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CDJ Today: December 15 in Classic Rock

Dave Clark
Dave Clark in 1965.

December 15, 1977 – The Sex Pistols are refused entry into the U.S. two days before their scheduled appearance on Saturday Night Live. Johnny Rotten is denied because of drug convictions, Paul Cook and Sid Vicious because of “moral turpitude” and Steve Jones because of his criminal record. Elvis Costello fills in for them, but then gets banned from the show for 12 years for playing an unscheduled song, “Radio, Radio.”

December 15, 2001 – Joe Walsh receives an honorary Doctorate of Music in recognition of his musical achievement and involvement in environmental and humanitarian causes from Kent State University. Walsh attended school there off and on for six years during the 60’s, without ever graduating.  He says, “I majored in English and minored in music. Unfortunately, I was at the Kent State shootings. After that, I didn’t look at college the same. Then, the James Gang started to gather momentum and I decided I’d try pursuing music as a profession. Being at the shootings really affected me profoundly. I decided that maybe I don’t need a degree that bad.”

Classic Rock Birthdays

December 15, 1946 – Carmine Appice, drums (Vanilla Fudge, Cactus, Beck, Bogert & Appice, King Kobra, Blue Murder, Ozzy Osbourne)
December 15, 1939 – Dave Clark, drums, vocals (The Dave Clark Five)
December 15, 1955 – Paul Simonon, bass, vocals (The Clash)
December 15, 1921 – Alan Freed, American DJ (d. 1965)
December 15, 1919 – Max Yasgur, owner of the Woodstock farm where the 1969 festival was held (d. 1973)
December 15, 1910 – John Hammond, record producer, and A&R scout instrumental in the careers of Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Leonard Cohen, Janis Joplin and Stevie Ray Vaughan.  (d. 1987)

Rock Remembrances

December 15, 1943 – Fats Waller (born Thomas Wright Waller) dies of pneumonia on a train trip near Kansas City.  He was 39.  Waller was a jazz pianist who copyrighted over 400 songs, including “Ain’t Misbehavin'” and “Honeysuckle Rose.” In 1926, he was kidnapped by associates of Al Capone and ordered to perform at what turned out to be a surprise birthday party for the gangster.  Relieved he wasn’t going to be killed, Waller collected several thousand dollars in tips from Capone and his friends. After his death, he was cremated and his ashes were scattered over Harlem from an airplane piloted by a World War I black aviator.

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