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Teen Idols:…‘I think we’re alone now…doesn’t seem to be anyone around'…On October 2nd, in 1971, pop vocalist, Debbie Gibson’s nemesis, singer, actress and songwriter-Tiffany (Tiffany Renee Darwish) was born in Norwalk, California. Tiffany’s story is like most American childhood stories if you were born in the 60s-80s: her parents divorced when she was young, she jockeyed back and forth between them. Her passion and escape was music, singing to be specific. She had an original way of getting herself out there in the public eye.
She utilized shopping malls, television appearances, mixed genres, and remote places to perform. For instance, she did a small tour in Alaska, sang covers of Country Music in Nashville, Tennessee on the Ralph Emory Show (she did Star Search too), and she did a shopping mall tour where she was discovered by Hoyt Axton. At this point, she cut a demo tape, got signed, hired a new manager and started making appearances in small venues all over. She cut a few singles here and there, but none charted until she remade Tommy James & The Shondells song-I Think We’re Alone Now.
In 1988, she remade another classic by the Beatles-I Saw Him Standing There. It was another hit for the singer. By this time, she was very well-known, so much so that she’d discover and hire New Kids on the Block as her opening act. Tiffany got into movies, reality TV, married twice, had one son (Elijah) and even posed for Playboy. She continues to perform and put out music. She’s 47 today.
…‘this generation, rules the nation, with version…music happens to be the food of love, sounds to make you really rub and scrub’… On October 2nd, in 1982, British Reggae group Musical Youth hit the number one spot on the UK chart with the song: Pass the Dutchie. The group members were young, ages 11-15 years-old at the time, and hailed from Birmingham, England. All of them played their own instruments and dabbled in writing:
Kelvin Grant on guitar & vocals (11), Michael Grant on keyboards & vocals (13), Patrick Waite on bass (14 deceased now), Dennis Seaton on percussion and lead vocals (15), Freddie ‘Junior’ Waite on drums (15-older brother of Partick). The song was a teen’s version of Peter Tosh’s Legalize It, a public service announcement to smoke bless out of Dutch Masters (Panetelas)... Better yet, it was a remake of the Mighty Diamond’s song: Pass the Kouchie, which is the chalice-or bong if you will. Their version even has the water gurgling and sounds of a guy inhaling.
Musical Youth changed Kouchie to Dutchie, took the inhales and gurgles out, and made it more palatable to the powers that be. WE all knew what Dutchie was…pon the left-hand side...The group put out 2 LPs: The Youth Today (1982) & New Style (1983). They even worked with Donna Summers (grown pop icon). Like most teen groups, Musical Youth didn’t last. They disbanded rather quickly around 1985, when Dennis Seaton-the lead vocalist, left the group while venues and singing opportunities were drying up.
Crime Sagas: The 2nd day of October has proven to be an interesting day of random crimes committed by infamous musicians. I’m going to break this down in ascending chronological order. In 1967, The entire Grateful Dead got roped by the Jake (California Narcotics Agents) for weed possession. The agents ran in their gate at 710 Ashbury Street in San Francisco, California. This is during the height of the hippy counter-culture movement, can we say profiling? Pops always said hippies were the ‘new nizzahs’ to the man…
Second, in 1980, one of the male vocalists on Lost & Turned Out by the Whispers-LeaVeil DeGree had to go to jail. October 2nd would mark day one in the bing for DeGree. He had to serve a two-year bid for heisting diamonds. He was locked up in Boron, California. Now make no bones about it, Mr. DeGree didn’t just take a few rings and things, we’re talking $1.8 million here…$800,000 of which was recovered. His accomplishes were his brother, his wife and one of her friends. They got busted sending the diamonds in the mail.
…‘is it a sign of great inner insecurity to be hostile to the unfamiliar’…In 2002, Adam Ant got a ‘get out of jail’ free card by a judge based on his mental instability. He was in a London pub minding his own business when, for whatever reason, he felt compelled to pull a replica pistol out and threaten other patrons. The judge presiding over his case suspended his prison sentence and attributed his behavior to his mental illness. Ant voluntarily sought out psychiatric treatment.
In 2003, Courtney Love was doing her thing, again…So this time, Courtney called the cops saying she thought her boyfriend’s house (Jim Barber, also her manager) was being burglarized. It was mad early in the morning…When the fuzz arrived, they saw Courtney in the street…pause…they said she looked and was acting like she was high, so the bracelets went on. Once they got her in the car, she looked like she was overdosing, so they took her to the hospital. Man, I would’ve hated to have been those cops. I’m sure CL was in rare form…
Honorable Mention:...‘I’m like Nat Turner, with Two Burners’…On October 2nd, in 1800, the most infamous American born slave revolt organizer...and participant-Nat Turner was born on a Plantation owned by Benjamin Turner in Southampton County, Virginia. Turner knew little about his father, who was believed to have escaped slavery. He was very religious, which is ironic when one thinks about the revolt, depending on which side you stand. Regardless, an injustice is an injustice and slavery was an injustice. Freedom by any means necessary. Asking for it wouldn’t have done the trick, and waiting for it wouldn’t have either. Seize the time…
On October 2nd, in 2005, the infamous playwright and author, Pittsburgh native-August Wilson (Frederick August Kittel Jr) returned home in Seattle, Washington. Wilson was an award-winning writer (two Pulitzers for Drama, and over 20 awards and honors from 1985 to 2005) that accurately depicted the Black Experience in America using fictional characters and situations. He has numerous books and plays that have been converted to the silver screen or Broadway stage, most recently Fences starring Denzel Washington (he wrote over 15 plays from 1973-2005). His continued writing will be greatly missed. He was 60 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!