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On October 31st, in 1966, guitarist, Punk-Rocker, actor, bassists, drummer, dee jay, songwriter, beat producer, singer and emcee of the Beastie Boys-Ad-Rock AKA King Ad-Rock AKA Shadrach (Adam Keefe Horovitz) was born in NYC, NY. Interesting fact about Ad-Rock: he dated Molly Ringwald in the late 80s. Ad-Rock got his start in his eaely teens playing guitar for the Punk Rock band The Young & the Useless. They often performed with the Punk-Rock band called the Beastie Boys. Ad-Rock replaced their guitarist in the 1982. They got hip to the Hip Hop Culture, and started incorporating elements of it into their stage shows. Shortly after, they got signed to Def Jam and dropped Licensed to Ill (1986).
It blew up and made them official Hp Hoppers from the Caucasian side of things. A lot of cats tried to hate, claiming they hadn’t paid dues, were White trying to be Black, yadda yadda yadda. But when they heard Paul Revere or Slow & Low? Man, aight…Couldn’t front on those joints. They dope no matter if you’re orange like Trump or tiger striped like Tony. Paul’s Boutique (1989) was their sophomore release that was self-produced. They got a lot of flack and taxed for all the sample they used on the LP. It’s credited as an album that uses more samples than any other LP. Their 3rd album-Check Your Head, combined samples and beats with instrumentation by the band, a return to their Punk Roots with a Hip Hop edge. It’s slamming too, cats can’t front on it either. He’s 52 today.
On October 31st, in 1952, songwriter, producer, singer and one half of the Chic production Duo Bernard Edwards was born in Greenville, North Carolina. He was raised in Brooklyn, and met Niles Rodgers in the early 70s. They both formed the Big Apple Band in the early 70s. In the late 70s, he joined with Norma Jean Wright (vocals) and Tony Thompson to form Chic. He produced tracks for Chic that were classics. B-side joints like Warm Summer Night, and the instrumental funk number Open Up show the band is able to Funk the most reluctant.
Not to mention, their Good Times is the backing beat for the many freestyle sessions, the Wildstyle encore and the Sugarhill Gang’s Rapper’s Delight. Edwards produced tracks for many others like: Diana Ross, Sister Sledge, Debbie Harry form Blondie, Johnny Mathis, Jody Watley, Adam Ant, Air Supply, Rod Stewart and Fonzi Thornton. He was a member of Power Station-an 80s New Wave Funk based group. He produced and released a solo LP with Chic drummer Tony Thompson and members of Duran Duran. He passed the torch to his son-Bernard ‘Focus’ Edwards Jr. He’s produced tracks for contemporary artists like: Beyonce, J-Lo & Busta Rhymes. Bernard Edwards Sr passed away in 1996. He was 43 years-old.
On October 31st, in 1947, vocalist, guitarist, harmonica player, songwriter, pianist producer and member of the English Rock band Argent-Russ (Glyn) Ballard was born in Watham Cross, Hertordshire, England, UK. He was most known as the lead singer, guitarist and main songwriter for the band Argent. However, his background work was much more prolific than the praise he got for his songs with Argent. His professional career jumped off in the early 60s when he was the guitarist for Buster Meikie & the Day Breakers.
He moved to the Roulettes and then Unit 4 + 2 after that. By the mid 60s, Argent had formed and he stayed with them until the mid 70s. He went solo after leaving Argent, but found mediocre success on his own. His cover songs, that others would sing, made him a notable songwriter, arranger and producer. It’s like that sometimes in music. Take for instance Rufus feat Chaka Khan’s cover of Stop on By vs the original by Bobby Womack...then take sampling into account with Hip Hop Music…The original of Take Me to the Mardi Gras vs all those that sampled it…He wrote hits for Three Dog Night, Rodger Daltrey, Santana, Brian May and America. He’s 73 today.
On October 31st, in 1922, composer, arranger, producer, saxophonist, bandleader, bassoon player and Jazz innovator-Illinois Jacquet (Jean-Baptiste Illinois Jacquet) was born in Broussard, Louisiana. He made landmark moves with the tenor sax, utilizing it’s hard honking to driving swing beats that were the precursor to Ellington’s swing, King Curtis, and Ray Charles with Fat Head. All of these artists acted as the foundation that helped cultivate Rock ‘n’ Roll…Illinois isn’t the creator by himself, but without his Jazz innovations on the Tenor sax, and Bassoon for that matter, then Rock ‘n’ Roll songs with major horn melodies like Rock Around the Clock would never have came about.
Jacquet had been playing professionally since his early teens, mostly for local dance bands. Once his family moved to LA, Jacquet started playing with Lionel Hampton as a Tenor player. He was 19 when he’d become one of the highlights of the band and make his first recording-Flying Home. It’s the world’s introduction to the Honking tenor sax sound, and remains a classic. After he left Hampton, he joined Cab Calloway’s Orchestra. He appeared in some movies with Calloway and Lena Horne, continued to record and tour the Chitlin Circuit with bands and eventually returned to LA. He started his own band while there with his brother Russell and a very young Charles Mingus. He also rubbed elbows on bandstands frequently with Lester Young and Dexter Gordon. His contributions to Jazz, music overall and his legacy is infinite (died 2004 age 81).
Arrests on Halloween: So you know folks get crazy on Halloween. For example, Detroit has Hell night, where mad fires are set to anything all around the city. Random acts of vandalism ranging from smashing pumpkins to breaking out windows of businesses and vehicles occur in just about every city. The next two posts list a couple arrests that occurred on Halloween for some prominent musicians.
First, On October 31st, in 1964, Ray Charles got roped by the folks for holding horse. As the story goes, he was originally arrested in Boston, Mass by Logan Airport Customs Officers. I assume they had a ‘tip’. Charles was hit with his third charge (strike). He’d been arrested previously for heroine possession in 1958 and 1961. He didn’t get sent to prison because he went to rehab (as it can be seen in the film), but he remained on parole during 1966.
…‘I’m man, I’m the son of a man’…The Godfather of Funk had to wear some bracelets on October 31st, in 1995, for putting tips on his lady. His wife-Adrienne told the cops that James hit her with a mirror. This all took place in Aiken, South Carolina. However, James got off because she died in 1996 and the charges had to be dropped. Now that’s crazy in and of itself…
Honorable Mention: On October 31st, in 1945-The Hall of Fame for Great Americans officially made Booker T. Washington an inductee. Washington was the nemesis to W.E.B. DuBois, more bootstraps, do it yourself and humble means of living than the DuBois. The two debated on the best moves needed to gain Black economic and political statuses in a predominantly White society. Both approaches were different, but the destinations were the same. Read up on em both…
On October 31st, in 1986, The UK was airing a new show called The Tube. It came on their channel 4 and was set to be a series that hosted new musical acts. The first featured the Go-Go Band Troublefunk, vocalist Jermaine Stewart, New Wave 80s act Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Bob Geldof. Troublefunk? Live? Man..aight…Spandau Ballet also performed. I’m sure the studio audience was mad pleased.
For more information on any musician or event reviewed in posts, or for additional information on the Wandering Eyes Blog overall, use the search bar and search the artist or event using keywords. It’s like a Google search for the site. A myriad of information, covering several topics exists on this site going back to 2013 when it was created. PEACE!