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August 1973








Jerry Garcia celebrates his thirty-first birthday by playing a concert at Roosevelt Stadium with the Grateful Dead. As a surprise, a cake is wheeled out onto the stage, and out pops a naked girl. Garcia, in his own words, is "embarrassed."

ABA basketball star Julius "Dr. J" Erving signs with the New York Nets, bringing his flamboyant dunking style to a major city.

Who is Jobriath? According to Rolling Stone, impresario Jerry Brandt has announced that bids to sign his new artist must start at $1 million. Just what does Jobriath do? Sings and plays piano, for starters, but he's also designed his own stage act, which includes a replica of the Empire State Building that turns into a penis as the star sheds his King Kong suit and slips into something more comfortable. Jobriath also plans to be filmed playing a piano in the Mohave Desert during an upcoming eclipse.

The Mamas & The Papas leader, John Phillips, sues the group's old label, Dunhill Records, for $9 million claiming "systematic theft" of royalties.

Guitarist Eddie Condon, one of the important jazz guitarists in the Thirties and Forties, dies of a lingering bone disease. He was sixty-seven. Condon led a number of small groups, from which emerged such players as Gene Krupa, Johnny Mercer and Earl Hines.

The Top Five
1. "The Morning After" - Maureen McGovern
2. "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" - Jim Croce
3. "Live and Let Die" - Wings
4. "Smoke on the Water" - Deep Purple
5. "Yesterday Once More" - Carpenters

Memphis Minnie (Lizzie Douglas), a leading blueswoman for many years, dies in Memphis. She had been crippled for several years by a stroke that rendered her unable to speak or sing intelligibly. Once a street singer, Minnie went on to record at least several hundred sides, reaching her height in the Thirties when, recalled one of her blues colleagues, "You couldn't listen to a radio for more than an hour without hearing Memphis Minnie."

Stevie Wonder suffers head injuries when a car in which he is riding collides with a logging truck near Salisbury, North Carolina. The singer is taken unconscious to a hospital and placed in intensive care; he'll remain there for four days because of a coma induced by a brain contusion. According to Wonder's physicians, because he is blind, the impact of the accident was magnified three times. Wonder is expected to make a full recovery, and in fact, the only permanent damage he suffers is loss of his sense of smell.
Steve Perron, lead singer for a Texas band called the Children, dies at age twenty-eight. An autopsy shows that he choked on his own vomit during his sleep. Perron recently had written the hit "Francene" for ZZ Top.
Writer Lillian Roxon dies at age forty-one after suffering a severe ashma attack. Roxon is probably best known as the author of the Rock Encyclopedia, originally published in 1969. In addition, she was a music columnist for several newspapers, and wrote a women's sex column for Madamoiselle magazine.
In the '70s, everything from the 1950s (and early 1960s) is back, and today director George Lucas releases his major motion picture period piece, American Graffiti. Seeds were sown as the decade began with rock 'n' roll revival shows featuring real '50s groups along with made-up bands like Sha-Na-Na that aped the genre, and "Grease" re-created the era on stage, and later on film. On the radio, comebacks for '50s icons like Elvis Presley ("Burning Love") and Rick Nelson ("Garden Party") were followed by new hits with an old sound like Elton John's "Crocodile Rock" and Loggins and Messina's "Your Mama Don't Dance." But American Graffiti is perhaps the most influential homage to the decade... until the premiere of a certain sitcom called Happy Days six months later.
Paul Williams, one of the original Temptations, is found dead by police, who later rule his death a suicide. Williams is clad only in a pair of swimming trunks, and is slumped over the wheel of his car, a gun in his hand, when discovered. He had shot one bullet through his forehead. Williams, the group's strong baritone, had left the Temps in 1971, but continued to draw a salary as an adviser and as a supervisor of the Temps' choreography. He was thirty-four.

Walter C. "Buddy" Clewis, manager of the Mobile, Alabama, Municipal Auditorium, is indicted for allegedly blackmailing bands appearing at the auditorium. Shows that have been "touched" by the blackmail ring include those by the Jackson 5, James Brown, the Moments, Al Green, Joe Simon, the Staple Singers, Curtis Mayfield and Isaac Hayes.
The Pointer Sisters' debut single, "Yes We Can Can," enters the charts on its way to No. 11. The infectious tune catches on and sparks enthusiastic public and critical response for the four daughters of minister parents from Oakland, Calif. "Their entire act is a musical cloudburst, exuding joy, limitless energy [and] a natural sense of harmony," writes the Los Angeles Times. In early 1979, their cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Fire" will climb to No. 2.

The Top Five
1. "Touch Me in the Morning" - Diana Ross
2. "Live and Let Die" - Wings
3. "Brother Louie" - Stories
4. "The Morning After" - Maureen McGovern
5. "Let's Get It On" - Marvin Gaye

Rita Coolidge and Kris Kristofferson are married in Malibu, with the groom's minister-father presiding. Rita wears white, and the best man is Bobby Neuwirth.
The annual Reading Festival is held in Britain. The lineup includes Traffic, Focus, Eric Burdon and others.
The Faces play what they claim may be their last U.K. date, before a crowd of 30,000 in Reading, England. The reason for the startling announcement is that Faces bassist Tetsu Yamauchi has been refused a work permit by the Musicians Union, outraging the group, particularly Rod Stewart, who calls the decision "a disgrace." However, the group will stay together, and in fact Stewart says he will now devote all his time to the Faces and that his next solo LP will be his last.

The Top Five
1. "Brother Louie" - Stories
2. "Live and Let Die" - Wings
3. "Touch Me in the Morning" - Diana Ross
4. "Let's Get It On" - Marvin Gaye
5. "The Morning After" - Maureen McGovern

The University of Texas at Arlington becomes the first accredited college in the United States to offer a belly dancing class for credit. There's no word on how well or well-attended the class turns out, but none other than social arbiter "Dear Abby" soon devotes a column to the dance, to overwhelmingly positive response. One reader notes that since belly dancing originated in the Middle East during biblical times, it's entirely appropriate to teach it in the Bible Belt.
Deep Purple receives a gold record for "Smoke on the Water." The song was based on a true incident. While the group was recording in Switzerland's Montreux Casino, a fire broke out during a concert by Frank Zappa in an adjoining part of the building. As the structure burned to the ground, smoke could be seen on nearby Lake Geneva, and vocalist Ian Gillan then wrote what he saw.

Bobby ("Boris") Pickett
's ghoulish novelty disc "Monster Mash" charts for the third time, hitting #10 eleven years after it made Number One in 1962. (The song appeared again in 1970, when it reached #91.) By this time, Pickett is retired from music and drives a cab.
U.S. district judge John Sirica demands to be allowed to listen privately to White House tapes concerning Watergate; President Nixon refuses to comply, saying he will appeal.
After two marginally successful LPs, the post-Jim Morrison Doors have broken up, Rolling Stone reports. Ray Manzarek is already back in Los Angeles putting a new band together.
The Gainesville 8, members of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War on trial for planning a violent disruption of the 1972 Republican National Convention in Miami, are acquitted.

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