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On November 22nd, in 1946, Reggae producer, bassist, songwriter, arranger, drummer, guitarist, Rastasfarian, keyboardist the man known as Family Man, and percussionist-Aston Barrett was born Kingston, Jamaica. His was the older brother of Carlton Carly Barrett who was an infamous session drummer for Bob Wailer & the Wailers, Lee Scratch Perry & the Upsetters, Peter Tosh, King Tubby, Burning Spear, Augustus Pablo, and the Hippy Boys. Both brothers played in those bands and others. However, Family Man mostly laid the bottom and keys on tracks. Occasionally, he’d play drums and African drums. Family man didn’t stop there though.
He was the bandleader for the Wailers, primary arranger of Bob’s songs and co-producer of his LPs. Barrett (l) was well-known in Jamaican musician circles. His weapon of choice is the Fender Jazz Bass Guitar with an acoustic 370 bass amplifier. After Bob passed, Family Man had some legal quarrels with the label Island Records and Bob Marley’s family. He filed a lawsuit against the imprint for lack of royalty payments. He continued to lead and tour with the Wailers band after Bob’s passing. The fans responded well to Family Man. He also mentored bassist Robbie Shakespeare of the infamous Sly & Robbie production duo. Family Man’s legacy and influence of Jamaican music released from the 60s to the current date is unquestionably large. He’s 72 today.
On November 22nd in 1950, guitarists, singer, political activist, DJ, bassist, songwriter, philanthropist, pianist, producer, mandolin player, actor, harmonica player, composer, arranger and co-founding member of Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes-Steve Van Zandt (Steve Lento, Miami Steve, Silvio, Little Steven) was born in Winthorp, Massachusetts (Boston area). He started playing guitar early on, influenced by George Harrison of the Beatles, Ravi Shankar & Indian culture and the British Invasion. He founded his first band, the Whirlwinds in 1964, and the Mates a year later in 1965.
In 1966 he joined the Shadows, gigged locally and graduate from high school in 1968. Van Zandt was a touring and session musician during the early to mid-70s. He got the nickname Miami Steve because he always wore tropical print shirts. He did a show in Miami in 1973 with the Dovells and wore the shirts from then on, stating he didn’t like winter weather. He’s most known for joining the E-Street Band, but his projects with Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, the Miami Horns, Little Steven and The Disciples of Soul, his solo projects and his role in the HBO mini-series the Sopranos (Silvio Dante) are all notable accomplishments that out shine his work with Springsteen. He’s also responsible for founding AUAA (Artists United Against Apartheid). He’s 68 today.
On November 22nd in 1986, we lost a seminal comedian, actor, Griot, dancer, voiceover actor, singer, songwriter, guitarist, pianist, and drummer-Scatman Crothers (Benjamin Sherman Crothers) was born in Terre Haute, Indiana. He got his start playing in speakeasies around Terre Haute. Mobsters like Al Capone would drive through bootlegging on their way to and from Chicago. The city is about 2 hours south of Chicago on route 45 which is Lake Shore Dr. He coined himself Scatman in 1932 when he auditioned for a radio spot. He taught this singing style to others, even college students after he perfected it. He played a lot of gigs in the Midwest from Ohio to Illinois.
He went out west and played piano in the Bay during the late 40s. He did radio appearances as well. In the early 50s, he moved south to Los Angeles and made his film debut in Meet Me at the Fair (1953). He continued to break color barriers in films and on TV throughout the 50s and 60s. By 1970 he was a staple face on the silver screen. TV Network Sit-coms constantly had the artist making cameo appearances as well. He also got into voiceover roles for Hong Kong Phooey, Thundercats, The Transformers and Harlem Globetrotters animated series. He had the voice, smile, walk and face that everyone recognized for over a half a century (1932-1986). He passed away in 1986 from complications with his lungs. He was 76 years-old.
