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July 1973








David Bowie caps a grueling 60-date tour with a show at the Hammersmith Odeon. Just before the encore, he shocks his fans with an announcement: "This night shall always be special in my memory. Not only is it the last show of my British tour... but it is the last show I will ever do." As fans gasp in disbelief and girls scream, "No, David, no!" Bowie brings down the curtain with "Rock 'N' Roll Suicide." The "retirement" lasts only until the following June.
Dobie Gray, who populated "The 'In' Crowd" in 1965, has the biggest of his career and earns a gold record for Mentor Williams' soulful "Drift Away."
A new British flash n' metal outfit called Queen release its first single, "Keep Yourself Alive," with its first LP scheduled for release one week later.
The Top Five
1. "Will It Go Round in Circles" - Billy Preston
2. "Kodachrome" - Paul Simon
3. "My Love" - Paul McCartney & Wings
4. "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)" - George Harrison
5. "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" - Jim Croce

John Paul Getty III, the 16-year-old grandson of oil tycoon Jean Paul Getty, is kidnapped in Rome and a ransom of $17 million is demanded over the phone for his safe return.
The Everly Brothers, who had their first hit, "Bye Bye Love," back in 1957, have called it quits. Don Everly announced his decision to leave the duo the previous evening, and on this night the Everlys play their last show together at Knott's Berry Farm -- although it's hardly a graceful exit. The show is stopped by entertainment director Bill Hollingshead becuse of what he felt was a poor performance by Don, causing sibling Phil to smash his guitar on the floor and stalk off the stage.
Ray Davies announces from the stage of the White City Festival that he is leaving the Kinks. "I just wanted to say goodbye and thank you for all you've done," he tells the crowd. Davies' abrupt decision to quit was brought on by exhaustion -- his wife had recently left him, and the Kinks' leader hadn't eaten or slept properly for days. He returns to the group within the week.
Bob Dylan releases the soundtrack to Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. Dylan appears in the movie along with Kris Kristofferson. The most notable track is "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," which reaches #12. The soundtrack goes to #16.

Suprise witness Alexander Butterfield, a White House aide, casually tells the Watergate Committee that all Oval Office conversations since 1971 have been recorded. The next day, the committee asks the White House for all tapes concerning the affair, provoking a yearlong battle as President Nixon vows that only a Supreme Court decision will convince him to release the tapes, and the committee begins legal action to that end.

Bob Marley and the Wailers play the first of five sold-out shows this week at Boston's small, legendary club Paul's Mall. They tear up the joint with their rock and reggae beat -- one that the world is soon to discover and embrace.

Contestants vie to identify mystery personalities as NBC premieres a new daytime game show, The Wizard of Odds. A dapper Canadian named Alex Trebek, making his American debut, hosts. It lasts but one season, though its replacement, High Rollers, runs for six. Trebek will hit the jackpot some years later with a new syndicated version of Jeopardy!, the long-running network game show, originally hosted by Art Fleming, which had been stupidly canceled by NBC.
Clarence White of the Byrds is buried in California, several days after being struck by a car. White was leaving a Palmdale nightclub when he was hit by the car, whose driver was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving and manslaughter. Born in Lewiston, Maine, White joined the Byrds in 1968 and remained with them after their official breakup early this year. He was twenty-nine.
T. Rex, whose British popularity has already been eclipsed by David Bowie's, begins a six-week tour in an attempt to convert the States. Marc Bolan's band consists of conga player Mickey Finn, bassist Steve Currey, drummer Bill Legend and guitarist Jack Green, plus backup singers Gloria Jones and Patricia Hall.

Just six days before the premiere of his first Hollywood film, Enter the Dragon, martial arts wonder and cultural icon Bruce Lee passes away in Hong Kong. Lee had parlayed his martial arts skills -- honed by exhaustive training -- along with his good looks and charismatic personality, to the brink of stardom before his untimely death at the age of 32.

Before his career in music took off, one of curly-haired singer-songwriter Jim Croce's many odd jobs was a stint as a telephone lineman, where he'd encountered a belligerent co-worker. That became the inspiration for "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown," which hits No. 1 today and ignites his career. "I'm a kind of music psychologist, or a musical bouncer, or a musical jukebox," says Croce. "It depends on the audience."

The Top Five
1. "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" - Jim Croce
2. "Will It Go Round in Circles" - Billy Preston
3. "Yesterday Once More" - Carpenters
4. "Shambala" - Three Dog Night
5. "Kodachrome" - Paul Simon

A Gallup Poll shows President Nixon's approval rating plummeting from 68% at the beginning of the year to 40%.
In the first and most effective action of its kind during the Vietnamese conflict, a U.S. District Court upholds the congressional decision to halt all bombing in Cambodia. The decision is reversed on Aug. 8.
Jethro Tull's A Passion Play turns gold, but overall is considered a disappointment. Tull leader Ian Anderson, who succeeded so wonderfully with Tull's previous two concept LP's, Aqualung and Thick as a Brick, appears to have missed the mark this time, and APP is critically panned across the boards. An angry Anderson later will whisk his group off the road in response.
The largest rock festival of all time is held at the Watkins Glen raceway, drawing 600,000, more than three times the number predicted by the festival's promoters. Although there is just one day of music -- by the Grateful Dead, the Band and the Allman Brothers -- a crowd of 80,000 already had converged at the site by the 26th, and with twelve hours yet to go, traffic toward the area is being affected over 100 miles away. Except for a drenching rain, the festival comes off without a hitch, with adequate toilet and water supplies.

Skylab 2 and its crew are launched to test human ability to survive long periods in space; they stay 59 days.

Led Zeppelin, in the middle of a highly successful U.S. tour, are the victims of one of the largest cash thefts ever pulled off in New York City, as $180,000 is pilfered from the group's deposit box at the Drake Hotel. The money mostly represents cash receipts from the first two of three Madison Square Garden shows. Police have dusted for fingerprints and are investigating the crime.
At a press conference called by New York senator James Buckley, ex-Mamas and the Papas member John Phillips accuses his former label, ABC-Dunhill, with "the systematic, cold-blooded theft of perhaps up to $60 million, stolen from each and every artist who recorded for the company during a seven-year period." Phillips and the other three members of the defunct band are planning to file a $9-million civil suit against the company, which claims that Phillips' charges have been made "without foundation."

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