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November 1973








Mariner 10, the first probe of Mercury, is launched.
A benefit concert is held for Robert Wyatt by his former band, Soft Machine, and Pink Floyd at London's Rainbow Theater. Wyatt had been paralyzed in a fall earlier in the year.
Performing Quadrophenia has proved problematic for the Who during their current tour, and on this night in Newcastle, England, it all falls apart. Much of the lengthy work is performed to taped sections, and when on one of the pieces comes in fifteen seconds out of step with drummer Keith Moon, Pete Townshend explodes, berating sound engineer Bobby Pridden and storming off stage. Townshend returns a half hour later, but the Who abandon Quadrophenia for the night and perform old hits instead.
Phil Kaufman and Michael Martin, charged with theft of a coffin containing Gram Parsons, are fined $300 each after they plead to a misdemeanor charge. West Los Angeles municipal judge Leo Freund also orders them to pay $708 to the Yucca Valley funeral home for the cost of the destroyed coffin. Deputy district attorney Anthony White says police had found evidence that the two men merely were carrying out Parsons' wishes to be cremated in the desert.

The Symbionese Liberation Army -- a radical group that sprang from a Bay Area prisoner-support program -- introduces itself by killing black Unified School District superintendent Marcus Albert Foster in Oakland, California.

Financier Malcolm S. Forbes completes the first coast-to-coast hot-air-balloon flight.

Coleman Young is elected Detroit's first black mayor, and Abraham Beame is elected mayor of New York City, the city's first mayor who is a practicing Jew. Beame's term in office will include presiding over the city's 1975 loan crisis, the hosting of the 1976 Democratic National Convention, the 1976-1977 David Berkowitz "Son of Sam" case, and the 1977 blackout. Beame dies on Feb. 10, 2001, at age 94.

With gasoline prices continuing to rise, President Nixon announces that the Arab oil embargo is causing the worst U.S. energy crisis since World War II, and suggests emergency steps: a national 50-mph speed limit and a year-round daylight savings time. He also warns that gasoline rationing may soon prove necessary.
Cat Stevens makes his national TV debut on ABC's In Concert. Stevens' ninety-minute special is taped live at the Hollywood Bowl and includes some of his cartoons, featuring animated versions of the characters on the cover of his Teaser and the Firecat album. Later Stevens will abandon his pop success, convert to Islam, and change his name to Yusuf Islam.

After years of struggling as a member of two New York City bands, the
Hassles and Attila, and as a bar piano player, Billy Joel releases what will ultimately be his breakthrough album, Piano Man. The title song will be released as a single and become a Top Twenty-five hit in early 1974.
The Top Five
1. "Keep on Truckin'" - Eddie Kendricks
2. "Midnight Train to Georgia" - Gladys Knight & the Pips
3. "Angie" - Rolling Stones
4. "Heartbeat -- It's a Lovebeat" - DeFranco Family
5. "Paper Roses" - Marie Osmond

Thirty stations across the country broadcast what is billed as a "live" Mott the Hoople show. In reality, it's nothing more than Hoople studio tracks with dubbed-in applause.

The U.S. sends its first ambassador to Egypt since 1967; Israel and Egypt sign a six-point truce agrement, including a joint withdrawal from occupied Arab territory.

Many trace the roots of hip-hop to today's formation of the Universal Zulu Nation by a South Bronx community, deejay, and former gang member named Afrika Bambaataa. Gathering a disparate group of rappers, break-dancers, and graffiti artists, he begins organizing block parties and club dates that spread the hip-hop word and gradually expand into white new wave circles. His record spinning evolves into recording, and his 1982 release "Planet Rock" will become one of the earliest and most influential rap songs.
Jerry Lee Lewis, Jr., is killed in a highway accident near Hernando, Mississippi. Just several days earlier, the nineteen-year-old had appeared on TV's Midnight Special as a drummer in his father's band. In 1962, the elder Lewis' only other son, Steven Allen, drowned in the family swimming pool.
David Bowie stars in his first TV special, 1980 Floor Show, broadcast in America on NBC's Midnight Special. The special had been taped a month earlier at London's Marquee Club, always a favorite of Bowie's, who used to play there with his first band, David Jones and the Lower Third. It was one of the few clubs that would book him, he recalls fondly, because "we were considered a very freaky band." Bowie's guests include Marianne Faithfull, the Troggs and Spanish rock group Carmen.

Skylab 3, with the last crew to occupy the space lab on board, blasts off to conduct experiments, photograph comet Kohoutek and endure 84 days in orbit. Skylab will remain unused (total time of occupancy: 6 to 75 months) until it plummets to Earth in 1979, causing much trepidation in populated areas of the Southern Hemisphere.

The third time will prove to be the charm for Ringo Starr, whose third solo album Ringo debuts on the U.S. charts on its way to #2. Ringo is also notable for featuring contributions from the other three former Beatles, although the quartet never appear together on any of its songs.

President Nixon utters his immortal words, "I am not a crook," during a speech at the White House.

Allan Sherman, the comedian/ songwriter whose album My Son, the Folksinger sold well over a million copies in the early Sixties, dies at the age of forty-eight. Sherman collapsed at his Hollywood apartment, and death is attributed to respiratory ailments. Sherman had recently completed a book, The Rape of the Ape, which charted the sexual revolution since the end of World War II.

Keith Moon collapses twice during the first date of the Who's U.S. tour, in San Francisco. First, the manic drummer falls over his kit during "Won't Get Fooled Again." Then, after being administered to backstage, Moon plays for another ten minutes before he's carried off again, allegedly due to jet lag. So Pete Townshend asks for a volunteer from the crowd to replace Moonie. He gets one, nineteen-year-old Thomas Scott Halpin from Muscatine, Iowa, who finishes the set with the band. Says Halpin after the set: "I really admire their stamina; I only played three numbers, and I was dead." Invited backstage, he receives the rock opera tour's official Quadrophenia jacket that's promptly stolen when he leaves it to visit the buffet table. As for Moon, his over-the-top lifestyle will catch up to him five years later when he dies of a drug overdose.
The Top Five
1. "Photograph" - Ringo Starr
2. "Keep on Truckin'" - Eddie Kendricks
3. "Top of the World" - Carpenters
4. "Space Race" - Billy Preston
5. "Heartbeat -- It's a Lovebeat" - DeFranco Family

John Rostill, former guitarist for England's immensely popular Shadows, is electrocuted in his home recording studio. Here's the headline from the International Herald-Tribune: POP MUSICIAN DIES, GUITAR APPARENT CAUSE.

President Nixon's secretary, Rose Mary Woods, accepts responsibility for accidentally causing the erasure of 18 minutes of a significant Watergate tape. On Dec. 13, technical experts will state that neither an electric typewriter nor a high-intensity light could have erased the portion, as a White House lawyer suggested.

Jimmy Widener, 55, lead guitarist for ten years behind country star Hank Snow, is shot and killed, his body dumped in an alley. Also murdered is his companion, Mildred Hazlewood, wife of performer/ composer Eddie Hazlewood.

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