Brian Molko

December 10th 1972, Born on this day, Brian Molko, guitar, vocals, Placebo, (1997 UK No. 6 single ‘Nancy Boy’).

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Frank Zappa

December 10th 1971, Playing the first of two nights at London’s Rainbow Theatre, in England, Frank Zappa was pushed off stage by Trevor Howell, the jealous boyfriend of an audience member. Zappa fell onto the concrete-floored orchestra pit – the band thought Zappa had been killed. He suffered serious fractures, head trauma and injuries to his back, leg, and neck, as well as a crushed larynx, which ultimately caused his voice to drop a third after healing. This accident resulted in him using a wheelchair for an extended period, forcing him off the road for over half a year.

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Rick Danko

10th Dec 1999, Rick Danko died in his sleep at his home near Woodstock, New York. The Canadian guitarist and singer joined The Hawks in 1963 who went on to work as Bob Dylan’s backing band, (with Robbie Robertson, Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson). Renamed The Band who released their 1968 debut Music from Big Pink (featuring the single ‘The Weight’). The Band released the 1978 concert film-documentary triple-LP soundtrack ‘The Last Waltz.’

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David Bowie

10th Dec 1965, 18-year-old David Bowie recorded ‘Can’t Help Thinking About Me’ at Pye Studios, London, England, which was later released as a single under the name David Bowie with The Lower Third. It became the first David Bowie record to be released in the US as well as the first time the name « Bowie » appeared under the songwriters credit.

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Joan Anita Barbara Armatrading

Happy birthday Joan Anita Barbara Armatrading, (born 9 December 1950) a British singer-songwriter and guitarist.
As a three-time Grammy Award-nominee, Armatrading was nominated twice for BRIT Awards as Best Female Artist. She also received an Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contemporary Song Collection in 1996.
In a recording career spanning 40 years, Armatrading has released 18 studio albums, as well as several live albums and compilations.
Joan Armatrading was born in 1950 in Basseterre on the Caribbean island of Saint Kitts as the third of six children. Her father was a carpenter and her mother was a housewife. When she was three years old, her parents moved with their two eldest boys to Birmingham, England, while Joan was sent to live with her grandmother on the Caribbean island of Antigua. In early 1958 at the age of seven, she joined her parents in Brookfields, then a slum district of Birmingham. The area is now mostly demolished and has been absorbed into the district of Handsworth. Her father had played in a band in his youth, later forbidding his children from touching his guitar. At about the age of 14, Armatrading began writing songs by setting her own limericks to music on a piano that her mother had purchased as « a piece of furniture ». Shortly thereafter, her mother bought her a £3 guitar from a pawn shop in exchange for two prams, and the younger Armatrading began teaching herself the instrument.
She left school at the age of 15 to support her family, and her first job was at Rabone Chesterman, an engineering tool manufacturer in Hockley, Birmingham. She lost the job after taking her guitar to work and playing it during tea-breaks.
Armatrading first performed in a concert at Birmingham University for her brother at the age of about 16. She only knew her own songs, but her brother asked her to perform something that would be familiar to the audience; she chose « The Sound of Silence ». She then performed her own songs around the local area with a friend from school, and played bass and rhythm guitar at local clubs. In 1968, Armatrading joined a repertory production of the stage musical Hair. There she met the lyricist Pam Nestor in 1970, and they worked together on Armatrading’s debut album Whatever’s for Us, released by Cube Records in 1972. Nestor wrote the lyrics to 11 of the 14 songs on the album, while Armatrading wrote the lyrics to three of them, performed all the vocals, wrote all the music and played an array of instruments on the album. Although Nestor was credited as co-lyricist, Cube considered Armatrading to be the more likely star material. These events produced a tension that broke up the partnership.
On 28 November 1972, Armatrading appeared on the BBC Radio 1 John Peel Show performing « Head Of The Table », « Spend A Little Time », « Child Star » and « Whatever’s For Us ». She sang and played acoustic guitar and piano. In 1973 Armatrading’s first single « Lonely Lady » (with lyrics by Nestor), a song that had not been included on the album, was released by Cube on the Fly label (catalogue: Bug 31), but it was unsuccessful in the charts and a period of inactivity for Armatrading followed, while she extricated herself from her contract with Cube Records. The single was subsequently withdrawn by Cube and re-released as a promotional single in the US by Armatrading’s new label A&M Records, the same year (as A&M1452). In January 1974 she appeared again on the John Peel Show. Performing « Some Sort Of Love Song », « Lonely Lady » and « Freedom », she again sang and played acoustic guitar and piano, but was accompanied by supporting musicians Snowy White (guitar), Mike Tomich (bass) and Brian Glassock (drums).
In 1975, Armatrading was free to sign with A&M Records, and issued the album Back to the Night, which was promoted on tour with six-piece jazz-pop group The Movies. Armatrading credited English singer Elkie Brooks on the sleeve notes as she had cooked for Armatrading and the band in the studio while they had been making the album, which was produced by Brooks’ then husband Pete Gage. A major publicity relaunch in 1976 and the involvement of producer Glyn Johns propelled her next album, Joan Armatrading, into the Top 20 and spawned the Top 10 hit single « Love and Affection ». The album mixed acoustic work with jazz-influenced material, and this style was retained for the 1977 follow-up Show Some Emotion, also produced by Glyn Johns, as was 1978’s To the Limit. These albums included songs which continue to be staples of Armatrading’s live shows, including « Willow », « Down To Zero », « Tall in the Saddle », and « Kissin’ and a Huggin ». Also at this time, Armatrading wrote and performed « The Flight of the Wild Geese », which was used during the opening and end titles for the 1978 war film The Wild Geese. The song was included on the soundtrack album for the film, originally released by A&M Records, later released under licence as a Cinephile DVD. A live album entitled Steppin’ Out was released in 1979.
Between 1972 and 1976 Armatrading made a total of eight appearances in session for the John Peel show and the decade saw her become the first Black British female singer/songwriter to enjoy international success.
Armatrading was the musical guest for Season 2, episode 58 of NBC’s Saturday Night Live, which originally aired on 14 May 1977. She performed « Love and Affection » and « Down to Zero ».
In 2008 she was part of Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Tour 2008.
On 29 March 2010 she released a new album, This Charming Life. The album peaked at #4 on the US Billboard Folk Albums chart. She embarked on an international tour to promote it, and a concert from this tour in April 2010 at the Royal Albert Hall in London was released on the CD/DVD album Live at the Royal Albert Hall, along with two tracks from a concert in Denver, Colorado, US, in February 2011. In 2012, she released the album Starlight.
Armatrading has always supported new music and local talent. For her 2012 Starlight tour she invited 56 singer–songwriters/artists to open for her in their respective home towns before her main tour support Chris Wood. Each of the artists opening for her across the UK also had a track selected for a three disc compilation released by her record label Hypertension Music. She presented Armatrading’s Singer-Songwriters, a two-part radio series showcasing these artists, which was broadcast on BBC Radio Two in February 2013.
On 7 October 2013, Armatrading announced on her website that she would be embarking on her last major tour, to be combined with her first solo tour of intimate concerts, featuring just herself playing and singing.

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Neil Diamond

9th Dec 1972, Neil Diamond released the live double album Hot August Night, from a concert on August 24, 1972, which was one of ten sold out concerts that Diamond performed that month at The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. The album peaked at No.5 on the US chart and spent 29 weeks at No.1 on the Australian chart.

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