December 18th: On this day
1961, The Tokens started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’; it reached No.11 in the UK. REM included a live version of the song on the 1993 ‘Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight’ single.
1962, On their fifth visit to West Germany The Beatles played the first night of a two-week engagement at the Star-Club, Hamburg. A 13 night run, playing 3 hours each night. The final night’s performance was recorded and became known as ‘The Star-Club Tapes’, released in 1977 against the wishes of the ex-Beatles themselves.
1966, Tara Browne was killed when driving at high speed in his Lotus Elan after it collided with a parked lorry in South Kensington, London. A close friend of The Rolling Stones Mick Jagger and Brian Jones his death was immortalized in The Beatles song ‘A Day In The Life’ after John Lennon read a report on the coroner’s verdict into Browne’s death.
1971, Sly and the Family Stone went to No.1 on the US album chart with ‘There’s A Riot Going On’.
1972, Bob Dylan starting filming his role in the film ‘Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid.’
1982, Hall and Oates started a four week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Maneater’, the duo’s 5th US No.1 and biggest hit in the UK making No.6.
1982, UK-based Italian tenor and English girl Renee And Renato were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Save Your Love’, the duo’s only UK Top 40 hit and this years Christmas No.1.
1983, American guitarist Jimmy Nolan, died of a heart attack in Atlanta, Georgia, aged 47. Known for his distinctive ‘chicken scratch’ lead guitar playing, he worked with James Brown from 1965 until his death.
1983, Rolling Stones’ guitarist Keith Richards married 27-year old Patti Hansen on his 40th birthday.
1988, Mike Peters of The Alarm was rushed to hospital after having his eyes burnt by spotlights during a gig in Chester, causing the remaining dates on their UK tour to be cancelled.
1999, The Spice Girls unveiled their waxwork look-alikes at Madame Tussaud’s, London. Each model had cost £35,000 to make.
2000, UK singer, songwriter Kirsty MacColl was killed in a boating accident off the coast of Mexico when a speedboat hit her. MacColl was aged 41. McColl and her sons were diving at the Chankanaab reef, of Cozumel, Mexico in a designated diving area that watercraft were restricted from entering. MacColl saw the boat coming before her sons did; Louis (then 13) was not in the boat’s path, but Jamie (then 15) was. She was able to push him out of the way (he sustained minor head and rib injuries) but in doing so, she was hit by the boat and killed instantly.
2000, *NSYNC fan Danielle McGuire filed suit against group member Justin Timberlake, alleging that he harassed and verbally assaulted her. McGuire, 15, filed suit in St. Louis, Missouri, charging Timberlake with false imprisonment of a minor.
2001, English singer songwriter Clifford T. Ward died aged 57 after suffering from multiple sclerosis since 1984. His first album, Singer Songwriter, was released in 1972 on Dandelion Records (a label formed by the late disc jockey John Peel). He had the 1973 UK No.8 single ‘Gaye’. Working as an English teacher in the late 60’s, one of his pupils was the future wife of Sting, Trudie Styler.
2003, Out on bail, Michael Jackson was formally charged with seven counts of child molestation and two counts of administering intoxicating liquor to a minor with the intent of committing a crime. The abuse was claimed to have taken place between 7 February and 10 March 2003 and the alleged victim was identified only as ‘John Doe’. Jackson’s lawyer said the entertainer was ‘unequivocally and absolutely innocent’ and would fight the charges ‘with every fibre of his soul.’
2003, James Brown and country music star Loretta Lynn were honoured for their contributions to US culture. The pair were invited to a gala attended by President George Bush at the Kennedy Arts Centre in Washington.
2004, A guitar played by George Harrison and John Lennon sold for £294,000 ($570,000) at auction in New York. The Gibson SG guitar was used by Harrison from 1966 to 1969, including the recording of Revolver, and by Lennon during The White Album sessions. Other items sold in the Christie’s auction included a letter by Kurt Cobain which fetched £10,000 ($19,400), and a school book report by Britney Spears (£1,000).
2005, ‘Fairytale of New York’ was voted the favourite Christmas song ever in a VH1 poll. The song by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl took the top spot, Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’, was voted into 2nd place and Wham’s ‘Last Christmas’ came third. Other songs voted into the Top 10 were, ‘Mistletoe and Wine’, Sir Cliff Richard at No.4, ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ by Slade at No.5, ‘I Wish it could be Christmas Everyday’, Wizzard, No.6, ‘Christmas Time’, The Darkness, No.7, ‘Saviour’s Day’, Sir Cliff Richard No.8, Do They Know It’s Christmas? (1984), Band Aid at No.9 and ‘Lonely This Christmas’ by Mud at No.10.
