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On August 25th, in 1933, Wayne Shorter, the Miles Davis Saxophone Protégé during Miles’ post-bop and early Fusion era (late 60’s to mid 70’s) was born in Newark, New Jersey (Isley Brothers territory). Shorter worked with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers pre-Miles Davis. This is where he honed his chops. By the time he'd gotten to Miles, he was very much in the groove.
He never really left Miles, he’d collaborate with him throughout the 80s-90s, but he did work as a solo artist on the Blue Note imprint mostly in the 60s-70s, and also was a member of the Jazz Fusion Funk band Weather Report. He surrounded himself with an all-star cast of musicians all of his career: Herbie Hancock, Stanley Clarke, Chick Corea, Joe Zawinul, Ron Carter, Alphose Mouzon and numerous others. He’s 85 today!
… ‘m m m m m m m my my my my my, whooo!’… The Knack & The Story of My Sharona…. On August 25th, in 1979, The Knack hit the number 1 slot on the US pop chart with the hit My Sharona that ran for 5 weeks straight. The song was about a teen that attended Los Angeles Fairfax High named Sharona Alperin (senior).
She was 17 when the song was created. Doug Fieger wrote the song about her and they eventually dated. Both of them married other people though. My Sharona was the only US & UK (number 6) charting song that the group had. Fieger died at his home in 2010 from cancer at 57.
On August 25th, in 1992 or 1993-sources vary: The ‘Wicked Pickett’ AKA Wilson Pickett, got loose on ‘em. He got hemmed up by the cops for having open bottles of Vodka while driving…with a few littered cans around the vehicle.
Mr. Pickett would’ve probably gotten a pass, or at least some leniency from the cops, based on his legacy alone, but when he hit the car of an 86 year-old man, the cops had to drag him in. He eventually was convicted of drunken driving in Englewood, New Jersey. He got 5 years probation and 1 year in jail.
On August 25th, in 1993, 11 years and 1 day before Marion ‘Suge’ Knight got shot at Chris Brown’s party, Snoop got out of jail on $1 Million bond for his murder charge. Urban legend: following a video shoot, some of Snoop’s entourage got into an argument with some cats from the By Yerself set.
Snoop was in the vehicle when someone he was with shot and killed a member from the By Yerself gang. Snoop got off in 1996 from this charge, after Suge paid mad attorney fees for one of his top album sellers on the label.
On August 25th, in 2001, the singer, actress and dancer Aaliyah was killed in a plane crash after a video shoot in the Bahamas for her song Rock the Boat. It was a small Cessna plane that crashed just after initial liftoff. She was dating Damon Dash at the time and was best friends with Quincy Jones’ daughter Kidada who was dating Tupac.
The small Cessna plane crashed a few minutes after take-off. The crash killed everyone on board. Irony in the deaths of Tupac & Aaliyah, the attempted destruction of Damon Dash, and their ties to prominent Hollywood stars. Aaliyah was 22 when she died. Sidebar: Pac never had a problem with Dame or the Boot Camp Click, Just the BadBoy imprint...
On August 25th, in 2014, the BBC Radio 2 stationed in the United Kingdom voted Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love song as having the greatest guitar riff of all time by their listeners’ audience. The voters chose out of 100 riffs picked by DJs, record producers, and critics.
Gun & Roses Sweet Child o Mine came in second place, Back in Black by AC/DC won third, and Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water came in fourth. All of these tracks have been played several times on numerous national and international radio stations, & they’ve been used in several TV Shows & movie soundtracks.
Honorable Mentions: On August 25th, in 1942, one of the Trio that make up the O’Jays-Walter William (C) was born. He performed with The Sound of Philadelphia trio the O’Jays' for several years. They had a few hits and have been sampled by many using that famous Gamble & Huff production.
On August 25th, in 1949, Kiss bassist-Gene Simmons (Chaim Witz) was born in Tirat Carmel, Haifa, Israel. Witz and his brother were the only survivors of their family during the Nazi Holocaust. At age 8 he immigrated to NYC. Shortly after he was heavily influenced by pop music, and later on the Beatles. He’s 69 today.
On Auguat 25th, in 1966, Public Enemy’s Dee Jay Terminator X (Norman Lee Rogers) was born. Most noted for his scratches on the P.E. LPs, Terminator X was the Dee Jay that spoke with his hands. He released two solo projects after leaving the group in the 90s, and reconvened with Chuck D in 2013 on Chuck’s radio show. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2013 as a member of Public Enemy.
On August 25th, in 1970, David Bowie, Frank Zappa, John Lennon, Stevie Wonder, AC/DC and Jimi Hendrix threw a party at Electric Ladyland studios in New York City, NY. The party was a celebration for the official opening of the studio, which was considered groundbreaking in design, sound production and recording equipment for the time.
On August 25th, in 1997 a mentally ill patient in Helsinki, Finland escaped the institution and went to the Olympic Stadium-the site where Michael Jackson was scheduled to appear for a concert. The man attempted to set fire to the stage after he poured gasoline on it. The police arrested him before it went up in flames.
On August 25th, in 2005, Guns ‘n’ Roses members Sual Hudson and Michael McKagan called Axl Rose out for having an inflated ego. Axl had refused to give any credit to the former members for the music the band created while the two were members. To quote, they said Axl had: ‘arrogance of ego’. Stay humble & honest good people.