On November 22nd, in 2002, all of the remaining members from the Doors that were still alive made a public announcement that they’d be in the studio recording and hit the stage again for a tour. They had Ray Manzarek (Keys, songwriter, arranger, producer), Robby Krieger (guitarist, singer, songwriter, producer) and drummer John Densmore as the remaining three members. Essentially, Jim was the only that wasn’t still alive. However, Densmore couldn’t perform due to his health, and that left the drummer position open. The three members agreed that Steve Copeland-the former drummer for the Police, could stand in for Densmore.
Jim Morrison’s lead singer position was replaced with former Cult lead singer Ian Astbury. The line up consisted of all-star Rock performers. It’s ironic that the only Door that passed at the time was Jim Morrison and they had all but stopped recording for nearly 40 years. It shows the importance of Jim, and the amount the rest of the band relied on his being the front man for the band. He gave them their image and musical identity. He was an innovating Rock star that transformed the antics musicians would do on stage. Influencing the Punk Rockers to turn his lyrical content and performance actions up a notch. R.I.P. Jim Morrison.
…‘There aint no Future in yo Frontin’…On November 22nd, in 2008, we lost a down ass emcee, one that put Flint, Michigan on the map, kicked it and built with Tupac (I Gotta Get Mine), Too Short the Outlawz, Jazze Pha, The Dayton Family, D.O.C., Spice 1 and Ant Banks-MC Breed (Eric Miles Breed). He passed away in his sleep in Ypsilanti, Michigan after playing a game of basketball. Breed was one of the first MC to come out of the Midwest and put it on the map. His first release was in 1991-MC Breed & the DFC. They came with Ain’t No Future in Yo Frontin’, which shot up the chart and put Breed on the map. He released several solo LPs throughout the 90s with production from Jazze Pha, Warren G, D.O.C., DJ Hurricane and numerous others.
He also was featured and has had other emcees featured on several songs. The problem that Breed had, is that he could never crack into the ‘mainstream’ for promotions, distribution and record deal. None of the labels he was signed to were majors (Ichiban). Not to mention, other emcees and rappers on bigger labels would get more spins, promotions, video budgets and better tour venues than Breed, even though they weren’t as good as he was. New York or Eastcoast rappers also didn’t really embrace Breed’s Midwestern style, which was more a fusion between Westcoast G-Funk and Southern rap like Geto Boys, UGK & 2 Live Crew. He will always be well respected by the true heads in this thing we call Hip Hop Culture. He was 37 when he died.
Honorable Mention: On November 22nd, in 1943, session drummer and drummer for Three Dog Night-Floyd Sneed (Floyd Chester Chuck) was born in Calgary Alberta, Canada. His older sister Maxine got him his first drum kit while she was married to actor Tommy Chong. He got his start plying drums in Chong’s band-Little Daddy and the Bachelors. In the late 60s, he moved to Los Angeles and joined Three Dog Night. He’s 76 today.
…‘Burnin down the house!’…On November 22nd, in 1950 session bassist, songwriter, arranger, and bassist for Talking Heads-Tina Weymouth was born in Coronado, California. She has played bass for Tom Tom Club, the Gorillaz, Chicks With Speed and the Compass Point All Stars. She is a New Wave-Punk Rock bassist at heart, but her style of playing can’t be contained to any genre. She’s also a writer, guitarist and keyboardist. She’s 68 today.
On November 22nd, in 2016, the 35-year home of June & Johnny Cash in Hendersonville, Tennessee (right outside of Nashville, TN) was placed on the market. The majority of the property had been destroyed in a fire 9 years prior 2007). The entire ‘main house’ burned down, and all that remained was a one-bedroom apartment, a swimming pool, tennis court and a covered boat dock. June & Johnny lived there until they died in 2003.
…‘give you what you need, said it’s what you need yea!’…On November 22nd, in 1997, we lost a great vocalist of the New Wave movement, INXS’ lead singer Michael Hutchence died in his Sydney, Australia hotel suite. He was found naked behind his bathroom door with a belt around his neck. At first it appeared to be a suicide. But after further research, they linked his death to be related to auto eroticism (a form of masturbation where a person strangles themselves while they climax making it intensify the pleasurable experience). He was 37 years-old when he died.
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!