record for her single "You're So Vain," the only Number One of her career. For months, fans speculate as to the identity of the song's subject -- a self-possessed jet-set dandy. Many assume that it's Mick Jagger, whose voice can clearly be heard singing behind Carly on the chorus, making for a perfectly wonderful irony (after all, the key line is "You're so vain, you probably think this song is about you"). Other possible candidates include new husband James Taylor and past boyfriends including Warren Beatty, Kris Kristofferson and Cat Stevens. "I can't possibly tell you who it's about, because it wouldn't be fair," says the sly Simon. But nearly 30 years later she breaks her silence -- at least to somebody. She whispers the name of Mr. Vain into the ear of sports producer Dick Ebersol, who had submitted a successful $50,000 bid for charity to gain such exclusive knowledge. But mum's the word from him too.

Max Yasgur, the upstate New York dairy farmer who rented 600 acres of land to the promoters of the Woodstock Festival in 1969, dies in Florida at age fifty-three. About 60,000 people had been expected for the three-day event -- nearly 500,000 showed up. Yasgur became an instant celebrity, making a short but memorable speech near the festival's end. His voice breaking, he told the crowd: "I don't know how to speak to twenty people, much less all of you... You have proven to the world that half a million kids can get together for fun and music, and have nothing but fun and music."
Shot on a shoestring budget, independent filmmaker Perry Henzell's visceral The Harder They Come introduces reggae music to a worldwide audience. Featuring charismatic Jimmy Cliff as a budding singer turned outlaw, it offers a richly nuanced slice of the music- and ganja-drenched life of gritty Kingston, Jamaica. Its killer soundtrack includes Cliff doing the title track and two more, "You Can Get It If You Really Want" and "Many Rivers to Cross," plus Toots & the Maytals, Desmond Dekker and others.
After composing the song "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia," Bobby Russell offers the tune to Cher, who turns it down. Russell then gives it to his wife, Vicki Lawrence, who has a #1 hit with it two months later.

The historic Liverpool club the Cavern is given a three-month reprieve by British Rail, who are constructing an underground railroad, necessitating the demolition of the club. Should the club have to move, says owner
Roy Adams, he could at least preserve the original cellar room where the Beatles performed 292 times back in the early Sixties.
Jazz drummer Elvin Jones plays a pair of benefits in Sacramento, California, to raise funds to help rebuild Hanoi's Bach Mai Hospital, which had been destroyed by U.S. bombers last Christmas.
David Bowie collapses at the end of his Valentine's Day show at New York's Radio City Music Hall. "It was total exhaustion," promoter Ron Delsener later tells the press. That, and also the fact that an overzealous male fan had tried to grab and plant a wet kiss on the singer, knocking the wind out of him. The two-hour show opens with Bowie descending to the stage in a glass-domed space object, looking like Katherine Hepburn, in a white dress. Bowie is accompanied by the Spiders from Mars, as well as several additional musicians.

Reconstruction- aid talks have begun between the U.S. and North Vietnam, as another 1,604 Communists are repatriated, and fighting continues between North and South Vietnamese forces.

Top of the charts: Elton John's "Crocodile Rock" (pop single); War's The World Is a Ghetto (pop album).
Led by idiosyncratic genius Lowell George, Little Feat releases its third album, the tasty Dixie Chicken. With George's seductive vocals and a backing boogie beat, the band tours incessantly and attracts an adoring but limited fan base. Breakout status eludes them, but after a split up and reformation, they release another critically acclaimed album, Feats Don't Fail Me Now, and finally take off.
Israeli jets shoot down a Libyan civilian airliner over the Sinai Peninsula. Israel will admit the error. Arab countries will express outrage and President Nixon will begin Middle East peace talks with Egypt two days later.
Roberta Flack receives a gold record for "Killing Me Softly with His Song," which is Number One for five weeks, beginning in March. It is rumored that the quietly murdering artist in question is folkie Don McLean.

Walking Tall, an exploitative dramatization of the life of a rogue Tennessee sheriff named Buford Pusser, debuts and becomes a huge box office hit.

The Top Five
1. "Killing Me Softly With His Song" - Roberta Flack
2. "Dueling Banjos" - Eric Weissberg and Steve Mandell
3. "Crocodile Rock" - Elton John
4. "You're So Vain" - Carly Simon
5. "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love" - Spinners

After five months of discussions with players' representatives, basketball team owners agree to allow binding arbitration in salary disputes. A week later, the NBA signs an agreement guaranteeing a minimum annual salary of $20,000 for all players in the coming season.
Protesting the Bureau of Indian Affairs' support of corrupt and abusive Indian government, armed members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) seize Wounded Knee, on South Dakota's Ogala Reservation. As most Americans knew from the 1970 book Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown, the tiny town was the site of an 1890 massacre of 300 Lakota Indians. Led by activist Russell Means, the protestors seize the town in an attempt to spotlgiht current Native American issues -- poverty, poor health, substandard housing, and a longstanding federal policy marked by neglect, prejudice and corruption. Within a week, the government dispatches more than 300 federal officers to surround the town, while other Indian tribes and Vietnam Veterans Against the War send support. Gunshots are exhanged continuously for several weeks. The tense standoff draws round-the-clock media coverage, and continues for 71 days. In the end two people are killed, twelve are wounded, and nearly 1,200 arrested.
The FBI reveals that the White House accessed papers detailing the Bureau's Watergate investigation.

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