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February 1978








Bob Dylan's film Renaldo and Clara, a documentary of the Rolling Thunder Revue tour mixed with surrealistic fantasy sequences, premieres in Los Angeles. Originally running at 232 minutes, it will be cut down to a 112-minute length after the poor initial reception. The film features most of the members of the 1975 Rolling Thunder Revue, including Ronnie Hawkins, David Blue, Roger McGuinn, Ronee Blakley, Mick Ronson, Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez, Ramblin' Jack Elliott and Allen Ginsberg, as well as Dylan himself. But even after being shortened, the cryptic film will continue to baffle and try the patience of audiences in New York and other cities during its very short run.

Elvis Presley is inducted into Playboy magazine's Musical Hall of Fame.

Polish filmmaker Roman Polanski, facing statutory rape charges in California, flees the U.S.

This is the nineteenth anniversary of Buddy Holly's death. It is also, ironically, the day on which Buddy Holly's birthplace in Lubbock, Texas, has been scheduled for demolition by the Lubbock Building Department, which, unaware that the house had any association with Lubbock's most famous son, had condemned the house to be razed the previous fall. Just a few days ago, however, a man bought the house, moved it, intact, outside the city limits, and renovated it so he could move his family into it. The man who saved Buddy Holly's birthplace didn't know of the house's significance, either.

Dead Man's Curve, a made-for-TV movie about surf-rock singing stars Jan and Dean, airs on ABC-TV.
Saturday Night Fever is #2 at the nation's cinemas, while the soundtrack and its current single, the Bee Gees's "Stayin' Alive," are both #1 on the pop charts.

The Top Five
1. "Stayin' Alive" - Bee Gees
2. "Short People" - Randy Newman
3. "Baby Come Back" - Player
4. "We Are the Champions" - Queen
5. "Live is Thicker than Water" - Andy Gibb

Herbert Kappler dies in Soltau, then-West Germany, at age 70. Kappler was commander of the Gestapo during World War II Nazi occupation of Rome in 1943-1944 as the main enemy of Vatican envoy, Msgr. Hugh O'Flaherty, and was smuggled out of Italy in 1977, 30 years after his war crimes conviction. Kappler will be played by Christopher Plummer opposite Gregory Peck in 1983 made for TV movie, The Scarlet and The Black.
The debut single by British band Magazine, "Shot by Both Sides," enters the British pop chart. The song was cowritten by Magazine vocalist Howard Devoto and Buzzcocks guitarist/vocalist Pete Shelley. Devoto had recently left the Buzzcocks to form Magazine. The Buzzcocks will shortly record Shelley's song "Lipstick," which is musically identical to "Shot by Both Sides" and is also credited to Devoto-Shelley.
Muhammad Ali loses his title to Leon Spinks in a split decision in Las Vegas.
Britain's first punk fan magazine, or "fanzine," Sniffin' Glue, ceases publication.
Ex-Sex Pistol bassist Sid Vicious and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen are arrested by police in their room at New York City's Chelsea Hotel and charged with drug possession.
Rolling Stone reports on the breakup of the Sex Pistols, quoting Johnny Rotten's explanation of their abrupt demise following the conclusion of their American tour in San Francisco: "We had gone as far as we could go. Everyone was trying to turn us into a big group, and I hated that."

Winners of the twentieth annual Grammy Awards for 1977 are announced, and the Los Angeles scene dominates. The
Eagles wins Best Record of the Year for "Hotel California" and Best Arrangement for Voices for "New Kid in Town." Fleetwood Mac wins Album of the Year for Rumours. Song of the Year is a tie between "Love Theme from A Star is Born (Evergreen)," by Paul Williams and Barbra Streisand, and Joe Brooks' "You Light Up My Life." Best Engineered Nonclassical Recording goes to Steely Dan's Aja. Best Album Package is Linda Ronstadt's Simple Dreams. Best Male Pop Vocal Performance is James Taylor's version of Jimmy Jones' 1960 "Handyman" (also a hit for Del Shannon in 1964). Best Producer of the Year is Linda Ronstadt's producer, Peter Asher. Best Pop Vocal Group Performance is the Bee Gees' "How Deep Is Your Love." Best R&B Group Vocal Performance is the Emotions' "Best of My Love." Best R&B Instrumental Performance is the Brothers Johnson's "Q." Best R&B Song is Leo Sayer and Vinny Poncia's "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing." Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Performance is the Edwin Hawkins Singers' Wonderful! Best Traditional Soul Gospel Performance is the Reverend James Cleveland's Live at Carnegie Hall. Best Female Country Vocal Performance is Crystal Gayle's "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue." Best Male Country Vocal Performance is Kenny Rogers' "Lucille." Best Ethnic or Traditional Recording is Muddy Waters' critically acclaimed "comback" album, Hard Again, recorded with bluesman Johnny Winter.

British punk band the Stranglers delay their L.A. debut as police continue the search for the "Hillside Strangler," whose murders of local women remain unsolved.

Jefferson Starship declares "Earth Day" for the release of its new album Earth, which is premiered nationally on many radio stations. Two days later, the album ships gold.
British punk rockers the Damned announce their breakup. Their farewell gig will be played April 8 in London. The band will subsequently reform and break up several times.

Bob Dylan's album Live at Budokan is recorded in Tokyo, Japan.

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