2005, Babyshambles singer Pete Doherty was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drink or drugs after being stopped by police in east London. Police said the 26-year-old had been driving erratically. Officers sent suspicious substances found in the vehicle for analysis, Doherty was released on bail.
2013, Fazer, best known for being part of the group N-Dubz, was declared bankrupt. The 26-year-old rose to fame alongside N-Dubz bandmates Costadinos Contostavlos (Dappy) and Tulisa Contostavlos. N-Dubz had eight songs in the Official Singles Chart. Their most successful track was the appropriately titled Number 1, which hit the top spot in 2009.
2013, Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins was sentenced to 35 years in jail for a string of child sex offences including the attempted rape of a baby. Watkins, 36, from Pontypridd, Wales, had pleaded guilty at Cardiff Crown Court last month to 13 child sex offences.
2015, A US medical examiner said Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland died from a toxic mix of drugs including cocaine, alcohol and ecstasy. Weiland, who was 48, rose to fame with the Stone Temple Pilots was found dead on his tour bus outside a hotel in Bloomington, Minneapolis, on 3 December of this year.
December 18th: Born on this day
1938, Born on this day, Chas Chandler, bass, The Animals, (1964 UK & US No.1 single ‘House Of The Rising Sun’). Chandler became the manager of Jimi Hendrix and Slade, he died on 17th July 1996.
1941, Born on this day, Sam Andrew, Janis Joplin Band, (1971 US No.1 single ‘Me And Bobby McGee’, 1971 US No.1 single ‘Pearl’). Andrew was also Music Director of the musical Love, Janis, based on the life of Janis Joplin. He died on February 12, 2015, following complications from open-heart surgery due to a heart attack suffered ten weeks prior.
1943, Born on this day, Keith Richards, ‘The Human Riff’, guitarist, singer, songwriter and founding member of The Rolling Stones who have had over 35 Top 40 singles and albums. Rolling Stone magazine said Richards had created ‘rock’s greatest single body of riffs’. Classic albums include: Sticky Fingers and Exile On Main Street.
1943, Born on this day, Bobby Keys American saxophone player who worked with The Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Who, Harry Nilsson, Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker and others. Keys died on Dec 2nd 2014.
1948, Born on this day, Bill Nelson, English singer, guitarist, songwriter, producer. With Be Bop Deluxe, he scored the 1976 UK No.23 single, ‘Ships In The Night’ and has since released many solo albums. In 2015, he was recognised with the Visionary award at the Progressive Music Awards.
1950, Born on this day, Martha Johnson, Martha And The Muffins, (1980 UK No.10 single, ‘Echo Beach’).
1953, Born on this day, Elliot Easton, The Cars, (1978 UK No.3 single ‘My Best Friend’s Girl’, 1985 UK No.4 single ‘Drive’).
1958, Born on this day, Geordie, Killing Joke, (1985 UK No.16 single ‘Love Like Blood’).
1959, Born on this day, Grant Marshall, Daddy-G, Massive Attack, (1991 UK No.13 single ‘Unfinished Sympathy’).
1964, Born on this day, Robson Green, actor/singer, (1995 UK No.1 single as Robson and Jerome ‘Unchained Melody’, ‘The White Cliffs Of Dover’).
1966, Born on this day, Steve Dullaghan, Primitives, (1988 UK No.5 single ‘Crash’).
1968, Born on this day, Andy Miller, Dodgy, (1996 UK No.4 single ‘Good Enough’).
1970, Born on this day, DMX, (Earl Simmons), US rapper, (UK No. 30 single ‘Slippin’).
1975, Born on this day, Sia (Sia Kate Isobelle Furler), Australian singer and songwriter who scored the 2014 US No.1 album 1000 Forms of Fear.
1980, Born on this day, Christina Aguilera, US singer, (1999 US & UK No.1 single ‘Genie In A Bottle’, 1999 US No.1 album ‘Christina Aguilera’, 2001 US & UK No.1 single with Mya, Lil’ Kim and Pink, ‘Lady Marmalade’).
1980, Born on this day, Lyndsay Armaou, singer, B*Witched, (1998 UK No.1 single ‘C’est La Vie’).